|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.
Those 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.
Spokersperson 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?”