17-year-old Malaysian student, Ain, called out a teacher's insensitivity, wherein he made a rape joke, on social media. In a video (that has received support and backlash in equal amounts), posted by BBC, she recounts the incident. Ain is seen talking to her reflection, saying, “So I just came home from school. We were talking about how there’s a lot of laws protecting minors from sexual abuse or sexual harassment, and then he (the teacher) said, guess what? ‘So what if you want to rape anyone… rape someone above 18?’” She admits that most of the girls in her class were quiet, but the boys were visibly amused by the comment.
When the issue was raise with another teacher, she was met with a dismissive response, being told, “Oh you’re a girl, so you’re emotional and sensitive.”
Outraged, she told the BBC, “This thing is sensitive because it’s a rape joke, it’s a rape joke, somebody’s trauma; how can I not be sensitive over it?” After calling out her teacher’s behaviour on social media against rape culture, she received ample support with people sharing art, commenting their support, and even writing songs about the incident. What’s more, it’s gave more people to speak out and share their experiences at the hands of teachers and authority figures across schools in Malaysia.
Says Ain, “We want to stop this here. We want to educate. We want to change.” Ain’s father, in support of his daughter, said, “It made us sad, but at the same time, it gave us proof that our culture, our society, we need to rectify this and come out from that kind of way of thinking.”