Women in the Indonesian city of Lhokseumawe must now ride side-saddle on bikes and motorcycles, because “straddling” a male bicyclist from behind as he peddles in front is now verboten.
“Women sitting on motorbikes must not sit astride because it will provoke the male driver. It’s also to protect women from an undesirable condition,” the mayor of the deeply Islamic city told Agence France-Press. “It’s improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here.”
The mayor added to the Jakarta Post, “We wish to honor women with this ban because they are delicate creatures.”
These delicate creatures are still allowed to “straddle” a bike or motocycle if she is peddling, so long as she is otherwise dressed according to Muslim rules.
The city abides by strict sharia law, which also bans women from wearing tight pants and stones adulterers and gays.
Riding a bike or motorcycle side-saddle sounds highly dangerous, especially if a woman is wearing long, drapey clothes. (Likely, since tight clothing is frowned upon.) If this Indonesia city really wished to “honor” women for being “delicate creatures,” they might take their safety into consideration.