This is why I usually stay away from the news…
But there are times where the news knocked me down hard that I got all fired up and pissed-off is really an understatement. I felt sick to my stomach! The comment coming from our very own Jakarta’s Governor, Fauzi Bowo last Friday on his advise to women left me utterly disgusted.
“Wear sensible clothes, don’t wear ‘inviting’ clothes. You can imagine, if [a woman] wears short skirt and sits next to the driver, it could be ‘inviting'” – Fauzi Bowo
I was raised in a culture that pounded on girls to mind what we wear. To not draw attention to ourselves because we are girls. We the older generations were told to cover ourselves up. Back then, there is no way you would see teenage girls wondering around a mall wearing hot pants. Time has shifted obviously. Sometimes I roll my eyes seeing the things these young girls are wearing here in Jakarta because it wasn’t this way let’s say 15 years ago when I was younger but hey life evolves – or so it should.
But I never witness or experience us being taught about sexual harassment and the likes. We were never taught how to react if we are being sexually assaulted. It was all a hushed hushed kind of situation that no one really wants to talk about. Did parents taught their boys to be respectful to women? That there are boundaries not to be crossed when it comes to women? I honestly doubt it being Indonesia is pretty much a patriarchy kind of nation.
Growing up I heard my mother keep telling me “Watching a teenage girl is harder than watching a herd of sheep!” I used not care about that nor did I understand until I became parent myself. Granted, I don’t have a daughter but it is a scary world out there these days.
Sexual education is still a big taboo here so we pretty much were left on our own. Never – draw – attention – to – yourselves – kind of doctrine. Now I remember why I always finds it uncomfortable to be a girl, a woman here. I remember walking through a slum of bus station in college to have guys calling me inappropriate names, made me hunched my back even more trying to cover myself up.
In high school I learned a lot about self defense because I was forced to do it. Taking three buses to and from school is HARD! You met all sorts of crazy nut jobs. Once, someone put his hand on my thigh under my school bag. This didn’t end well as I jumped out of my seat, pushed the jerk off of me until he fell on the floor, started yelling and cursing like a mad girl at that freak. I can’t tell you how many times I had to shove my elbow hard because some psychos tried to rub their penis on my shoulder. All these happened when I was in my Catholic high school uniform! Not in a friggin mini skirt! To protect myself back then, I started carrying a knife cutter in my school bag.
So dear Mr. Governor to have you made such comment not only made my blood boil. I do not wish anything bad happen to you but learn what COMPASSION really is about. Fix this damn city so it is safer for us women! You should totally be ashamed of yourself.
A woman can wear a tent for Pete’s sake and guys could still gang rape her if they want to! So that mini skirt comment is just way out of the line! To blame a rape victim because she wore a mini skirt does not only berated women, it’s like raping her all over again! Sexual harassment law should be more stringent and applicable here. Protect the women and give severe punishment to those who rape!
Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I got so disgusted seeing the news about some rapist who just got sentenced 3 to 4 years while the poor woman have to live with the fact that she will be blamed for by the society for the rest of her life! The trauma alone cannot be rectifying by a few years behind bars.
Dear Mr. Governor, I know you have a daughter and God forbid she ever get rape and I do not wish that BUT how would you feel if that were to happen? Then to hear people in power – such as yourself – telling her “You should never wear that mini skirt in the first place!”
And this is why women of Indonesia really are still living in the dark ages with this kind of Neanderthal way of thinking our Indonesian men – especially those in powers has.
Yes you apologize oh, our holy Governor but you know what, the damaged has been done! You and that West Aceh district head asshole that once had made a similar remark about women and rape deserves to have karma bites your holy asses!
So ladies, rock your mini-skirts – or-whatever-it-is-you-want-to-wear – and be proud of yourself! Don’t let these twats dictate what we can or cannot wear!
Photo From: Dreams Time