Malaysian Dramas: Put A Ring On It

By Ham It’s barely ten minutes past seven and I’ve already lost my appetite. It’s taking all of my willpower not to throw my dinner plate at the screen. My mother is seated across from me, passively taking in the sight. The female lead argues in a half-assed manner, “If you can’t respect me as…

A Veiled Question I Get Asked Often

By Zubaida Ali One question that I get asked now and again is “Are you Malay?”, and in case I missed the meaning of that, the person asking clarifies “you don’t look like a Malay.” Although seemingly innocent and often dismissed as one of the peculiarities of a multi-cultural society, this statement is loaded with…

Hello, I Do Not Have All the Answers

a.k.a. Do I Look Like a Walking Information Counter? By Nur Diyana When I decided that I wanted to wear the tudung, I imagined that my father would be furious. He was. To this day, I romanticise the premise of my decision to rebel against him. That, however, is not the standard textbook answer that…

The Why and Why Not of Being an Indian Muslim Woman

By Nurul Huda When I was a girl of age 7, understanding only a fraction of what it meant to be a woman, I attended primary school, dizzy with the possibility of learning and socializing, eager to meet other girls I could call friend. But, I was rather quiet and shy back then, and so,…

Social Media Intrusion: The Empathy Myth

By Nurul Fadiah Johari Over the past few years since becoming more active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, I started noticing a few trends. People seem to “know” about your private life without having to ask you about your day, and people form various prejudgments about you without even having met you….

The Sacred Self

By Nurul Fadiah Johari I have a memory of my little sister going through circumcision. It is all vague to me now. I was 4, and she was a baby. I only remember being brought over to the house of an old masseuse who provided my mother with post-natal care. I remember hearing my sister,…

The Problem of Sunat Perempuan

By Filzah Sumartono So I was talking to my friend the other day and I brought up the issue of sunat perempuan or female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). And my friend seemed pretty nonchalant about it. Yeah, well…it’s something that is done when the child is very young, all kids have to do it, right? –…

The Pain of Remembering

By Zuby Eusofe I was six years old when I was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) aka sunat perempuan. I was in a deep sleep and all of a sudden, I felt a sharp prick on my clitoris. I was shocked, clueless and traumatised. I didn’t know what was happening to me. When…

Leave Them Alone

By Zubaida Ali When my daughters were born, I made the decision not to have them circumcised. Female circumcision is one of the most puzzling birth rituals in Muslim society. It has no health or aesthetic value whatsoever. Circumcision was usually performed by a traditional midwife but now it is performed by a medical doctor at the…

Let’s Talk About “Sunat Perempuan”

By Afiqa Ab Rahman Recently I attended a workshop where participants from Singapore, Malaysia, India, and Thailand shared their experiences and discussed about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Variations of the term include Female Genital Cutting (FGC) or “Sunat Perempuan”. It was intriguing to hear the experiences and research findings from various countries. But what intrigued…