Mini-Skirt Is Not An Invitation For Rapist

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

Deep breath…okay.

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




Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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  1. handwashcold
    September 18, 2011 / 7:08 pm


    Rape & sexual assault are crimes of violence, not passion. We KNOW this. How do THEY not know this?

    Girls, OWN IT. Own who you are, what you wear, what you do, and what you look like. Walk with pride, talk with confidence. In my opinion, someone who walks strong will be less likely to be assaulted than someone who hunches over, as you said, and acts scared or weak, REGARDLESS of what they’re wearing. If you were out to hurt someone, would you choose the person cowering in the corner of the bus, or the woman who looks likely to put a stiletto through your eye?

    But either way, what they’re wearing isn’t why they are assaulted. They are assaulted because someone has violence on their mind & in their heart. It has nothing to do with skirt length. Stricter penalties, as you say, will be more of a deterrent than women feeling shameful & hiding themselves.

    It absolutely sickens me the way some girls are raised to think about themselves. I hope you, Maureen, can see past what your parents believed to be right, and know that you should be proud to be you. Don’t draw attention to yourself? How the fuck will you become a famous bloggess that way, huh? 😉

    • Maureen
      September 19, 2011 / 8:22 am

      Love that! Walk with pride! We need to instill in girls to be proud of who we are not being ashamed or threatened to prevent ‘bad things’ from happening to us. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I used to hunched a lot when I was younger but not anymore! Those days are gone and I’m glad that it did.
      Thanks, my friend you totally rock your awesomeness!

  2. September 18, 2011 / 9:20 pm

    Clothing is certainly never an invitation for harassment nor is it ever an explanation or a justification for such an act has that harassment or possibly worse. With that being said I hope to teach my own daughter that appropriate dress should be the rule of the day. Not every man will have the understanding that provocative attire isn’t an invitation but it isn’t a something that should be tested.

    And what must be admitted is that provocative dress, low cut blouses, short short skirts are usually worn (at least in the west) for a reason — to garner attention. And sometimes it’s the wrong kind of attention.
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    • Maureen
      September 19, 2011 / 8:25 am

      To dress appropriately is important. There is a time and place for everything. I wouldn’t be caught dead walking in my ‘clubbing-attire’ on broad day light or shows my cleavage at work. So yes, to dress appropriately and accordingly is important. Will it stop weirdos from having dirty thoughts and acted on it, maybe not but like you said it’s not a justification of assaults or rape. It is my goal too to raise my son in a way that he will have respects to all women – no matter what they wear.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kyle!

  3. September 19, 2011 / 4:09 am

    It is so cowardly for people to accept the “Blame the victim” mentality. How about blaming the men who shouldn’t be abusing women in the first place in this way? Why shouldn’t they know better? Such primitive thinking, it’s disgusting and appalling. Even in the states, you hear about this – like there was this 12 year old girl that was ganged rape and the judge at the sentencing said the girl was dressed provocatively and those guys got off light. Rape and inappropriate touching is an abuse of POWER, it is not just a sex thing.
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    • Maureen
      September 19, 2011 / 8:28 am

      It is sickening. Yes maybe some girls made poor choices about what they wear but I bet not one girl wake up one day, put on sexy clothing and says “Hmm…I want to get rape today” I agree with you place the blame on the perpetrator not the victim. They are the one that will have to live with the ‘scar’ and the trauma for the rest of their lives. I totally feel disgusted about the 12 year old girl…why would a judge said something like that? OMG! I love that…abuse of power! Thanks, Maria you know I always love your comments!

  4. September 19, 2011 / 5:57 am

    The Indonesian mentality, always blame it on the victims. Rather than correcting the problems, it is easier for them to make such a statement rather than to pursue justice. I am so glad I don’t live over there anymore, government officers are big jokes a lot of times.

    • Maureen
      September 19, 2011 / 8:30 am

      It is an Indonesian mentality to always find a scapegoat for every.single.problems and it is crazy how often women being put on the blame. Get divorced – they will blame the women for not being good enough wife/mother. Get raped – they blamed the women. Oh yeah, it is a joke alright. Sometimes I feel so embarrassed to have leaders that well doesn’t even have any filters on their mouths!

  5. John
    September 19, 2011 / 4:53 pm

    . The governor should be ashamed of what he said. This sort of attitude does seem to be more prevalent in Indonesia than in most western countries I know (on the surface at least). In Australia very few politicians (apart from one or two extreme rednecks maybe) would ever say such a thing in public. But I have a suspicion that there are a lot who have just learned it’s not smart to say such things in public, but probably still think like neanderthals underneath. I’ve been following this story over the last week or so too. So far the best part of the story is the group of women wearing miniskirts who protested outside Hotel Indonesia yesterday.. go mini-skirters! Claim your rights to walk around in your clothes of choice and NOT be harassed. Indonesia is a hot country and I don’t want to wear too many clothes most of the time either.

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