If you haven't heard about #AlvinVivian by now, you must live under a rock. Just in case you do, that's the Twitter hashtag for Malaysia's first 'real' sex scandal that isn't even really a scandal - Two consenting adults who actually are close in age (ie. not 12 and 19 *coughbrightfuturecough*) willingly and freely posting videos of their own sexual exploits on their own personal blog. And neither one of them a high ranking member of parliament.. Oh, the non scandal. And despite all this, they still have better videography than the so-called sex scandals that occasionally rock our country to its very moral core. You know, the ones that end with a hug. The Carebears get more physical than that.
I wanted to post a Carebears picture here but I thought that might be weird considering the title.
But, jokes aside, in my most humble opinion, people should not be vilified for having sex. What the hell is the matter with us? Our banners and slogans all say "Malaysia 2020" but our minds say "Victorian England: Public Flogging at Noon". Don't believe me? The newspapers are having a field day calling them vulgar, obscene, distasteful. Why?
We can say that it doesn't line up with our morals, our traditional values, our religious upbringing. But then again neither does...
- teenage pregnancy
Since the Babyhatch opened in 2010, 64 babies have been abandoned there. In case the fact that we have a BABYHATCH... like those Goodwill recycling bins where you can drop off your unwanted goods and feel good about yourself... doesn't really strike any chords with you. There were 218 occurrences of baby dumping from 2010 - May 2012.
There are 17.58 births/ 1000 adolescent females (15-19). And slowly increasing.
There were 3098 reported rape cases in 2007, over half of them occurring to girls below 16 years of age, the legal age of consent in Malaysia. And again, slowly increasing. Bearing in mind that this doesn't include unreported cases. Its extremely hard to find recent statistics on this, probably because our crime rate is now so low. (Pause to cough.)
- pre-marital sex
The average national age of the first sexual encounter is 23 according to one website but I remember reading an article from the Star a few years ago that says the average is more like 20 (19 and 4 months, my bad) But either way, the average age for marriage in Malaysia is 24-25 (and increasing slowly).
All links lead to sources.
Everyone has sex. My upstairs neighbours are having sex right now.
So this is hardly a question of morality. What it is is a puritanical hang up against talking about sex. We sit on our high horses and look down our noses at them and say that sex should be carried out under covers and behind closed doors and never spoken of in polite company or explained to children but the truth of the matter is, people (even underaged people) are having sex. I mean, the babies are coming from somewhere. But not everyone is having sex the 'right' way - there's a severe lack of knowledge regarding STDs, methods of contraception and even what constitutes as sexual assault or coercion which is illegal.
I know there's a huge gap in our knowledge because I grew up in national school and my friends and I were so conservative we never once said the word sex till we were 18. Once, during a Science lesson, I mislabeled the male reproductive system because I didn't want to get teased for knowing it too well. Me! Mislabeling a penis! I study Biochemistry for a degree. I've scored an A in every Science paper I've taken since I was 10. (I was a nerd, I had nothing else going for me.) I know the male reproductive system, just like I know the female and plant reproductive system, just like I know the digestive system of a ruminant. There should be no shame in that knowledge, there should be no shame in any kind of knowledge. And yet...
This might sound like a funny story but is in actuality a reflection of how our concerns about being judged against some kind of defunct moral code can lead to warped priorities where feigning ignorance is more important than sharing what we know. So to me, a couple who would openly discuss their sex life in a frank manner is quite refreshing. I'll admit, their methods are a little crude (and frankly not to my taste) but if someone is getting Malaysians to loosen their lips and talk about sex, it can't be all bad. In the words of Voltaire, "I may not agree with what you have to say. But I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Edit: 'In the words of Evelyn Hall' it should say, as a reader has so kindly pointed out. Tragic, I hate misattributed quotes and its not like me at all to let a deserving woman go unrecognized! So there you have it.
P.S. If you came here looking for a link to the blog, that's been closed down but a site remains with mirror content. As I said, I think the content may be a bit too crude so I shan't link it here. This isn't a family friendly blog per se but I think if you're old enough to see them then you're old enough to Google =)