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Badass women: 17 November 2017

This week, a Malaysian woman spoke her mind after receiving criticism about her simple wedding

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 17 Nov 2017

Badass women 17Nov17
Photo: JAYVIN Photography

Thanniya Logiswaran
Weddings are a personal and intimate affair. So why do some people think that it's okay to criticise how a couple planned their OWN wedding? Thanniya Logiswaran, a radio frequency engineer and her husband Logiswaran Arumugam Pillai, a risk and safety engineer, had a simple wedding recently. Unfortunately, they had to deal with "uncles, aunties and society" who expected a more lavish affair.

Thanniya, who is from Port Klang, took to Facebook to defend her and Logiswaran's decision: "We wanted to get married using our own savings, without debt and not to end up with 0 savings after [the] wedding [...] People need to differentiate between wedding (one day event) and marriage (life long)."

To hell with societal pressures! Read her full post below.

Fadzilah Abdul Hamid
Fadzilah is a 64-year-old who runs a recovery centre called Rumah Solehah that provides boarding, medicine and counselling for women with AIDS/HIV. Her journey first started after she qualified as a nurse in her 20s. Later on, she became a public health nurse and taught health and nutrition in rural communities in Malaysia.

After doing that for 30 years, travelling to and from different states all while raising seven kids, she became concerned with the rise of drug use and with it, HIV cases. Around the same time, the Ministry of Health asked her to start a rehabilitation shelter for HIV-positive sex workers in KL using funds provided by the government. However, the project had not been approved and Fadzilah went on to start the centre with her own resources anyway.

Fast forward to recent years, Fadzilah was diagnosed with a heart condition. Even then, she didn't want to slow down or give up on her patients. "The doctor was telling me about life expectancy, and I was prepared to accept the facts," she said. "You can't be healthy all the time. But then, I realised that I was prepared to leave the world, my family, my assets – but I'm not prepared to leave Rumah Solehah yet. So that must be the reason why I am still alive!"

Photo: ppimrumahsolehah.com

Demetria Obilor
Dallas News Anchor Demetria was body-shamed earlier this week, but instead of letting the hate affect her, she reacted in a positive way.

"I was told in college, you'll never be on television if you wear your hair curly and natural – you'll have to straighten it or put a wig on," Demetria told ELLE US. "As bigger women, as coloured women, as ethnic women, we had to hide and disguise to become accepted. But we are just find the way we are and we will no longer stand for this sort of discrimination."

"I have a really thick skin, so you're not going to catch me crying because you said I look a certain way in a dress or I look fat. I put myself out there to show other women: Hey, this is okay," she added. "I've been rewarded by the little girls with curly hair who come up to me, and they're so happy to see someone who looks like them. It's so important to see that representation in movies, television, magazines. It's sad that we even have to talk about it, but when you look at the history of America, you understand why we have to. Because it should've already been there – the representation."

Jessica Chastain
During an actress roundtable interview with Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Mary J. Blige, Saoirse Ronan and Allison Janney, Jessica Chastain was asked about equal pay in the entertainment industry. Jessica pointed out that the pay gap is so normal in the industry that even agents don't stop to consider that it's wrong to pay an actress a fraction of the pay a male actor gets. However, she wasn't going to be complicit in that culture.

"After Zero Dark Thirty, I was sent a lot of scripts where it was a female protagonist, and they wouldn't do my deal until they knew who the male actor was because they needed to do his deal first and then see what was left over," she said. "And I decided I'm not doing that anymore. So from now on, if someone has something they're bringing to me, great, let's do my deal [now]."

Angelina Jolie
Angelina used her role as a United Nations Ambassador to call for a rise against sexual violence around the world. She called sexual abuse "a critical obstacle to achieving women's equality and our full human rights."

Angelina also referred to the sexual abuse that female Rohingya refugees have experienced, claiming that "this is rape and assault designed to torture and to terrorise and to force people to flee. It has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with abuse of power."

"All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need. But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive," she said at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Summit.

"It is hard, but it is not impossible," she added. "We have the laws, the institutions, and the expertise in gathering evidence. We are able to identify perpetrators. What is missing is the political will."


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