Guebukanmonyet!

The kind of women I love

Posted on: May 24, 2009

written in early May.

Next to my office building there is this big billboard of a famous female deodorant product. It’s totally big. I assume all car drivers passing by are supposed to see this advertisement.

What the big billboard shows is a picture of a young and beautiful woman who is smiling while proudly showing her armpit! Well, what else can you expect? After all, it’s a deodorant product we are talking about.

For people like me who grew up in a metropolitan city like Jakarta, such a scenery might just look usual. And as a young and “normal” man, I admit that I do enjoy looking at beautiful women.

But this is not only about a beautiful woman. What the picture really shows us is a reflection of how our culture has shifted into a new kind of path. At least that is the condition in our big cities.

Imagine if a middle-aged woman from a small city like Malang comes to Jakarta and sees this gigantic billboard. She will probably say, “astagfirullah” while rubbing her chest.

In the old times, it was rude enough for a woman to show the upper part of her arms. To show her armpit would be out of the question. But now, women in big cities smoke, drink alcohol, and they even talk sex!

A few days ago, Indonesian women celebrated their so-called freedom day. April 21 is dedicated to the struggle of R.A. Kartini who was the pioneer of feminist movement in Indonesia.

Do you all think today’s women in Indonesia are much better than those in 80’s or 70’s? What are the measurements?

What do you think Kartini would say if she came back to life and saw a huge billboard of a beautiful Indonesian woman showing her armpit?

I think Kartini would cry. She would be so sad to see that Indonesian women have forgotten their Indonesian values; she would be sad to see how Indonesian women have turned themselves into nothing but slaves of capitalism.

If you don’t believe in what I say, just look around you. Nowadays, Indonesian women don’t feel proud of themselves before putting expensive makeup on their faces. They don’t feel confident before carrying a Louis Vuitton bag.

Not that I’m against cultural changes or anything but I think our feminist movement is following the Western style too aggressively.

Look at our today’s female magazines. Before, we only had several names like Kartini and Femina. They used to be quite traditional in many ways, but now they have to compete against imported magazines that teach our women a lot of sex and fashion tips.

Is this a good thing for all of us? Is this a good thing for Indonesian women?

It’s not that everything has gone bad with Indonesian women in big cities. I’m sure Kartini would also be proud to see how today’s Indonesian women can pursue education as fas as they want.

Kartini would also be proud to see how a lot of women have good positions in society. Now, Indonesian women are doctors, house representatives, judges, and even police officers.

What has gone wrong is that some women are forcing the wrong kind of emancipation to the society. The kind of emancipation that’s filled so much with Western values.

All I’m saying is, it’s not something sinful if a woman decides to be a housewife instead of pursuing a professional career. But at the same time, it’s ok for a woman decides to be a career woman.

For the last few days, I’ve heard an ad celebrating “Hari Kartini” on a Jakarta’s famous radio station. It basically supports women’s emancipation. It suggests that women and men are actually the same, willingness is all that matters.

And that is the kind of message that most media are telling our women. A message that says women and men are equal in everything; that women can do all the things men do. The kind of message that Western feminists always spread to rest of the world trough so many ways.

With all my respect to all women in the world, I seriously think we are not the same. You are women, and I think it’s ok if men are better in several things. Because I know you are better in a lot of other things too.

You don’t have to deny the fact that men are stronger physically. Because we men always envy your softness and patience; and you all should be proud of that.

Women’s emancipation is not about competition. It’s not about defeating men in all areas that they do. Women’s emancipation should be about maximizing the God-given strengths that women have.

And in doing so, it is perhaps a good thing if our women can combine their Indonesian values and the 21st values. For me,  that is the kind of women I Love.

6 Responses to "The kind of women I love"

A woman here, and i do except that there is a difference between women and men no matter what. And I believe that equal does NOT mean same…

I think the journey is not finished for all the women in Indonesia to realize that. Afterall, the idea emancipation is quite radical remembering our culture. And we tend to react a bit extreme to something new, aren’t we?

I couldn’t resist the urge to comment.🙂

Indonesian women getting a wrong impression of what emancipation is, yes, they might. I’ve seen real examples of it.

But setting stereotypes that women shouldn’t be like this and that while men can… hmm… that’s where the injustice comes. Why can’t women smoke or drink alcohol or talk sex and men can do all of them? I mean I’m not a smoker myself, but this type of things one has to decide on her/his own, right? Supposed a couple of women talk about sex, would that make them cheap? Talking sex, I believe, is a knowledge transfer. If in the end it will bring more excitement in a couple’s marriage, why not?

And just for fun, how would you a think a billboard of a deodorant should be without showing armpits?😉

Since I read your posts since quite long ago, I know this by comparison is not your best one.

I should leave it to Indonesian women to comment on the main issue of your column. But I can’t resist to criticize your equation:

(a) beautiful woman who is smiling while proudly showing her armpit = emancipation that’s filled so much with Western values.

1: this billboard may be related to capitalism, but the picture is in no way related to feminism, casus quo feminism ( be it tame or aggressive)
3. an armpit – be it female or male- is a biological fact but has nothing whatsoever to do with emancipation, let alone feminism.

men and women is different… of course…
mereka diciptakan untuk saling melengkapi…

if not, buat apa Tuhan menciptakan ada wanita ada pria…
hehehe…

hi glad to have caught up with you again… I’ll be looking up your Facebook shortly.. Hehehe..
I would like you to see my writings.

-I don’t do the writings. I do the wrong things. :p

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guebukanmonyet is Tasa Nugraza Barley. He's a free man with unique thoughts and dreams. He sees his life and this world differently from anyone else. That's because he knows what he wants; and for that reason he doesn't want to be the same. Read why he blogs, here.

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All articles and essays were written by guebukanmonyet. Before commenting remember that Life Accepts Differences.
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