Penis-shaped cactus sells for Rp2mil at auction as part of anti-sexual harassment campaign


The cactus shaped like a penis and testicles has been sold in a Twitter-based charity auction for Rp2 million (US$143) by Raka Ibrahim to raise awareness against the sexual assault faced by his female friend. - Twitter photo

JAKARTA (The Nation/ANN): As part of a campaign against sexual harassment, a cactus shaped like a penis and testicles has been sold in a Twitter-based charity auction for Rp2 million (US$143). The auction was held to highlight the rise in sexual abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Behind the auction were Raka Ibrahim and his friend, a female survivor of sexual assault who prefers to remain anonymous. It was initially planned that the cactus would be sent to the person who allegedly assaulted Raka’s friend.

However, both agreed to the more honourable action of hosting the auction, with the proceeds donated to the Purple Code Collective, a group focusing on digital rights, especially for women, and which helps to raise awareness about sexual abuse.

“As a friend of a sexual abuse survivor, I would like to show my support. [...] this way we can also check our privilege and unlearn toxic sexist mindsets, ” Raka told The Jakarta Post recently.

Within the period March 16 to April 19, the Legal Aid Foundation of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK) recorded 97 cases of violence against women.

Among those 97 cases, 33 cases were recorded as domestic violence and 30 cases were online-based sexual abuse. The increasing number of sexual violence cases against women also inspired the duo to hold the auction.

“We are not sure who was involved in this bid, but the auction gained attention as it was shared multiple times by pro-gender equality activists, ” Raka added.

According to him, even without setting a minimum bid, the first bidder offered Rp200,000. An anonymous Twitter user, identified only as #Indotititmungil, which means tiny penis, placed the winning bid of Rp1.75 million but later decided to raise this to Rp2 million.

“The point is that people like me [sexual abuse survivors] are not alone. For every one abuser, we’ve got thousands of people who support us, ” Raka’s friend told the Post.

She said fighting against social injustice did not always have to involve catchy slogans or a well-organized action plan.

“You just need one penis-shaped cactus and a good friend, ” she added. “I needed a voice, but I couldn’t just use my own. So, when people showed up to represent my voice, it healed my trauma.”

The online auction has received lots of support from Twitter users who retweeted the auction almost 500 times.

“The cactus is cute. So glad that they didn’t send it to the sexual predator and auctioned it instead #kaktuspelir [penis-shaped cactus], ” an activist Lini Zurlia wrote on her twitter account @Lini_ZQ supporting the auction.

“To all my fellow comrades, this is the only adorable penis we’re allowed to fight for, ” another twitter user @GabrielleAlixia wrote.

“Buying this penis-shaped cactus might be just a small gesture, but it is important to say no to sexual abuse, ” Raka said through his twitter account @coldrebellion on Saturday. - The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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Penis-shaped , cactus , Indonesia , sexual abuse , auction

   

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