Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wives are not merely for sex

Recently, husband and wife sex is a hot topic in Malaysia.

It all started on June 4th, 2011, when the Obedient Wives Club or OWC said it will conduct "Sex lessons" to help wives “serve their husbands better than a first-class prostitute”.

This according to OWC is to help promote harmonious marriages and counter social ills.

OWC vice-president Dr Rohaya Mohamad said it was time sexual prowess took a front seat in marriage beyond the traditional “good mother or good cook” roles.

“A good or religious wife is also sexually good in bed,” she told the media after the launch of the club's Malaysian chapter at the Perangsang Templer Golf Club in Rawang, Selangor on 4th June 2011.

A husband who was kept happy in the bedroom would have no reason to stray or seek out prostitutes or indulge in other social vices, said Dr Rohaya, who was a medical doctor for 15 years in the Health Ministry before taking a leadership role in the club.

However, OWC's stand on this issue does not go down well with others particularly women leaders and groups.

Puteri Umno said the OWC message towards women was not in line with the teachings of Islam.

Its chief Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said Puteri Umno objected to the club’s position that women were the source of household and social problems.

“We feel that the club only prioritises nafsu (desires) as the main factor towards a harmonious home when there are other factors that cause a household to break down or create discord,” she said in a statement.

She urged Global Ikhwan Sdn Bhd, who formed OWC, to involve both husband and wife in finding an answer to household problems that would impact society.

“The organisation should not confuse the public and cause people of other religions to view Muslims as only prioritising sex,” she said.

The OWC Malaysia chapter was launched on 4th June 2011 and currently has around 800 members.

Its vice-president Dr Rohaya Mohamad had said disobedient wives were the cause of social ills such as prostitution.

On another note, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim has hit out at husbands who treat their wives as sex objects instead of cultivating a good family life.

She said marriage was encouraged in Islam for couples to build a strong bond and a happy family – with both husband and wife shouldering the responsibilities.

“A man’s wife is not his courtesan. Loyalty in a marriage should not only be incumbent on the wife but a man, too, must be loyal to his wife.

“Therefore, there must not be husbands who try to cloud their wives’ (religious) understanding by telling them that their sacrifice in allowing their husbands to take another wife will ensure their place in heaven.”

Mashitah expressed regret that some men not only cajoled their wives into allowing them to be polygamous but also forced them to ask for the other woman’s hand in marriage on their behalf.

Meanwhile various women bodies in Sabah described Dr Rohaya;s statements as downright insulting, disgusting, ridiculous, very bad, hard to believe, stupid idea, totally unacceptable and terrible.!!!!

Former Deputy State Secretary, Datuk Noni J. Said, said OWC has insulted the men by inferring that satisfaction hinges on sex alone.

"It also implies that men would be perpetrators of sex-related social problems in the absence of services from so-called 'first-class prostitutes'.

"I believe the background and experiences of women in OWC have led them to accept themselves as chattels and sex objects in order to secure love from men," she said in a statement.

Noni found it astonishing that even in the 21st century, such a club is established in Malaysia "where women have struggled for equality in all aspects of life, impelling governmental recognition and prompting their acceptance by men as an equal partner."

"Acceptance of the new roles of modern women as wife, mother, earner and social worker, has made men recognise the need for equal efforts from both husband and wife to ensure a happy family," she said.

Noni reckoned that the fundamental nature of the Club essentially diminishes women's efforts for gender equality and effectively goes back in time on the pretext of solving social ills, "when in fact they are degrading women by proposing them to be 'prostitutes'."

She said most women would detest and be outraged at being referred to as a "prostitute".

Prominent social activist Anne Keyworth said perhaps Dr Rohaya, being a second wife, was trying to safeguard her own marriage.

"My Muslim friends said there is no such thing in the Quran that a good wife must behave like a 'prostitute' in bed.

"On the contrary, Muslim men are required to respect their wives," she said.

Keyworth, popularly known as Mama Anne, said the Government should uphold Islam and show its respect for the teachings of the Quran by abolishing the OWC. She also suggested that Dr Rohaya start a club to protect the interests of first wives and their children so that they are not left in the lurch.

President of the Sabah Women Entrepreneurs & Professionals Association (Swepa), Datuk Adeline Leong, is saddened that women have made enormous efforts to take three steps forward for their empowerment in all realms of development, "and now we are asked to take one step backward!"

"Such a shame when we have been trying to restore women's dignity and give them a sense of self-worth," she said.

"They might as well have called it 'The Legal Prostitute Club'.

"It is hard to believe that women like this still exist in a society like Malaysia when the rest of the world, including women long abused in chauvinistic societies in India, Afghanistan, Africa and the Arab countries are fighting for the right to be respected alongside feminists from developed countries," lawyer & activist Nilakrisna James, said in a statement.

Nilakrisna lamented that OWC sends the wrong message to women, encourages society to be chauvinistic and to regard women as nothing more than sex objects.

This, she said, would obviously put pressure on women to succumb to sex with their husbands even if they don't consent to it. "AndÉencourage women to condone marital rape which is now a criminal offence."

Given that prostitution is about women being put in a situation that is considered by society as an unhealthy social ill, Nilakrisna said to expect decent marriages to degenerate into something akin to sexual exploitation is "taking essentially what is sacred out of a marriage and turning it into something totally degrading and shameful.

"It's very sad for the children to have to read this sort of thing and grow up believing that their mums are no different to prostitutes.

Are we encouraging young girls out there to grow up into little hussies?"

Private practitioner Dr Jaina Sintian opined that the word "prostitute" should never have been brought up, even if the intention is to curb social ills, especially by a woman of Dr Rohaya's calibre, who appears to be the Mastermind.

"The word hurts not just women but also men, daughters and sons.

The perception and idea arising from that connotation is ugly and dirty," she said.

She said sex between a husband and a wife is very personal and seen as spiritual as far as procreation is concerned. "Therefore, it must be treated accordingly. I can't imagine my daughter asking me whether to be qualified as a good wife, she has to behave like a prostitute.

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