Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sex in the City

My teenage son talked to me about the local tabloid, The Malay Mails, being banned by the government this evening. "Do you think they are right in banning the Malay Mails ?" He asked. I explained to him that, the problem we have at hand is not about Malay Mails publishing discussion of teenagers' sex problems. The real problem is, there is a growing malice of teenagers having pre-marital sex. Preventing discussion to create awareness of the problems is not the right approach to solve problem. No, I don't think it is right to banned Malay Mails. But again, I would like to believe that, the authority are staffed with professionally qualified and academically educated professionals to make that executive decision to withdraw the publishing permit of Malay Mails. I seriously hope, that decision was not based on emotional rhetoric and unqualified satisfaction of misguided popularity.

I used to read Malay Mails few years ago mainly because of its properties classified advertisements and city focused news articles. I stopped subscribing to the paper when it reposition itself to target the teenagers market. On the business point of view, Malay Mails, and as well as most of the local papers are losing readerships purely because Malaysians are turning into many sources on line news for unbiased reporting. I guess the Editor of Malay Mails is desperate to boost readerships, as result, resort to creative presentation of sex related issues, Let's Talk About Sex, to attract readerships. Honestly, I would like to give the benefits of doubt to the editors of Malay Mails. I honestly would like to believe that, they took it upon themselves to create a forum to creatively educate teenagers on sex and sexualities.

From what I gathered, what was printed in Malay Mails are not somethings that is racy and pornographic. The freedom of expressions and opinions of the paper must be respected and should be encouraged. Banning it is not the right approach to encourage a opened and well informed society. Young adults simply need to be educated about sex and sexuality, and they need to be well informed. You have any better ideas of getting the message across to them ? By banning anything that attempt to openly discuss about it. Putting a bird and a bee in glass jar and let them figure it out ? Or force them to read some holy books so that their brains' frequencies will automatically straightened out ?

Ever wondered why there are so many rape, molest, incest, and sex related crimes nowadays ?

On the whole, I would like to believe that, majority of Malaysians, are not ultra-conservative. And, I sincerely do not want to be that naive to believe that, sex among teenagers, are not uncommon. Perhaps, Malay Mails is taking the noble initiative to openly discuss about the sex related issues of teenagers in Kuala Lumpur in particular, and Malaysia in general. But being what we we are, our holier than thou ignorances made it a no no taboo to have open discussion on sex related issues. It was reported that many angry calls were received by the authority resulting in the tabloid being banned. It is always the hypocrisy of moral minority barging in to transgress the rights of others to imposed their faked moralities and values. Yes, pre-marital sex among teenagers is a serious moral and social problem in our Asian values system. We should be bold enough to openly discuss about it and create awareness to seek educated and civil ways to address this problem. Sweeping it under the carpet and pretending that the problem does not exist is not going to help to resolve and rectify the sickening situation.

When a Mongolian citizen, Anna Ana Ang, was murdered in Malaysia, the local press reported in graphic details of extra marital affairs and the horrific techniques of murder. But these reporting does not attract the angry condemnations of the same small group of moral minority. But an attempt to have a forum to openly discuss the pre-marital sex problems of teenagers draw unparalleled angry outbursts. I simply do not see the logic of normative judgement here. What is so wrong about acknowledging the existence of teenagers' sex related issues, creating awareness, and openly discuss about it ? Perpetually in constant self denials, and punishing others for bringing up the issues, will eventually worsen the situation. If there is an unwanted tumour in your body, you need to identify the tumour, discuss treatment strategy with professionals, and apply treatment therapy to cure the illness. But if you are in a state of denial and refuse to seek treatment, the end result is, you will suffer and die prematurely.

I would definitely do not want my children to be involved in pre-marital sex. But on the hand, if we treat everything as taboo and shot down any attempt to discuss about this issue, how are we going to ensure safe sex, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and prevent sexually transmitted diseases ? As it is, there are already too many narrow minded and ignorance fools out there preaching the wrong ideas to the teenagers. Should we be forever condemn ourselves to treat SEX as dirty and sinful ? Let be practical about it, if we are not in a position to offer competent remedial advises, let us not buried our head in the sands, and expect everyone else to do the same. At the end of the day, all of us may end up getting anally raped from behind while our head is still buried in the sands.

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