The Sexes of Busway

Busway at one of the streets in Jakarta

ONE complain of sexual harassment that did not result in any lawsuit, or arrest, led to the segregation of sexes in Jakarta’s public transport system, the Busway.

The new rule, which by the way, nobody obeys and none of the company’s officers enforce, require women to be separated from the men during queuing, but ONLY at a few stations. But once inside the bus, they are free to mingle.

No, this is not a religious edict, this is just one way of the management trying to prevent future perverts to touch another woman’s thighs.

There’s this perception among Indonesian women that all men are potential molesters. Okay, maybe that’s a fair defense mechanism to prepare themselves from the real perverts, but of course, that’s not true.

Most men I know do not want to touch majority of women out there, for some obvious and complicated reasons. At least, not in public.

And for women to actually support this ruling shows how ridiculous they think that this could actually protect them from perverts. This also shows how gender equality is a long way down the road.

Before I’m going to criticize, I’m going to highlight a few facts of the incident.

  1. Foni was molested INSIDE the bus while sitting beside the supposed pervert.
  2. She reported to one of the police officers, and apparently the officer suggested she should drop the case, because there is a lack of evidence.
  3. The Busway’s management came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea that separating sexes would solve this problem.

Inside the bus.

Okay, if the woman was molested INSIDE the bus, what difference would the queues make? Perverts, as far as I have read about their behavior, are silent predators. Once inside the bus, they could just easily move along the crowd, get a woman by their side, and oops.

The fact that the officer dismissed her report due to the lack of evidence makes this rule completely, and I mean, literally, useless. Separated or not, if any sexual harassment is to happen again, it would just be another police report.

There are ways that would be effective to prevent another future attack and it is not by separating the men and women, but it could be achieved by:

  1. Installing security cameras; inside the buses and at the stations. This would provide the evidence needed in case it happens, and makes the perverts think twice, or maybe more.
  2. Placing more security officers inside the buses, and at the stations. Men/women in police uniforms are a sign of safety in the public perception. It also scares the thigh grabbers.
  3. Place placards, or any sort of reminders around the facilities to inform the passengers to report any ‘indecent’ activity or crime to the authority, and of course, ask them to remain alert at anytime.

Why didn’t Busway do this? I don’t know. I guess, by separating queues they did not have to spend huge sum of money on quality service.

Can you blame them? No. It’s a company trying to maximize profits.

Besides, no one is saying anything against their idea.

In fact, so far, the people interviewed on television seem to think that separating queues is a good move by the company. A few women said that this made them FEEL BETTER. One man said that this could actually hinder MEN (I think he meant in general) from doing unnecessary things.

Maybe I’m weird, but I do not think this rule would actually do anything positive, except to embarrass us as a civilized society (and you people as apparently ‘devout’ religious people). Are we so incapable of controlling our actions that even in a bus, we need a rule to tell us what NOT to do?

What’s important here, is to punish those that are responsible. Upholding the law that exist in our country, and to educate our public.

And what pisses me off more is that this rule creates an environment, and mentality, that the women are the only victims and the line of men beside them are all suspects.

One of the national television channels, Metro TV, invited a woman official from whatever organization to comment on the incident. One thing that struck me that she’s an idiot was the moment she said

“First, women should watch out on what they wear, because this might invite sexual interest from the opposite sex.”

Yes sure, of course, always blame it on the fashion choice when it comes to sexual crimes. Blame Foni because she was wearing her office attire, which tempted Mr. X to touch her thigh.

Just maybe for once, we should blame, and punish those men, who can’t take the sight of women in shorts, or high heels, or even office attires without having to touch them. Blame them that they can’t use their brains over their erected penises. Blame them that they can’t hold on till they get home, and just masturbate.

I don’t know how long this new system will be ‘effective’, but I hope the management reads this, and allow women and men to be in the same line again.

Wouldn’t it be funny if another sexual harassment occurs in Busway, and this time it’s from a queuing gay man?

What will Busway do then?


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