Indonesian women take part on a women's day rally in Jakarta, on March 4, 2017, as part of March 8 International women's day celebrations. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)

Have you checked your privilege?

Adelia Anjani Putri   08 March 2017 16:00

Before you ask why we even need an International Women’s day when there are more women than men in the world, check your privilege.

Before you complain why women get a special carriage in the commuter line trains, check your privilege.

Maybe you’re a man who has never been touched intentionally by strangers without your consent,

Maybe you’ve never experienced the wild gaze from a random man who looks at you with a smile you know for sure has a perverted meaning behind it.

Or maybe, you simply don’t need to take public transportation to make ends meet.

Before you say that girls who are sexually assaulted ‘asked for it’ and ‘shouldn’t have dressed like a whore’, check your privilege.

Maybe you’ve never been in a powerless situation, surrounded by people stronger than you are, pinned down just because they want to do it.

Maybe you’ve never realized that most victims wore decent clothes when they were assaulted.

Or maybe, you’ve never had a mother, daughter or sister raped by someone you thought was a good friend.

Before you rant about those so-called-feminists who are always yelling ‘anti-patriarchy!’, check your privilege.

Maybe you’ve never been assaulted and faced the harsh reality that nobody believes you. After all, 'you asked for it'.

Maybe you’ve never been told to change your clothes just so people would not think to rape you —but of course they would still do so.

Maybe you’ve never had to stop pursuing your education just because your parents think that it’s useless as you’ll end up serving your spouse anyway.

Maybe you’ve never felt insecure of your breasts that somehow makes you ’slutty’, your tights that have no gap between them, your arms that are ‘flabby’ according to this month’s magazine, your voice that your family say too loud for a ‘nice girl’, and your genital that apparently, is not only yours, but everyone else’s business.

Maybe you’ve ever experienced all of your life accomplishments becoming worthless to other people just because you are not married yet by the time you reach twenty five.

Maybe you’ve never been stuck in an abusive relationship you can’t escape because you’ve been taught that good girls stand by their husbands no matter what —those bruises and tears don’t matter.

Maybe you have never experienced all of those things. Good for you. I wouldn’t even wish that on my worst enemy.

But last year alone, there were 259,150 reported cases of violence against women in Indonesia. God knows how many unreported incidents out there.

I hope you’re not one of the victims and I hope you understand that it’s already a privilege you might take for granted.

I hope you understand that feeling safe and being able to control one’s life should not be a privilege. 

And I hope you understand that it’s exactly why we still need to have the International Women’s Day.


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