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The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Friday, July 09, 2004
You are not Worthy

My young friend (let's just call him Mr Bowtie) and I was having lunch today, when he showed me a print-out from an ultrasound scan. I had a quick glance - the picture was grainy, but it definitely showed the dark outline of a baby. My mind flashed to my own print-outs, lives I carried in my own womb - the cloudy spots that were hands and feet and head are all now children with distinct personalities. The baby in the picture I saw at lunch today had no such future. Yesterday, the mother terminated her pregnancy and the scan was in fact the only proof it ever existed. At the bottom of the print-out, the doctor scrawled the date and time it was taken, a reminder of the final minute the baby's brief life.

The mother, Mr Bowtie's friend, had wanted to get rid of the photograph. She is a student, and this is her second abortion. Her erstwhile boyfriend, the father of her two unborn children, have repudiated all responsibility - he did not even accompany her to the clinic, and paid for only half the doctor's fee. The girl subsequently returned the money because he moaned that he had none left for food. She said she felt sorry for him. Mr Bowtie is livid.

"How can she be so stupid? How can the boy be so thoughtless?".

Mr Bowtie, a young man who favours tight T shirts and frequent changes of hair-clour, isn't your average moralising Lebai Leman. Through him and his fraternity, I get a glimpse of the wilder side of KL, where the blase and the worldwise seek Bacchanalian fruits. But even in the realm of debauchery, there are rules and codes of honour. I would think that if the boy feels he is adult enough to partake in pre-marital sex, he should be man enough to bear the consequences. And if the girl feels she has every right to do with her body whatever she pleases, then the least she could do was to have the sense to shield it from harm.

Now, before someone hits me in the head with a Quran or a Bible, let me say this : yes, pre-marital sex is wrong and is a sin and brings you hell-fire, but the fact is these kids are at it like rabbits and to tell them pre-marital sex is wrong and is a sin and brings you hell-fire would not make them modify their behaviour. One of the root causes, I think is a lack of self-respect among young women today. (It would be presumptous of me to say I know what's wrong with guys nowadays - I'm still not done figuring out my husband)

While women have seen a plethora of opportunities unfold - and many women have taken advantage of them to great effect : Carly Fiorina, Zaharina Zahari, Jill Abramson, women of their ilk - there are always forces that will tell women they are never good enough. Flip open a woman's magazine - the images are of women who are not only successful but also appear like a million bucks. Turn on the TV, a woman with incredible talent has also to be a woman with immensely good looks. The demands are impossible. Editors of women's journals may proclaim that brains are sexy, but in the fashion spread you'll see that only sex appeal is sexy. It's sad : but a woman is still judged by the sum of her looks, and her ability to command attention from the opposite sex. What's worse, women themselves perpetuate this ridiculous yardstick.

Mr Bowtie's importune friend is one of the best students in her class, and yet this was not enough to prop up her dignity. She had to feel desired to be worthy. Had she loved herself, perhaps there was a better chance at self-preservation. Or if she did give that up, at least it was a choice moved by curiosity or even genuine pleasure. And she would be in control - to be the master of her own self, to say no, you may not have me, you are not worthy.


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