Britain’s BBC may have had a good humoured laugh at Malaysian men and their confusion over being sent to do the shopping, but why was it assumed by Malaysians in the first place that men are the ‘Heads’ of their households?
Is there any kind of civil law that puts men in charge of other adults in their family? Is it not the case that women may frequently happen to be the higher earner or indeed what about a household that has no men or a man who is sick in bed?
How does one identify oneself at a shop or to a roadblock as a ‘Household Head’? And why should it matter what sex you are if you are unaccompanied and ready with your list and shopping bag?
Most importantly, how could this newly self-appointed government issue such a stupid, confusing and unhelpful national decree about the ‘status’ of shoppers at such a time?
It goes to show that wholly outdated notions about social hierarchies, social privileges and social divisions still reign foremost in the minds of this reactionary Coup Coalition rather than cool headed science, such as social distancing.
Who Is The ‘Head Of A Family’?
The Malaysian government’s decision to allow only “the head of the family” to leave the house to shop, as part of measures to suppress the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, has had unintended consequences.
Some men are unexpectedly finding themselves responsible for the grocery shopping and suddenly having to distinguish between bewildering varieties of vegetables, spices and herbs.
“Govt allowing a man to shop unsupervised? Disaster,” was the immediate jokey conclusion of one woman on Twitter.
Several men concurred, however, expressing their anguish on social media.
One Facebook post of three men scrutinising pieces of paper in a supermarket aisle has been shared more than 30,000 times, with poster Muzaffar Rahman saying the shopping felt like “a treasure hunt”, with everyone checking their lists several times.
“The real meaning of panic buying is when the husband as the head of the household has to go and buy groceries on their own.”