This is possibly my first letter to the forum that has been published – albeit on the online edition. It has been soooooo edited down, it is not even funny.
See Forum letter “Supporting gay rights does not make one gay”
I REFER to Dr Thio Su Mien’s letter on Monday, “Gay activists a key constituency of Aware”.
I was at the Association of Women for Action and Research’s extraordinary general meeting from start to end.
Gays did not comprise a numerical majority at the meeting. Being a supporter of rights for gay people doesn’t make one a homosexual, lesbian or homosexual activist.
I support the Palestinians’ right to live their lives without a wall dividing their communities, but that does not mean that I am a Palestinian. Nor am I a Palestinian rights activist.
I am not sure why Dr Thio calls the supporters of the old guard “sexually challenged”. Does she mean they are somehow physically or psychologically sexually impaired?
Just because I was a “vocal and vociferous supporter of the old guard”, does that make me sexually challenged?
Indulekshmi Rajeswari (Miss)”
I refer to Dr Thio Su Mien’s letter on 18th May 2009.I was at the AWARE EGM from start to end. Firstly, possessing a much better “gaydar” than Dr Thio Su Mien and being much more familiar than her with those people who call themselves gay activists, I can confirm that the hall was not full of them. They were definitely present, but they were nowhere near the numerical majority nor a chief constituency.Secondly, being a supporter of rights for gay people neither make one homosexual/lesbian nor a homosexual (rights) activist. I personally support rights of the Palestinians to live their lives without a wall dividing their communities – a somewhat controversial position (depending on who you ask) that makes me neither Palestinian (unless my parents have lied to me all my life) nor a Palestinian Rights Activist.Thirdly, there is a line between “gay-neutral” and “promoting homosexuality”. A dictionary can easily help divine the line between the two, should anyone be confused.Fourthly, I am not sure why Dr Thio calls the supporters of the old guard “sexually challenged”. Does she mean they are somehow physically or psychologically sexually impaired? Is Dr Thio secretly the physician for all these “vocal and vociferous” women, in order to know this intimately personal information about them? I was a “vocal and vociferous supporter of the old guard” – have I been sexually challenged all this while and did not know about this until a lawyer mass-diagnosed me through a forum letter? I am very confused, and somewhat insulted.Fifthly, anal sex per se is not against the law – the old s377 of the Penal Code was repealed in February 2008. Unless there is a top-secret statute that makes it illegal (which only Dr Thio seems to know of), I believe consensual heterosexual anal sex is very much legal now. Perhaps Dr Thio refers to s377A – that would refer to all sexual contact between men, not just anal sex.
So I started working a law firm barely 5 days after exams, as a intern, making my friends wonder if I was just a little insane. The last 5 days were spent shopping for officewear, watching TV, reading up on IP law and generally making the most out of my short time.
Internship so far has been good (all one and a half days of it) – I was thrown a case-file after the obligatory round of introductions, and I have been consumed with research on that. I am getting real work, and that is the important thing, as compared to many interns in big firms who are the equivalent of briefcase carriers and coffee-fetchers. I don’t regret going into a small specialised firm – the lack of other interns to socialise with is actually fine, because it helps me concentrate on work.
Now I just need something to get rid of this perpetual sleepy-bleary-eyed thing that seems to be endemic once I settle into a cubicle of any sort, making me wonder if the chairs are impregnated with a skin-absorbent tranquiliser. I strongly fear I am taking after the path of Rachel, who drank 4 cups of green tea day during exams and internship (I keep re-steeping the same bag all day). I have finally discovered which of the shoes I bought is actually comfy and stylish (hint: not the stilletos), and I figured out I need to sit properly or my skirt is going to ride wayyyy up. I am missing my music – when I study, music is my perpetual companion, all day, every day, but the computer doesn’t have a headphone jack in the front. Not to mention its other defects, the least of which being that it is a Windows computer.
Whatever Boston Legal told you about legal practice, don’t believe a word of it. In real life, going to trial can take up to a year as the lawyers correspond in their lawyerly fashion back and forth, trying to get something out of opposing counsel. The case I am working on, the writ was taken out a year ago, and there still has not been a real hearing except one to strike out the action. In real life, the paperwork for certain trials can fill entire shelves, all meticulously numbered and indexed.
In any case, I am relatively happy here so far, and I intend to make the best out of my 2 months here – and it will most definitely be made if I manage to attend an actual trial for one of the cases I work on. *crosses fingers*
Let’s just hope that I remain this bright-eyed two weeks down the line. Unlikely, but hoping never hurt anyone.
I started on this show after it was talked about on AfterEllen, after two episodes had been aired already (they were interested in Eliza Dushku, the star of the show) The premise was intriguing: an underground company which has the technology to imprint their employees, or rather as the show refers to them, actives/dolls, with specific personalities and skills tailored to the requirements of their clients. After the mission is complete, the dolls are wiped clean of all their memories and exist in a child-like tabula rasa state where they await the next engagement.
So I’ve been looking forwards to this for months. And by that, I really do mean the better part of the year, since the time they announced it. I was even more excited because this was a JJ Abrahms product (creator of Alias and Lost) as wellas Damon Lindelof (the brains behind Lost). So I organised (a month in advance) a geeks’ outing yesterday to watch this as soon as it opened in theatres here, comprising of a variety of my friends, both trekkies and non-trekkies. I am told I managed to convert at least one of them into a trekkie after the movie.
Update: I am sorry, I made some factual errors in my review. Spock did not originally choose the Vulcan Science Academy over Starfleet, he went into Starfleet, and then went into the path of the Kolinahru after its 5-year mission. I confused his story with that of Tuvok, the other notable Vulcan in the Star Trek franchise.
Because I have WAYYYY too much stuff now, I am trying to sell these things off. If you are interested, drop a comment or email me at la.pleine.lune.seule(at)gmail.com
1. Brand New Forever 21 Fab Skirt with skinny belt in black (no longer available on site) for $21
More after break:
This has been itching at me for some time, but due to exams and other things, I didn’t get to say it. This is directed at Thio Su Mien’s statement in the media that lesbians are all abused and broken and in pain.
I am not broken. I am not in pain. I have not been abused. I grew up in a stable heterosexual two-parent family, who both love and want the best for me. True, we have our disagreements, like any other family – but that does not detract from the fact that I grew up in the most traditional household possible, protected and loved. I grew up in fracking India, for god’s sake, and I didn’t hear the word “homosexual” until I was 14, way past the age I already had feelings for girls. No man has ever broken my heart, or turned me down.
You do not, even for a second, “understand what it is all about”.
I was out shopping at Orchard today with Rachel, and I was at the crossing in front of Paragon. I happened to spot this notice posted on the traffic light pole.
If you can’t see the wording at the bottom, it says “tightarenotpants.com”.
So, if you are not up to date with the minutaie of the AWARE EGM, you are probably not going to get this. The famed page 73, that Thio Su Mien claimed she was on, and hence enabled her to be a feminist mentor? Here it is. (click to read)
Two sentences. Two sentences out of an entire book published by AWARE, and that apparently makes one a feminist mentor.
What does that make Gandhi? God?
Of public law, of equity! Of school, for another 3 months.
Actually only for the next…5 days, before I start my internship. And I have a million things to do, starting with reading up on IP Law.
Today was a day to be marked down in history, as the day that Singaporeans realised they are indeed in control of their destiny, as the day they decided to take ownership in NGOs, as the day they stood up against the tide of intolerance and stood up for equal rights and inclusiveness. After a much-prolonged, 7-hour extraordinary general meeting (not counting waiting time), the old guard of Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) were returned to power, ousting the new exco who had all but taken AWARE’s leadership by force.
The meeting was stormy, emotional and inspiring. Many women and men stood up to speak up for the old aware and against the injustices perpetrated in the short term of the “new” exco. Many shocking things were revealed – such as the exco spending about S$90k since they took office (when only authorised to spend S$20k). The depth of their ignorance about what AWARE really did and stood for was revealed, as well as their inability to effectively lead. At the end of the long meeting, the no-confidence motion was passed by a margin of 2-1 – 1414 votes for yes, and 716 for no, and after an extended discussion, the exco finally decided to step down. The general meeting then proceeded to elect back the old guard into power – starting with Dana Lam as the president and Chew I-Jin as the Vice-President.
What was the most touching to us was the number of people – men, women, fathers, mothers, teachers, students, christians, muslims… who all stood up and spoke up for inclusiveness, the importance of having a queer-neutral sexuality education program, and why AWARE should help queer women in need.
Sayoni would like to join in congratulating AWARE on its historic victory. This is not just a victory for womenm or even queer women, but for civil society in years to come. For extended reports on the events and commentary, stay tuned!