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The obsession of girls who are tested for virginity with 2 fingers in Indonesia

In Indonesia, women who want to become police officers must undergo a “two-finger” virginity test and possess beauty. Although such tests are not recorded, authorities still conduct them under the guise of “moral or physical tests” of candidates.

Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the position of the Indonesian police was that society would not accept female police officers who live wild or work as prostitutes. “The logic is that they only want good girls to become cops,” he said.

To perform this virginity test, two fingers are inserted into the vagina to see if a woman’s hymen is intact. This practice has long been criticized as an infringement on the female body, and it is impossible to determine for sure whether the girl is a virgin or not.

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A girl named Zakia (not her real name) once complained to HRW for failing a virginity test when she applied for a job as a police officer in early 2018. Zakia confirmed the virginity tester because she is not a doctor. “They not only put their fingers into my vagina, but also into my anus. They kept probing… It was so painful. Every time I remember what happened, I cry…” I feel like I didn’t want to live. again,” he said.

Zakia is a martial arts athlete. She said that over the years she had to do a lot of splits and other exercises that could have caused her hymen to tear. “Once, I fell and my vagina hit a block of wood, but I don’t know if my hymen was torn or not. My mother told me not to worry about it. I told them (police) that at that time I felt a lot of pain in my vagina from falling. Then the interview was over,” he recalls. In the end, Zakia was eliminated in the second round of selection.

Rianti once dreamed of serving in the Indonesian National Army. So, when he was 20 years old, he signed up to participate in the army recruitment process in Jayapura city, Papua province. On the first day when he came to work on the paperwork, he saw women going in and out of a small room in the exam center, so he was very curious. “I don’t know why they were called into the room, but I remember their expressions when they came out. They looked full of anger,” said Rianti.

When it was his turn, Rianti and three other candidates entered. Inside the room, there are 4 medical staff, 3 men and 1 woman waiting. Rianti was asked to undress and put on a dress to check her health. Currently, Rianti’s heart sinks because she knows she will undergo a virginity test.

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While Rianti was lying in bed, a male doctor inserted two fingers into her vagina to determine whether her hymen was intact. Meanwhile, the female doctor was holding a flashlight and muttering something she couldn’t hear. “I just wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. It was the longest few minutes of my life. I had never been touched by a man before, it was embarrassing. I was shocked,” recalled Rianti again.

That night, Rianti asked her military uncle why a male doctor was allowed to test a woman’s virginity. He felt it was like sexual harassment. However, the uncle said that it was a recent policy change. Every time she thinks about this, Rianti feels “nausea”.

Worse yet, Rianti had to have her virginity checked twice. The second took place at the TNI headquarters in Bandung, West Java Province. “The first time was faster and the doctor checked it was a woman. But I still have to undress and ask the male doctor to check other things like my skin and breasts,” said the 21-year-old woman.

Rianti is traumatized by this test, and she has no intention of registering a second time: “Most of my friends failed the first test and didn’t want to take it again. Now I don’t care. fulfill my childhood dream. I don’t want to be touched again just to join the army.”

In a study published in 2018 by Sharyn Graham Davies, of the Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand), vaginal and hymenal examinations were an important part of the police recruitment process. Therefore, Anisha, a 27-year-old policewoman, said that checks should still be carried out. “Tests show that women like us can protect ourselves, so we have the ability to protect others,” she said.

According to Andreas Harsono, virginity tests do not only occur within the police, but also in the Indonesian military. About 70% of the medical staff conducting the examinations were male doctors.

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“Many TNI generals think that the hymen is like a clock, if the hymen is torn between 11 and 2 pm, it is mostly due to physical activity. But if the hymen breaks at 6 pm, it means that the woman is passionate,” said Andreas. psychology is unscientific and justifications are often made after the procedure.

The reason they carry out checks like this is to make sure only ethical women join the police and military. In addition to the virginity test, applicants must be in good physical and mental health, have a good physical appearance, and have strong religious beliefs.

Female novices will line up in front of the male selection panel to judge their beauty. Then, the male police officer conducted an examination and recorded body measurements, including the size of the candidate’s breasts.

Indonesian women who apply to become police officers are not allowed to marry for the first two years. After that, if they continued to work in the industry, they had to get permission from their husbands. As they get older, Indonesian policewomen no longer fit the stereotype of virgin beauty. They were removed from public positions. Prior to 2013, female police officers in Indonesia were rare, but since then, they have often been seen stationed in various fields such as traffic coordinators and media spokespeople.

After years of pressure from human rights groups, virginity tests are no longer officially permitted in Indonesia. In July 2021, Army Chief of General Staff Gen. Andika Perkasa announced that the decades-old practice of virginity testing on women would end. Female applicants will now receive the same health checks as male applicants. The tests are only for the purpose of selecting people who are capable of military training, there will be no tests other than this.

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