“There are few factors that lead to sexual harassment. Among of the factors are physical attractiveness and charming personality.”, this is only one of the sentences which drive people crazy.
The article with title “Emotional Impact On Sexual Harassment Victims” was something posted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) somewhere in 2016 and dug up from the archives by a netizen while she was searching for articles relating to this topic.
While the article sought to clarify the meaning, causes, and impact of sexual harassment, they’ve cited the wrong and harmful notions such as physical attractiveness, a charming personality, and sexy clothing as causes of sexual harassment.
While reading the article, one will notice that the article heavily inferred that women are to blame for tempting men into harassing them, instilling the idea of victim-blaming, suggesting the victim, rather than the perpetrator, should bears responsibility for the assault.
“There are few factors that lead to sexual harassment. Among of the factors are physical attractiveness and charming personality.”, written in the article.
“Sexy and attractive body shape are a dream of every single human being especially women. With the precious gift of God, we often forget that it also invite problems such as sexual harassment.”
“Apart from that, unsuitable clothing style also caused sexual harassment. Women or girls do dress up in a very sexy way simply to reveal parts of their bodies assuming that it’s beautiful and sexy in the eyes of others.”
The list just goes on and on. The article too advice women to avoid working overtime alone and bring home unfinished tasks to prevent unwanted acts and attention on them at the office.
The article had been taken down recently. However, this does not calm the netizen’s anger towards the Ministry for publishing such an article.
The chief editor of local health news site CodeBlue called the article a “what-the-f–k piece” that should not be on a health website. She demanded the Ministry to take down the article immediately and said that it has nothing to do with the way women dress.
The Twitter post spread like wild fire and many different party and organisation condemn MOH for allowing such a piece of article to go public.
“A government-run website spreading misinformation about survivor-related characteristics as primary causes of sexual harassment, when the only causes are power imbalance and patriarchal norms? This is seriously unacceptable, @KKMPutrajaya!” All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) said.
Despite having the article taken down, independent journalist, Tehmina Kaoosji commented that taking down the article alone fixes nothing about the situation.
“@KKMPutrajaya must ensure that there is no unverified content on official websites, plus take this opportunity to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month all through April,” she suggested.
Unfortunately for MOH, the article can still be accessed through an Internet archive here.