revealed on 3 April 2019 that Ambik Kau was an April Fool’s prank by Cilisos/Soscili/RojakDaily/SoyaCincau/AskLegal. In their words, “a prank to copy content from other sites—which also got copied”.

The intention was to show how inferior news sites repurpose the abovementioned original content or news, and how Malaysians are gullible enough to consume such content without critically evaluating its veracity in an age of information overload, but also in an age where more are demanding for the highest level of media integrity.

The intention could have been better served by sharing facts and outing those who do plagiarise or repurpose content, which have been done before. Alternatively, even if such a social experiment were to be run, other kinds of controversial contents could have been used instead.

Unsurprisingly, the approach taken was to use click-bait type articles, with a deliberate sexist focus on the breast size of Malaysian women, presumably because that will definitely entice the inferior news sites, and thousands of readers to copy, click and share.

One could argue that they were trying to be fair by highlighting as well, the size of Malaysian men’s ‘man boobs’, and how large they can be, but unfortunately, that was not the case.

Instead, what their article did (copied or not) was to prove a point (which was made before by Cilisos)at the expense of Malaysian women.

In short, fake news and commentary on the breast sizes of Malaysian women were a means to an end for all intent and purposes, or maybe, we should say, “repurposes”.

It did not matter to Cilisos/Soscili/RojakDaily/SoyaCincau/AskLegal that women in Malaysia continue to be objectified and treated as means to an end in so many circumstances. The way women look, dress and behave continue to be a valid and totally rational reason why men misbehave and are violent.

From catcalls to rape, from publicly demeaning a woman to domestic violence. One has to wonder why for Cilisos/Soscili/RojakDaily/SoyaCincau/AskLegal, using an article that use women as sexual objects was chosen as logical and natural, when so many other controversial alternatives exist.

Perhaps Cilisos/Soscili/RojakDaily/SoyaCincau/AskLegal know for a fact that the media industry is just flooded with men who won’t balk at news like these, but who would merely copy, click and share. Maybe Cilisos/Soscili/RojakDaily/SoyaCincau/AskLegal know for a fact that if their article was about Malaysian men’s penis size, they could be subjected to at least 50 police reports or worse for insulting Malaysian men?

As earlier alluded to, reinforcing stereotypes and sexism surrounding women and gender are a great means to an end. The old adage “sex sells” is a mantra in media circles, and hardly anyone would go against this ‘wisdom’—unless they wouldn’t want the eyeballs, which they crave. In their defence, they claim it was a prank—much like the rape joke in WhatsAapp made by students of a local college.

This blatant use of these sexist and denigrating content is completely ignorant of its harmful impact on women, who are frequently insulted, ostracised and judged for the size of their breasts—and likely more so after these “findings” were revealed.

Posting content like this harms women by feeding into their objectification and commodification, and only reinforces these problematic narratives about women and their bodies. Content that is used to reinforce negative stereotypes about the bodies of Malaysian women; content that feeds into a culture of body shaming; content that normalises the judgemental attitudes towards women who do not fit into mainstream ideas of the “ideal” body types.

The thing with sexism, misogyny and gender inequality is that not only are these entrenched in our legislation and political systems, they are also very much a huge part of our cultural beliefs and value systems.

This means that sexist notions are normalised and that they are accepted without question, without being subjected to a critical reflective process. Inevitably, what is “logical” and “natural” often stems from a male-centric experience and understanding of life.

How can this “social experiment” or “prank” be justified, when the actual consequence are the perpetration and continued normalisation of the dominant (and overbearing) discourse that discriminates women?

A joke or prank should never be used to justify the deliberate reinforcement of contributing to an unsafe environment for women and girls. You will likely never hear or know the “jokes” and “teasing” of women and girls about their boob size after you published that article, and how women and girls have been made to feel ashamed and/or unsafe.

You will likely never hear or know about “jokes” about the boob sizes of Malaysian women in male spaces – and you would likely be blase about these occurrences because it would likely be a non-issue for you. The typical response (verbal or non-verbal) is often: “No women are in those spaces, so no harm done”. Wrong!

This deliberate “social experiment”/prank reinforces the vile attitudes of men who see women as their personal playgrounds, and not as equals; of stereotyping what is the ideal woman’s body; of “titillating” men to misbehave against and violate women just because they can, with impunity.

In this regard, Cilisos/Soscili/RojakDaily/SoyaCincau/AskLegal have shown that they are not women’s allies. They appear to be oblivious to how, as a popular news site, they actually have a choice of either reinforcing negative social practices or consciously countering them.

Unfortunately, they just wanted to prove a point, and they certainly did.


Angela M. Kuga Thas, Serene Lim and Jamilah Lim
KRYSS Network