Pemuda Sosialis is holds that sexual and reproductive health rights and education must be a continuing effort. Art is a way to contribute to that effort. Libresse’s advertisement “Know your V” is an excellent amalgamation of both an educational mission as well as a way to liberate the feminine self through art.
However, Pemuda Sosialis is also aware that this adverstisement has attracted controversy. Majlis Wanita Islam has denounced the advertisement campaign, citing “A misuse of an image of women’s private parts” as well as “an exploitation of women’s bodies in advertisements”. This is clearly a display of an anti-intellectualism. We wonder how sexual education can be taught if not by showing the sexuality of the human self.
Should decency be a barrier to education? Should modesty be the upmost model of women’s emancipation? Should cultural differences be taken into consideration when we factually educate the masses about sexual education?
Sexual education in Malaysia has always been an underdeveloped effort. Abstinence is still something that is taught as part of sexual education when it has been proven to be ineffective. Because of deficiencies in our sexual education efforts, many people lack knowledge on how to take care of their sexual parts, many miss a crucial medical diagnosis, many are not well equipped in handling sexual calamities.
Pemuda Sosialis believes that our patriarchal system has subjugated sexual education to such a poor status. Male-dominated views have disallowed a comprehensive sexual education effort and thus paved the way for an anti-intellectual perception of a woman’s body.
Pemuda Sosialis stands in solidarity with Libresse’s effort to showcase femininity as a part of knowing one’s femininity alongside its remarkable display of femininity as part of nature. We also advocate for a better sexual and reproductive health rights education by going beyond the barrier of modesty and decency. Human sexuality should be a neutral ground and must be discussed openly.
Head of Gender Bureau
Parti Sosialis Malaysia