A million dollar quiz – which country that allows women to join police force, only if they’re virgin? Nope, it’s not Malaysia or North Korea. The answer is surprisingly – Indonesia. Just when Indonesian women wanted to serve their country and earn a living, the country’s police force raises eyebrows with a pathetic discrimination requirement – female police recruits must undergo a physical tests to determine whether they are virgins or otherwise.
As degrading and discriminatory as it sounds, such stone-aged attitudes and mentality exist for as long as 3% of Indonesia’s 400,000 policewomen can remember. Needless to say, married women are not eligible to join the police. And the police force is open and proud about such rules – their jobs website clearly states: “In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen must also undergo virginity tests. So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”
Amusingly, Indonesian police spokesman Inspector General Ronny Sompie urged people not to “respond negatively” about the tests, claiming they were aimed at ensuring applicants were free from sexually transmitted diseases. He said both male and female recruits also get blood tests for STDs. Sompie even claimed that the virginity tests were done in a professional manner and did not harm the applicants.
Obviously, Ronny Sompie lied through his teeth, as Human Rights Watch’s report shows. The report was based on interviews with female police officers and police applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the so called “two-finger” test to determine whether their hymens are intact. One wonders how Ronny Sompie becomes an Inspector General – what are the chances that your virgin will stays intact after two foreign fingers are inserted to check your hymen?
In a video interview recorded by Human Rights Watch, a 24-year-old Indonesian woman who was among 20 applicants underwent the test described the test as “really upsetting, traumatic and really, really painful”. Inspector General Ronny Sompie also seemed to be beating around the bush when he justified that there was no requirement for female candidates to be virgins, although such tests still happened.
So, why still conducts such a test when it doesn’t matter for a female to be a virgin or not? Apparently, such abusive virginity tests by police also happens in Egypt, Afghanistan and India. But Indonesia is perhaps the only country that has attracted the most condemnation as far as virginity tests are concerned. Last year, H.M. Rasyid, the Education Agency chief of Prabumulih, a town in South Sumatra province, planned to impose mandatory virginity tests on female students entering high school.
Thanks to widespread condemnation, Rasyid chickened out. Initially, he claimed he was concerned about premarital sex and teen prostitution. Then, he said he merely wanted to help girls to rebut accusations of losing their virginities due to human-trafficking. Perhaps people like Inspector General Ronny Sompie and Rasyid should combat the popular “dangdut”, if they are really concern about safeguarding Indonesian women’s virginity?
But then, both Sompie and Rasyid could have the same interest – watching Indonesian babes performing erotic dances dressed in skimpy clothing, as in “dangdut”. Perhaps Indonesia new president – “Jokowi” Joko Widodo could emphasize the needs for a comprehensive sex education, instead of letting men like Sompie and Rasyid having fun justifying about putting two-fingers into women’s most valuable part.
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