Couple having sex in RWS jacuzzi in front of children

From ‘Couple causes stir in Resorts World Sentosa jacuzzi’, 14 Dec 2014, article by Lim Yi Han, Sunday Times

A couple allegedly stripped and had sex in a jacuzzi at Resorts World Sentosa’s Beach Villas last Friday afternoon, in full view of horrified guests. While the jacuzzi was meant only for the couple’s villa, it sat within a larger pool being enjoyed by other guests.

One guest, who wanted to be known only as Madam Lee, told The Sunday Times that she was alerted to the incident when her two children and their two cousins – aged between five and 11 years – noticed that the woman was not wearing anything from waist down. The children were swimming in the pool at the time.

The 41-year-old housewife, who was there with other family members after one of them paid about $1,000 a night for their villa, said she alerted the concierge immediately, and told the children not to look.

“But the couple started having sex in the jacuzzi. It was very obvious, and my mother shouted at them. I quickly ran in to get my phone and snap pictures, and they stopped only when they saw me doing that,” said Madam Lee.

“I would have closed one eye if the kids were not there, but I’m surprised the couple did it even though they were aware there were children around.”

…Those guilty of public nudity can be charged under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, and face up to three months in jail, and a fine of up to $2,000. For committing an obscene act in public, the maximum punishment is three months in jail and a fine.

Embarrassed, curious, shocked, amused, angry perhaps, but the ST chose to describe onlookers as ‘HORRIFIED’. Madam Lee herself admitted that she would have let the horny couple go at it if there were no kids around, though I doubt that would stop voyeurs like her from taking photos either. If there’s anything useful about this complaint it’s that people, not just young innocent children, should avoid private jacuzzis altogether. You never know what remnants of bodily fluids lurk in that bubbling cauldron of sex.

Telling your kids ‘not to look’ is just about the worst parenting advice ever. Children will stumble onto sex inevitably, whether it’s from the Internet, a HDB staircase, void deck, on public transport, even erotic bus ads. A mother determined to shelter her children’s eyes from any activity hinting at public fornication would have to equip them with smart visors 24/7, a gadget that turns your field of vision into a mosaic fog once activated by Mommy’s stern voice, or if the device detects two human bodies connected in a pattern consistent with ‘fondling’.

Better still, hook your 11 year old up with chastity underwear with erection sensors, because once you stop him from staring at people having live sex, his adolescent mind will automatically conjure up fantasy scenarios beyond a wet romp in a hot jacuzzi. Once an arousal is detected, a signal will be transmitted to an app in Mommy’s phone with the notification: ‘Level 5 erection detected’, after which the program will share tips on how to control your kid’s bodily urges, like throwing him into a tub of ice or making him kneel before an altar and confess to some angry deity.

Children should be protected from domestic violence, misogynistic rap songs, bad grammar on public signs and people not clearing trays in hawker centres. An encounter with public sex is an opportunity for realistic, fact-based parenting, not puritanical liturgy; To teach children that people engage in exhibitionist sex because they’ve run out of ideas in the bedroom, that excessive time spent in a jacuzzi is bad for your sperm (after which you can educate him about what sperm is), and that if you ever think of hanky-pankying with your classmate in the void deck, the penalty will be some uptight housewife whipping out her phone (which they only ever use to play Candy Crush), uploading your pic on Stomp, and exposing the precocious, disgraceful pervert that you have become, your life ruined forever.

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Lift Your Skirt, Save Your Life ad goes against Asian values

From ‘Ad catches the eye and raises a few eyebrows’, 8 May 2013, article by Debbie Lee, Eugene Chua and Joanne Lee, ST and 10 May 2013, ‘Cancer ad goes against Asian values’, ST Forum

“LIFT your skirt, save your life,” urges a new advertisement by the Singapore Cancer Society to promote awareness of preventive measures for cervical cancer. But the campaign appears to have raised eyebrows instead.

Public reaction to its posters, depicting celebrities in white dresses catching a rush of air from the ground, have varied from “catchy” to “obscene”…It features celebrities MediaCorp Radio 987FM DJ Rosalyn Lee, model and TV host Linda Black and 93.3FM DJ Siau Jiahui.

The campaign aims to encourage women to go for Pap smear screenings being provided for free by 178 clinics this month. However, more than 60 per cent of the 80 people polled by The Straits Times said the advertisement was not effective in delivering its message.

Respondents commonly mistook it for fashion or slimming advertisements….A quarter of the respondents felt the advertisement was offensive. “Most people are saying, ‘Oh, it uses sexual undertones to get attention, it’s effective.’ But just because it gets people talking doesn’t mean it sends the right message,” said Miss Yvonne Jin, a 21-year-old student.

The Association of Women for Action and Research agreed. Its executive director, Ms Corinna Lim, said: “It is a sad reflection on society that good causes also have to resort to sex to promote their message.”

(Dr V Subramaniam):…We have long cherished and promoted the age-old values of decorum, decency, good morals, respect for tradition and other attributes that go with our rich Asian culture. These values provide us with the cultural ballast against the influx of unhealthy foreign cultural trends and behaviour.

The ad to promote awareness of preventive measures for cervical cancer, which comes with the tagline, “Lift your skirt. Save your life”, is not in keeping with our Asian morals and is degrading to women. Left to the imagination, the crude insinuations can easily corrupt the morals of our young.

Otherwise you’ll get more than just a 7 year itch

Cervical cancer is no joke of course, as ambassador DJ Ross Lee would attest, having had a near brush with the dreaded disease herself. But you don’t need a controversial headline to grab the attention of Singaporean women. One four letter word starting with the letter F would do the trick: FREE, and that magical word that possesses Singaporeans into queuing long hours for stuff they don’t need is restrained here by small caps and boring font. Hell, you may even get a MAN to queue for cervical screening if you market your freebie a little TOO well. Maybe SCC should try the same tactic for prostate screening. I doubt anyone would complain of such an ad as obscene, sexist or defiling ‘Asian values‘, though some may accuse it of causing nightmares, loss of appetite and general distress.

manpants

It’s always tempting to employ ‘sexual undertones’ when you’re talking about cancers of intimate body parts. In 2010, another local cancer foundation used nude models to encourage women to, well, keep ABREAST of cancer prevention, painted NIPPLES and all. Just like those crying foul about this PAP smear campaign giving upskirt perverts ideas on the escalator, some dismissed body painting as crass objectification of women everywhere.

A very cheeky ad

Take away the provocative images though, and what you’re left with are awful puns like ‘Treasure the BREAST things in life’ in 2011, the kind of tagline that would only draw the attention and non-stop giggles of females with their breasts still under development. Unlike boobs, there’s very limited wordplay when it comes to organs around the pelvis without offending someone, especially when words like ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ are still avoided by the media till this day. Even saying things like ‘Hey ladies, come spread your legs!’ can be as insulting as an orgy invitation.

You can’t make visual puns of erogenous zones without coming across as downright vulgar, like the ‘Unfurgivable‘ ad by the Ministry of Wax, which got some all fired up over a purse resembling female genitalia. Still, cervical cancer is the ONLY preventable cancer in women to date, which means delivering a necessary message and making it stick may be more important than what the good folks at AWARE think. All it takes is one person to notice the ad, ‘lift her skirt’ and get saved from disaster for the campaign to work. I don’t see how ‘skirt-lifting’ is a problem for AWARE considering they endorse anti-rape campaigns called SlutWalks. It’s also better to benefit from a lewd ad that is a ‘sad reflection of society’ and be ALIVE, than get your knickers in a twist and dead.

Sukki Singapora’s ‘albino Indian’ look

From ‘Burlesque babe’, 21 April 2013, article by Melissa Sim, Lifestyle, Sunday Times

For more than a year, burlesque dancer Sukki Singapora, 26, led a double life. By day, she worked in IT support – wearing formal skirts and fitted shirts – but once the work day was over, she cast off her office wear for corsets and sequined outfits. “It was very much a Clark Kent existence,” says Singaporeconnected, Britain-based Sukki, who quit her IT job with the British cycling Olympic team to become a full-time burlesque performer in April last year.

…“I was fortunate enough to be offered enough shows that I no longer needed a day job,” says the dancer, who uses a peroxide cream to create the look of an “albino Indian”

…What keeps her going, she says, are the letters she receives from Asian women and men, nearly 100 from Singapore alone. “Some want to learn how to do it. However, more often than not, they are too scared to try because of their strict backgrounds and feel they have no one to talk to except me,” she says.

So she set up The Singapore Burlesque Society, a Facebook group which has 64 members, to provide a “safe community” for those interested in burlesque in Singapore. She also started The Singapore Burlesque Club, a touring show which has a policy of hiring at least one Asian burlesque performer at every event.

…Denying that she chose her stage name because it was more exotic to be from Singapore than the UK, she says: “I picked it because it represents where I felt I was from. I still consider myself a citizen.”

Born to an Indian Singaporean father and a British mother, both doctors, Sukki Menon was a Geography major before achieving grand diva success. She became a British citizen when she was 18, and would give our very own drag queen Kumar a run for the money. Most Singaporeans, however, would rather play Angry Birds than see dancers dressed up as peacocks, this despite Moulin Rouge and the less successful Burlesque movies spurring the revival of a vintage stage show. ‘Showgirls’ probably gets more illegal downloads than both movies combined.

Sukki isn’t the first Asian sensation to seduce audiences with wild, sexy dancing. Malaya used to have her very own ‘Queen of Striptease’ in the 1950s, none other than the late, great Rose Chan. Referred to as a ‘stripper’ in those days, her shows were banned here by the police in view of its ‘improper nature’. She was also badass enough to wrestle with pythons. Today’s burlesque artistes settle for boas instead.

I suppose many Singaporeans have matured since then to accept burlesque dancing as a respectable profession, nude or no-nude, but it’s mostly viewed as a hobby to tone your abs or surprise your husband on Valentine’s Day (for $180 you can have 10 hourly lessons of Exotic Dance/Lap Dance). I’m not sure if albinos or Indians would take offence at Sukki’s use of whitening face cream. I’ve never seen an Indian albino in the flesh, but I doubt they look like Courtney Love as Sukki does. Going ‘Blackface’ for your company DnD with a Bollywood theme, however, is a terrible idea.

Crazy Horse, which bears similarities to burlesque though it boasts as the most ‘avant garde’ all of Paris cabarets, failed in Singapore after just 14 months.  Supporters were quick to denounce the country for being intolerant of such ‘raunchiness’. But it also offended housewives who thought it was ‘pornographic’, ‘derogatory to women’, and promoted all sorts of wrong values. A layman would find difficulty differentiating burlesque, cabaret and exotic dancing, though flashy costumes (and eventual lack of it), ample cleavage, flirtatiousness and feathers are all common elements. Some would call her a ‘high-class’ stripper, and in fact Sukki in her Facebook page has acknowledged her job as a ‘striptease artist’. Here’s a video of her jiggling out of traditional Indian dance costume into a slutty red bikini:

Burlesque dancers tend to give themselves names indistinguishable from adult movie stars or James Bond girls (think Pussy Galore).  Not all have glamorous monikers like Dita von Teese, which sounds like a villain from a 101 Dalmations cartoon. Here’s a quick test to see if you know your burlesque from your XXX stars.

1) Aurora Galore
2) Aurora Snow
3) Lexi Belle
4) Dottie Lux
5) Dirty Martini
6) Summer Haze
7)Lady Beau Peep
8)Vicious Delicious
9)Kalani Kokonuts
10)Calamity Chang
11) Kitten de Ville
12)Lily Labeau

*2, 3, 6 and 12 are porn actresses

Dancers also tend to argue that their art is a ‘celebration of feminity‘, yet  there is an internet magazine for ‘all things burlesque’ named BurlesqueBITCH.com. An organiser for international events like the All Asian Burlesque Spectacular calls itself THIRSTY Girl Productions.  Sukki herself acts in The PEEP SHOW, and performs at a La Bordello Boheme. It’s all in the name of good ol’ naughty fun, of course, but I doubt the folks at AWARE are amused. I’m sure the Esplanade can bend its ‘No Sleazy Uncles’ rule to slot in a Sukki show somewhere.

Incorporating Singapura in her stage name aside, she has also wowed audiences with what she calls The MERLION strut,  a homage to a ‘mythical beast’. There is also the “Sparkle for Singapore’, complete with ‘glistening Singapore orchids’. We should rope Sukki in for the next National Day Parade since we’ve done pole-dancing anyway, and pair her up with Kumar in a Battle of the Divas. With our ailing fertility problems, perhaps sexy burlesque is one way to sizzle up our bedrooms, and no one better to promote it than our Burlesque Ambassador and Superheroine, Sukki Singapora herself.

Go Away MDA bypassing porn filters

From ‘Web add-on bypasses porn censors’ filters’, 28 Feb 2013, article by Lim Yan Liang, ST

A WEB browser add-on that lets surfers bypass the Media Development Authority’s Internet filters to access pornography and other sites has been gaining popularity online. The free tool, for Google’s Chrome browser, has been downloaded more than 6,300 times since it was made available to the public in the browser’s Web store on Feb 16.

It lets users access sites that would normally be blocked in Singapore by masking their true location. The MDA maintains a list of 100 websites that Internet service providers have to block. The creator of the browser extension, a National University of Singapore (NUS) computer science graduate, said usage figures have been growing thanks mainly to word of mouth.

While he had dedicated the tool to users of the popular Eat-Drink- Man-Woman forum of the HardwareZone discussion portal, forum threads discussing his creation have since been deleted or locked.

“There is no need for the word to get out, I can barely manage the traffic as it is,” said the 26-year-old, without giving specifics on the amount of traffic. He does not want to be named, citing previous run-ins with the law. “And it’s running off a server that I’m paying for.”

He added that the tool was “merely a fun hobby project” he set up during Chinese New Year as he was learning about a set of Web development tools.

Soon to be a thing of the past

Soon to be a thing of the past

While your run-of-the-mill hacker defaces government websites and replaces them with porn, the creator of Go Away MDA (you can download the tool for free at http://getgom.com/) hands you the golden key to online forbidden fruit. If the MDA hadn’t themselves went on a limb to declare war on the 100 objectionable sites, there wouldn’t be a need to device a tool to smash their firewalls down, nor would we proceed to satisfy our natural curiosity to see if unlocking Playboy.com with this actually works (It does at time of writing). There are many hidden treasures yet to be picked up by MDA’s internet sniffer dogs which are far more gratuitous than the softcore goodies of the Playboy empire. The complete list remains a mystery, but the folks at MDA clearly missed out the nefarious CHURCH OF SATAN (google it) website. The horror!

Porno material is generated so effortlessly maintaining a ‘100 banned sites’ list is like fencing up a grapevine to keep out the starving foxes but leaving the rest of the sprawling bush unscathed. They haven’t even got a list started on mobile sex apps yet. To many men who spent their formative cyber years journeying through erotic utopias, this is a godsend, like a reunion with an old flame which they’ll greet with an euphoric  ‘Come to PAPA!’. Some would laud this anonymous ‘hacktivist’ the equivalent of porno Wikileaks, tearing down the barriers to the revolutionary ideal that is ‘internet freedom’.

In 2005, two gay sites were clamped down by MDA. They banned one featuring explicit sex and photography while fining another gay dating site called ‘Meet Gay Singapore Friends’ (no longer exists). Three years later porno versions of Youtube were added to the list. When queried about the usefulness of keeping this blacklist when it’s near impossible to block out undesirables without killing the Internet completely, an MDA spokesperson replied that this ‘mass-impact’ censoring was a ‘SYMBOLIC statement of our CORE SOCIETAL VALUES’. In 2010, then acting Minister for Information and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew regurgitated the same reasoning, that the ban ‘serves as a reminder that there is a significant body of material on the Internet that is unsavoury and unedifying’. That’s as enlightening as telling people there are wild plants and mushrooms out there that you shouldn’t be putting in your mouth. It’s like a clueless puppy chasing its own tail; the hydra of porn is always leaps and bounds ahead of you. Nobody goes to Playboy for their fix anymore. A random amateur sex video from a couple of local students may score more hits than all 100 banned sites combined.

Now that the banned sites are being liberated by a tinkerer’s electronic Get out of Jail Card, this ‘symbol’ of all things good and moral about our society has come crashing down like the terminal stage of a badly played Candy Crush game, though our spate of sex scandals has made enough mockery of this surface gesture of moral policing. It’s like putting a helmet on a baby strapped with explosives in a bid to protect it from harm. The more likely reason that this ‘symbolic’ banned list still exists, even if you could find SEX.COM on it, is that it would be an admission of utter failure to take it back. If there’s one consolation for MDA, it’s that their eagerness to ban stuff has given rise to talented, enterprising, rebellious individuals with this inventive drive and mad skills to crack smutwalls, a skill that would make you a top draw for secret military projects, or for hacking into our Ministers’ accounts to see what they have been doing with their million-dollar salaries.

Victory for the high-priests of Internet activism, for Google Chrome, tech geeks and anyone who feels that MDA deserves to be embarrassed for its vile treatment of artists and filmmakers all this time. MDA, you got ‘pwned’. Big time.

Ebisu Muscat’s rope trick banned in Singapore

From’ No sexy rope trick here’, 19 Jan 2013, article by Rachael Boon, ST Life

Mui Kuriyama, a member of sexy Japanese idol girl group Ebisu Muscats, has a special skill she normally shows off on stage: She can tie herself up in rope. But for fans in Singapore, they did not see this at the group’s concert here on Thursday.

Kuriyama, 24, says she was advised to leave out her sexy little trick because it is associated with deviant sexual acts collectively called BDSM, or bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism. “I usually perform with rope bondage on, but I was told it was better not to do so,” she says in Japanese during an interview at Resorts World Sentosa’s Hotel Michael, ahead of their concert.

Ebisu Muscats are a singing-dancing pop group that comprise soft-porn video actresses and gravure idols, or models in Japan who specialise in sexy shoots and assignments but do not strip. They were formed in 2008 as part of TV Tokyo’s variety show Onedari Muscat SP!, and have no fixed line-up.

Mui is a knotty girl

Mui is a knotty girl (NSFW)

Ebisu Muscats are not your average girl-group. For one, its fanbase appears to be mostly males, in particular males who have seen them wearing much less clothing than when they’re performing song-and-dance. Many would raise an eyebrow when the media describes the group as an assemble of SOFT PORN actresses, because anyone familiar with the Jap porn industry would know that certain Muscat members are known more for their no-holds-barred erotic performances in a studio bedroom (mostly), rather than their vocal talents or dancing. Calling them soft-core is like saying KFC is ‘low-fat’. If you view a random Ebisu video, you can tell that they’re no Girls’ Generation in the making, and they could very well be the Milli Vanilli of pornstars. You would get the same adulation from men if you take a bunch of aging action heroes and put them in an all-star ultraviolent movie as a last hurrah to an illustrious career of kicking ass. Wait, that’s already been done before. Twice. Speaking of movies, it’s strange how a bunch of pornstars are allowed to hold a concert here with curbs, but an indie film by an acclaimed director featuring a porn starlet was never screened here. I’m sure there are as many fans of Sasha Grey as they are of Kuriyama.

Mui is a BDSM tease and self proclaimed ‘rope artist’, while others in the line-up, such as Yuma Asami are, or used to be, hardcore pornstars. It’s ironic that the authorities would clamp down on what they perceive to be a public display of bondage fetish, when tens of thousands of Singaporean men view the same Ebisu muscats perform ‘deviant acts’ or having sex online every single day. I also wonder if people take offence to lyrics of songs suggestive of bondage. Like British duo Tears for Fears’ Woman in Chains. But what’s a mere song when people have written whole teenage fiction revolved around it?

If rope and chain bondage is not your cup of tea, perhaps you’re more a ‘woman in a cage’ kinda guy. I’m not sure if MDA banned Shakira’s She Wolf video for its deviant BDSM nature.

If a girl in a Sailor moon outfit with a history of showing off her butt and cleavage close-up on camera ties herself up in rope, it’s frowned upon as a fetish. If a sexy female magician does it, it’s called..well..magic. The only difference is that for magic tricks, one is supposed to escape while in BDSM you’re supposed to just LOOK like you want to escape.

Here’s a little test if you can tell your ‘magic’ from ‘BDSM’.

A)

B)

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 9.34.12 AM

C)

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 9.41.28 AM

Yes they’re all acts of MAGIC. If you got all 3 right, you either have no idea what BDSM is or are an expert practitioner of it.

In Chiobu We Trust extremely distasteful and vulgar

From ‘Suggestive poses in exhibition distasteful’, 8 Sept 2012, ST Life!

(Koh Shimei Magdalene):I refer to the article Online Queen Bees Born To Pose (Life!, Aug 27), about an art exhibition called In Chiobu We Trust – A Pop-up Art Party.

Organised by the Chiobu Movement, the exhibition took place on Aug 31. I found some of the pictures exhibited of near nude girls in suggestive poses to be extremely distasteful and vulgar. The pictures featured in the article speak for themselves.

I take great offence to them as I feel they are insulting to the female gender. These days, it seems that anything and everything can be considered art, just by spinning a complex concept or story around it.

I am shocked and disappointed that no relevant authority has stepped in to comment or impose restrictions on this event. I would also like to suggest that art exhibitions be given viewership ratings similar to films.

In my opinion, Singapore society should not tolerate and encourage unhealthy subcultures to thrive, and we definitely cannot afford this to become a norm in our society as we have witnessed in Western countries. The effects are detrimental to nation building.

Nice Ass…mask

Magdalene Koh did not specify whether she actually attended ‘In Chiobu we Trust’, a ‘secret’ pop up party whose location was divulged in the Life! section of the ST.  Not sure how successful Chiobu turned out to be, with its build-up subdued by another ‘secret’ event held during the same period, Diner en Blanc. According to the article on Aug 31, Chiobu is a collection of photo submissions by ‘hipster’, social-media savvy females below 30 doing wild, cool stuff on road trips, the brainchild of photographer Alvelyn Koh (or Alko). It’s like someone compiling Instagram photos or Facebook profile pics and exhibiting them in an Indie gallery. It could have been called ‘In Camwhore We Trust’, though the writer above may think the use of that word alone will have a profoundly destructive effect on our ‘nation building’.

Check out this entry of a woman having an orgasm on a stone lion. I wonder if the Taoist Federation of Singapore has anything to say about this; the most sacred of temple guardians being defiled by straddling, moaning chiobus.

The jungle cannot sleep tonight

A senior SAM curator referred to these ‘chiobus’ as ‘an interesting SUB-CULTURE of young women who are ‘opinionated, fashionable and daring’, among whom must include ‘My Grandfather Road’ creator Samantha Lo. It also helps if you have a jazzy name that’s a combination of two proper names. The key members of this chiobu troupe are also popular bloggers; The girl in the donkey mask Tan Min Yi has a blog called “Psychological Romance’, as well as a Facebook portfolio with glam model shots of her wearing Red Indian headgear and sticking a gun in her mouth. Ang Geck Geck’s blog is a mouthful: ‘A Female Cat roars, Louder Than Before’, from which you may download her Chiobu video, a meditative celebration of femininity that seems to be inspired by Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (both videos have SPARKLERS in them). Tree of Chiobus, perhaps. It also features some naked lesbians preening away to the hashtags of #dreams and #freedom. #Cool!

It’s not all about ladies in various states on undress or gay love though, Holly Graberek presented portraits of herself in a Mexican wrestler mask, a Bedouin bandit and as a VERY EVIL LOOKING JIA JIA PANDA. The stuff of nightmares, really. I can’t go to the River Safari after this. Ever.

Another submission has a subject planking face down in the Botanical Gardens in what appears to be a swimsuit, a typical prank shot which somehow qualifies as art. It looks like someone Photoshopped away the ‘Do not cross’ yellow police line around it.

This is both planking and Horseman-ing. Or Plorsing.

I did the same thing on the old Bukit Timah railway tracks once but it didn’t go viral on Facebook as I had hoped. Maybe it had something to do with the fact I was fully clothed, or more likely, I’m not a chiobu who uses emoticons that look like complex math algorithms, use the word ZOMG in my tweets, or insert the line ‘I am Chiobu, Hear me ROAARR’ in my email signature. But is the Chiobu movement solely for skinny photogenic waifs with fancy cameras? Would ‘plus-sized’ ladies posing nude in the name of art and charity be considered part of this ‘movement’ as well? How about those oversharing images of their buttocks for artist Amanda Heng?

The event itself, according to this review, was held in the dimly lit, cosy premises of book-cafe Pigeonhole. There’s also a couple of DJs in the house, yo! I’d imagine the playlist full of Lana Del Ray dubstep remixes.

God is a DJ, and so are these chiobus

It also puts AWARE in a difficult position to comment given the good intentions of the Chiobu movement. Just like ‘anything and everything’ can pass off as art, pouting to the camera semi-naked can also pass off as a powerful statement of self-expression. The word ‘chiobu’ itself is ironically derogatory to some women, a Singlish/Hokkien slang for ‘hot babe’, ‘chick’ or ‘shawty’.  But it helps that it’s ridiculously catchy, just like the Ladies’ card slogan ‘The Men Don’t Get It’. It wouldn’t have worked if the organisers called it ‘In Queen Bee We Trust'; that would sound to me like a gallery full of Bridezilla collages, in which case you don’t just need an age restriction; It should be totally MANDATORY that you forbid MEN to enter for health and safety reasons.

Vulgar or not, the cult of Chiobu is a sign that our arts community is very much alive and in vogue, that there are young edgy women out there pushing boundaries who give Vernetta Lopez a reason to sell her memoirs, though it does hint that it takes some eye-candy and soft-porn to tickle the Singaporean nerve for art. But what else is new? Has Magdalene heard about Josef Ng’s Brother Cane act? Or Indian artist T Venkenna sitting naked for hours and charging people to pose with him? Maybe they should have submitted the Chiobu Movement for the Venice Biennale instead. I mean, surely the Europeans can relate to chiobus in semi-Furry attire, eh?

It’s been a poor year for men in general, with many thrown in the slammer for underaged sex or corruption. In response to the Chiobu movement, maybe it’s time for the other sex to stand up and be counted. No, you don’t have to be Pan-Asian or ‘cool’, or pose on a windy beach for it, in fact, the more ‘uncle’ you are the better, whether you’re chillin’ with a Singha or hangin’ in Yangtze cinema. I’ll call it In Ah Peks We Trust.

Man posting upskirt videos on Youtube

From ‘Man targeting S’porean women posts their upskirt videos online’, 27 May 2012, article in asiaone, Digitalone.

A man targeting women in Singapore has been posting a collection of ‘upskirt’ videos online. The man even went as far as to lift the skirts of some of the women he filmed. The man’s activities were brought to light on Stomp by a reader who sent screenshots of the man’s collection of videos on video-sharing site YouTube.

A check on the user’s YouTube page shows the user last uploaded a video a week ago. The user was last active on May 22, 2012. The reader told Stomp: “It’s very disturbing to see someone filming Singaporean women and post them on a public site like YouTube.

“What’s even more disgusting is that he even numbered them, like ‘Singapore office lady 21′, and documented where he found them. “He even lifted their skirts in some cases! “I really hope the police put a stop to his reign of terror!”

While it’s safe to assume that the pervert was a man, even young girls may get hooked on upskirt voyeurism, thanks to a free online game called ‘Under Cover’, where one scores points by snapping photos of animated women in vulnerable but tasteless positions. Though it’s unlikely that such games would spur men to prowl MRT stations and shopping centre escalators to snap under women’s skirts (more likely to be porn that’s the source of inspiration), the act of peeping is as old as civilisation itself, when humans first put on clothes and had something to hide from prying, horny eyes. Or maybe it’s all Sharon Stone’s fault for her scene-stealing spread in Basic Instinct.

Modern voyeurism has been played down as a form of sexual neurosis, or a symptom of major depression. The nature of compulsively hording images or videos, even categorically labelling them in folders, has added a dimension of ‘obsession/addiction’ to the voyeur’s ‘disease’.  Such upskirt attacks have been on the rise since 2004, with many otherwise respectable men being admitted for ‘treatment’. Even a National Day medal winning grassroots leader has succumbed to such gross indecency. In 2010, an officer in the police force was caught for not just filming an upskirt of his female colleague, but for adding his semen into her drink, which suggests that ‘voyeurism’ is just one ‘symptom’ of a spectrum of related deviant fetishes.  We live in an age where Freud, if he were alive, would have been at his most prolific. People no longer maintain a ‘collection’ for hours of personal entertainment. Video-sharing, forums and blogs, with social media elements like ‘hits’,  ‘ratings’, ‘likes’ and reputation points, have supplemented one’s upskirt obsession with something equally stimulating to the unsound mind; an audience.

One may blame technology, porn and the incessant drive to miniaturise gadgets for this wave of peepshow gratification, but even before James Bond pinhole cameras or mobile phones, men still found ways and means to catch a glimpse of female bottoms, even if it meant lying down in a prone position to try their luck. Some would do away with the gizmos and stealth altogether and lift skirts directly.  But where’s the ‘thrill’ in that? The more discreet would use mirrors to satisfy their curiosity, while the rest would peep through cracks in toilets, showers, bedrooms and changing rooms. One guy in Tampines made it a daily ritual to view upskirts from below an overhead bridge while on a bicycle.

In 1956, the penalty for looking at your neighbour bathe is a staggering $20, compared to the up to one year jail term today. Which means seeing someone completely naked deserved less punishment in the past than spotting someone’s undergarment today. We still call such sneaky folks ‘peeping toms’, a term which suggests a boyish naughtiness that deserves nothing more than a rigorous spanking. Today the term ‘mischief’ no longer applies, you have instead committed a sexual offence. But it’s not just women who need to watch out for suspicious bags floating beneath their skirts, we men have been known to have our ‘modesty outraged’ by cubicle stoopers as well, especially when we’re taking a shit. We don’t even have to dress sexily to be stalked by a sicko. It’s also a  really dumb, not to mention smelly, position to adopt if you want to spy on innocent people doing their business.

But if indeed voyeurism were a sexual disorder, such incidents may trigger another sort of neurotic behaviour, a wave of paranoia that there is always some sex predator out there with an invisible gadget looking to steal a shot of your underwear. Terrified women may start avoiding overhead bridges, spend more time checking for bugs in the cubicle than urinating, or avoiding the Mint Museum of Toys and its glass ceilings. Every staircase, ladder or locker room would be approached as if it were booby-trapped. Thanks to this share-the-nasty-stuff culture, I can no longer text on the stairs, under a ladder or on an escalator without the fear of getting mistaken for a lecher and receiving a flying handbag in the face.

Sure, we can’t do without mobile phones or tiny cameras, but let’s just pray no one invents an invisibility cloak.


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