Yup, that’s a direct quote. Bambang Bayu Suseno, a legislator in Jambi, a province of Indonesia, is floating an idea among his colleagues and constituents that all girls would have to pass a virginity test in order to attend state-funded schools.
Bambang told the Jakarta Post that he “deemed that parental and school supervision on youth interaction was weak, so there was no other choice but to hand over supervision completely to the child. Hence, the idea of drafting the virginity test draft bylaw.” So let me get this straight–because parents and schools aren’t adequately policing young people’s interactions with one another, young women have to suffer the human rights violation of being forcibly tested for a socially-constructed, non-medical “stauts” in order to get fundamental access to an education?
This is one more heinous example of education access being linked to outdated and inhumane notions of acceptable femininity, especially as it relates to sex and our bodies. This kind of shaming, of course, goes on all over the world, and in more subtle but still damaging ways, in the U.S., where pregnant teens or those labeled as sluts are often compelled to leave school.
Hopefully Sec. Clinton, who took a trip over to Indonesia last year to encourage stronger relations with the government there, can let her new friends know that this kind of sexist legislation is just plain wrong and that their boy Bambang needs to be checked.
Thanks to Tommy for the heads up.