In his speech to welcome the New Year, Lhokseumawe Mayor Suaidi Yahya announced his plan to enact a regional ordinance (qanun) that will prohibit women from straddling motorcycles on the grounds that: “It will provoke male drivers. It is also to protect women from undesirable conditions.”
How protective is the bylaw for women when sitting sideways actually puts women in a vulnerable position due to imbalance of the motorcycle.
The mayor appears to have not heeded the lesson learned from the recent death of a 23-year-old Indian lady, a victim of gang-rape committed by six men. Suaidi does not realize that rape is not triggered by how a woman acts or dresses but rather by the society that allows it to happen: A society that points an accusatory finger toward the victim rather than the perpetrators.
Nonetheless, the outrageous non-straddle policy plan has won suppor...