Malaysia's Guidelines for Women Poster
The Malaysian government's Guidelines for Women campaign came with some helpful posters showing women how to look during quarantine.

Couples the world over are seeing their relationship put to the test due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Once upon a time, back before mandatory stay-at-home orders, co-habitating couples separately went to work and events outside the house.

But now, relationships are being put to the test as millions of coupes are suddenly finding themselves spending every waking moment with each other, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And that sort of close proximity to a single person over an extended period of time can seriously strain a relationship.

And so last week, the Malaysian government put out some guidelines for women on how to keep their spouse happy and promote “household harmony” in a time when many relationships will be stressed.

It didn’t go over well.

Look Hot and Don’t Forget to Giggle

Among the advice Malaysia’s Women and Family Development Ministry gave to women quarantined with their husbands? Stay pretty by wearing makeup and dressing well, girlishly giggle, and make sure you don’t nag him.

The campaign came with cutesy illustrated posters showing women how they should look during quarantine: One post shows a woman applying lipstick, blush, and eye shadow, and another depicts a woman rejecting a sweater and wearing a tight skirt and blouse instead. 

The campaign drew swift condemnation online. Nisha Sabanayagam, a manager at advocacy group All Women’s Action Society, said that the posters “promote the concept of gender inequality and perpetuate the concept of patriarchy.” 

And social media users were unrelenting in their criticism of the campaign.

The campaign was particularly ill-timed. With couples quarantined together, domestic violence in Malaysia has skyrocketed, and Malaysia’s crisis hotline for women saw a 57% increase in use from women fearing domestic violence at home. Many took to social media to question if the Women and Family Development Ministry really had their priorities straight.

The Malaysian government eventually apologized for the campaign, acknowledging it was poorly conceived. “Our approach was to share ways and practices to maintain positive relationships within the family while working from home,” they said. “We would like to apologize if several tips were inappropriate or if they touched on the sensitivities of certain groups. We will be more careful in the future.”

Heaven-Sent Virus

The idea of looking pretty and acting submissive for your husband may not be such an unwelcome point of view in some circles, though.

As most of us do our part to flatten the curve by staying indoors, anxiously awaiting the moment we can go back outside and resume life as usual, there are some women who insist this whole pandemic was sent by God to actually push women back into the homestead for good.

Lori Alexander, known online as The Reformed Wife, is a Christian author and blogger. She says that coronavirus was sent by God to put women back in their biblical place: the home.

According to Alexander, a woman’s Godly role is in submission to her husband. In a recent tweet, she said that “If you teach your daughters to be “independent” (which isn’t biblical) and pursue higher education and a career, the chances of them ever being able to be home full time with their children goes way down.”

Bad Takes Abound

With all these bad takes about how women should act during the ongoing coronavirus quarantine, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together: men, women, and children. And surviving this quarantine with your relationship intact is about finding ways to compromise and work together – not following online dictate from a person or group that doesn't know the first thing about you. 

18 comments

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    I just cannot stop laughing. Of all the crazy bullflop that is going on, self imprisonment....er I mean self quarantine, no ppe for health care workers, 30% of the population forced into unemployment poverty, all schools shut down with students wondering how they will get into college, online education woefully inadequate and mostly unavailable just to name a few. Yet we have a story here reducing women to objects while saying nothing about the man, and we have people here quoting scripture supporting the fact that women are OBJECTS from some 2000 year old book of masculine opinions. You all need to get your heads out of your rear ends and start wrapping them around the real damage that is being caused right now. I would usually end by wishing for Peace, but after reading what I just did I'm not feeling it.

    1. Clarke A. Stillwagen's Avatar Clarke A. Stillwagen

      Just more proof that there is no limit to human stupidity

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Has anyone got out of their pajamas yet over the last few days? Me thinks there could be a major addition to the earths population in the next 9 months no matter how anyone is dressed.........or not. 🤪

    🦁❤️

  1. Linda Salavarria's Avatar Linda Salavarria

    And for the men so your Wife finds you attractive enough to screw...

    Stop farting everywhere Lose weight Stop being bossy Do some chores like the dishes Trim your eyebrows and nosehair Shower regularly Smell good but don't douse yourself Pick up you socks and ***** undies Light a candle or spray after you poo Stop acting like you know everything Treat wife like she knows everything...

    ...because she does. She is a queen made in Mother Mary's image. She is inherently stronger and smarter than you - that's why God gave her the tools to make life, fool.

    So if you want HER to act a certain way, change YOUR behavior first. And thank God if you even have a wife because remember she didn't have to marry YOU.

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Its funny how the so called rugged men work so hard to basically reverse the way nature works when it comes to pairing up to mate. Birds are a great example. Who has to work hard to look good, build a nest, have the best song etc etc in the bird world to get their ideal mate. Yep the male. Lady Birds are the prize even though drab to the eyes. The Peacock must be bright and eye catching as can be if he wants a peahen to let him flock with her.

      Ill keep taking my lead from the likes of the great lover Casanova. Make every woman you love feel like the sun in your sky while you are with them I say to my fellows. Better a gentleman than a toxic man.

  1. Angela Kay Panhorst's Avatar Angela Kay Panhorst

    I'm all for making babies, but perhaps a bit of discretion is in order. With a resurgence expected in the fall, do we really want to expose women and babies to a hospital environment? With unemployment on the rise and businesses which won't be able to recover, the economic outlook isn't good for many people. So let's not blindly encourage the making of more babies to put a larger strain on our young people, at least until we get this under control with effective medicines and vaccines.

  1. Maria's Avatar Maria

    Wow...with all the tragedy of this COVID19 around us, and they want women to look sexy too! That’s a joke! How about the men shaving and bathing and grooming themselves for us!? It goes both ways. A marriage is supposed to be in good times and in bad, sickness and in health....not in sexy clothes or not! No wonder the world is in the shape it’s in!

  1. Vern Dee Wall's Avatar Vern Dee Wall

    Proverbs 31:10-31 King James Version (KJV) 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

  1. Reverend Lisa Smith's Avatar Reverend Lisa Smith

    A woman who wants to please her spouse is a wonderful wife because she wants to keep her spouse close to her. I don't see anything wrong with a woman wanting to keep herself pretty especially during these pandemic times. This terrible virus has taken its toll on all of us we are required to stay at home, and as a result, i'm sure staying at home has had an impact on our appearances as for me my appearance has changed to a more causal look, but i'm not married. It really doesn't matter for me. So my message to the women its quite fine be pretty and pleasing for your spouse it will certainly uplift his spirits.

    Be safe, and stay in touch with God because he is our Savior in times like these.

  1. Darryl Mizer's Avatar Darryl Mizer

    Who cares? I guess it's optional

  1. Gail Dobson's Avatar Gail Dobson

    There is no doubt the bronze and iron age writers of the religious texts were insecure men spouting misogynistic vitriol. Women - if you want to dress and wear make-up, do it. If you want to lounge in sweatpants do that. Do it for you, not anyone else. Do not accept anyone's dismissal of your worth. As an aside, have you noticed the Bible writers' fascination with male ejaculate volume and force? I found those parts especially funny.

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    Comment has been removed.

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    Thousands are dying all around us ... When our Creator delivers us from these trials, we will notice the Great Emptiness of so many gone. So, if you are able: Young Couples: MAKE BABIES NOW !
    Now, more than ever, our dying nations must ask our young moms and dads: Please, if your hearts are willing, please, make more people. Be Fruitfull and multiply ! You are already staying at home, so, make good use of your time together ! :-) Now is the time. Now together, both of you make the Choice of LIFE! Replenish the Earth, in the service of Life... Love Life ! Love your Creator ! and Love One Another. Of all things, Faith, Hope, & Love... The greatest gift of Life is True Love.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Making babies is a very nice thought. Thank you Christian.

      Those of you that do, please wait until their very young uneducated minds are old enough, and mature enough, to make their own decision about religion. Allow them to use logic and reason. Teach them HOW to think, not WHAT to think. In the meantime, making babies might not be a bad idea.

      🦁♥️

  1. Nicholas A. Fici's Avatar Nicholas A. Fici

    One thing we can be sure of is that there are more people praying to whatever God or gods they may believe in all across the world than ever before in human history. This pandemic is truly of "Biblical" proportions. It is only natural for believers of all stripes to turn to their scriptures to seek solace. Many of the world's religions are mired in ancient beliefs concerning the relative status of the sexes, male, female and all the permutations thereof. So it's no surprise to see these expressed in the likes of the Malaysian debacle or in posts like that of the "Reformed Wife". Back to my opening with all this praying it surely will be a test of whether God has heard our prayers and if our prayers are what God wills. Perhaps there is something else in store for us.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Some interesting thoughts Nicholas. I’m not totally sure that turning to what many call “the scriptures” is a good idea depending on what one turns to. The Bible for instance is filled with some very gruesome stuff, but there are some very nice bits, mostly in the New Testament so that might be a good place to turn to. The Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads, also have some very nice articles to read. The pagan members on here might get some solace by casting some spells, or performing a sabbat or esbat, which is very akin to prayer I guess. Thank you for your suggestion.

      🦁❤️

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Pagans with rules to live by. This is a great virus God created which out does those flus from the past. It attacks the otler generation. It will get rid of the people with health problems who are over 60 (maybe a few younger ones) who by themselves are cluttering up the planet. I should know for I also are in that range of being1 foot in the grave. Worst I have a virus that has been with me for decades that flare up in the cold months. Has not kill me yet. This new flu virus would either kill me right off or mutute my virus into a something that stands out among plagues. Maybe not. Keep masking.

  1. Teresa Louise Barberot's Avatar Teresa Louise Barberot

    Most women work hard and look nice while doing it! The man comes home complaining after not necessarily making a big paycheck. Sits in sweatpants and tshirt in his recliner until dinner is served. Some have stopped off for beer and a game of pool. The children are told to be quiet and not bother Dad. Mom works until she drops even after her husband has gone to bed. Then expected to be a good wife after she falls into bed exhausted. Also on call 24/7 if the family needs her. I figure a man wrote the Bible Scriptures about women. Jesus didn’t approve of slavery and treated everyone equal with respect and kindness. Takes two to have a marriage especially if there are children. All responsibilities and chores should be divided and compromised equally. Love will then survive without bitterness and frustration.

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