Social media influencer gets flak for ‘ignorant’ comments on Jakarta Women’s March

Social media influencer gets flak for ‘ignorant’ comments on Jakarta Women’s March
Management consultant Irfan Prawiradinata accused the Indonesian Women's March of copycatting the American movement and questioned its purpose, before later apologizing.

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Indonesian version of the Women’s March on Saturday, March 4, which called for gender equality and women’s rights, garnered largely positive responses from both participants and online observers. But not all were apparently impressed.

In a now deleted post, prominent netizen Irfan Prawiradinata took to Instagram to voice his discontent.

The 23-year-old management consultant, who had previously been declared one of Indonesia’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors by women’s lifestyle magazine CLEO, accused the march of copycatting the American movement. 

He went on to dismiss catcalling, saying that the rickshaw drivers who call out “Hey, beautiful!” need education, not feminism. He further implied that those complaining about catcalling tended to be less attractive.

His comments initially seemed to receive a lot of support from his Instagram followers.


But it was not long before Women’s March supporters got wind of his post and started criticizing what they perceived as his ignorance, including blogger Alexander Thian and sports columnist Pangeran Siahaan.

Others saw his post as proof of just why events like the Women’s March need to be held.

Things got so heated that eventually Prawiradinata deleted the post and briefly set his account to private. When he made it public again, he posted the following apology.

Regarding my post yesterday on both the #womensmarchjkt and #womensmarch, I'd like to share this sincere apology to each and every person that I've offended. . It was originally written for @Cheryl.Nazik, a friend of mine, who was kind enough to confront me directly and help by being constructive. On that, I'd also like to reach out, apologize, and thank others like her who've responded to me with open arms through their comments. Sorry that I can't mention everyone, but to @hannahalrashid & @nadinealexandradewi sorry and thank you for keeping an open mind and also to @fitms89 and everyone else who have even been open to discuss these issues in more proper forums such as @hollaback_jkt. I'm willing to fix what's possible, although I realize that of course that and an apology will not be enough. But discussions can be a first step. . I regret my words. I regret that I wrongly mis-portrayed myself as the person and ideology that I myself do not wish to see in the future. It's been a great lesson that can hopefully be beneficial for all of us. . (It's a really long post, sorry and please bear with me.)

A post shared by @ipdinata on

In his apology, Prawaradinata acknowledged that he was wrong to belittle the Women’s March, while also saying that he was cyberbullied because of his initial post. Many commenters accepted his apology, while others questioned his sincerity, claiming that he was “playing the victim.”

What do you think about the comments? Let us know in the comments section below. —

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