An Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) commissioner has apologized for claiming that women could get pregnant from swimming in the same pool as men.
KPAI commissioner Sitti Hikmawatty conceded that she had made an “inaccurate statement” that was “personal” and not on behalf of the KPAI” in a press release Sunday, adding that she had already made a retraction – but not before attracting widespread ridicule both online and offline.
The bizarre claim was made during an interview with tribunnews.com in which Hikmawatty said women should exercise caution when swimming in a public pool with men or risk getting pregnant.
“There is an especially strong type of male sperm that may cause [...] pregnancy in a swimming pool” she in the interview. “Even without penetration, men may become sexually excited [by women in the pool] and ejaculate, therefore causing a pregnancy”.
She added that this type of pregnancy was more likely to happen if the women in question were of a sexually active age.
The remarks were immediately met with a backlash from the public, including medical practitioners with the Indonesian Doctors Association who said it was “impossible” for women to get pregnant in a swimming pool.
Indonesian netizens also weighed in with a series of memes and sarcastic postings. Web comic artist KomikFaktap (https://twitter.com/hashtag/komikfaktap?src=hash) for example, posted an image on Twitter inspired by the theatrical poster for Steven Spielberg’s film Jaws. But instead of a great white shark emerging from the depths of the ocean, a school of “super sperm” is seen swimming up towards an unsuspecting female swimmer. The movie title was replaced with AWAS (watch out).
“The importance of proper sex education,” @KomikFaktap wrote in the caption of the post, which was re-tweeted over 4,500 times.
Others were less inclined to humor in their response to Hikmawatty’s statement, with some calling for her immediate dismissal from the KPAI.