Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My response to the Obedient Wives Club (OWC)-Dr Harlina

by Harlina Halizah Siraj on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 8:48am

My response to the Obedient Wives Club (OWC)

I was in Sitiawan when I first heard about the report on the launching of the Obedient Wives Club by Global Ikhwan last week.The first question that hit my mind then was, what neccesitates the setting up of such a club in this country? What are the main objectives and what does such club aspire to achieve? When the launching was highlighted by all the media in the country and of course, by some international news agencies as well – the key point quoted from the Deputy President of the club, Dr Rohaya Mohamad (who was my senior in Seri Puteri as well as in UKM more than 20 years ago) was somewhat shocking.

I would like to think that Dr Rohaya's statement was taken out of contact, when she was quoted to say that wives must be extremely good and skillful in bed, better than the first-class prostitutes or sex workers, to keep marriages intact and reduce the divorce rate in the country. I immediately realized, this comparison was going to be explosive, sensational and would stir up a lot of concerns from members of the public. I decided to give the club some time – at least they should almost immediately, come out with an official statement to clarify and correct the misperception that had somewhat tarnished the reputation and good image of wives in general. Although subsequent follow-up by a news agency indicated that  some members of the club agreed that the statement was taken out of context, there was no official statement of clarification issued by the club, at least by Dr Rohaya herself as the representative. Not that I know of, untll the time this note is completed.

So, what now? I am all out for any collective effort that promotes and protects the sanctity of marriages in our society. However, I have problems with proposed solutions that are simplistic and somewhat superficial, unbalanced and non-holistic. And as far as I am concerned, the suggestions by OWC are included into that category. I am sure we can do better than just looking at women as sexual objects, and men as individuals govern solely by their raging testorones. How can we garner and enrich the sense of respect, mutual interdependence and genuine care that are paramount for our well-being, if we still regard each other by levels of superiority and inferiority, obedience and disobedience based on sexual submission?

In the eyes of Allah, we all stand tall and proud as `ahsani taqwim' – the best creatures ever created.

But,in the eyes of men, where do women stand?

Allow me to suggest an answer to that question. In the eyes of men, women would be seen as how they ( women) see themselves. If we engage ourselves into thinking that a woman's worth is mainly focussed at her sexual prowessness, how else more do we want men to see us?

After all, sexuality is a very complex yet essential part of our life. It is influenced by so many factors – either externally as well as internally. A woman will face a decline in her libido or sexual desire during pregnancy, breastfeeding, depression and climacteric. So does a man, who has his own ups and downs throughout his life. And I always believe, sexual intercourse is actually the peak form of communication between husband and wife. If the couple hardly communicate during the day ( either verbally or non-verbally), they would not be able to fulfill their physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual needs during the sexual intecourse that night. If couple could communicate openly to each other especially on sexual matters, I do not think we need a club like OWC.
Wallahu a'lam.

I really would like to see my dear Dr Rohaya Mohamad aka K.Aya one day, InsyaAllah. And we'll talk, like we used to - as sisters. And as always, we will agree to disagree...........

Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj

[Prof Madya Dr Hjh Harlina Halizah Hj Siraj adalah Naib Ketua Wanita Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia. Notes yang disiarkan ini merupakan pendapat peribadi beliau yang di petik dari facebook beliau seperti yang dinyatakan pada link asal. Kenyataan kolektif Wanita Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia adalah seperti yang telah di siarkan sebelum ini - Admin]

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