Singapore women’s rights group speaks up on bizarre friendzone case but gets accused of ‘man-hating’ agenda

A recent court case in Singapore regarding a man suing a woman who caused him “trauma” after she rejected him warranted Singapore women’s rights and gender equality advocacy group AWARE to put out a statement. 

The case in question revolves around K. Kawshigan who filed two lawsuits worth S$3 million in High Court against Nora Tan who he claimed was his “closest friend” at one point. He alleged that she had caused “damage to his stellar reputation” and “trauma, depression and impacts” on his life. 

Kawshigan also filed a S$22,000 magistrate’s court claim against Tan for allegedly breaching an agreement to improve their relationship. But this was struck out last month by the State Courts, which said the claim was “groundless” and an abuse of the court process.

“Romantic entitlement” 

In an Instagram post, AWARE highlighted the theme of entitlement in the whole case. They said, “In a society that views women as “less than”, many men believe that they have a right to women’s lives and bodies, and assert themselves accordingly.”

They added that the concept of “friendzone” itself implies that women should by default be sexually attracted to the men in their lives and that itself is part of the male entitlement spectrum. 

While they empathized with what Tan had to go through, they also brought up a claim he filed for “breaching an agreement to improve their relationship” which has since been thrown out. 

AWARE commented that the claim is “an alarming picture of male sexual and romantic entitlement – as the court put it, a “calculated attempt to compel engagement” from a woman, despite her efforts to communicate discomfort and lack of interest.”

More importantly, they stressed that women don’t owe men time or attention, much less their friendship, love, sexual activity or emotional labour. 

On top of that, an attempt to demand or coerce these things – for example, through legal means – can amount to harassment. 

What is DARVO?

AWARE also mentioned that what Kawshigan is doing to Tan is a common tactic used by abusers called DARVO – or Deny, Attack, Reverse, Victim and Offender. 

The tactic aims to portray themselves – the abusers – as the injured party and punish the real victims for their resistance. In this case, Kawshigan is imposing significant financial and psychological costs on Tan. 

They commend the magistrate’s court for recognising this in Kawshigan’s actions and identifying his “ulterior motive of vexing or oppressing”.

AWARE ended the note rallying for the dismantling of toxic masculinity and patriarchal mindsets. 

“Man-hating”, “masculinism” and Mariah Carey?

The comment section went off with some people accusing AWARE of generalizing all men to be entitled. 

The #notallmen argument went on for a bit with a lot of nitpicking of AWARE’s message. Last time we checked, “men are trash” was not in the message – but do you think that was AWARE’s intention? 

While the kerfuffle continues, here’s someone with a Big Brain Moment. 

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