A separate case brought by Kawshigan in a Singapore magistrate’s court was dismissed last month for abuse of process, and the woman’s lawyers said Kawshigan was ordered to pay her legal costs. In that lawsuit, he sought nearly $17,000, alleging that the woman breached her “offer” that included “the offer [Kawshigan] sharing inspiration, struggle and achievement’ and ‘a meeting based on mutual availability, not just in coffee mode’.
The woman claimed that the claim for $17,000 was an abuse of process because it was “designed for an ulterior motive” to compel her to “comply with his demands, including resuming communication with him.”
The lawsuit illustrates a a challenge faced by women all over the world: that men sometimes feel entitled to their love. “Women do not owe men their time or attention, much less friendship, love, sexual activity or emotional labor,” Aware Singapore, which advocates for women’s rights and gender equality, said in a statement on the lawsuit. “Trying to demand or enforce these things by legal means or otherwise may constitute harassment.”
Singapore at World Economic Forum 2022 ranked 49th in the Global Gender Gap report, making it the second highest gender equality rate in Asia after the Philippines. Japan has long struggled with gender-based income inequality, and the mere whisper of feminism in South Korea can cause great outrage. However, like many other developed countries, Singapore grapples with sexism and misogyny, such as the prevalence of incel or involuntarily celibate, anti-feminist men.
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Kawshigan first met the woman in a “social setting” in 2016, according to the magistrate’s court ruling. “Over time, their friendship grew, but in 2020 in September, problems began to arise when “they disagreed on how they saw their relationship.”
The woman saw Kawshigan as a friend and Kawshigan “considered her his ‘closest friend,'” according to court records, which say she asked to see Kawshigan less often, which upset him. He said such actions would be a “step backwards” in their “relationship”. She, in turn, said they needed to set boundaries, urging Kawshigan to be “independent.”
Kawshigan “didn’t respond well to that,” according to the ruling.
in 2020 in October he sent the woman a letter threatening legal action for damages for “emotional distress and possible defamation”. She told Kawshigan that she was really uncomfortable. He threatened that she would suffer “damage to her personal and professional endeavors” if she did not comply with his demands.
The woman agreed to attend counseling with Kawshigan, who held off on his legal threats, according to court records. But after about a year and a half of counseling, she felt the exercises had become pointless, she said, because Kawshigan seemed “unable to accept the reasons why she didn’t want any relationship or association with him.”
She obtained a restraining order against Kawshigan, who later filed an action in the magistrates’ court pending another case.
Kawshigan said in an email that “because the underlying proceedings are still ongoing” he would not comment until the case is resolved. Kawshigan represented himself in both cases, according to court records.
Siyuan Chen, an associate professor of law at the Singapore Management University, said Kawshigan’s claim “probably has no merit”.
“Essentially, the alleged harm must arise from something, whether it is a contract or a claim,” he said, adding that the magistrate’s court ruling showed “neither can be established.”