April 11, 2013
Recently, a friend forwarded me a link to a web blog. The link points
to a 400-page document, titled “Islam Virus”, which is a collection of
misinformation about Islam – how cruel, inhumane and scary Muslims are.
The owner of the blog mentions that everyone must read the document
because what is happening in Myanmar today is very dangerous and scary.
That is, Islam is threatening the existence of Myanmar. Pointing to
distorted information about gross cruelty, the document urges the people
of Myanmar to protect Myanmar race and Buddhism by opposing Islam and
On the left column of the blog site, there are icons (with links) to
two books. One book is about the colonial-time conflict between Muslims
and Buddhists, and the other is a well-known anti-Muslim book titled
“fearful of the extinction of Burmese and Buddhism”.
On the top of the column was a feature section, labeled National
Traitors, under which people accused of supporting ethnic Rohingyas are
listed. They include Dr. Maung Zarni, Harn Yawnghwe of Euro-Burma
Office, Aung Zaw of The Irrawaddy magazine, Than Win Htut of Democratic
Voice of Burma, and Burmese section directors of the Voice of America
and BBC. There are anti-Rohingya posts here and there throughout the
What I want to say only starts here. Those involved in anti-Muslim
campaigns consistently claim that Kalars (derogatory term for Muslims
and South Asians) are taking over Buddhist women and converting them to
Islam. They also accuse Muslims to be spoiling Burmese woman to destroy
or swallow Burmese culture.
Only when I browse through the internet blog, I realize how irrational people are.
First, the blog urging people to protect Burmese culture and women turns out to a very popular Myanmar porn web blog.
Second, and more importantly, it is an abusive and disrespectful blog
for women. Why? Because it features nude photos of Burmese women and
leaked videos of Burmese couples. The blog also features photos and
videos of Burmese women/couples shared by blog visitors.Of course, the
attention is on ‘women’, especially their ‘passivity’ and ‘suffering’
during sexual intercourse.
They found the materials somewhere on the internet, or filmed by
themselves. Some women, possibly sex workers, allowed the men to film on
the basis that the films and photos won’t be published on the internet.
Regardless of the promise, these nude photos and videos made their ways
to the blog, which is a hard core pornographic blog accessible to
everyone for free. I will not enclose the blog address here to avoid
further publicizing of it and its contents, especially the women whose
privacy the blog has abused.
As soon as I realized the type of the blog, I immediately saw the
contradiction: calling for protecting Burmese women from ‘kalar’ on the
one hand, and abusing women by i) publicizing pirated photos and videos,
and ii) allowing blog visitors to write sexually abusive comments on
the other. These comments can be read as verbal rapes. Then, I asked to
myself, how possibly can these men, shamelessly writing sexually abusive
comments, protect the nation and the women?
They said they want to protect the women in order to protect the
nation, but they are verbally raping the women whose photos and videos
were pirated. I am amazed how self-proclaimed nationalists claiming to
protect Burmese women (by means of controlling their sexuality and
sex-related life) can easily abuse these women. They do not seem to
think that distributing the women’s nude images for the consumption of
the men they do not have any inter-personal relations is a plain abuse.
If they stay true to what they say about protecting the nation, they
should have opposed to the blog for the sake of the women’s privacy and
dignity. Far from it, they are the ones disgracing the women; they are
the one fulfilling their sexual fantasies on a free porn website. How
cheap they are!
This is an important indication that nationalists uttering to protect
the nation is not a safe refuge for women. These nationalists are in
fact the enemies of women. They abuse women by dictating personal
decision over relationship and reproduction. They abuse women by
exploiting sexuality and body.
To continue with my main point, the blog owner posted the 400-page
document on August 23, 2012. I thought he changed his attitude. I
thought he realized he needed to start protecting women and stop abusing
their private matters. But, the next day, he posted another nude photos
of a Burmese lady. What is even more surprising is, he highlighted the
logo of a Burmese channel “Sky net” on the TV in the background to
confirm that she is truly a Burmese.
There are many other photos and videos with exact names and locations
such as cities and countries where the videos were taken. Some
materials were taken secretly and make available on the internet.
The blog also links to another porn website. I am not too sure if
that belongs to the same person. On the second website, the most popular
post, as I visited in August 2012, was a nude photo of a Burmese
medical doctor in Thailand.
I expected that the woman’s privacy be protected – or at least
respected – by Burmese nationalists who have been upset and/or worried
about Kalars taking advantage of Burmese women’s sexuality. To my
amazement, supposedly the nation-loving and culture-loving blog owner
only publicized the photos of the doctor. The visitors left more than a
hundred comments that said they wanted to have intimate relations with
her (note: of course, their languages were sexually explicit, not even
some decent comments about woman’s body or the sort, but abusive hard
core comments). There is no single comment that said the woman’s privacy
should be respected. The point I want to make is, there is no such
thing as respect for the woman. It was a plain abuse and disrespect.
Book titled “Fearful of the extension of Burmese and Buddhism” (Left); Real Burmese Girl (Right)
The more I browse the blog, the more disturbing things I found. The
blogger posted the book “Fearful of the extinction of Burmese and
Buddhism” on the same day as his posting of a Myanmar-born porn star.
Similarly, he posted a blog post about Rohingya’s protest in the Middle
East on the same day as his posting of a pirated video in which a woman
was being forced to take off her cloth for filming. I found it strange
that the blog owner was publishing nationalist posts and nude
photos/videos of women at the same time – how contradicting it is. This
makes me wonder, if the nationalists are using pornography for
I need to mention another but similar point. The blogger posted
photos and videos of women specifically in Burmese traditional longyi
(women skirts). This is because the visitors asked if the women were
really Burmese. The blog owners highlighted longyi to prove that they
really were Burmese. I asked to myself: “is this part of Burmese
nationalism? are they that nationalistic that even their sexual fantasy
prefer specifically Burmese? This may sounds strange, but it is
difficult to make sense of how the nationalists can be that sexually
abusive against the women they said they wanted to protect. Perhaps,
they do not want Burmese women to have relationships with ‘Kalars’, but
they think they can abuse the women themselves. Whether or not this is
how they think, but this is how they appear.
In any case, the women need not be protected from Kalars, but from
the Burmese nationalists such as the blog owner and the visitors, the
sex fanatics who have no respect or what so ever for the women.
The hard core, sexually abusive comments on this web blog explains
why anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya movement in Myanmar is characterized
with sexually explicit language. Perhaps, they are more or less the same
people — or the same sort of people. On various websites, insults
against Muslims in Myanmar have to do with specific words such as male’s
private part, mother, and the F word, just like the comments on the
Translation of the comments:(comment 1) son of a bitch. This is
our country, Myanmar. If you dog can’t say, leave. Mother f@#$-er.
Penis. You dog kalar only go to mosque to f!@# your mother. Penis (9
times). (comment 2) Penis: (15 times)
One might say, who care about what’s going on with this web blog.
This is a porn website. But I care because this is a million-hit web
blog. Nationalists one way or other band here together, and the massive
amount of sexually abusive comments towards women is quite concerning.
This is a good example of how abusive nationalists can be — to be
more accurate, how abusive “nationalist men” or “manly nationalism” can
be. One thing for sure is no woman expects protection from the people
who do not know the words ‘respect’, ‘privacy’ and ‘dignity’.