A female runner participating in a race in Jogjakarta, Central Java, was allegedly sexually harassed in a village the race route passed through while being aggressively confronted by a group of locals angered by her “inappropriate” attire, video of which has gone viral over the weekend.
The woman, wearing a black t-shirt and black shorts, was one of many runners participating in a race on Tuesday that passed through Mlangi Village in Jogja’s Sleman Regency. However, she seemed to be the only one to draw the anger of locals, one of whom even picked up a long plank of wood and threatened to hurt her with it.
One incident not captured in the short clip, but confirmed by the organizers of the race, Islamic institution Universitas Aisyiyah (UNISA), involved an older male villager spanking the runner over her outfit.
“Maybe the local man wanted to remind [the runner] that the hot pants she wore were inappropriate. But his hitting her is also inappropriate,” said UNISA Faculty of Health Dean Ruhiyana, as quoted by Kumparan.
Ruhiyana said that after the incident, the woman and several other runners decided to withdraw from the race to avoid further confrontation. He said the university and locals of Mlangi— which is an Islamic tourism site filled with mosques and pesantren (religious boarding schools) — have settled their dispute.
Muhammad Mustafid, a renowned religious figure from Mlangi, said that several men in the village would apologize to the woman for bothering and harassing her (though he made no mention of the old man who spanked her being ready to apologize).
Mustafid also said the race’s organizers must shoulder some of the blame as they failed to notify Mlangi officials about including the village in their race route, especially because the village’s locals hold “centuries-old” traditional and Islamic values and that they have their own rules requiring people to wear appropriate clothing in public.
“The organizers should apologize. Right now the people of Mlangi are bothered by news reports that don’t cover both sides, as well as bullying from netizens,” Mustafid told Kompas today.