Malaysian teen sparks rape debate through Tiktok

Malaysian teenager Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam came home from school and posted this video on TikTok, talking about how her male teacher had made an alleged joke about rape during class.

The video went viral overnight and sparked a nationwide debate on sex education, misogyny, and sexual violence in the conservative Southeast Asian country.

"There's been numerous, numerous students that have been coming forward with their own stories to me in my DMs (direct messages) talking about how they also tried to fight this thing, but they will be alienated by their classmates or by the teachers, or the teacher that did the wrongdoing themselves didn't get any action (taken against them). People didn't take any action to what the students had to say. And for me that is very, very sad."

The video has also come with its share of backlash.

Ain received a rape threat from a schoolmate and lewd remarks about her appearance.

Her parents - worried for her safety - decided to report the teacher's remarks and the rape threat to the police.

"If we act like it's normal, or keep brushing off such remarks as mere 'jokes,' and I don't say anything about this, my younger children will go probably go through this too, with the same teacher. It will never end otherwise. So it's important to put a stop to it."

Police have vowed to investigate Ain's complaint, as has the country's education ministry.

On Thursday (April 29), the women's ministry also called for stronger action over rape jokes, sexist remarks, and body-shaming.

The debate has prompted Ain to create the #MakeSchoolASaferPlace hashtag.

She hopes it will encourage other teens to come forward, about issues from sexual harassment to racism.

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