Via Vallen and the Real Issue Society Put to Rest

June 09, 2018

Recently, a spark of viral Instagram Story post made me stunned. My reaction was... God damn it, I should've done what a girl named Via Vallen did. Yes, such thing also happened to me and the incident corrected my assumption as I wondered it that it has been a common situation that has happened to many other girls, as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't know who she was, until a few days ago when people started to talk about her. Well, mocking her to be exact.

What happened?

With an unknown text message opening, the girl who happens to work as dangdut singer received an InstaStory post, sent directly to her. It was written: I want you to sign (maybe he meant 'sing') in my bedroom wearing sexy clothes. More or less, something like that.

What's worse? The guy who was later known to be Marko Simic, correct or not, realized that she screencap his message and post it on her InstaStory with additional upset sentiments. Then, here comes the genius question he asked her: 'U angry?'

Source: giphy

Dude, c'mon!

Yeah, it is expected though. A guy like that (read: a guy who doesn't understand respect) wouldn't understand what upset her. Clearly, he (might) thinks, with his great look and fame, whatever he does as he pleases to women should not be considered as SEXUAL HARASSMENT. Until today, he is safe and sound. No public apology has been made.

There's a common and accepted understanding that if your harasser is handsome/famous/rich/powerful, you should be thankful and flattered. As if it is a given that it should be seen not as a harassment. The culture has been going on this way, making women's claims of harassment in many industries considered just as a meaningless twit. So, if you're not good looking guy, you'd better not even try. Ha!

What else is expected? The society that curses the female victim and acts like the perpetrator is nowhere in sight, like a ghost. Gone. His name is rarely mention. Some people even tried to be 'positive' in understanding why he did it, but failed to be as positive when trying to understand why Via Vallen reposting the post on her IG story. In a nutshell, people stood up for him. Not for her.

In Indo, the comments were like:
  • The guy is good looking. It should be okay, right?
  • Oh c'mon, it's just a text. Nothing serious. It damages you none!
  • What if he's just joking?
  • What should you post it? Are you looking for attention?
  • Why would you blow it up? Just chill.

Despite the claim she made whether he NEVER met the guy, it doesn't change what he did isn't right.

It is a different story when you both are consented previously to have such things in your relationship (official or not), then your partner come up to you such 'invitation'. In this case, I don't think so. As the guy hasn't made any statement to back himself up in public. Or, maybe he thinks he doesn't as there have been positive feedbacks which people already make for him.

Long story short, what actually happened? What happened is harassment.
Whether he's a prince-charming material or not.
Whether it involves physical or not.
Harassment is abuse and it can be done in many ways. Not just physical, verbal, etc.

People are like, what if he's just joking? Ok, then, it is an offensive joke!

Jokes are supposed to be funny, but that one in that context is not.

And that's another culture we need to banish in order to create a healthy and gender equal environment. It should be shameful past. People have to stop, from now on.

A few months ago, the country is battling a great debate about the soon-to-be-approved law where the country will imprison a pregnant/rape victim girls who are out of wedlock. The country's logic for this kind of law is put to question. However, this recent issue makes it seemed that logic is out of the question now.

When #metoo campaign is almost a success in the States, girls in Indonesia aren't really standing in for each other. Probably, the concept of harassment is still low. Remember, there are some people think what he said is not offensive, but meaningless, and the girl is blowing out of proportion.

Yet, it is not surprising for the low self-esteem Indo girls have, especially towards foreigners. In basic, they tend to buy silly meaningless romantic gestures, and sadly, they aren't capable of recognizing the equality element they deserve to have---the real sincere loving and respectful gesture.

In my observation and experience within my circles, when it comes to relationships, even further level like in marriage, most of them are willing to be the 'number second' or  accept to concept of being 'the one who needs guidance from the husband', instead of being a real couple where they walk and work together equally. Not as a team, more like a boss and the subordinate, where the guy is number 1, leading you the right way as if he's not ever going wrong. In many cases where he is, the girl will be put to blame, saying it's her job to keep the guy from wrongdoing. Well... some institution and belief need to create a better job description.

This gender concept starts the negative feedback on women's fight for safety, equality and rights as a equal human being who are not in debt to anyone else (not to a man, not to any other individuals, groups or religions) which are.... surprisingly and not so surprisingly... are also coming from fellow women.

So, how do we need such campaign like #metoo? Would it work in Indonesia? My prediction would be... if it fails to make it a 'cool campaign', a lifestyle-driven one, nobody is going to buy it. Sorry to say, Indo are easily going to be on it only when it looks cool, without understanding how and why. It will be like you're selling a product, and no one is going to try it. But, it could be the opposite due to some factors. Who knows.

Why lifestyle-driven? Coz it's the one that speaks the language they can understand.
Got to make that clear.

But what else bothers me more? I wrote this post On Prostitution, On Self-Value, On Our Own Reality when a celebrity was caught for prostitution allegation. Caught in red-handed if I may add. I stood up for her, seeing what she was going through wasn't fair. For this case, she didn't do what I did for her: standing up, not for fellow female creatures, but for fellow human beings seeking equality and justice for all gender, for what we are, for all choices we make.

I just hope that Via Vallen's fame rises more and more for her talent, not the incident, so shall she remember for the whole-packaged courage she has. The fight must go on.

Source: also from giphy

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