An alternative to AWARE's war.
Presently, the women's advocacy group, AWARE, in Singapore is engaged in what amounts to a civil war - or perhaps a hostile takeover.
As any Singaporean reader will know, but no overseas reader would...AWARE has recently been hijacked by what appears to be an organized group of outsiders, who have moved in, and elected themselves into the positions of authority in AWARE. Basically, they have taken over the show...although none of them has a history of volunteering or working with AWARE before. Another issue to note is that they seem mainly to be associated with a Christian fundamentalist Church and to be strongly anti-gay. AWARE had previously spoken up on behalf of all women, gay or not. That non-discriminatory stance now appears to be in danger.
From what I understand, there is now a war on, at AWARE...and a dirty war it is too. The "old guard" and the new are fighting...and the incomers are doing everything they can - including such moves as changing the locks on the offices, to make life difficult for the old guard.
There is shortly to be an EGM at which a vote of no confidence has been called, in an attempt to thwart the incomers.
At this stage, it cannot be determined whether the incomers, led by Josie Lau the new President and Thio Su Mien (the ostensible puppeteer in the background, pulling the strings), will win out and push out the old guard for good. Perhaps, at the EGM, the new guard will be ousted. We will see.
I have, however, a suggestion to the losers: start a new organization. There is no need to fight over AWARE. The old guard, who say they believe in standing up for women, of all situations, and the new guard, who mainly seem to stand for stamping out lesbianism, clearly have incompatible views of how AWARE should be run. Clearly, they cannot work together. Were both groups to remain as part of AWARE, no work would be done, for all would be fighting each other. The answer is to split off and form a new organization. If the old guard lose, they can simply take their ideals and their experience elsewhere and set up a new organization, for themselves, with a constitution that doesn't allow outsiders a vote, or the ability to take it over.
The same applies to the new guard. If they strongly believe in something (other than a fundamentalist Christian God and gay bashing), then they can set up their own organization if they lose. However, I foresee one problem with this: the approach of the new guard seems to suggest that their primary interest is in suffocating the voice that AWARE represents, rather than expressing their own voice. So, perhaps, the new guard at least, wants control of AWARE precisely so as to snuff out that voice. The new guard would not be happy then, just starting a new organization, because that would not snuff out the voice they want silenced.
My suggestion, though, at least works for the old guard, who do have a voice they want represented. They can simply take that voice elsewhere and re-establish themselves. If they lose the vote, they should most certainly do this.
I don't know how AWARE is funded...but it would be interesting to see which way their natural funding will flow: will it follow the old guard, or flow to the new?
In my eyes, starting a new organization to embody the other voice, is an ideal solution. It is one that prevents a war and provides a peaceful solution.
The irony of this is that AWARE's strength was its weakness. In being open to all, they allowed outsiders to come in and hijack their organization. If they had been a more closed, less accessible organization, this could never have happened. Perhaps, unfortunately, they should give up some of their openness, should they reform and create a body that cannot be taken over, to maintain the voice that they wish to express.
I wish those who are sincere in what they wish to say, in all of this, the opportunity to be heard.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.
This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)
Labels: Christian fundamentalists, freedom of speech, hijack, hostile takeover, intolerance, Jesus was not a bigot, Josie Lau, pirates, President of AWARE, silencing minorities, Thio Su Mien, women's rights