A Malaysian female student was forced to give up her scholarship and drop out of a private college in Petaling Jaya in Malaysia after discovering that a sexist WhatsApp group in the campus allegedly discussed and “joked” about raping her.
The secret chat group, reportedly created by a group of students from IACT College and Brickfields Asia College, often discusses topics that objectify freshman girls, according to Says.com. The two colleges share the same building/campus in Petaling Jaya.
The group’s sexist activity was recently exposed online by an IACT College student who discovered that she was a subject in one of the group’s sexist conversations. The screenshot images of the chat logs, which the student posted on Twitter, revealed several comments about her and her partner, including an alleged “joke” about raping her and forcing her into marriage.
During a discussion about the female student’s Instagram photos, one of the group members implied that he wants to “wank” and made insults about her boyfriend.
“I promised to keep the identity a secret, but tbh, if you’re in the group (that) means you’re just as bad,” she tweeted.
The post went viral and the topic has been reported on in other media, sparking disappointment, condemnation, and outrage against the actions of the chat room members.
However, while many netizens condemned the sexist chats, quite a number of the comments found on the posts were defending those implicated, The Level reports:
In her follow-up tweets, the female student revealed that Brickfields Asia College, the law school in which the boys attended in Malaysia, berated her for tweeting about the rape joke and forced her to delete her previous tweets.
Not only was the student a victim of a tasteless joke, she was later intimidated and harassed by the school representative.
The female student’s parents, worried for their daughter, thought it best she drop her opportunity to attend IACT and go to a different school. Eventually, the college promised to take action, and it was revealed later that some of those involved have already apologized privately to the girl involved.
The brother of the student’s boyfriend also expressed his disgust over some netizens’ reactions over the issue:
After all that’s been said about the issue, the student, wanting to have closure, posted this message on her Facebook account along with all the tweets she wrote:
It appears that in the end, the student, like many other victims of sexual assault, verbal or otherwise, was victimized again and again long after the offense was committed. The serious issue has been trivialized as a joke, the victim is blamed, and the offenders get defended.