Indonesia City to Prohibit Women Passengers from Straddling Motorcycles

"When you see a woman straddle, she looks like a man. But if she sits side-saddle, she looks like a woman," said the mayor who supports the ban.

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CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images

An Acehnese woman rides on the back side of a motorcycle in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on Jan. 2, 2013

In the name of honoring women, the mayor of Lhokseumawe, in Aceh, Indonesia, recently announced he would prohibit them from straddling motorcycles or bicycles when given a ride. It’s in the best interests of women to ride sidesaddle, Suaidi Yahya told the Jakarta Globe, because when they ride with their legs open they are prone to break Shari‘a law:

“We’ve seen that people’s behaviors and morals are getting far from Aceh’s Islamic cultural values. Therefore we will issue a regulation that will ban women from straddling while sitting on the passenger’s seat of motorcycles.

“We want to save women from things that will cause them to violate Shariah law. We wish to honor women with this ban, because they are delicate creatures.”

“When you see a woman straddle, she looks like a man. But if she sits side-saddle, she looks like a woman,” Suaidi added.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, but Aceh is the only province that enforces Shari‘a, prohibiting — among other things — gambling, homosexuality and alcohol consumption, the BBC reports.

Alarmed by the ban, Indonesia’s central government said it is considering whether to intervene and has meanwhile called for the ban to be further clarified and evaluated. Rights groups have also protested, calling the ban useless and inconvenient, according to CNN.

This is not the first time Shari‘a in Aceh has caused uproar. A 2009 regulation banned women from wearing jeans and tight trousers. In 2011, police rounded up a group of teenagers sporting mohawks and other unconventional hairstyles, accused them of being “punks” and shaved off their hair.

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19 comments
SS_schutzstafel
SS_schutzstafel

hey aceh is no longer with indonesia again :p i expect that this region will be separated from indonesia

zamilzam
zamilzam

it's not indonesia as whole but part of, especialy in aceh, anyway i don't like this rule that have special  region

DewiThompson
DewiThompson

I discussed this issue today in the car when we dropped our daughter off at her school. We thought it funny that the blame ofr these bad thoughts about these delicate things are all brought about by a woman spreading her legs to ride the bike or motorcycle or even the shorts and revealing clothing that a woman wears to be comfortable in the terrible heat some days. Odd though that the actual blame is never laid to with the bearer of the bad thoughts? Exactly what was going through men's minds and why when they made these laws for women to follow?

redagalih
redagalih

That picture, I'm not sure that was Aceh.. 'B 44xxx' code is for Jakarta city. More over, the women in Aceh is not like that. Well, I agree and apreciate with Shari‘a law.

SubramanianThangavelu
SubramanianThangavelu

Religious strictures should be left to Religious Heads to advise.

Religion should not be mixed with Government.

Religion is a matter of faith and Government is a matter of Law.

Faith cannot mix with Law !

SubramanianThangavelu
SubramanianThangavelu

@DewiThompson 

Agreed. 

The bad thing is in the minds of the beholder men, not on the girl spreading her legs to straddle, or opening her skin to the air.

You must see the Chinese girls and women roaming about in Kualalumpur, wearing extreme shorts that cover only their butts and flimsy small tops which shows even the bras.

Strange, no man seems to pay any attention to that.

So, it is only habit.


JagatJelek
JagatJelek

@SubramanianThangavelu it's too easy for said. because in my country there are 3 law tha still exist, Colonial-Law , Islamic law, Adat-law. why??  because every place in Indonesia has own back-ground story. if you said that, it's okay for Jakarta,Yogyakarta ,Bandung or else. you said that Faith cannot mix with law..

but in Aceh  .Bali there still exist what we called "Local Wise'. and it's become a problem in your prespective that Local-wise is affected with religion, or Religion affected with Local-wise.  

redagalih
redagalih

@SubramanianThangavelu sorry, disagree Bro/Sis.. Aceh is that special for us. The Government there is one of the best in our country.. no corruption, no bubbling around..

DewiThompson
DewiThompson

@SubramanianThangavelu @bibleverse1  

LOL Muslims are the majority for the entire country. Muslims represent 89.1% of the entire country. That is a majority in my book. As for the new law where the mayor refers to Indonesian women being delicate things. I can tell you, I as an American have lived in Indonesia for over 20 years and the Indonesian women are more honest and tougher than their male counterparts by kilometers not meters. 

SubramanianThangavelu
SubramanianThangavelu

@redagalih @SubramanianThangavelu 

My comment is regarding the news about women straddling the bikes, and, not about the Aceh Government.

It is good if Aceh Guv is good.

In India, people wearing Sari, always sit sideways, not because of delicacy, but, wearing a sari, she cannot sit straddling the bike.

The same goes for Malaysian style Baiju / sarong, which surrounds both legs.

Women wearing these type of dress can drive scooters with ease.

But the girl in the picture is wearing a jeans, so she can straddle the bike easily.

Riding straddling the bike is more secure while going fast on a bike, than sitting sideways.

In Malaysia, I did not see any girl sitting sideways on the back seat of a bike.

They all sit straddling the bike and holding the driver tightly.


DewiThompson
DewiThompson

@JagatJelek @DewiThompson @SubramanianThangavelu @bibleverse1  

JJ, I realize that as I stated I have lived here more than 20 years and not one day goes by where you cannot read about new laws or rules to follow in the Providences that seem to be written on a whim without any thought to benefit the entire population and not just a few high flyers and mostly monetarily at that. I also realize that the laws for Aceh are written for a special purpose to serve a certain group, again fine but it does make one wonder exactly what thoughts are going on in the mind of the male population in these areas where these kinds of rules and laws have to be written to protect the female population otherwise known as the delicate ones.

JagatJelek
JagatJelek

@DewiThompson @SubramanianThangavelu @bibleverse1 

what if I told you that, Indonesia has applied Democrasi, then  every Province  can make local-law by own will. Local Law's what we called by "Perda" is for local area. Aceh is one example. 
 ummm.. in your case may be it's just like Federal -Law and State-Law .  and this case is for Local Area not for All of the  entire city /province in Indonesia. and yes in Aceh is Special place that  Muslim are very very Majority. sory for bad grammar.