Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy (belated) Kartini Day!

(center) R.A. Kartini. My feminist role models (opposite clockwise) Malala Yousafzai, Emma Watson, Tavi Gevinson, Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel, Lisa Simpson
Happy (belated) Kartini Day to all my Indonesian strong, independent women! This post is supposed to be published on April 21st, but I needed 2 days to make the post and the edited picture of Raden Ajeng Kartini to work. For those who wonders who she is, well, I’ll guide you through it. Back then, in the middle of 19th century, women in Indonesia were prohibited to get a proper education. Once they reached the age of maturity (around 16-19 years), their parents would told them to be married to a man. Most of the time, they expected that the man come from a respected family, so their daughter (indirectly) would raise their family status. If the daughters haven’t met the right man, then they are being told to stay at home doing domestic housework. Most of the time, these girls didn’t have a choice. It’s not easy to push through boundaries and social oppression with a fright of being dishonored from their families. 

Now, Raden Ajeng Kartini is one pretty lucky lady to come from an upper class Javanese (a quite dominating tribe in Indonesian government back then before it gained it's independence from Dutch colonialism) family, that's why she had the chance to study at ELS (Europese Lagere School), a Dutch school--where she learned Dutch language until the age of 12 years old. After that she had to be dipingit (a phrase for Javanese custom where a girl being confined for a certain time before she meet her soon-to-be husband). In this period, Kartini started to trained her Dutch language ability by corresponding through written letters with Netherlanders, one of them named Rosa Abendanon. Rosa supported Kartini a lot, and through European books, newspapers, and magazines, Kartini was inspired by the advanced thinking of European women. She soon realised that the women in her own country are considered to be in a lower social status than men. That why she started to write critics, protests, and demanding tolerance and liberation through articles which she sent to major publications and the books she written, especially on the issue of education for native women in Indonesia. She had a goal where she would like to achieve, that her writings might raise awareness among public of that time. Eventually many people actually did came around with Kartini's idea. Her last contribution before she died at the age of 25 was building a school for girls named as "Sekolah Kartini". At the end her school got big and made branches on lots of places in Indonesia. That's pretty much how she became an icon for women and education--feminism in Indonesia.

I am myself was introduced with the word "feminism" in my Sociology class back in the first grade of high school. I know the term of girl empowerment since preschool but not really putting much interest to it. When the first time I found Rookiemag website (and actually reading the contents, not just looking at the photos in the eyecandy section, ahah) I was a 11th graders. I like the idea of feminism and considered it as interesting how lots of girls trying to express their sexuality for liberation and equality through campaigns such as FreeTheNipple, not shaving your pubic and armpits hair, videos or photos with girl empowerment messages.


All the time I found myself thinking like "yeah, yeah, yess that's true", "YEAH, I know right!" and so on, and so on. But then, I also found a different side of perspective where certain people (mostly men) thought that feminists are just a bunch of angry women, creating sensations, demanding something which only beneficial for them, they called them as FemiNazis. I think that the idea of feminism itself is still so odd and biased since it appeared as something that's recently flared up. Why? I figured it's because for thousands and thousands of years, patriarchy ruled the world, and the sound of women are just a pile of in-deliberated anonymity. There are many presumption that women are mostly weak, and are not so advantageous compared to men, thats why the men made most of the decisions to us. That's why we're feeling oppressed and losing touch of their freedom of choice. As the modern day arrived, women realised that they are the same as men, that we are people too. We contributed to science and technology, we can do as much as men do. When the access of education to women are open, apparently women realised that they are capable on doing lots of things. Their perspective are opened, and they demand changes. 

There are 3 types of feminism; 

First are the socialist :  "Socialist feminists view gender inequalities as intrinsic to the capitalist system, which makes vast profits off women's unpaid labor in the home and underpaid labor in the workforce"

Second is the reformist :  "Reformist feminists believe that gender inequality can be eliminated through legislative or electoral reforms without the need to alter the capitalist system itself."

Third is the radical :  Radical feminists target male psychology or biology as the source of women's oppression. The most extreme form of radical feminism is separatism, which advocates a total break with men."

First off I want to tell you one thing about this whole feminism idea, "It's about liberation, not equality". We have to accept that both genders are different, and supposedly complement each other. What's wrong is when one of them dominating and limiting the choices that other's should have. 

          "Liberation is not about assimilation, it is about asserting difference. Feminists of the late 1960s and 1970s were aware that women would not find freedom by living the lives of men"

That's why I personally rooting on the socialist side. There are lots of cases in a workforce, where women would've less payment in spite the fact that they did the same amount of work. Up to these days, women are still being underestimated to lead in a white collar jobs--just because, well they're women! 

From where I live, in Indonesia, feminism though already being promoted, it's still not being handled seriously. Over-sexualisation, prejudice, sexual harassment, etc; are still very strong here. I am, boldly stated, it's because of the majority of radical religion values which is pretty much commanding the way people perceive" how women should be. Their clothes should not be too revealing, not too tight, girls dont make the first move or she's a bitch, and god forbid if you're not a virgin--I mean the government literally considered that virginity test will be an official rules for certain submission test for high school or certain academies!? (I kind of forget about the complete story, but it was being discussed some time ago). 

I know Indonesia had came along the way to emerge from the days it was being colonised, and I did truly happy for RA Kartini to fight for the right of the ladies in future generation to have the right of their education. But we are still have to take women's right more seriously and it should start from the people itself .
Dear woman, you are the queen--don't depreciate your value. You can be whatever you want to be. So, respect your body and respect your self-worth. You are no less, yet not more than your lifelong partner men. Boys and girls we are here to celebrate, to be side by side ruling this world, respectfully and righteously.

Here's a part of a beautiful poem by an anonymous I found online, 

In a Man's World

Mistreated by the man
Hypocrisy runs the state
Oh my god we can't escape
In a mans world.

Tend the house they say

You don't deserve equal pay

In the kitchen you gotta stay
In a man's world.

Break the cycle 

Change the game

We're all the same
Through my eyes.



  1. rookie fandom bgt ya teh? kalo bikin film tentan feminism judulnya "a pile of in-deliberated anonymity" keren uga yea

    1. yuk qaqa club cinematography unpad ditunggu karyanya wkkw