Rape Culture in Singapore – Is it really that different from Delhi?

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Comments (104)
  1. X says:

    rape is bad, gotta stop rape. end of story. nothing to do with gender inequality.

  2. zx says:

    Case in point:
    I left my wallet/laptop/handphone unattended on the table.
    It was stolen.
    Police/friends think I am partially at fault/deserve it.
    Victim Blaming?
    I think there is a rampant theft culture here!
    Don’t I have a right to leave my things wherever I want?
    (and be assured that the items will still be there when I come back for them.)
    People have been locking their doors when they leave their house as a matter of fact to prevent burglary.

    The police have been recommending people not to wear expensive jewelry in public in case its snatched and no ones bat an eyelid.
    Towards ANY crime, the general consensus has always been to be vigilant right? Why is asking women to take steps to protect themselves raising such a storm?

    Of course, the perpetrator will always have to be bearing the blame for committing the crime, no shirking that. No matter how provocative the circumstances is, a crime is a crime, it can never be a valid defence.

    What I don’t get is ladies balking at being asked to be vigilant and protecting themselves.

    1. Adelynn says:

      …because we’re sick of living in a world where the fear of being a possible victim is an everyday stressor? if the onus to prevent crime is always placed on the victim and not on the perpetrator, then as the world gets more and more dangerous, we have to curtail more and more of our freedoms in order to stay safe. when does it end? how much will we have to wear? what will we not be allowed to do? where will we be no longer able to walk? what time will we have to be back in the confines of our house?

      we want a safer environment. ALL will benefit. what’s bad about that?

  3. Angela limhg says:

    I truly thank u for writing and highlighting this critical fact of what’s happening. I feel that all of us has this “we know it…” And it’s not that we do not really know it happens of the way man treats woman. I sincerely also wish that a change is made by in the way we foster the value of cherishing human life in where ever we are in the world for only the respect for the dignity of life can we also know that we are all interconnected. Vice versa for woman to cherish man, it’s each of us treating another as a human being.

  4. y says:

    It has everything to do with gender inequality.

    Rape of men is of course equally bad, but it is not a systematic problem. An act of rape is the pseudo-logical extension of the objectification of women. Both acts dehumanise women, and present them only as something of worth in terms of what can be claimed and enjoyed by a man. The process of objectification just reinforces the ideas above about men feeling entitled to womens’ bodies, regardless of what the women feel.

    I am in no way discounting the experiences of male survivors of rape, but how you can read the above article and come away completely missing the message about how this has EVERYTHING to do with gender inequality is baffling.

    90% of rape survivors are female. 99% of perpetrators are male. (In my country at least – and that is with statistical adjustment to account for non-reported cases.)

    I suggest you do a bit more reading before you proffer your opinion as fact. End of story.

  5. Y says:

    you have strong case of argument but remember as you have correctly pointed out this is a complex problem, a situation where media has commodify sexuality and the prevalence of media on pornography that entrenched the notion of sexuality as a commodity. Whatever the case, you have raised your concern and increased my awareness in this subject matter on rape.

    To add on to your views, girls wearing skimpily clothes should expect the guys to behave themselves not on the whim of sexual gratification. Unfortunately, in the real world, there are those people who are not educated and they act based on their sexual urge. Your article is slightly biased as you used the example of gangster, which is obviously less educated from the general population. In any society, there will be bound to be people who are less educated.

    You use the defence argument which i really like. This kind of argument does not work in the developed world. Unfortunately, it is an entrenched culture in India, an isolated case.

    There are not many Singaporeans out there that will concur with you that less voice means being apathetic. Singaporeans may be quiet on certain issues but that do not mean that we are apathetic but we are aware of such issue and we are thinking about it. It is just the social context we are in discourages public discourse on such issues. I am pretty sure, in my opinion, majority of Singaporeans disagree rape responsibility should be on the onus of the victims, unless special case which i will not be covering in this comment section.

    I mean come on, jokes on racism does not necessarily means that society is not taking a serious view on it. Instead, it actually uncovers issue that could have been hidden for ages. We do make racist jokes time to time but we respect the idea of impartiality and meritocracy regardless of color and background. I find your case for joke not compelling.

  6. Tehillah says:

    I’m sorry, but this article is absolute rubbish. can’t agree with it. You’re comparing a very miniscule portion society to the Delhi Rape case and the problems in India and using that to justify the removal of the Purple Light song? Insane.

  7. alex says:

    your post, its very trendy and communicates nothing new.

    women own the testicles of men in singapore

  8. Naz says:

    This Indian lady doesn’t know what the fuck she is saying and writing. And the song don’t go, ‘rape my girlfriend’. Obviously women have never been to the army and this lady is foreign to our culture and trying to spread malicious rumors. This is he real lyric – ‘Booking out, I see my girlfriend
    Saw her with another man.
    Broken hearted, back to army, With my rifle and my buddy and me’. See how that actually rhymes better. This is very lowly of her to compare our lifestyle to their broken one and spread shit rumors for attention. And if any rape is involved here, it would have to be in a village somewhere in Bedok or Bukit Merah.

    1. Drjoha says:

      Sweetheart, if you read properly, this post was not written by an Indian lady.
      Good to know that the actual lines of the song do not promote misogyny.
      However, your last line left me in shivers. “And if any rape is involved here, it would have to be in a village somewhere in Bedok or Bukit Merah.” So that’s OK? You’re justifying rape by saying that it doesn’t matter because it’s not happening in economically structured areas? People like you probably contribute to the rape statistics mentioned in this article.

  9. Lakshman says:

    I found one thing very strange in this article: it is law in India to NOT reveal the names of rape victims. I wonder how the name of the victim in the Decemeber rape case in India has been obtained and mentioned.

    1. xin min says:

      News reports and police reports used an alias “nirbhaya” the way Jane Roe would have been used in USA. Later on her parents went on to reveal the name which is legal.

  10. Z says:

    I think your substantiations/examples are not great. Can you use something that is more relevant?

    1. friends talking about raping women online.

    Yes, I would very much agree that they should not be conversing about such things, that is offensive to woman, especially online. They are portraying a really bad impression.

    however, using this example to justify that there is a rape culture present in Singapore is a bit too far fetched. Look, saying/typing is different from really carrying it out. it makes a hell lot of a difference. In our typical day where we are unhappy with person X, we would also have a conversation that goes like:

    “wah, I feel like killing person X” or
    “wah, I feel like punching person X”.

    Does this mean that we are a psychopath?

    Does this even constitute as having a murderous intent?

    these are merely expressions used in our daily lives. While I agree that the words used by people mentioned in your article are offensive, it should not be used as a generalization in this context, especially you seriously lack many empirical evidences to substantiate your claims.

    2. Banning of the purple light song. It seems that you might be a foreigner. Perhaps, you might be unaware of the context/origin as to why this song came out. As correctly mentioned by many people, this song is supposed to illustrate the tough life any NSF had to go through during their national service. Some of the hardest thing to go through, would be, the breaking up with girlfriend/girlfriend fall in love with another men. The verse “rape my girlfriend” in the song simply act as a platform for soldiers to vent out their anger. Note, it is MERELY singing it out. NOT doing it in reality. It makes a lot of difference. If you still believe that this song should be banned, then I must say you should also consider requesting the legislation to formally ban and fine those who used the term “Fuck U”. Essentially, it somewhat means the same thing as having sex, promoting your male dominance over female in the sexual context, and that it worships a culture that promotes “rape”.

    In conclusion, I understand your concern about the need to protect the women’s rights and to prevent similar raping cases from happening, but jumping at things that have a link towards raping women (even the slightest one, like the purple light song) is too much. Verbalization does not necessary equate to actions done. We do not condone or support a raping culture in Singapore, please be assure of that.

    A male who is horrified at your basis for your generalization in Singapore’s context

  11. Matt says:

    Just to clarify: The NS bookout song uses the phrase “Kill the man, beat the girlfriend, with my rifle and my buddy and me”.

    Rape is not mentioned anywhere within its lyrics.

    1. fabrizzo says:

      i dont understand:why does the man deserve to die,but not the girlfriend?what she did was way worse!betrayal of one who serves the country.unless u treat NS as a shit service than a noble service.

  12. Visitor says:

    I love how all this articles and comments just skip over the kill the man part. Because it matters so much that the girlfriend got raped but not that the man clearly just got murdered. Talk about gender inequality. The fact that you are only standing up for your own gender proves what a sexist you truly are.

    1. xx says:

      Dude, that’s because the point is about rape culture. Do you see her openly criticising men? Stop cherry-picking and start understanding the article for what it is.

    2. Xx says:

      Sorry, let me correct myself: “Do you see her criticising men?”
      In reading this, please see the big picture and get the point, instead of perpetuating our apathy towards rape culture.

  13. Eugene says:

    Wow i am in the midst of an exam and i happen to stumble upon this utter rubbish. Sure you do raise the issue that we are not doing enough to raise the awareness of SG’s rape culture but clearly any other points mentioned including the purple light song is deliriously hilarious.
    Bottom line, rape is bad and thats that, and there should be no gender bias to it. Guys can get raped too if you’re wondering.
    I must say that even though bits of the article are insightful but my general consensus on this is utter crap when you brought in that facebook and army song.
    Bad move.

  14. sarah says:

    Several Singaporean commentators here are not happy with the article. They criticize it as being overly narrow in focus, that focusing on the Singapore rape case is irrelevant because it is about gangster culture – oh yes, “non-gangsters” (whatever this means!) don’t rape – that the exchange between 2 Singaporeans on raping a Dutch woman is not connected to the rape culture (perhaps not directly). But don’t you see how your justifications are truly contributing to this problem. Statistically speaking, we have a real problem. Such problem is masked by the myth of gender equality in Singapore, by the fact that women can do anything men can (theoretically in terms of work), women can dress in any way they want (freedom?), etc… Gender equality is not about women! It is about men AND women. That’s what gender means. (well at least in our culture that recognizes only 2 genders.)We educate men and women to respect each other, to respect their differences but not to use them to create oppression and inequality. Until Singaporeans like some of the above commentators stop living in this mythical world, tear off the mask that their society is currently wearing, look at the ugly truths underneath and be moved to change, rape will always not be looked at with horror and approbation here as it is in many other societies.

    1. fabrizzo says:

      so true!yet hypocrites of ‘gender equality’ almost always just focus on women,never the men,as if we dont exist or matter

  15. fabrizzo says:

    I find most women dont really fear how they dress would affect what happens to them.Just look at the society now,every single woman is dressed more exposed or obscene than every single man.If dressing mattered,does this mean its the men who fear getting raped?
    the purple lights was oversensationalised by aware,who had nothing better to do.pray tell,how does it legitimise rape or make a woman a man’s property?anywhere in the law of our coluntry allows that?it isnt even sung anywhere in the song,except for when the female betrayed the male in the worst way possible.There are cases of men betraying women n end up dead or having their dicks chopped off.Should that not be deemed equivalent to rape or worse?

  16. fabrizzo says:

    there will be equality,once men are recognised as being allowed to wear formal shorts to work,the same way many women in the CBD are allowed miniskirts in the office.there will be equality,once hotpants n microshorts are designed not only for women but for men as well,and 70% of the youngmen wearing them,in place of their knee length berms,to beat the heat.there will be equality,once i stop seeing men cover their whole legs with pants while his girlfriend exposes nearly all of hers,in addition to tears on what little coverage she has worn.

  17. TriciaD says:

    Personally I thought the article is a very refreshing take from the usual articles saying how ‘Singapore is a free place’ and voices out many of the equality problems in singapore. What i found disgusting however, was the amount of xenophobic, sexist comments who ignore the main point of the article – rape. While many of the comments focus on the example given, which i agree are very controversial and not entirely perfect in defending the writer’s points, they all seem to miss the point where woman are objectified and seen more as sexual gratification rather than respected properly as human beings in our society. I would also like to point out the lack of female participation in the comments section, and how majority of them are from men (defending their masculinity i might say) . It debunks the view that Singapore is safe from the violent acts stemming from gender inequality. Instead of defending our actions, maybe we should instead concentrate more on reflecting on how we contribute to this problem.

  18. B says:

    A lopsided mind sees a lopsided world. A prejudiced person sees prejudice everywhere, even where there is none. You see what you are. For every gender inequality against females there is an opposite inequality against males in another aspect. That’s all I have to say to you.

  19. BB says:

    Oh wait. Regarding the purple light song, as a guy, let me just say it disgusted me when I sang it and many of my buddies were equally revolted; however, in the army there is simply no choice we have to sing it and singing it together, knowing it’s just a song, we sing it like any other army song without thinking much about it. But I agree, it’s terrible.

    However, that again points out to the inequality that men suffer. We go through all that shit being forced into it, forced to sing that song, forced to go through so many things that if you and other women were to have a taste, would instantly be outraged beyond measure and make the biggest fuss out of it; much more than you’ll make of this rape thing – equally appalling crime like all other similar crimes.

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