In a blog post on its website, Mothership reports a man molesting a girl on the MRT train. It even linked the report to the video taken by one Winna Chin.
“A bespectacled man on the MRT train travelling along the East-West line was caught on camera allegedly inching his hand towards a young female passenger sitting beside him,” the website says.
“As seen from the video, the man’s hand lingered suspiciously near the female passenger’s thigh, and the same hand eventually ended up on her mid-thigh.
“The female passenger, however, appeared to give no indication that a stranger had invaded her personal space, and remained engrossed in conversation with another girl on her right.”
Mothership’s article is titled “Man’s hand ended up on female MRT passenger’s thigh, yet she didn’t move away”.
Yes, you’d have to ask yourself at this point, “Wtf??”
How is it the responsibility of the girl to “move away”, and not the man’s to, you know, stop molesting her?
And also, “man’s hand ended up”? Like, it moved by itself? Yes, wtf?? Wow, you really do go the full hog in making excuses for a criminal, don’t you?
It is utterly atrocious and unbelievable that a website such as Mothership, which is reportedly backed by distinguished people like former Cabinet Minister George Yeo and former Economic Development Board chairman Philip Yeo, would publish such garbage.
And if you think the title and the content of the article are not offensive enough, the article has a blurb asking: “Maybe there is a plot twist?”
Yes, maybe there is a plot twist where we will see, you know, it is actually the girl who is at fault! Wow.
The tone of the article is clearly one of sensationalising the incident, which in fact is not funny at all.
Right here, before our very eyes, is a crime being committed, and even recorded on video and posted online.
And what we have here is a website actually – yes, actually – seeing the funny side of things – “Maybe there is a plot twist?” it asks, totally oblivious to the fact that a girl has been molested and a crime committed.
And then, to do one better in sinking to the depths of depraved voyeurism, Motherships asks or insinuates that perhaps the problem is with the girl for, you know, not “moving away”.
But that is not enough for the website.
It also has a running poll on the incident, and guess what they are asking their readers to vote on?
“The lady being touched…” it asks:
(1) Should have defended herself
(2) Can choose not to do anything
There are no words for such depravity.
Yes, Mothership may argue that it is just reporting what “Facebook users” were saying in response to the video or incident, but come on, let’s not hide behind what is clearly a report to sensationalise and grab eyeballs.
It is in poor taste, it is horrendous and Mothership should issue an apology.
Victim-blaming women and girls (or even boys or men) who are at the receiving end of sexual crimes is nothing to be proud of or to laugh about.
Who are we to tell them how they should react?
Indeed, how many of us, when we witness an offence, would know how to react? Often, we are shocked, or stunned, or fearful, or just do not know what to do.
It is not Mothership’s or anyone else’s prerogative to question victims on how they should be reacting.
Instead, we should be sending the video to the police, so they can haul the man up and throw the book at him. Maybe then he, and others like him, will learn a lesson on how to keep his hands to himself.
Those like Mothership who place the blame on the victims will only encourage such perpetrators to continue to behave in such ways.
It is appalling that in a civilised society like Singapore that we would witness such rubbish from a “respectable” website which sees, quite inexplicably, the funny side of a sexual crime and worse, making excuses for it.
Singaporeans should all condemn the blatant attempt by Mothership to profit from the incident, by sensationalising its report to attract cheap eyeballs, with utterly no regard for the victim at all.
It is shameful, it is disgusting to exploit what happened to a girl and turn it into nothing more than a click bait.