Inti International University & Colleges, one of the most recognized schools in Malaysia, faced huge social media backlash after publishing an International Women’s Day post on their Facebook page.
International Women’s Day was celebrated two days ago on March 8 across the world, and to celebrate this wonderful day, Inti had posted an image with a quote from comedian Steve Harvey’s Book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
At first glance, the post might seem like an inspiring one, since it appears to encourage women to be strong and independent. But think deeper, and you’ll realise that it’s pretty demeaning: it suggests that women don’t think or work as well as men, and that the only things they excel at are looking good and behaving well.
This led many Facebook users to show their disappointment in Inti by commenting on, and criticising, their move. Some of them posted furious and angry comments in response to Inti’s Facebook post, demanding that Inti remove the post and provide a public apology.
Inti’s 1st Offence: Promoting Sexism
Comments against Inti’s Facebook post pointed out that by posting the quote out of context, it promoted greater stereotyping of men and women, as well as sexism. The quote also condoned a very outdated mindset — one which did nothing to help the feminist movement.
TL;DR: Ashley is disappointed with the PR team from Inti because they’re not doing a good job as an institution of higher learning. Instead of setting an example by stopping gender stereotyping and sexism, they’re promoting it.
TL;DR: Katrina decided not to let her children have anything to do with Inti because Inti is a small-minded idiot who failed to acknowledge the struggles and inequalities that women go through everyday.
TL;DR: Basically, Inti did not do their due research on what kind of man Steve Harvey is. If you don’t know who he is, let me enlighten you: He is a comedian, television host, radio personality, actor, and author. In 2009, during an interview on Larry King live, he gave dating advice, saying that women should not date atheists because we don’t know where the man’s “moral barometer” is. He further mentioned that atheists are idiots.
One commenter also thought Inti needed help, and suggested a quote they could have used instead:
And speaking of quotes, Inti had failed to acknowledge that they’d taken their quote from Steve Harvey’s book, which brings me to my next point…
Inti’s 2nd Offence: Plagiarism
Angry readers demanded that Inti remove the post:
Inti initially responded to each of these comments, explaining that they were sorry if they had caused confusion and distress with their post. They also insisted that “it was never [their] intention to condone any form of gender biasness”, and that they wanted to “celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.”
When the comments did not stop coming in, they then decided to remove the post and apologised for the controversy they stirred up.
The damage has been done, however. What’s worse is that instead of simply offering their sincere apologies, Inti decided to make a donation. It seems to me as though Inti is hoping for their kind act to hopefully overwrite the damage that they have done. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “Hey, sorry I killed your dog, but here is RM 10,000 for you to buy a new one.”