Sunday September 16, 2012
Oh dear, it fits me to a V, uh, T
On the Beat
By Wong Chun Wai
The guidelines drawn up by two organisations warning parents to be wary should their sons start wearing tight-fitting, sleeveless or V-collared shirts or colourful attire to show off their muscular bodies have got this writer worried.
I HAVE a confession to make. I carry a big sling bag which contains my BlackBerry, a Samsung Galaxy phone, a tablet, an iPad and a camera. And, lest I forget, a battery-≠operated shaver.
I like tight jeans too, although doctors would advise men, especially those above 50, against wearing them. Letís just politely say that itís not very healthy.
I wouldnít mind wearing skinny jeans as I am pretty tall for a Malaysian male, but the waist simply will not allow me to look even remotely decent. Trying to pull the jeans off after trying them on, just once, was a Herculean task.
Occasionally, I like to put on a pair of pointed shoes, a throwback to the John Travolta days of the late 70s/ early 80s. Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin tweeted, in jest, that I must be suffering from a post-midlife crisis.
But I am concerned whether my fashion taste, or lack of it, would be included in the outrageous guidelines on tackling the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) recently drawn up by two organisations.
According to reports, the guidelines have warned parents to be wary should their sons start wearing tight-fitting, sleeveless or V-collared shirts or colourful attire to show off their muscular bodies.
I did an immediate check of my wardrobe and found, to my horror, that I have tight-fitting jeans, V-collared shirts and an assortment of purple, pink and maroon shirts and ties. Then there are a couple of floral shirts with colourful designs.
No, I am not talking about batik but last summerís metrosexual shirts, which were fashionable then.
If I strictly go by the guidelines drawn up by the Yayasan Guru Malaysia Berhad and Consultative Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, I am already classified as gay or at least suspiciously one. I do not know how a personís sexual orientation can be expertly classified by his choice of clothes, but thatís what most Malaysians have been reading over the past few days.
A lot of shrinks will be out of work soon if the simplistic classifications drawn by these two unheard of organisations are to be taken seriously.
I am worried now because there are at least two colleagues Ė in their 50s but they like to think they are at least a decade younger Ė who are always wearing tight shirts. I know they want to show that they have no bulging bellies, even at their age, but I may be having the last laugh because they are now under suspicion of being gay.
To the guys at the office gym, please do not show off your well-toned bodies and do keep your V-shirts in your closets, no pun intended.
Thanks to these two groups for their discoveries, which I am sure must have medical backing, I will know for sure who is what from now on.
According to the news report, the guidelines also advised parents to be wary of boys Ė or men, I assume Ė who have a penchant for carrying big sling bags.
There you are, I am guilty. I can only blame my wife for buying me this bag, and convincing me that men these days do not carry brief cases any more. I am wondering what the guys in the two organisations carry in their bags.
I know for a fact that some fat cats carry small bags, which resemble ladiesí cosmetic pouches, for their pistols. Yes, concealed weapons, if you prefer, but no one says the firearms are gay objects.
But thereís more. Parents have also been advised to pay attention to daughters who are inclined to hanging out only with their female friends.
Now this is confusing. I have always thought I had little to worry about if my one and only precious daughter does not hang out with dangerous, nasty, hormone-raging teenage males. But now, I am told, I should be losing sleep if she only hangs out with the girls!
Seriously, this is all very confusing. For a start, I have to buy a new set of clothes because I do not want any whispering behind my back when I visit government offices. Dull, black and white shirts and jackets should be safe for sure.
I am also going to continue with my diet of nasi kandar and char koay teow and keep on watching football. These preferences surely are guaranteed as signs of manhood and manliness.
We can only advise the state authorities not to send boys with effeminate behaviour to boot camps. Real men never really go to Outward Bound type camps. We are found at the mamak shops, warung kopi pak cik and pubs, watching football matches on weekends.
If we need to pay attention to any guidelines, it should be to those in the education transformation blueprint.