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Don’t You Just Love Them Womenfolk?

Exciting weekend, wasn’t it?

With bated breath I waited for the AWARE EGM to happen, what with all the controversies and venue-changes and my dollhouse-punting feminist eldest sister circulating emails about what injustices had transpired. Then Saturday came and went. I sent Liza to Suntec in the evening for a drinking session with one of her old friends, conveniently forgetting THAT was where a couple thousand angry women were gathered (though I suspect some were there to try out some new red t-shirts they were given at church the weekend before, or they were aunties that saw a long queue and thought, “eh, got free gift?”).

The day after that, I woke up to the voice of a newscaster on the radio saying the new guard had been ousted and a new exco consisting of old guard members had been instated. While buying lunch, I decided to purchase a couple of newspapers detailing the events that unfolded. Can you imagine, The Sunday Times was already almost all sold out in the Jalan Kayu area? I only managed to get a copy because its headline page was torn and the provision shop owner, in a valiant yet half-hearted attempt to salvage the remains of that copy’s dignity, slapped on a large crumpled clear tape on the tear hoping no one would notice (and he still charged me full price for it, the bastard).

I won’t go further into it, since the entire island has talked the event to shreds over the last 48 hours. What I do wonder is, where will the news punters go from here? I am definitely curious about the fates and futures of certain individuals and organisations that were behind/involved in/indiscriminately pulled into the fracas.

Josie Lau: What’s gonna happen to her? The new now-ex President of AWARE should have known that first step into the AWARE ex-co was going to be fraught with problems when her full-time employers started publicly complaining about her unannounced extra-curricular activities. For those of you still wondering why DBS was being so harsh on this woman when other DBS board members were happily frolicking around with their side projects outside of the Bank, I beseech you to please wake up, put on your glasses and read between the lines behind DBS’s statement. Very likely DBS, knowing the full extent of Ms Lau’s character, took the first step in denouncing her actions so appropriate action could be taken should she fail in her endeavour at AWARE. We shall see (cue snide evil laughter here).

Dr Thio Su Mien: Boy, is she going to lose business. Here we have a legal practitioner unable to talk her way out of a situation she created herself (and she did admit to creating this whole thing herself, didn’t she?). “I am a … very charmed… feminist mentor… on page 73.” Aiyoh, auntie (sorry, should be Lokler Auntie). People give you accolade, you dun rub in people’s face mah. Very chao kuan you know. That aside, it would be very interesting to know what becomes of her, seeing as this little debacle may permanently discredit her standing as a high-standing member of society. “Lokler ah? So?”

The Thio family: To a large extent, the local blogdom, and the media both contributed in bringing in an entire family into the fray of this saga. It was weird enough that Josie Lau got to where she was in the AWARE ex-co, then bad enough that her auntie-in-law came forward admitting to having orchestrated the new ex-co’s coming together. Then happy happy the husband also kena as an “I’m so angry, I’m going to write a letter” homo-basher, then Dr Thio’s daughter NMP Thio Li-Ann also got involved, and there are not-so-discrete whispers in the background of how the family’s now-blown-wide-open agenda is linked to the that previous rainbow-love saga involving Section 377A of the Penal Code. This whole thing has just made their entire family look like fish bait for queer sharks (and I use the term “sharks” in the nicest possible way).

Section 377A: Might the family’s involvement in the AWARE saga bring about a relook at the treatment of our rather dormant section of that age-old Penal Code? Many parallels can be drawn from AWARE’s EGM no-confidence voting, compared and contrasted to the much larger, yet somewhat quieter fight for and against the keeping of the Section in our law books back in 2007. I’m not trying to stir up AWARE’s involvement in the gay rights issue again, but the Dr Thio’s introducing her anti-homosexuality into the agenda of the new ex-exco does bring back some fond memories, doesn’t it?

The Church of Our Saviour: Oooh, this one’s a very unfortunate victim, and another fine example of what getting religion tied up in secular activities, whether on purpose or by accident, will get you. I won’t go so far as to say they might get dissolved, though. I believe the faith of the Church’s members will very likely keep that from happening. But in the eyes of the public, the unforeseen errors of its members’ actions have reflected the underlying agendas that build the foundations of its pulpit. As much as this is a case of its people doing injustice to its cause, we ALL know the line between church-goers and the church itself is a very very fine blurry line indeed.

DBS: Oh yes, the people’s bank. A few weeks ago, a column on Today sought to question the motives of DBS as it openly rebuked Ms Lau for her seeking office as President of AWARE. While initially both my wife and I didn’t particularly appreciate the tone in which the article was written, editor-at-large Conrad Raj seems to have hit the nail right on the head when he ended his piece with the question, “Unless there are other factors at play here?” I have also mentioned earlier how they might have had the foresight to voice their opinion about this whole Josie Lau debacle before the whole debacle even began. The recent turn of events against Ms Lau’s favour may have created a ripple effect involving the fate of her career, but as of right now, even I haven’t a clue how her company is going to handle this. Ooh, a cliffhanger! Who’da thunk it?

The war against alternative lifestyles on an inadequate platform has now turned into a fight of survival in maintaining reputations after a flurry of mistakes by seemingly respectable individuals. I have to admit, though I understand the nobility of this fight of making AWARE aware, now that the old guard is back home, I am a lot more interested in the high entertainment value of what’s about to happen to the ones that have been caught and kicked outside with their skirts down and are now walking around outside, forgetting their skirts are still inside.

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