In the Islamic law stronghold of Aceh, it has been proposed that women pillions must sit side-saddle with both legs dangling off to one side of a motorcycle. This is instead of straddling bikes as normal when passengers, which is being deemed improper by the local administration. Apparently the new law is to restore fading local values and make it easier to differentiate the sex of a passenger.
Mayor Suaidi Yahya told news agency AFP “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 […] It’s improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here.”
Women riders may straddle a motorcycle, but only if dressed appropriately. According to the Lhokseumawe Legislative Council this means no denim, and without showing any curves.
Many Muslim and women’s activists have condemned the planned law, which is due to be assessed by the local government in the coming weeks.