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'Just breast groping': Reaction to viral incident shows sexual harassment still taken lightly in Indonesia

Coconuts Jakarta - May 25, 2021

The arrest of an alleged breast groper in Jakarta has sparked a discussion on the trivialization of sexual harassment in Indonesia, with netizens coming forward to share stories about their horrifying trauma as victims.

On May 23, a woman posted a video on Instagram showing her and her husband in their car chasing a motorcyclist in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. The motorcyclist fell during the high-speed chase, and was later confronted by several angry men who thought that he was a pickpocket.

A woman on a bicycle then came into the scene and threw punches at the motorcyclist, as she was livid that he allegedly groped her breasts before he was chased by the car. The motorcyclist confessed to sexually harassing the woman, sparking even more anger from the men at the scene, who continued to beat him as they said sexual harassment was more deplorable than robbery.

But the original poster of the video, Instagram user @jannah_ey, said she was also troubled by how someone made light of the sexual harassment. In a story post, she said a man came up to her to ask her what the commotion was all about, only to respond, "Oh, just breast groping. I thought she (the woman cyclist) was robbed."

That story post has been shared widely online, including by viral content aggregator @AREAJULID on Twitter, prompting strong responses from netizens who were outraged by the trivialization of sexual harassment.

pala lu cuma anjir. lu ga tau gimana rasanya jadi korban. walaupun kejadiannya udah bertahun-tahun berlalu, setiap detail kejadian tetep terekam jelas, dan rasanya pun masih terasa jelas. ketika inget, selalu nangis dan ngerasa jijik sama diri sendiri, padahal bukan zina. pic.twitter.com/YoCJdDfOev – ayu (@_penipumahir) May 24, 2021

You don't know what it's like to be a victim. Even though the incident happened years ago, every detail is still vivid, and the feelings are still vivid. When I remember the incident, I want to cry and go into self-loathing.

Pernah juga jadi korban sampe nangis ngejar2 pelakunya giliran udh dapet ada yg nanya ibu2 sama bpk2 di motor nanya *kenapa neng? Gue jwb aja *payudara saya di remes sama nih org. Eh malah dijwb lagi kata bpk2 nya*udah lepasin aja kirain kenapa cuma di pegang doang ampe segitunya – Nindi Ayu Lestari (@ndyal_) May 24, 2021

I was a victim once, I ran after the culprit while crying and when we got him, a man and a woman on a motorbike asked me what happened, and I said, "he groped my breasts." And then the man said, "Alright, let him go, he just touched her, I thought it was serious."

buat org yg cuma bilang ini masalah sepele mending lo kesekolah lagi sana belajar! buat org yg udh pernah ngalamin ini pasti tau sedalem apa trauma nya, sampe kyk Deket org tu bawaannya was was trus, naik motor kalo ada yg Deket dikit lgsg ngebut sampe kyk gitu – second (@tyoxo1) May 24, 2021

Source: https://coconuts.co/jakarta/news/just-breast-groping-reaction-to-viral-incident-shows-sexual-harassment-still-taken-lightly-in-indonesia