Jakarta Journo: Focusing on Hemlines Instead of Real Issues

By webadmin on 12:15 pm Mar 12, 2012
Category Archive

Armando Siahaan

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives revealed the possible implementation of a rather sexist policy that would ban women from wearing “improper clothing,” including miniskirts, at the House.

One can’t help but speculate about the impetus behind the miniskirt ban.
Here’s one possible explanation: The people who want to impose the rule have a very weak mentality, whenever their eagle-like eyes spot a woman with a miniskirt, dirty thoughts immediately take over. 

Perhaps, this rule is actually a good thing, as we all know that the House is not immune to sex-related scandals. 

Does the name Arifinto from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) ring a bell? Yes, he is the lawmaker who was caught by photojournalists watching porn on his tablet device during a plenary session. 

A couple of years ago, we also heard the shocking rumors about a Democratic Party lawmaker accused of raping a sales promotion girl during the ruling party’s national congress in Bandung.  

With an institution filled with dirty minds and womanizers, perhaps protecting the women who work in the House is not such a bad idea after all. 

But the thing is, if some people’s minds are too weak to handle the perversity that grows from observing a skimpy skirt, shouldn’t we regulate the dirty minds, too? And the cherry on top, House Speaker Marzuki Alie argued the regulation would help reduce the recent increase in the number of rape cases that have been hitting the country. 

Innocent women are being raped by perverted men, and we are actually blaming the women instead of the sick perpetrators? That is foolish logic. 

Instead of limiting the rights of potential victims, we should limit the sex criminals. Instead of banning miniskirts to prevent women from being raped, we should instead create a law that would allow us to castrate rapists as a deterrent. 

Mr. House Speaker, please note that with or without miniskirts, rape will still happen. So don’t blame the clothing. Blame those who have evil minds. 

At its best, the anti-miniskirt policy is one of the most hypocritical and useless things that the House has done. Curbing women’s rights to wear miniskirts is a clear example of a group of people playing the role of moral police. Honestly, not a single person in the House has the privilege to do so. As lawmakers they are probable the worst group of people to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. 

Is wearing a miniskirt worse than: Receiving bribes for a rigged tender process? Receiving travelers’ check to vote for a Bank Indonesia deputy governor? Spending the people’s money to go overseas supposedly for comparative study purposes? Spending Rp 20 million on an imported chair? And the list goes on. 

I believe we all know the answer. Not only that, the House has far more important things to deal with. 

How about we regulate the lawmakers’ futile overseas trips, for example? How about coming up with a better solution to solve the chronic absenteeism in plenary sessions? How about we meet the legislation goals for once? 

Of all the far more important agendas, why on earth should we be focusing on regulating women’s clothing? 

House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso said that people who go to the House shouldn’t dress like they were going to the mall, suggesting that the latter is a less respectable place than the former. 

I don’t know how many agree with me on this, but I think the mall is a far much more respectable place than the House.