Rabu, September 15, 2010

Sexual Abuse

Just found it inside my mailbox. I wrote it four years ago. Well, I am not sure if I have posted it in one blog of mine (I sent it to a good friend of mine.) Now, I want to share it with my blog visitors.

When women become a criminal only coz of wearing “open” clothes—under accusation to turn on men’s desire when looking at their sexy body, why is there no law saying that men are allegedly guilty for abusing women by staring at women, or whistling at them or saying something abusive to women who don’t wear “open” clothes?
I was brought up in a very religious family, sent to an Islamic elementary school, indoctrinated that women’s body is the source of sin, that women can become the cause of the fall of men to hell due to women’s sinful sexy body. (Similar to the fall of Adam to this mortal world coz Eva gave in to Satan’s trick to eat “khuldi” (this is how Al-Quran named it)—the forbidden fruit in heaven.) Because of that, women are supposed to cover their source-of-sin body in order that men will not get aroused.
After I grew up (I always consider myself as a rebel), I started to wonder why all mistakes are put on women’s shoulder? Why is there no punishment for men who cannot control their lust?
Since knowing feminism, and got answers of my lots of questions (due to the gender bias in Islam) when I was a kid or teenager, I came to the conclusion that if women can control their lust (women are just human beings, like men, they have lust too!) when seeing naked men’s body, men are supposed to be able to control their lust too and not abuse any woman they want. I completely agree with Fatima Mernissi, a Muslim feminist Morocco saying, “If the rights of Muslim women become problems for a group of Muslim men, this is not engendered by Al-Quran or Islam itself, but this is caused by the different interpretation resulting in contradictory interpretation opposing the want of a group of elite Muslim men.”
Btw, some months ago, I had a middle-aged private student who was outstandingly pretty. We often took a walk for sightseeing or had lunch in a downtown mall. Contradictory from me that mostly wear my “uniform” (long black dress and black blazer—I am not an Amish nor Quaker though LOL) this student of mine loved wearing “sexy” clothes. The first time we went to have lunch, I felt very disturbed and annoyed by men who stared at her greedily. It sometimes made me want to throw my thick-heeled shoes to those men’s eyes! Later on, I realized, that not only her “sexy” clothes attracted those men with greedy eyes, she in fact also showed “inviting” body language to those guys. No wonder she didn’t feel abused. She herself invited those guys to abuse her.
As a feminist that believes women can do anything they like, as long as they enjoy it and not harm other people, I think it is okay for her to do that. However, as someone with very religious upbringing when I was a kid, I still sometimes didn’t understand why the hell that private student of mine attracted men’s attention demonstratively despite her outstanding beauty. Her beauty only was already enough to attract people’s attention. So, when she wore sexy clothes and showed inviting body language, it was just very understandable if then those guys with greedy eyes “abused” her. (Oh well, she herself didn’t feel abused. She felt flattered. LOL)
On the contrary from this flirt, LOL, I never show any inviting body language, I never wear any open clothes to attract men’s attention. I never feel ready to get abuse. Does it mean, then, I never get abused? Unfortunately, the answer was SOME GUYS WITH GREEDY EYES STILL ABUSE ME, by staring at me indecently, whistling at me, smiling at me abusively, etc.
Recently, in Indonesia there has still been a very “poignant” debate about pornography bill where it states that women are not allowed to wear body-hugging, tight and “open” clothes coz it will cause men to get aroused. A woman will be punished if she unintentionally/intentionally turns on men in public, by wearing “sexy” dress, for example. Why is there no statement that men will be put into jail when they cannot repress their lust in public?
I prove it myself that although I mostly wear clothes covering all over my body (except my head), it still doesn’t stop men to try to abuse me. Who can guarantee that issuing such a bill will stop sexual abuse? Something wrong is not in what women wear, or how women walk and move, not in women’s voice, but in men’s mind! 
Semarang March 16, 2006

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