The Perspective


Good day!

Still in the mood in discussing about this? Or you might be more interested in reading the Indonesian version here? Well… I do.

As a summary, this is a case of the sexual harassment allegation by four parliament members during the fit and proper test for the candidates of Indonesian Broadcasting Committee, which was reported by the National Committee for Women. The allegation was based on the personal questions and remarks which was seen inappropriate, and considered harassing and humiliating by the National Committee for Women.

The alleged victim herself, Agatha Lily denied the conjecture. She said in an interview that she did not feel harassed by the question, and even asked in return; whether being told as pretty should be taken as being harassed.

Her question to the media tickled me.

It is true that harassment is in the eye of beholder. It depends on the context, the situation, the timing, the person. Verbal harassment is not only what was said, but why and how it was said. Physical harassment is not only what has been done, but how and why it was done. Like I said, it was a matter of perspective.

I would feel very much disturbed if I was in that candidate position as I don’t think it was appropriate to make that kind of personal remarks during a very formal and important event like that. However I am completely aware that some of my friend would probably take it very lightly, and even happily that someone has actually noticed their work out in the gym and their effort to look pretty. Some people would be very much complimented that important people thought that they are pretty. And I don’t think there is any problem with it.

Personally, I would rather keep the personal banters in a different social context. However I also know that there are a lot of personal banters at work, and many people are okay with sexual banters. I think that is fine too.

There is one attribute of sexual harassment based on the definition (please google). It must be unwelcome or unwanted or discomforting. And these are the feeling that only the alleged victim could experience. Not even the National Committee could dictate who to feel what. (I have built a certain antipathy towards the NGO in Indonesia for reasons, but let me talk about it in a different occassion)

As what I have said in the previous discussion about this, I thought that the remarks and questions that was thrown during the fit and proper test were inappropriate. But whether or not it was a harassment, it might have to be reconsidered.

1. Agatha Lily is not the uneducated woman who doesn’t understand what is sexual harassment. Like what she had said in the media, she would have said something if she felt being harassed at that time.

2. She denied the allegation, and she doesn’t want to be victimised in this case. Even, she felt uncomfortable with the National Committee for Women’s statement which has put her in the position as the victim of sexual harassment.

I am not going to cut out the possibility of political and diplomatic excuses that might come up later. I just don’t understand this sexual harassment accusation came up without anyone as the victim.


2 responses »

  1. Well according to “framing devices” theory, (Clair, 1993), what Agatha Lily has done could be classified as trivialization, accepting sexual harassment as a joke, to justified and normalized the condition, because we have been so used to man hegemonic… Now I sounds like a feminist aren’t I? ^^;
    But this case is weird, who report the case if the victim doesn’t think she’s being harassed? From googling I found out that the they expect it’s a conspiracy from rejected candidate, but really…??
    Anyway, this case is so relevant with the course I’m taking now, communication in organization, so thank you for bringing this up.. I’ll have a big exam for this course the day after tomorrow, if they need an example of sexual harassment ambiguity, I probably can mention this ^^


    • I am glad that the case i was bringing up could be useful for your study. Pretty proud, rather.

      It is KOMNAS Perempuan who brought this to the Badan Kehormatan. I do feel this is a little bit out of place, but I am not an expert in this either.

      Good luck with your thesis, Tanti 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s