Women's March KL receives backlash, some Malaysians think it's a Western trend
Evidence that the fight for women's rights doesn't stop here
On Saturday, 11 March, a crowd of Malaysian women and men took to the street in front of Sogo, Kuala Lumpur to march for women's rights. It was an event put together by Gerakan Pembebasan Wanita and Sosialis Alternatif. They made a small group (in comparison to the crowds at Washington D.C, but baby steps!) but it was a passionate gathering – as you can tell by the handmade signs.
The march garnered plenty of positive feedback from netizens who were unable to join but it wasn't without its fair share of backlash from both men and women alike. "Can anyone explain to me what the exact motive of #WomensMarchKL is? Are you just doing it to keep up with the western feminists?", a Twitter user said.
Another user said, "Show feminism the right way. My opinion is #womensmarchkl is pointless and it's rubbish. I mean girl what you tryna say???"
Others chose to highlight that equality for both genders is unachievable when there are designated parking lots meant for only women in Malaysia.
You told women to try & prevent from getting assaulted hence ladies only parking. Then now it's sexist cus we have our parking spots? pic.twitter.com/Xyej6rZzgq— nalisa alia amin ✊🏽 (@nalisaaa) March 12, 2017
There were also those who thought feminists were trying to assert their superiority over men.
"Lelaki berkualiti tak takut equality"- Feminist.— Noreen Nattassa (@Nnattassa) March 11, 2017
KAK,PEREMPUAN BERKUALITI TAK DEMAND ITU INI. KITA BERDIKARI, TANPA PANDANG RENDAH LELAKI
You know guys is a better leader. So chill women. #WomensMarchKL— Azizdean™ (@azizzudin) March 12, 2017
Despite the backlash the march has received, there are still a number of people who believe that this is only the first step in the bid for equity and gender equality for every Malaysian.
We should stand proud, resilient & unbreakable. We should reject these dangerous rhetorics. Solidarity with all women & girls out there! ✊🏽— Sisters in Islam (@SistersinIslam) March 12, 2017
I wanna shake the hand of every young woman who speaks her mind. They give me hope and make me proud. ✊🏽— Marina Mahathir (@netraKL) March 12, 2017
Kalau kamu mau berdebat, biarlah dgn fakta. Jgn mengancam, mengeji & membuli. Gunakan bahasa yg elok. ✊🏽— Daphne Iking (@DaphCLPT) March 12, 2017
You might not like some of the ppl who marched y'day, but that's not a legitimate reason to ignore that women's rights = human rights. ✊🏻— Faizal Hamssin (@faizalhamssin) March 12, 2017
The biggest fight in Malaysia right now is actually to protect EVERYBODY’s right to share and live a safe bloody life in this country ✊🏾— Juana Jaafar ✊🏾 (@juanajaafar) March 12, 2017
Perjuangan kami adalah untuk peluang dan penghormatan yang sama rata kepada semua, tidak kira jantina, identiti dan latar belakang. ✊— WOMEN:girls (@WOMENgirls_) March 12, 2017
Jangan berhenti setakat ini sahaja. Teruskan perbincangan mengenai isu-isu yang melibatkan masa hadapan generasi yang akan datang. ✊— WOMEN:girls (@WOMENgirls_) March 12, 2017