The things that matter

UNIFEM eventAbout a decade ago, the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer went into damage control mode after a gaffe he made when speaking at an event raising awareness for female victims of domestic violence.

He had thought it witty on the occasion to coin the phrase “the things that batter” for the event, giggling proudly for a good couple of hours before the fallout and subsequent pressured apology.

Well, he knows now that domestic violence is no laughing matter, and UNIFEM’s concert and bazaar at Clarke Quay yesterday, commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was meant to raise awareness of this serious issue, although the turnout was a little disappointing because of the weather.

Regardless of your gender or orientation, you should support UNIFEM’s concerns, which range from human trafficking to violence against women. At the very least, you should be aware of the gender-biasness (among other biases) of some of our society’s regulatory frameworks. You may not be able to do anything about it directly, but you shouldn’t say you didn’t know.

Just as I didn’t know until recently that there was such a thing as marital immunity as a defence against the crime of rape within a marital relationship. Now that I am aware of it, I am concerned that the legal reform commission or similar body has not removed this immunity completely, as it should.

So, don’t wait for personalities like Nadya Hutagalung and Andrea de Cruz to tell you their experiences (as they did in press interviews this week) before you do something about it.

Surf stop: UNIFEM Singapore

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of A Matter Of Trust from the album “Greatest Hits Vol. III” by Billy Joel of which I have the original CD.

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