Protest Against Anti-Tomboy Fatwa

Protest against anti-tomboy fatwa
Andrew Ong | Nov 7, 08 3:16pm
About a dozen protestors marched through Kuala Lumpur denouncing the recent ‘discriminatory’


fatwa (religious decree) against tomboys.

tomboy fatwa protest 071108 poster nenekThose involved were from two groups Katagender and Food-not-Bombs, and included several men.

Armed with a large banner which read Lawan semua fatwa menindas perempuan (Oppose all fatwa which oppresses women)”, the protestors marched from the Ampang Park LRT station to the vicinity of KLCC.

Other small posters read ‘Tomboy is not a crime’ and ‘Stop controlling clothing and thoughts of the rakyat’.

As the protestors marched, they chanted slogans such as “Stop oppression against women” and “Short hair, who cares?” which drew the attention of curious lunch-time onlookers.

The group gathered briefly near the Jalan Ampang entrance to KLCC to chant slogans and distribute leaflets but dispersed after security personnel told them to leave.

One leaflet, citing information available on the Internet, explained the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

Another was an open letter to the National Fatwa Council. Among other aspects, it decribed the fatwa as discriminatory.

Dressing and sexual orientation

On Oct 23, the council had ruled that Islam is against tomboys – specifically females displaying masculinity. It claimed that tomboys are inclined to behave like men and indulge in homosexuality.

tomboy fatwa protest 071108 lee wei sanSpokersperson for the protestors Lee Wei San said that the council’s decision was ill-conceived.

“What we are saying is that gender expression, identity and orientation are different things altogether,” said Lee.

She said that women should have the right over how they want to express themselves or dress.

“Why is the woman’s body always the battlefield of society’s morality?”

8 thoughts on “Protest Against Anti-Tomboy Fatwa

  1. what makes u think what you are doing is right? religious tension is part of your hobby? what if we ridicule the holy trinity ? what’s with the selfish act of concern?

  2. Keep Fighting!!

    Object being object!

    To fatwa geng- We are not your dolls that you can play around with.

    To fatwa geng , just for your information:
    I’m a mother of two, I have short hair, I’ve breastfeed my 1st child until shes 1 years old. Am still proud feeding my 2nd child with short hair and most of my time wearing pants. how, am I tomboy? my daughter will ask for a long pants when she wanted to play at the playground….so HOWWW? and at her age, she prefer playing with girls rather than boys…so how? but as a child my daugther love playing balls, truck toys…etc. SO HOW???? should I worry because she’s playing with “boys” toys and love to wear shorts and pants while playing.
    I’m also a working women and support my family financially and also a fulltime housewife….pretty busy and complicated huh?

    FATWA GENG- If you think it’s easy to be a’re wrong! and It is cruel and unfair for you to make WOmyn lives more complicated with all this un-clear, oppressive and un-fair fatwa. and worse, you’re using religion&power to control our (womyn) lives. IF we QUESTION YOUR FATWA, then there will be another issue…ahh

    I ‘m so lazy to elaborate more on this…

  3. i really didnt wanna do this but oh well….

    pengkid are people whom are attracted to womyn (EMOTIONALLY and sexually) and dress like men. they are actually called lesbian butch in english.

    tomboys are girls whom dress like boys and behave like boys. for instance, they enjoy outdoor activities and so on. that doesnt mean that they attracted to womyn. they can be straight.

    so you see, there’s a clear difference with both of these concepts/ideas/terms. you cannot at one point say the fatwa is for pengkids and the other say its for tomboys. they are two different groups of people. which one are you saying is wrong?

    i think here we all lack knowledge and information on what is gender. the concept and idea of it. like we need to understand that the things that we do, the norms that we accept, things that we agree to, being masculine and feminine are all socially constructed. which means we adopt these things through our daily socialization. for instance, this is gender 101 la, girls are forbidden to question and who tells you that? and boys cant cry in public? who ever made that rule? so everything in our society is socially constructed. this also goes to the way we dress and behave. like the way we pick out pink coloured clothes for baby girls and blue for boys because we think those colours indicate masculinity and femininity. so you see what i am trying to get at is that even little things like the way we dress are actually due to the social construct. boys wear pants and girls wear skirts. the rationale is actually, to me, to keep girls in the private sphere. all these garments are made to systematically control womyn.

    anyways, gender is roles which are assigned to you because you are girl or a boy by the society. social construct. and they are different in different societies. and these things can be changed. for instance, back then womyn could not get to vote now they can. why? because the social construct was challenged. it is absurd to make it exclusive to only men. so are other things. no matter how fine or little they are. womyn SHOULD challenge things which are unequal. if someone were to say that a womyn cant wear pants and sport short hair because they think that will probably lead to lesbianism, then that should be challenged and questioned. because it is such a weak argument.

    you have seen womyn with short hair, wearing pants, lover of outdoors and the wild, masculine as married mothers, mothers, wives, partners, and so on. so why do we all of a sudden have this need to control the way someone would dress and behave? when there are daily examples of what i have just mentioned. i am not making this up. short hair is a trend.

    and in this quest in going against the social construct, we are building an androgynous society, whereby, both womyn and men can be masculine and feminine at the same time.

    so please tell me, enlighten me, is it wrong for people to choose what they wanna wear and the length of their hair? and is it wrong for a girl to be rough, outspoken, active, and so on?

    and also, sexual orientation is not a choice. you are born with it. and there are so many researches to prove this. just like how you can change the colour of your eye, unless you put on a pair of contact lenses, you cant change your sexual orientation. same goes to the colour of your skin. you know what i mean.

    there needs to be a better understanding regarding this matter. please try to understand the issue.

    womyn have been living in a world which has been dominated by men for so long. too long actually. men have been telling us what to do, what to wear, how to behave, what to say. we are in control of our own lives. we or at least i am not gonna take kind of control (patriarchy) anymore. and to do it in the name of something is even worse. its just this bunch of people trying to do whatever to have control over people. it all comes from one single perspective. the men’s perspective. what about our view? are there any womyn in the council? huh? tell me. did a womyn agree to it? it was all men!

    of course, you dont see people coming out and saying it is wrong because we have been living in this rigid controlling society. we just accept and shut up about it even though we silently disagree.

    i think i am just goin everywhere with this so i shall stop here…
    but would love to hear your comments on this.
    and please read those links.

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