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ASIA, UNFILTERED

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Edited by Julian Wong / further amendments made on 0.2.5.17

“Look at this pastor’s wife. This is how they plan to get Christianity and the Prosperity Gospel into secular lives? Such degradation! Such moral turpitude!”

As City Harvest Church’s 6 convicted leaders begin quietly serving out their sentences, it’s become clear that legally speaking, Ho Yeow Sun—or Sun Ho—has made it out relatively unscathed. Despite this, some may take comfort in the fact that the internet will never forget.

Last year, Xiaxue dropped a makeup tutorial inspired by Sun Ho’s ‘Geisha’ character in her music video Mr. Bill. She very offensively, hilariously labelled it “slutty Asian poisoned by snake.” Then last month, Singapore’s very own The Independent released a story on Sun Ho’s “aggressive search for true love.” At the center of it was the tidbit that Sun had dated 42 guys by the age of 16 before meeting Kong Hee.

Sensational and entertaining as all this flak was, equally incredible was how the public collectively decided to stay silent about the shades of slut shaming and victim blaming. At no point did anyone sit up at the sound of Sun being ridiculed as a Ho.

Granted, the CHC saga will forever be remembered as a cautionary tale on the perils of both blind ambition and misguided religious zeal. But does this then make it okay to throw Sun Ho under the bus, Scarlet Letter style?

Isn't anyone the least bit curious about the story behind Sun Ho's trapped, loveless relationship act?

Here’s the interesting thing. If you can bring yourself to sit through Mr. Bill and its obscene exoticising of Asian culture (Xiaxue was right about this), there’s actually a rather compelling feminist narrative that warrants more attention. 

In this song, Sun Ho spouts lines like, “All the girls if you’re tired of cooking and cleaning let me see some bullet bullet bullet,” and “I wanna kill Bill, oh if I had to I would kill Bill.”

See it yet? How about the refrain? “And I’m sitting at the side of the bed contemplating should I send him to the cemetery rock!”

People are so focused on the slut-shaming, that they turn a blind eye to church funds paying for a song advocating premeditated murder.

Instead, we’re all more concerned with pointing out how she dresses is in her music videos, as though this is the only thing that matters. And while we’re on the subject, I do wonder if she might have been more fairly treated had she been more conventionally attractive.

Sorry, no feminists will be coming to your defence if you behave immodestly in your music videos and happen to be part of a mega church scandal.

No one’s going to deny how scantily clad Sun Ho was in her videos, or how her makeup echoes the working girls of a bygone era. But none of these things make her a slut. On the other hand, she literally sings about contemplating the murder of her partner.

(And so what if she’s a slut or if she once dated 3 guys at a time? You mean men can fuck around and be called heroes for it but women can’t?)

When you weigh how one woman dresses with the un-Christian poison that she sings, and find more reason to comment on what she does with her own body, what does that say about you? What does it say about us?

After all, it’s important that we respect a woman’s right to her own body, and understand that whether she wants to cover up is her own business. If she then decides to go and do something stupid, it’s just that: stupid, not slutty.

But when a church defends their leader who sings about murder… That should be outrageous. But somehow it hasn’t been.

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