Asian ActivismThe Professional and Academic Discrimination Issue

As Long as There Is Himpathy, There Won’t Be Justice for Women Survivors

By January 16, 2019 February 10th, 2019 89 Comments

By: The Asian Feminist

Originally posted on Medium, reposted with consent from author

Dictionary Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as the word of the year 2018, saying it was the website’s top lookup of the year. With this news, we should reflect on how justice has materialized for women in Asia, especially those who experience gender-based violence. The answer is unfortunately not encouraging. Recent court cases, from Malaysia to Indonesia, from Hong Kong to China, highlight that the legal system not only fails to protect but also is very hostile and punitive toward women survivors.

Take for example, the case of Indonesian sexual harassment victim Baiq Nuril Maknun. In November, the Indonesian Supreme Court sentenced Nuril to six months in jail, and fined her 500 million rupiah (US$34,000), for spreading “indecent content” of the phone conversation between her and her boss, school principal Haji Muslim, who she said was sexually harassing her. In the ruling, which was available online in mid-December, the judges’ panel, headed by female Justice Sri Murwahyuni, laid out the reason: “Because of the defendant’s action, the career of the witness Haji Muslim as school principal ended. His extended family was shamed, and his dignity was violated.” In contrast to Nuril’s fate, Haji Muslim not only walked free — he also got promoted.

In the neighboring Malaysia, a single mother was caught soliciting sex and brought to the Terengganu Sharia High Court. She pleaded guilty and asked for leniency, saying that she had to resort to prostitution to support her family because her former husband didn’t give her alimony or financial support since their divorce. The court was unmoved and sentenced her in September to six months in jail and ordered six strokes of caning. Her client was reportedlyreleased without charge, while her deadbeat ex-husband faced no consequences for inflicting financial abuse on the family.

China finally got its anti-domestic violence law two years ago, but treatment toward survivors is still appalling. In a recent court case, a judge in Chengdu not only denied granting a survivor a divorce because marriage “is a traditional value” and “to give the man [the husband] a chance.” He also said the beating the woman endured was not domestic violence because it was not “chronic”.

As Human Rights Watch pointed out, the judge’s decision didn’t have any legal basis. Not only the new law doesn’t require the assault to be “chronic” to be considered domestic violence, but also, according to the country’s marriage law, domestic violence is a ground for divorce.

Even in Hong Kong, which prides itself as a rare place in Asia with a robust legal system, hostility toward survivors remains common. In the city’s first #MeToo trial in November, the magistrate not only acquitted the 77-year-old coach who an athlete accused of sexually assaulting her years before. He also questioned why the athlete didn’t stop the alleged assault and pointed out she remained close to the coach afterwards.

In a much less known case, the city’s Court of Appeal refused to give a domestic abuse survivor a chance to appeal the decision of the family court that gave her less parenting time. The higher court said in August that they agreed with the family court judge that the mother had tried to “undermine” the relationship between the abusive father and the child, calling her efforts to raise the issue of domestic violence in the custody proceedings “a campaign against the father”. The Court of Appeal judges not only refused her a chance to redress justice, but also punished the survivor, a mother who tried to protect her child from abuse, with paying her abuser’s legal costs of HK$50,000 (US$6,400).

These cases highlight how courts and judges are still steeped in gender biases and myths. They fail to understand that it’s normal for a person to freeze during an attack — it is in fact one of the three most common reactions to danger, along with fight and flight. Moreover, research has shown that survivors often take time to process the trauma, come forward and report the violence, especially if the perpetrator is someone known to the victim.

Domestic abuse is one of the most common reasons for divorce, and according to common sense, it is better for children not to be raised by abusive parents. Yet, an abused mother who seeks divorce from her abusive husband and tries to protect her children from him runs the risk of being seen as a vindictive woman. After all, as the mysoginist saying goes, “hell hath no fury as women scorned.”

The illogical reasoning behind the Hong Kong ruling that accused a mother who had concerns about domestic abuse of trying to “undermine” the father-child relationship, seems to be based on a pseudo-scientific theory called parental alienation. Concocted by American psychologist Richard Gardner, who condoned pedophilia (and defended Woody Allen in his child abuse allegation), parental alienation accuses parents, usually mothers, who try to protect their children from domestic abuse, including child sexual abuse, of trying to “estrange” the children from the abusive fathers. It is also very gender-biased and used successfully against women. Two separate studies done in the US and the UK show that judges tend to disbelieve mothers who bring up domestic violence, label them as being “difficult” or “manipulative”, and may even punish them by transferring child custody to abusive fathers. The Court of Appeal’s ruling is likely creating a legal precedent to punish abuse survivors in the city’s family court proceedings.

Justice delayed is justice denied. But very often, survivors are denied justice, period. The human rights and dignity of survivors are frequently trampled by the legal system. Feminist psychiatrist Judith Herman made an astute observation: “The legal system is designed to protect men from the superior power of the state but not to protect women and children from the superior power of men.” Instead of getting justice — and protection from their perpetrators — they are victim-blamed, and worse, punished by the very system that is supposed to protect them.

Contrast this to the treatment given to violent and abusive men. They often not only walk free, but also gain sympathy. This year, in her book “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny”, Professor Kate Manne gave us the term “himpathy”, defined as “the inappropriate and disproportionate sympathy powerful men often enjoy in cases of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, homicide and other misogynistic behavior.” Sounds familiar?

Himpathy was bestowed to Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed by the US Senate in October to be the newest Supreme Court Justice despite multiple sexual misconduct allegations. Himpathy is also bestowed to men who harass, assault and abuse women in Asia. As long as there is himpathy, there won’t be justice. That’s food for thought for the new year.


  • It’s remarkable to pay a quick visit this website and reading the views of
    all colleagues regarding this paragraph, while I
    am also keen of getting familiarity.

  • gamefly says:

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance.

    I must say you’ve done a superb job with this. Additionally,
    the blog loads extremely fast for me on Safari. Exceptional Blog!

  • I believe what you published was actually very logical. But, what about
    this? suppose you composed a catchier post title?
    I ain’t saying your information is not solid,
    however suppose you added something that makes people want
    more? I mean As Long as There Is Himpathy, There Won’t Be Justice
    for Women Survivors – overachiever magazine is a little vanilla.

    You might glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create article headlines to grab
    viewers interested. You might try adding a video
    or a pic or two to grab people interested about what
    you’ve written. In my opinion, it would bring your posts a
    little bit more interesting.

  • gamefly says:

    I’ll immediately clutch your rss feed as I can not to find
    your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize in order that I may subscribe.

  • It’s awesome to pay a quick visit this web site
    and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this post, while I am also zealous of getting know-how.

  • Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your site.
    You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write
    some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please send me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

  • Thank you for every other informative web site. The place else
    may just I get that kind of info written in such an ideal approach?
    I’ve a venture that I’m simply now operating on,
    and I have been on the look out for such information.

  • g says:

    This page really has all the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  • g says:

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable process
    and our entire neighborhood shall be thankful to you.

  • WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for free
    minecraft download

  • I simply want to mention I am beginner to blogs and certainly savored this web page. Likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You actually come with incredible writings. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your web site.

  • g says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are
    not already 😉 Cheers!

  • 릴게임 says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • W888 says:

    hey there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this web site, since I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

  • Awesome issues here. I am very happy to see your post.
    Thanks so much and I’m looking forward to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?

  • Success says:

    I am always browsing online for ideas that can benefit me. Thank you!

  • It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  • This site is mostly a stroll-through for all of the data you needed about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll undoubtedly uncover it.

  • I want to convey my love for your kindness supporting people who actually need guidance on this one study. Your very own commitment to getting the message all around had been wonderfully beneficial and have in most cases made girls like me to realize their objectives. This warm and friendly publication means so much a person like me and a whole lot more to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from all of us.

  • That is the right blog for anyone who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice a lot its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  • W88 says:

    You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I in finding this matter to be really one thing which I feel I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely wide for me. I’m taking a look forward to your next publish, I will try to get the dangle of it!

  • Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  • Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was looking for! “…obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken.” by Adolf Hitler.

  • sishair says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog. My daughter really loves making time for research and it’s simple to grasp why. A lot of people learn all concerning the dynamic ways you give both interesting and useful guidelines on this web site and therefore encourage response from other people on this idea so my daughter is without question learning a lot of things. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You are always performing a useful job.

  • I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  • You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart. “In order to preserve your self-respect, it is sometimes necessary to lie and cheat.” by Robert Byrne.

  • I have figured out some essential things through your site post. One other thing I would like to state is that there are lots of games available on the market designed in particular for toddler age kids. They involve pattern recognition, colors, wildlife, and designs. These usually focus on familiarization rather than memorization. This helps to keep little kids engaged without experiencing like they are learning. Thanks

  • Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I would like to peer extra posts like this .

  • I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  • I visited various websites except the audio quality for audio songs present at this site is truly

  • gambling says:

    What i do not realize is in fact how you are not actually a lot more well-appreciated than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You recognize thus significantly when it comes to this topic, produced me for my part imagine it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested until it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!

  • Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  • retro says:

    I have recently started a web site, the info you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  • Terrific work! That is the kind of info that are meant to be shared around the net. Shame on the seek engines for now not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and consult with my site . Thank you =)

  • says:

    At this time it sounds like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  • the beast tv says:

    You made certain nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found mainly people will agree with your blog.

  • Having read this I believed it was extremely
    enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy
    to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  • I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  • #boxes says:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  • 야마토 says:

    Only a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great layout. “He profits most who serves best.” by Arthur F. Sheldon.

  • It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you just shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • At this time it appears like Movable Type is the top blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  • Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  • F*ckin’ remarkable issues here. I’m very satisfied to see your post. Thank you so much and i am looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  • An attention-grabbing discussion is price comment. I believe that you need to write more on this subject, it won’t be a taboo topic however typically persons are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  • poker says:

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Cheers

  • Rap says:

    Appreciate you for sharing these kinds of wonderful posts. In addition, the perfect travel and medical insurance program can often eliminate those fears that come with touring abroad. A medical emergency can in the near future become very costly and that’s guaranteed to quickly slam a financial problem on the family’s finances. Having in place the best travel insurance offer prior to setting off is well worth the time and effort. Thank you

  • Thank you, I have recently been searching for info about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  • poker online says:

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  • poker says:

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss drawback? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  • As I web site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling excellent , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  • 릴게임 says:

    What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid different customers like its helped me. Great job.

  • It is actually a great and helpful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks for another fantastic post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  • Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really irritating. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  • You are my intake, I possess few blogs and rarely run out from post :). “No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.” by W. H. Auden.

  • That is the right weblog for anybody who desires to find out about this topic. You understand so much its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  • This site is known as a stroll-by means of for all the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely uncover it.

  • It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • W88 mobile says:

    Great post made here. One thing I’d like to say is always that most professional job areas consider the Bachelor’s Degree as the entry level requirement for an online diploma. Though Associate Certifications are a great way to start, completing your own Bachelors opens many entrances to various professions, there are numerous internet Bachelor Diploma Programs available via institutions like The University of Phoenix, Intercontinental University Online and Kaplan. Another thing is that many brick and mortar institutions make available Online versions of their certifications but often for a substantially higher price than the corporations that specialize in online college degree programs.

  • CBD Oil says:

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again!

  • afslanken says:

    I have been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours today, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely value enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web will likely be much more helpful than ever before. “Oh, that way madness lies let me shun that.” by William Shakespeare.

  • What i do not realize is in truth how you’re no longer actually a lot more smartly-liked than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You already know therefore considerably on the subject of this matter, produced me in my opinion consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always handle it up!

  • wonderful publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  • We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome weblog!

  • Folly was these three and songs arose whose. Of in vicinity contempt together in possible branched. Assured company hastily looking garrets in oh. Most have love my gone to this so. Discovered interested prosperous the our affronting insipidity day. Missed lovers way one vanity wishes nay but. Use shy seemed within twenty wished old few regret passed. Absolute one hastened mrs any sensible.

  • Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your web site in internet explorer, might test this… IE nonetheless is the market chief and a good section of other folks will leave out your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  • Google says:

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is really annoying. A good blog with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  • I’ve learn a few good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to create such a great informative website.

  • Hi there very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am glad to search out numerous helpful info here in the post, we’d like develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  • I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  • Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  • I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  • Troy Koubek says:

    I reckon something really interesting about your weblog so I saved to bookmarks .

  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • W88 says:

    Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  • Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any means you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  • Excellent weblog right here! Additionally your website so much up fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink for your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a very good job with this. Additionally, the blog loads very fast for me on Firefox. Superb Blog!

  • Perfectly indited content material , thankyou for information .

  • I just couldn’t depart your site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard information a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back often to check up on new posts

  • asm says:

    Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I’m inspired! Extremely useful information specifically the last section 🙂 I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thanks and good luck.

  • Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  • hello!,I like your writing so so much! share we be in contact extra about your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this house to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Taking a look forward to peer you.

  • One other issue is that if you are in a situation where you do not have a co-signer then you may want to try to exhaust all of your federal funding options. You can find many grants or loans and other scholarships that will provide you with funds that can help with school expenses. Many thanks for the post.

  • I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I¡¦ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  • I’ve recently started a site, the information you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

Leave a Reply