Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dua Malaikat

Rasulullah s.a.w. ada bersabda, katanya, "Setiap anak Adam akan dijaga oleh dua malaikat. Malaikat yang di sebelah kanan lebih berkuasa dari yang sebelah kiri. Sekiranya seseorang anak Adam melakukan dosa maka malaikat yang di sebelah kiri akan bertanya pada malaikat di sebelah kanan katanya, "Apakah yang harus aku catit?" Kata malaikat di sebelah kanan,"Jangan kamu catit dahulu dosanya sehingga ia melakukan 5 kesalahan." Malaikat yang di kiri bertanya lagi, "Kalau ia telah melakukan 5 kesalahan, apa yang harus aku catitkan?" Jawab malaikat kanan, "Biarkannya, sehingga ia membuat kebaikan kerana kami telah diberitahu oleh Allah s.w.t bahawa satu kebaikan akan mendapat 10 pahala. Oleh itu hapuskanlah 5 kesalahannya yang lalu sebagai tebusan dan kami masih simpankan untuknya 5 pahala lagi." Tercenganglah syaitan mendengarkannya lalu berkata, "Kalau macam ini sampai bilakah aku dapat merosakkan anak Adam." Demikianlah rahmat Allah pada hambanya, kasih sayangNya melimpah ruah tiada terbatas hanya hambanya saja yang lalai dan leka dengan keseronokkan serta kemewahan dunia.

 Al-Quran: "Say Your Prayers Before Prayers For You Are Said".

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ramblings: Easier to stomach children's prattle than some headlines

Sunday Focus
By S.H. Tan
06 August 2000

TZE Chi called me Papa and her mother Mama. This was what we had instilled in her and she had no problem with it.

But, after being in Standard One SRJK (C) Puay Chai for only one month, she called me Daddy.

I told her no, I was Papa. But she insisted that I was Daddy.

When I asked her why, she said that her school friends referred to their fathers as Daddy.

She did not say it, but, apparently, she must have thought that she would have sounded odd if she did not speak like her friends.

Not surprisingly, her mother is now Mummy.

I realised what I was up against when I accompanied her to her class the other day and heard one pupil say to another: "You on the fan can or not?"

And the other replied: "Sure can. But why you so late one?"

And so, back home, when Tze Chi said "Daddy, please on the TV for me", I did not lift an eye-brow although I had taught her to say "turn on the TV" or "switch off the light".

It followed that it was nothing new when she came home one day and said: "I don't like Kevin one."

As she is now six going on seven, I know that no matter how I try, I will not be her role model till she is able to think for herself.

My suspicion that I just could not win was confirmed when I took her and her mother to a fast food restaurant. At the next table were two SYTs in discreet but animated conversation when one of them suddenly exclaimed: "Like that kind susah (difficult) for me."

Her friend said: "Why you so chicken? Hantam (clobber) him."

And the first SYT said: "Aiyah ... tak guna (no use) lah. When he walks out, lagi teruk (more serious) for me."

With children and teenagers talking like that kind one, is it any wonder that some adults in TV sitcoms have also got into the act?

Imagine this scene:

She: "I cinta (love) you, you cinta her, she cinta him dan (and) he cinta them."

He: "Siapa (who is) them?"

She: "His ibu (mother) dan bapak (father)."

Apparently, in the society the two characters move in, there is no word in Malay for personal pronouns.

With rojak (salad) being made of English and Malay, some newspapers have become addicted. But, instead of Manglish (Malaysian-English), they discard simple and concise words for clumsy, tortuous, half-intelligible words and phrases.

Or several words are roped in to do the work of one word. Just as the shorter and more familiar word is often the best, so the simple word is better than the long phrase which adds nothing to the meaning.

For example, there is no good reason to use "prior to" instead of "before". Yet "prior to" is appearing with such frequency in newspapers that it is alarming.

"Before" is simpler, better known, more natural, and, therefore, preferable.

By all means use the phrase "a prior engagement" where prior is doing its proper job as an adjective. But to say that you made an engagement "prior to" receiving the second invitation conveys grandeur which is non-existent.

Will children in a kindergarten understand a teacher who says "prior to participating in the egg-and-spoon race, dispense with your footwear"?

Wouldn't "before taking part in the egg-and-spoon race, take off your shoes" be less ambiguous and so less confusing?

In the same vein, Kuala Lumpians do not "use" but "utilise" the LRT.

Some of them live not "near" but "adjacent to" the station. If "adjacent to" is not verbose enough, "in the vicinity of" is an elegant variation.

On arrival at the station, they do not "go" but "proceed" to the counter not to "buy" but to "purchase" or "for the purpose of purchasing" a ticket.

And their journey does not "begin" but "commence" from Kelana Jaya.

It will not be long before we hear a child sing "when the pie was opened, the birds commenced to vocalise." After the "rendition" on the way home, should he be mugged, he does not yell "help, help" but "assistance, assistance".

"Now" or "at present" is elementary, my dear Watson. It is "at his moment in time".

All these, however, pale into insignificance beside the headline "Cros maul Giants".

Eager to find out how the giants could have met such a gruesome fate, I read the report. But I just could not see a croc or a giant anywhere.

"Turtles tame Panthers" again led me up the garden path ... there was not a turtle, panther, or even any other animal in the report.

And so, when I saw "The Shark to undergo hip surgery", I immediately smelt a rat. True enough, when I read the report, there was no shark anywhere to justify the headline.

The result of the hocus-pocus is that reading newspapers is now lagi teruk than listening to the prattle of children and teenagers.

But give me the prattle anytime. If nothing else, it does not make a monkey of me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dazzling or Detrimental? (Women and 'provocative dressing')

by Julie Riggert,
Iowa State University, USA.

 They are seen every day; magazine covers explode with
 their pictures; television and movie screens
 constantly display them prancing around. Because
 provocatively dressed women are seen so frequently,
 many people might believe that their impact on others,
 especially males, is diminishing.

 Surprisingly, this is not the case. Many researchers
 have shown that women who dress seductively, wearing
 very little attire or showing ample amounts of skin,
 are creating a harmful environment for themselves.
 This pattern of dress can encourage males to vent
 their feelings and emotions by acting out in violence,
 often in the form of rape.

 "Male sex is hunting and scanning: boys hang yelping
 from honking cars, acting like jerks over strolling
 girls; men lunching on girders go through the
 primitive book of wolf whistles and animal clucks.
 Everywhere, the beautiful woman is scrutinized and
 harassed. She is the ultimate symbol of human desire"
 (Paglia 32).

 Why is clothing so important and have such an impact
 on others? Clothing plays a significant role in the
 socialization process that leads to the development of
 one's self. It is seen as a "second skin" or extension
 of the bodily self (Sweeney 411).

 Clothes' characteristics transmit information about
 age, sex, personality traits, socioeconomic status,
 values, political ideologies, etc. They may also
 indicate inter personal attitudes, such as,
 aggressiveness, availability, gracefulness, arrogance,
 etc. (Satrapa 159).

 At times this form of expression may result with what
 some perceive as negative consequences. When
 strategically surrounded by clothing, many areas of
 the body may function like traffic lights, stopping
 and starting points that direct the eye to a further
 destination-thus fulfilling what Freud regarded as a
 major component of the sex drive, "the libido for
 looking" (Dyett 14).

 After establishing that clothing is an essential
 aspect of appearance, it is now necessary to
 investigate its importance in forming first
 impressions. Frequently, the impression that a woman
 may be trying to portray isn't the same impression
 that is interpreted by others as seen in one
 experiment. Introductory psychology classes were shown
 one of two slides: one slide represented a female
 model wearing 'conservative' clothing while the other
 slide depicted the model in sexually provocative

 Questionnaires were filled out indicating impressions
 of the female. The model in the sexy clothing was
 judged to be more attractive and sexually appealing to
 men; she was viewed more negatively with respect to
 age of first intercourse, sexual teasing, extent of
 sexual activity, using sex for personal gain, and
 faithfulness in marriage.

 The sexy model was also viewed as more likely to be
 raped or robbed (Cahoon 65). Many people doubt that a
 woman's attire could drive a man to rape, but studies
 prove that clothing could be a major factor in
 motivating a male to act out in this manner.

 An experiment done at Augusta College drew up the
 following results: the relationship between sexy
 clothing and robbery/rape supports the assumption that
 the culture views women who choose to be sexually
 attractive as being suitable objects for male
 aggression. Females who enhance their sexual appeal to
 males are viewed as somehow "asking for it."

 In summary, the study seems to indicate that females
 wearing sexually oriented clothes are perceived by
 both men and women as being "more vulnerable to
 victimization and more responsible for crimes
 committed against them than are women who dress more
 conservatively" (Edmonds 446).

 Arguments arise as to who is responsible for the rape:
 the provocatively dressed female, or the assailant.
 The opinions of some senior high school students were
 recorded in the following experiment.

 Each student was given the same scenario involving a
 woman their age who was raped, and then they were to
 decide who was responsible for the behavior.

 In order to investigate the influence of the victim's
 attire on the subjects' responses, the story was
 accompanied by either a photograph of the woman
 dressed provocatively, a photograph of the woman
 dressed conservatively, or no photograph at all.

 Results found that the victim wearing provocative
 dress resulted in a greater likelihood that the
 subjects would attribute responsibility for the
 assailant's behavior to the victim for the date rape.
 Provocative clothing was also associated with a
 greater tendency for subjects to agree that the
 behavior of the assailant was justified.

 Further, the results indicate that the subjects were
 less likely to make judgments of rape when the victim
 was dressed provocatively (Cassidy 319-323). This
 experiment showed that the impression the victim
 presented is interpreted as evidence for her
 willingness to have sex.

 Everyone has his or her own opinion of who is
 responsible for the rape in a case similar to the one
 previously described, but what does the law say about
 a woman's responsibility for the actions of others as
 a result of her style of dress?

 In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed guidelines on
 sexual harassment, and in this decision it was said
 that evidence of a "woman's allegedly provocative
 conduct or clothing might be relevant evidence in some
 cases in determining whether she found particular
 advances unwelcome" (160 Johnson).

 This decision supported the notion that victims of
 sexual harassment, as a result of their choice of
 clothing, should be held at least partially
 responsible for their own harassment.

 As I reflect on the data that was collected from
 numerous experiments, including my own, I have drawn
 several conclusions.

 First, it is important to state that no woman is ever
 safe from harassment and rape.

 "By rating the provocative model as likely to provoke
 sexual harassment, subjects are able to dissociate
 themselves from a similar occurrence by stressing that
 the female provoked the incident and reasoning that if
 they avoid 'provoking' behaviors, such as dressing in
 provocative clothing, they can prevent sexual
 harassment" (Johnson 170).

 Although no woman is ever completely safe from this
 violence, there are certain precautions that can be
 taken to minimize the amount of harassment that will
 take place.

 As the studies showed, women who dress provocatively
 have a higher rate for getting raped and robbed for
 various reasons. As stated earlier, males are
 attracted to certain features on a female, and when a
 woman accents these features with her style of dress,
 it entices males to stop and take a closer look.

 I am impartial as to whether it is "ethical" or not to
 dress seductively, but I do believe every person has a
 right to do with his or her body as he or she pleases.
 I feel it is never right to physically or emotionally
 harm anyone knowingly. Females need to realize,
 though, that they are putting themselves at a higher
 risk for violence when they dress in a sexually
 oriented manner.

 Is the price a woman pays to look dazzling worth the
 detrimental effects it could have on her life? The
 decision is in her hands.


 Cahoon, D. D. "Estimates of Oppostie-Sex First
 Impressions Related to Female' Clothing Style."
 Perceptual and Motor Skills 65 (1987): 406.

 Cassidy, Linda, and Rose Marie Hurrell. "The Influence
 of Victim's Attire on Adolescents' Judgments of Date
 Rape." Adolescence 30 (1995): 319-323.

 Dyett, Linda. "Desperately Seeking Skin." Psychology
 Today 29 (1996): 14.

 Edmonds, Ed M. "Attitudes Concerning Crimes Related to
 Clothing Worn by Female Victims." Bulletin of the
 Psychonomic Society 24 (1986): 444-446.

 Johnson, Kim K., and Jane E. Workman. "Clothing and
 Attributions Concerning Sexual Harassment." Home
 Economics Research Journal 21 (1992): 160-172.

 Paglia, Camille. Sexual Personae. New York: Vail
 Ballou Press, 1990.

 Satrapa, Andrea, et al. "Influence of Style of Dress
 on Formation of First Impressions." Perceptual and
 Motor Skills 74 (1992): 159-162.

 Sweeney, Maureen M., and Paul Zionts. "The
 "Second-Skin": Perceptions of Disturbed and
 Nondisturbed Early Adolescents on Clothing,
 Self-Concept, and Body Image." Adolescence 24 (1989):