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Friday, December 28, 2012

Another law AWARE is silent on

"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." - Alexander Pope


Defamation Act (CHAPTER 75)

Slander of women
Words spoken and published which impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl shall not require special damage to render them actionable.

According to a lawyer friend of mine, the difference between libel and slander is that libel is written while slander is spoken.

The written word is presumed to be more important than spoken, so you can prosecute someone for libel (written) even if you cannot show that you were personally harmed by what they wrote.

On the other hand, for slander (spoken) one must show that one has suffered damages from the slander before one can sue under the Defamation Act. Except in this case, when a female is accused of unchastity or adultery.

This all fits in perfectly with the conception of women in Singapore law as Inviolable Sacred Beings (and of their bodies as Sacred Temples), where men get prosecuted for showing women their middle fingers, which was why before 1st August 2012 the Evidence Act allowed a woman's credibility to be impeached if she was of "immoral character" (AWARE of course was against this bit).

Of course, they forgot this complementary bit, since it is not in women's interests to repeal it (indeed, it benefits them).

But then, despite their avowed vision of "A society where there is true gender equality", their homepage *is* titled "Women's Rights - AWARE Singapore".

The irony is that, as always, even laws that don't actively harm women such as this do more subtle, insidious damage. In this case, that chastity and fidelity in marriage are more important to women than men, with the accompanying implications of the sexual double standard, objectification of women and so
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