Today I was walking down the street near Pasar Palmerah (not alone, but two of my friends were a bit further in front of me). I come from Australia and was getting called at by a lot of people, things like ‘bule’ – but it was ok (I have learnt to deal with it). I heard a man calling at me ‘Miss, Miss’ from a motorbike, so I turned to look at him and he had his penis out and was rubbing it at me. I immediately turned around and tried to ignore him, but he kept following me, calling at me to look while driving slowly and exposing himself on his motorbike.
I caught up to my friends and told them what happened, but the man had driven up in front. One of my friends wanted to tell him off, but our bahasa Indonesian is not great and I didn’t know what to say in the situation. This incident made me so angry because I feel that women have to deal with this on a daily basis – whereas a woman would never expose herself like that to a man. It also made me mad that as soon as I caught up to my male friend, the guy exposing himself drove away. I just want to feel safe when I walk down the street and this was in the middle of the day (about 1pm). I love living in Jakarta, (I am only here studying for 2 months) – but this incident has left me a bit shaken and afraid of walking in the streets alone.
This post is also available in: Indonesian