Malaysian Singer Fynn Jamal Says Women Using “TikTok” & “Filters” Are Causes For Rape: Harsh or Misunderstood?
As it is known, issues surrounding sexual harassment and rape are serious, heavy topics – but they are topics that need to be discussed. As the number of people (BOTH men and women alike) that come forward with their own harrowing stories increases day by day, the number of people who point their fingers at victims increases too. Many believe that it is the victims’ actions that lead to them being attacked in the first place. This is called ‘victim-blaming’, whereby the cause of the harassment or the rape is something the victim did – they way they were dressed, the place they were in, the time they were out, etc. In 2020, we see more and more people standing up for victims in order to ensure that those that have done the crime, do the time.
However, singer Fynn Jamal’s reaction to a fan who asked for her to “educate herself” over issues surrounding rape, fought back and people are shocked by her reasoning and response for why women are raped and what we’re meant to do to avoid being raped. But, that’s not all there is to the story as Fynn has released an explanation for what she has said but let’s start at the very beginning as to why Fynn’s words have become an issue. In a series of stories that are on her Instagram highlights (and in questions that she responded to), she seems to say that it is the victim’s fault that he/she was raped in the first place.
“This is the message from a western person. Busy with responding to all the different hashtags. ‘Don’t blame the victim la’. ‘Me too la’. ‘Whatever la’.
With that filter on your face, trying to be cute. You are INVITING male lust.
It might not be you that is raped but anyone that is close to humans with animalistic lust.
So basically, miss – YOU are also contributing. Because of types like you that there are other women who become victims.”
Of course, after this message purporting to blame “women who act cute” for “inviting male lust”, Fynn received many more messages and questions. The ones on her Instagram highlight with the title “RAPE” is a roller coaster. Here’s why:
The direct message Fynn receives says that her message to the masses is “disturbing and misleading”. The sender says that the blame is “solely on the rapist. it is never the fault of the victim”. To which, Fynn highlight lights the words “solely”.
“1) SOLELY. Are you talking about the law? If you are – yes. To prosecute on this point, it is clear. The rapist will be caught by the police. Clear cut. But this is it. I am not here to tackle this from that angle. I am an anthropologist. Human science. I am not a law kid. Rape is a societal sickness. If you ask me – even TikTok is a cause for rape.“
And in response the people staying not to blame the situation and place when it comes to rape, Fynn says,
“Obviously this refers to us who do not take care of ikhtilat. or those who are not cautious about social media. etc. For domestic cases (where the victim is a member of their own family) I’ve shared tens of tips on how to leave the home, tips for mums/grandmothers/family, etc. Do you think I’m crazy enough to say that it serves the rape victim right that they’ve been raped? You are really crazy if you think that way.
Now you’ve seen that you’ve made yourself seem stupid by falsely accusing others. Let me explain how women like YOU are the reason others are raped. Ok? Get ready.”
“You, girl, are the cause for men to fall. You are the reason our women and our small children (whether boy or girl) fall victim to being eaten by animals (men) that are not capable of averting their gaze. Yes. You, girl, are the reason why there are too many single and married men in hell.
I don’t blame the victim. I blame those that cause the rape in the first place. If you are the cause of the rape that happened to you – then you (are to blame). If you have nothing to do with the rape that happened to you – then not you (are to blame).”
“I don’t know you. but SOLELY based on your DP that is edited with the cute-cute filter and adorable pose with the butterflies around your nose – please don’t be in denial that the reason for all of that is to look cute. For whom? To be looked at. And please don’t be naive enough to think that those thoughts would be innocent. Come on, lah.
And oh. Facts on sperm and why men have to have release; In a talk, Ustaz Khalid explained that sperm is a fire element. And until the fire is put out – that man will not be able to think, won’t feel relief and will not be calm. Hence wives – understand why it is important for us to be the firefighter for our husbands’ fires.
And finally, in what she calls a “mic drop” moment, she clarifies that she has a full team of rape victims that she has helped and worked with before this. So, she says,
“You don’t have to feel high and mighty with your hashtags.”
Her responses have caused an uproar, with many accusing her of anti-feminist ideas and regressive thoughts on the role of a wife. Her name and her words have started trending on Twitter and people have taken to calling her out on that platform too. However, just last night, Fynn sat down with powerhouse rapper, Caprice, to explain what her words meant. During the heated hour-long live stream, Caprice questions Fynn on what she means by the fact that it is the woman’s fault that she is raped.
Fynn clarifies that it is the man’s job to avert his gaze and keep his thoughts to himself while it is the woman’s job to take care of herself by being appropriately dressed and accompanied by a guardian when going places (work included). When Caprice presses her on the need for a guardian, she emphasises that there are exceptions – when the guardian has broken his leg or is otherwise occupied – and when this happens, it’s better for the woman to stay at home.
In later stories, she explains why she says so. She gives a situation with two different people: 1) Kak Ton who is raped after robbers enter her home while she is cooking for and taking care of her kids and 2) Linda is raped by Farid, who accompanies her home after her study group.
“Both are victims. We pity both. But for whom do we show more empathy? Why Kak Ton? Because she did not do anything. She was assaulted while at home, while being cautious and minding her own business. Do we say it serves Linda right? No. But why do we have more empathy for Kak Ton?
Let’s say we interview both victims with this one question:
‘Is there anything you wish you can change? To have avoided this from happening?’
Linda would list everything: ‘If I took care of myself’, ‘If I didn’t go to that study group’, ‘If I didn’t agree to letting Farid send me home’. So many ‘ifs’. Kak Ton? What should she change? ‘If I cooked the rice perfectly’?”
The point is further debated when Caprice says that his view on the subject is that it is the person (the rapist), not the tool (society/the system) that should be held accountable. He says that it is the rapist that needs to pay for his actions because he was the one who chose to misuse the tool. At the time, Fynn’s response was that going after a singular person (rapist) was not enough. She says during the live broadcast that “it is not solely the rapists’ fault”. Fynn believes that it is society that needs to change because it is society that has allowed for things to stray (i.e. for women to be able to dress however they please, for them to be allowed out late at night).
By way of explanation, she answers a question on Instagram that asks, “You said u don’t blame the victim but you blame those that cause the rape. Aren’t the two the same thing?”:
“Imagine a class of 40. Every year the ratio of failure is 34:6. Fail 34. Pass 6 students. Every year. Anger towards those 34 for not trying to make it out of that percentage is a given. It is our responsibility to educate those fail students.
But the bigger picture is the education system that did not allow for the percentage to not be better (improve).
So; scold the students and the system. Why blame the student if it’s the system that failed?
(At the same time) Anger towards the student is necessary because no matter how terrible the education system is, the one who will suffer from the failed grade is THE STUDENT.
No matter how terrible the education system is, it is still the students failure.”
Fynn has posted her own IGTV video to go over the points that she did not manage to deliver during her live session with Caprice. She based her points off of the questions she received on her Instagram stories while wanting to squash all the cries of, “What about men?” and “Why only women?”.
Even with her explanation, opinions on the matter are split. While some understand the angle that Fynn is taking, others are equally resolute that her treatment and approach is inappropriate.
Whichever side you are on (or whether or not you are taking sides), it is important to remember to keep the conversation neutral and non-aggressive. As much as we want to educate and as much as we want to advocate, it is equally important to keep the conversation constructive so that we can build a path towards change.
If feel unsafe or have been a victim of abuse, harassment or rape, you do not have to suffer alone. Please reach out to your loved ones or to the following organisations (regardless of if you are a man or woman). as they will be able to assist you:
1. Women’s Aid Organization – +60 37957 5636 (Their website has an easy exit option & will not show up in browsing history should you need it)
2. Malaysian Police – 999
3. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) – +603 7877 0224
4. Sisters In Islam (Telenisa Helpline) – +603 7960 8802
5.Talian Kasih Hotline – 15999 (24h)
*This writer has reached out to Fynn Jamal but has yet to receive a response.