My indignance, articulated

Did any of you watch the movie, ‘Ombak Rindu’ when it topped the Malaysian box office last year? Well I did not and I don’t think I ever will.

Why? Firstly, it starred Aaron Aziz – and I’m not a fan of his in the way that I refuse to be an ardent fan or follower of anything that’s hot and in trend at the moment (hence why I will never understand the craze over K-Pop). That already put the movie on my ‘nah, I’ll see it later via someone else’s DVD’ list.

And then, I read on someone’s FB post that the movie’s storyline involved a woman asking her rapist to marry her (but WHYYYY?????) That did it for me: I got extremely turned off and vowed never to watch it. Never ever.

Discovering this podcast a year later, my heart says: Finally! Finally there is an articulation to my indignance. Do give it a listen, it’s in perfectly articulated English so no worries if ‘your Malay no good’.

And what is wrong with the religious narrative of ‘wanita beriman harus bersabar dan redha dengan nasibnya (mendapat suami pendera)‘? (Translation: A woman of faith / a believing woman should be patient and sincerely accept her fate (of having an abusive husband)

Because it puts bearing with abuse as part of faith, when by right nobody should put up with abuse because abuse is just wrong! The driver and his wife in the movie, as the only witnesses to the abuse, or the only ones who know how the main female character is abused and mistreated by her husband, should have just reported him to the police (or helped her to do so), instead of giving her the ill advice to ‘bersabar‘ (be patient).

And no, this definitely does not fall under the ‘keep private matters between your husband and yourself private’ in Islamic marriage 101 either. You’d be surprised how so many abused wives stay quiet for so long because they have been repeatedly told to preserve the privacy of whatever goes on in their marriage.

PS: It’s proven then, that when I’m in a passionate and expressive mood, I can churn out blog posts much faster than when I have to force tell myself to keep a calm and neutral tone. I have like Objection #2 sitting in the drafts, lacking that rush of passion that would have otherwise propelled it to its completion  much faster. Speaking of which, this post has a lot to do with Objection #3 regarding the consent of the husband, so can I just skip to that while the pan is still sizzling?


6 thoughts on “My indignance, articulated

  1. Sadly, I spent hours counselling a friend exactly about this. She was planning to marry her rapist to ‘save’ her reputation. Her rapist’s family especially considered their son’s actions to be honourable and charitable.

    Yes, a social worker also told me that the concepts of ‘bersabar’ and ‘redha’ leads to a lot of unreported domestic violence and marital rape.

    And people think the crap we read and watch has no impact on our lives. What is wrong with our world?

    • I’ve never really had someone close to me be a victim of physical abuse or rape, but hearing about it from others is enough to make it angry.

      Yes indeed, what is wrong with our world? That storyline had so much potential to become a sort of ‘you don’t have to be like this, you can turn things around’ and ‘you can help end abuse: here’s how’ but maybe the producers did not want to deviate much from the original storyline in the novel. Yes, it’s adapted from a novel! That’s even scarier, because ideas from the written word can have a much stronger hold on the mind! What kind of ‘literature’ is this!

  2. Thanks for listening to that podcast! I was one of the guests on that particular one. I have to agree with your point about the narrative of Ombak Rindu that protects abusers and rapists in domestic relationships. In other words, domestic abuse should not really happen unless I don’t know the woman (it’s almost always the female partner) is horrifically abused (God forbid).

    • Thank YOU for dropping by and commenting! I am honoured. 🙂

      I wish the podcast had gone on for a bit longer, though, because while I got what was problematic about the narrative of ‘wanita beriman’ eventually getting things working out in her favour, some others may not. They may think: See! She was patient and she prayed to God and in the end things worked out for her! So where’s the problem in that?

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