Clarissa “Punipun” Widjaya: Fighting Sexual Harassment through “Speak Up” on Social Media

6 min read

Clarissa Punipun Widjaya

Becoming a public figure is not just a matter of looking attractive or having a good appearance. Not a few people crave for this profession, mainly because it can increase popularity and have great opportunities in career. However, public figures such as brand ambassadors, celebrities, and well-known cosplayers also have a serious risk.

As experienced by Clarissa Punipun. Known as a well-known cosplayer, brand ambassador of the multitalented esports community, she has experienced sexual harassment through digital platforms. But, how did Punipun respond to the problem?

Esportsnesia had the opportunity to talk with Punipun about the sexual harassment case he experienced. Check out the explanation below!

Getting to Know Clarissa Punipun, a Multitalented Brand Ambassador

Clarissa Punipun, a multi-talented Cosplayer and Brand Ambassador.
Clarissa Punipun, a multi-talented Cosplayer and Brand Ambassador.

The community or cosplay lovers are certainly no stranger to the name Punipun. Clarissa ‘Punipun’ Widjaya is often recognized by many as a talented cosplayer. At the 2019 Indonesia Gaming Awards, she was named Cosplayer of the Year. Apart from excelling in the field of cosplay, she is also pursuing the world of music and gaming.

Her passion for playing games leads her to do streaming on her personal YouTube channel. Still in the realm of gaming, she was also asked to become a brand ambassador for several companies and communities related to this field.

“So I think in those days I started blending between esports and cosplay, and I was made brand ambassador for a gaming laptop brand and for one of the Indonesian esports teams,” Punipun said.

She admits that she feels comfortable in the esports community, especially for being able to meet new friends, add new connections and insights, to be enthusiastic about trying new and different things from cosplay.

According to her, the world of esports can be developed for the better. Cosplay is also considered to synergize well with esports itself. For example, cosplaying esports game characters.

Have Experienced Sexual Harassment Online

Frequently receiving lecherous comments and sexual harassment on social media.
Frequently receiving lecherous comments and sexual harassment on social media.

Good-looking and attracting attention, not a few Puni fans sexually harassed her. She admitted that it happened more in the online platforms, such as social media. However, Punipun herself has never experienced sexual harassment in the esports industry. The form of harassment made by most of her fans took place in the form of indecent comments.

“The form of harassment is more about comments. So indeed his comments are indecent. Regardless of whatever clothes I wore, there was always one. So the comments that they think are cool, fun, and funny; in the eyes of people who really understand, *sorry if it’s a bit rude* their comments actually look tacky,” she said.

Besides the digital realm, Punipun also shared her experiences  of getting catcalling when she was a child.

Note: Catcalling is a form of sexual harassment that often occurs on the streets. The perpetrator will usually verbally whistle or tease the target. Most of the targets are women who are on the streets, regardless of what their clothes are like.

“Especially when I was a child, I was known as a tomboy because I don’t want to be catcalled. When I leave the house, I always wear baggy clothes, baggy boy cargo pants, chain wallets, thorn bracelets, wearing hats, and my face is really bad. It shows that I don’t want to be bothered, and don’t want to be approached. But still. Even though I have already looked like that, some people still think that her clothes are wrong, ”said Clarissa Punipun.

There are many people who blame the victims of sexual harassment for the clothes they wear. Based on her experience, Punipun is one of the cases where the perpetrator of sexual harassment is not caused by her clothes. However, most of the perpetrators consider that women deserve to be harassed, and it is normal to do so.

Punipun also shared her experience from one of his fans, who sent messages via social media. He thinks that it is better if the indecent acts directed at him do not need to be published.

“Because someone asked me in DM (Direct Message), ‘Sis, if for example I save your photos for *** (a kind of indecent act) are you angry or not?’ Then I said no. Just use it. Do not mind it. But no need to tell me. It doesn’t concern me and it’s very rude. “But the photos are provoking”. Then I said, ‘Little boy, those people can lust for many things,’ she said with a laugh.

So far, most of the perpetrators who have harassed Pun are male. She said that the perpetrator was a brute.

Fighting Sexual Harassment with a Hall of Shame

'Hall of Shame' as a place to speak up for sexual harassment actors.
‘Hall of Shame’ as a place to speak up for sexual harassment actors.

Every victim of sexual harassment has their own way of dealing with it. Meanwhile, Punipun chooses not to remain silent about the perpetrators. With her courage, she spread awareness to many people.

Blocking the perpetrator’s account is one way she does it. However, just blocking them wasn’t enough for Puni. She admitted that she wanted to provide a deterrent effect on the perpetrators, so that they could admit their mistakes.

Of those who share publicly harassing comments, Pun is doing the same.

“But, back then I also thought like, ‘Just leave it, just watch, block it’. It’s just getting backwards I think that just being blocked wouldn’t make them 100% stop harassing other people either. So, it’s not just me. Maybe other people will also be harassed by them, “said Punipun.

A deterrent effect for the perpetrators who harassed her was expressed in an album on social media. The album was called the “Hall of Shame“. She revealed that the block effect was only temporary. Meanwhile, with the album “Hall of Shame”, it is felt that it can add a deterrent effect, so that the perpetrators can realize their mistakes.

“Because if we only block one person, that person can create new accounts again and again. But if we provide a deterrent effect, it is possible that he will stop doing that to other people forever, “she explained.

Even so, she continued, the effectiveness of the making of the album “Hall of Shame” is not a 100 percent direct way to deter the perpetrators. From several cases, some are considered effective.

But on the other hand, some are not affected in this way. Still found the perpetrator who previously apologized, then began to mess with things that are indecent again.

The rise of sexual harassment on digital platforms

Freedom of speech and unlimited access to information make digital sexual harassment increase.
Freedom of speech and unlimited access to information make digital sexual harassment increase.

Freedom of opinion and the unlimited entry of information on the internet are one of the factors causing digital sexual harassment.

Both women and men are also vulnerable to sexual harassment and body shaming on social media platforms. However, it is often women who are exposed to experience sexual harassment digitally. This certainly makes the victims depressed and stressed out for themselves.

As one of the esports brand ambassadors who have experienced it, Pun also speculates that the rise of the internet and the use of smartphones in the current generation is the cause. Many minors do not really understand or do not deserve information related to adult content.

“So, young children have access to adult content, which they should have had sufficient understanding first. Only then can they be exposed to the content,” Clarissa Punipun said.

Even so, she continued, the digital realm gives a person full control in accessing information. They can do whatever they want on the digital platform with a fake account. With the anonymity factor, the online world is considered to provide a sense of security for them.

According to her, the freedom of people in using fake accounts to cheat and sexually harass them is because cyber laws are not yet strong.

“In terms of cyber, our law is not as strong as other countries. So there are still many who feel like, free to cheat, want harass, because they can use fake accounts. Because according to them it seems like a sandbox-like realm. They can do anything and get rid of traces easily,” said the woman who is an IT graduate.

The Importance of Self Control to Become the Ideal Netizen

According to Punipun, self-control is an effort to become the ideal netizen.
According to Punipun, self-control is an effort to become the ideal netizen.

Self-control is one of the important things in becoming the ideal netizen. By having more than hundreds of thousands of fans, Punipun suggests that everyone needs to exercise self-control. Even though it is considered difficult, as a human being can do it well thanks to a clearer mind and mind.

“So you can think like, ‘Oh, she’s making lust.’ But there’s no need to say, ‘Wow, your body.’ I don’t think so either. Yes, it’s better to keep it to yourself. What do you want to do with that passion, the important thing is not to disturb and harm others. We don’t care, “she explained.

She also added that the ideal netizen or fans is to understand internet manners. Basically internet users are real people. So that interaction is needed like meeting humans in the real world.

Manners and mutual respect must be maintained in the digital world. If you want to become a valued netizen, respect others first.

Become A Brand Ambassador Who Continues To Work and Has A Good Personality

Puni as the brand ambassador of the esports community, Geek Fam ID.
Puni as the brand ambassador of the esports community, Geek Fam ID.

A career in the entertainment world is vulnerable toward problems such as sexual harassment and physical abuse. As the brand ambassador of the Geek Fam Indonesia esports community, she advised that brand ambassadors need to sort out which problems should be considered and felt, and which should be dismissed.

“In the sense of things that are of no use to us, apart from making us feel more negative about ourselves. It’s hard, it’s hard. Because I have too. Yes, stress is also a thought. It’s still natural. The important thing is that we have a handle if, for example, we cannot lose to negative things, “said Clarissa Punipun.

In addition, the spirit of work is also one of the things that every brand ambassador should pay attention to. Like making a good and attractive portfolio. Basically, this profession is becoming an ambassador or representative of a brand. Most brands of course want to have representatives with good images and in accordance with the brand concept.

Most brand ambassadors have a large number of followers or fans. As a well-known public figure, Punipun expresses the importance of setting a good example for her fans.

Fans will usually assume that her idol is a role model in their lives. They will imitate what the idol does, even if her personality is good or bad.

She also emphasized that if the content of the role model displayed does not match the target age, it will endanger the underage audience.

“For example, the content is a bit mature, toxic, or something. But the fans are mostly composed of children under 13 or 15 years old, so that is a bit dangerous, because it will form a character who is not yet ready for the content. But once they [the underaged] have been hit by that content,  they will perceive it as something normal. It’s different as adults, we definitely know which ones are good, which ones aren’t, which ones are entertainment and which are serious, ”said the woman who also likes playing music.