The history of The Prostitution Business on the island of Java - Navigasi Berita a -->
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The history of The Prostitution Business on the island of Java

Navigasi - In history, prostitution is a child of the era which is considered illegitimate but is always needed by mankind. In Indonesia, recently there has been another case of online prostitution involving artists. The police have pocketed data on the names of dozens of artists who are members of the sex business network.

The history of The Prostitution Business on the island of Java
The history of The Prostitution Business on the island of Java


In addition, the police also stated that their average age was still below 30. The results of a digital forensic examination of the mobile phone of the suspected pimps found another surprising fact: there were a number of names who turned out to be 19.

Not only the government of the Republic of Indonesia is busy eradicating prostitution and closing localization. In the past, the traditional rulers and the Dutch East Indies government had been confused by the rampant practices of peddlers of love.

In the mid-19th century the colonial government made regulations that approved the commercialization of sexual activity. One of the reasons for this regulation was the arrival of a group of colonial soldiers to the Dutch East Indies who did not bring their wives. Then, a brothel was built.

The brothel then caused a new problem, namely the spread of venereal and skin diseases. The bodies of customers and prostitutes were devoured by syphilis or gonorrhea.

The authorities at that time handled cases of prostitution not because of moral or religious considerations, but health aspects. In the archive "Pranatan Pasundelan" dated 1858 which is stored in the Mangkunegaran Reksolibrary Library, it is written that there is a slick cooperation between the three institutions. Residents of Surakarta, Pakubuwana VIII, and Mangkunegara V jointly address the prevalence of diseases caused by association with sundel.

The case indeed spread in Solo, Klaten, and Boyolali until it was highlighted by the journalist Javasche Courant. Understandably, in these three areas there are many military soldiers and male plantation workers who need to channel their sexual desires. While some of them did not bring their wives.

On the one hand, the entanglement of poverty and destitution in rural areas encourages women to throw themselves into the servants of men's lust. As reported in the 9 September 1925 edition of the Darmo Kondo newspaper in an article entitled "The Confession of a Djalang Woman", that was the concrete reason they chose the profession as prostitutes in the city.

Life conditions are so difficult and they can't stand holding an empty stomach. That's why it's better to be a bitch than to steal or rob. They realize that selling themselves is a despicable job. But what can I do, working as a contract laborer is also not enough to meet the needs of the family. So they also established themselves as night butterflies, then prepared to follow the rules of the government and pimps.

The official regulation, which was continuously updated until the early 20th century, regulates the obligation of prostitutes to register with the district government regarding their employment status, regular health examinations of prostitutes, and identification of venereal diseases. Apparently the regulation does not only target prostitutes, but also law enforcement officers. For example, the police are required to report the number of prostitutes and monitor opium smokers and drunkards in the vicinity of the lokalisasi. It also regulates the authority of the police in prostitution cases and sanctions for violating the slime business law.

Mantri police are authorized to take firm action against prostitutes who hang out in public places such as hotels, inns, food stalls, coffee shops, city parks, and crowded places. Because this condition makes venereal disease increasingly widespread and difficult to overcome.

Undeniably, the existence of illegal prostitution is far more than legal prostitution. They act clandestinely or cat-and-mouse with the police in order to avoid legal entanglements. Physical health was ignored. Colonial records dated 1870 say 575 people had syphilis and 5,105 people had morbi veneris. In 1882 the number of people with syphilis rose to 1,290 people. While the largest sufferers of morbi veneris appeared in 1887, which was 10,108 people.

Local authorities and residents were surprised at the spike in numbers. So, a new brothel was established. The localization in Solo has also increased, in Kratonan, Kestalan, and Gilingan which are marked with a black stamp plaque that the Dutch East Indies government put up. The plaque signifies the official status of the brothel and the obligation to comply with regulations.

Rules are also enforced for pimps in managing the officially licensed sex room. For example, the owner of a brothel must maintain cleanliness, tidiness, and provide customers with sufficient water and toiletries. Carbolic soap and clean towels must be prepared. Not only that, on the walls of the brothel there are pamphlets warning of the dangers of venereal disease and how to prevent them.

New Items, Old Stock


In Solo long ago, lived a Chinese pimp named Njah Dengkel. Journalist Darmo Kondo reported that the pimp's business was in the Kratonan village and was bought by Chinese and Javanese women. The prostitution business is growing rapidly like mushrooms in the rainy season. Every night not a few singkek aka full-blooded Chinese stop by and enjoy the bodies of Njah Dengkel's foster children. Women from the villages also came looking for a bite of rice.

Due to the increasing number of customers, the localization in Kratonan can no longer accommodate. So, after obtaining permission from the colonial authorities, Njah Dengkel immediately opened a branch in another place. In fact, his men were also passed on to the new branches. From there was born the term "new goods, old stock".

Rijksblad Mangkunegaran also wrote about the closure of brothels in the kingdom's territory. The prostitution arena does not hesitate to close if the manager dares to violate the regulations. Among other things, avoiding health checks, rape, homosexuals, lesbians, and molesting underage women.

At that time, there was a scene of cases of girls in the village disappearing from their homes. Local authorities and local residents suspect the disappearance of girls or other women because they fall into the valley of prostitution. This assumption is not without basis. The April 10, 1929 edition of Darmo Kondo reported that in 1928 there were 171 cases of illegal brothels examined by judges. This case involved dozens of teenage women who were sold into slavery or prostitutes. Reflecting on the case above, the rules should be enforced for brothels. If they are determined to deviate, the perpetrators and entrepreneurs of the black area will be sentenced to 8 days in prison or fined 100 rupiahs. If you are reluctant to carry out the sanctions, you can replace the sentence of forced labor at a state-owned foundation with no wages, only being given food for 3 months. Such is the portrait of the handling of prostitution during the colonial period. The handling is not solely for moral and religious reasons as it is now, but because of human health considerations. The story above shows that the state cannot just throw up its hands and dissolve brothels at will. The colonial government and local rulers provided valuable lessons.
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