An open letter to His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena who reimposed the 39 year old law that prohibits the sale of any type of alcohol to women.
Dear Maithripala Sirisena,
The women who want their booze will get their booze. Your sexist laws won’t stop the women of Sri Lanka from doing what they want and getting what they want. We are way past the stage where we allow discriminatory laws that are sometimes older than our existence to rule the way we choose to live. We are also way past the stage where we will tolerate differential laws – laws that allow you to enforce your unjustified patriarchy on us.
Men and women are different, we are not the same. What, however, should be the same are the rules you impose, because these differences don’t make one better than the other. Stripping us away from the basic liberties only implies so.
I hail from a Muslim background where the consumption of alcohol by both, men and women, is considered taboo.
Hence, this isn’t out of the dire need to down 2 bottles of vodka.
This is about the culture being set by my country’s leader. A leader who thinks women are not worthy of the choices that men can freely make. A leader who was elected because the majority of us wanted change. It is rather ironic how the man we thought would bring about change is only rooting to the archaic laws of our country.
We wanted change, not a leader who would tell us we can’t do what men can do.
We wanted change, not a leader who favors one group over the other.
We wanted change, not a leader who creates the facade of trying to heighten women’s representation in this country while implying that women are not capable of making the choices a man can make.
This isn’t about who gets to drink and who doesn’t. This is about who gets to make a choice freely and who doesn’t.
If you are trying to “protect” women, you are not. You are only implying they are the weaker sex.
And if you and your culture-oriented, concerned peeps are really distressed about the safety and protection of the women in your country, here’s one of the many things that requires your immediate attention:
Sri Lanka’s Stance on Marital Rape
Rape is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part or foreign object without the consent of the victim.
Fun fact – your husband can rape you too. It’s not always the testosterone raging pervert who wants to force himself on every walking female body of Ceylon.
Not-so-fun fact – Marital rape is not a criminal offence in Sri Lanka.
Pathetic fact – we have been trying to criminalize this for years now, but the government does not think it’s important enough to take some action against.
Clearly, the women of Sri Lanka and the laws that really protect their interests don’t bother you as much as reimposing a discriminatory law – a law that tells you that women are not on par with the men of your country and do not have the right to decide what they want to do and buy.
Stopping women from doing what they want to do while allowing the men of your country to rape their wives is a clear indication of the lowered status of women in this country. A status we do not deserve, a status we are trying to change, but a status you don’t care about.
Finally, Mr President, with all the changes that are being made, here’s another to consider.
Please change Sri Lanka’s official name from Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to Part-time Democratic Socialist and Full-time sexist Republic of Sri Lanka. We can’t be a Democratic Socialist country if we fail to understand democratic values of liberty and equality.