This Can’t Be True


If women’s liberation in Britain is brazenly expressed by marching the SlutWalk, the rage in Malaysia is to sign up for the Obedient Wives Club. Established this month, the club already has 800 members.

The fundamental idea held by members of this group is this: had western societies acknowledged that man is hardwired for sex and endorsed polygamy, there could have been happy endings galore. Jennifer Aniston would still be with Brad Pitt if she were willing to share him with Angelina Jolie. And Bill Clinton’s term as US president would not have been scandalous had Hillary allowed her husband to take Monica Lewinsky as his second wife. After all, Bill is just “being a man”.

You would think these outrageous philosophies led by Rohaya Mohammed would fall on deaf ears, but no, the club is expanding: it plans to open a new chapter for Malay Muslims in neighboring Singapore soon. Three factors underpin the club’s popularity. Foremost, these women believe they are curing sex-related social ills. On this lofty assumption rests a second factor. Its founders believe their aphrodisiac ways are a counter to “most women’s groups”, a veiled reference to western feminism, which ignore the repercussions when a wife does not sexually satisfy her husband.

Combine all three factors and you get their panacea: make sex goddesses of married Muslim women to the point that they are better in bed than first-class prostitutes.

Rohaya Mohammed: “A husband who was kept happy in the bedroom would have no reason to stray, seek out prostitutes or indulge in other social vices…The family institution is protected and we can curb social ills like prostitution, domestic violence, human trafficking and abandoned babies,” she said, adding that she believed these problems stemmed from unfulfilled sexual needs at home and that by becoming a “good whore … to your husband” and serving him “better than a first-class prostitute, the family institution will be better preserved”.

This whole pile of B.S is built on a rocky foundation. To begin with, one can find no shortage of criminologists – even from the Muslim world – who would point out that pinning down the cause of rape, incest, prostitution and sex trafficking to the failure of a wife to slake her husband’s sexual thirst is not just highly reductive but also sociologically unsound. Surely not all rapists are sexually dissatisfied with their wives.

Why is this concept so hard to understand: People don’t stray because they aren’t happy in bed, they do it because they are cheaters. People don’t beat their spouses because they’re not satisfied with their sex life, they abuse because they’re abusers. How can this be so difficult to comprehend. Why are we making out men to be sex-crazed animalistic gods?

I… am at a loss on how to process all this.

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