I’m tired of this warning that always be doctrine to steal ‘me’ from myself
In the name of safety, modesty or men’s authority the laws told me to bow 90 degree in front of Your Majesty to protect my dignity
Cause I have no place to stay Heaven is only for a lovely lady who doen’t mind to trade her choice becoming a slave under your feet so you can’t be dethroned
But, I’m too rebel Not a good girl who you can handle So, you have to be with an angel Cause I’ll back to the hell except I can win over this battle
Yogyakarta, July 14th, 2020-08.43 a.m.
*) Note : A word ‘pledoi’ comes from Dutch, ‘pleidooi’, which means defense. In law field, pledoi is a term that refers to the last attempt of the defendant or attorney to defend the client’s rights, defend the truth he believes in, according to the evidences that revealed in the court.
Wearinglonghijab (for Muslim women) : *being labeled as more religious rather than women who wear shorter hijab*
Wearingniqab (for Muslim women) : *being labeled as terrorist
Wearingrevealingclothes : *being labeled as a bitch* -___-
(For this part, I take an example of what have happened (usually) in Indonesia. So, it might be different from your country)
Thick : “youlookugly! youshoulddiet!” (I have a close friend. She has big body. But, her friends, including me, hope that she won’t do (extreme) diet cause she’s already beautiful even with her thick body)
Thin : “doyoureallyhaveboobsandbutt?” (If you ask me this kind of question, let me slap your face with clog)
Loves pink, wears skirt/dress, plays barbie doll, watches romance movie, wears high heels, loves shopping etc : “ew..toogirly! notcool” (Tomboy girl feels more superior than girly girl)
Loves black (dark colours), wears jeans, wears sneakers, football lovers, listens to dead metal/punk/rock music etc : “areyoureallyawoman?”
Being gentle, innocent, lady-like, elegant : *being labeled as weak, not independent, cry-baby, inferior, submissive, can’t stand up for herself*
Being bold, fierce, brave, independent : “men will be afraid of you. so, please, act like a lady” (Sir/Ma’am, I don’t behave to attract men’s impression cause I’m not an attention seeker)
Workingmom : “You’resoselfishandmaterialistic“
Stay–at–HomeMom : “Youwasteyourdegreeandachievementjusttostayathome” (Although you have good carreer, you still have responsibilty to take care of your husband and children)
Single : “Whenwillyougetmarried?” (Fyi :If you’re Indonesian woman, at least 25 years old, but you haven’t introduced anyone yet as your boyfriend or future husband to your family, then this question will haunt you like a nightmare)
Married : “whenwillyouhaveachild?”
Married + 1child : “whenwillyourson/daughterhassibling?” (Meanwhile their baby is still a month)
Conclusion : Honestly, we live in society which everything is rated based on men’s point of view. Meanwhile, we also live in society which women ‘kill’ each other. We can’t please everyone. So, no need to think that much about what they’re saying. You can disagree of others opinion, but, don’t throw a hate comment. You can have your own standard, but, don’t push others to follow your standard. You can have your own preference, but, don’t push others to follow your preference. Because it might not fit in/doesn’t work on someone who has different culture, habit, social status, religion and so on.
*) notes :
Hijab : a veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immadiate family, which usually covers the head and chest
Niqab : a garment of clothing that covers the face, except eyes, worn by some Muslim women as a part of particular interpretation of hijab.
Allofyouarebeautiful. Nomatterwhat’syourskincolor, hairstyle, shortortall, thinorthick. Don’tlettheothersdictateyouabouthowthebeautylookslike. Youbetterdefine your own beauty. Don’ttrustthebeautystandardthatmuch. Ifyou’remorethankful, you’llstarttoloveyourself. Later, you’llrealizethateveryoneisspecialontheirownway.
You aren’t only about your face and body. You have brain. You have talent. You have beautiful heart and soul. You have the right to grow up. You have the right to have your choices. You have the right to learn anything you want. You have the right to be respected. You have the right to be treated equally. You have the right to speak up your mind. Don’t let them underestimate you! Keep your head up and show them who you truly are!
You might have high academic degree. You might have high salary. You might have high position. But, you need to know your position in your household. Control your ego. Be humble. Respect and obey your husband. Be a good mother to your children.
Doing chores, cooking, giving the best service to your husband, doesn’t mean you’re his maid. It doesn’t mean that he’s your boss. That’s your responsibilty as a wife. That’s a kind of how you express your gratitude of his sacrifice toward you. Instead of complaining how hard your chores, why don’t you discuss it with your husband? Remember, I said DISCUSS! Not ARGUING! Not FIGHTING! So, please talk to him heart to heart and control your emotions.
You shouldn’t attack each other just to catch men’s attention. You shouldn’t offend and judge another women who have different opinion, value, choices with you. “Girls compete each other, women empower one another”. So, can you see the difference?
Don’t hide yourself behind the statement, “lady’s first” when you see an an old man doesn’t get a seat on a public transportation! Cause the one who must be prioritized more is him, not you. How if he’s sick? How if he’s so exhausted and can’t stand up for a long time? How if he’s your own father and he’s treated like that?Just because you’re women, doesn’t mean you must always be prioritized first. There’s time or situation that you should succumb for the common good.
It’s okay if you hate patriarchy. It’s okay if you hate toxic masculinity. It’s okay if you hate gender inequality. But, if you hate men, I think you should fix your mind. Cause men and women aren’t rival. They’re partner. So,they should be together to make the world a better place to stay.
I wrote this letter not only for you. It’s my self-reminder too. In this world where women haven’t free from sexual harassment, objectification and discrimination yet, I hope women can fight for their rights, but also knowing and taking their responsibilities without too much excuses.
Ironically, those statements are spoken by women too (mostly).
Ok, let me tell you something.
Womenmustbesmartandwell–educated. A well-educated person is different from a person who’s attended school and got academic degree. Degree and diploma are just signal that you’ve attended, then graduated from school or university. But, they’re not necessarily show how well-educated you are.
Have you ever known someone who’s not attended school or university, but, her/his knowledge is no joke? Have you ever known someone who’s decided to drop out of school/university, but being successful at very young age? Well, I don’t tell you that school isn’t important. I just want to emphasize that one of characteristics every well-educated people have, are never stop learning from anyone or anything. School, university or whatever you said, is not the only place to study. Every place in this whole world is our school and everyone is our teacher.
Let’s back to the topic!
Smart women always know how to handle and overcome the problem. They know how to put themselves in every place, time and situation. Being smart women have nothing to do with their life choices as a working mom or stay at home mom.
Now, imagine if your husband asks you for your consideration or advice on important and serious thing, then what’d you say to him? Please, don’t say that you’d answer, “up to you”. Becausemenwillbeannoyedifyoualwaysanswer “uptoyou” oneverythingtheyask.
Imagine if your children come to you with their innocent yet unpredictable questions, then, how could you explain to them (especially if your children are still underage)? In Islamic beliefs, a mother is the first madrasa for her children. So, howcouldamothereducateherchildren, ifshehasnoknowledgeatall?
There’snothingwrongwithsmartwomenaslongastheystayhumblewiththeirsmartness. So, women should care about their brain and attitude too. Not only their beauty, make up or fashion. And if you have a boyfriend or crush who can’t appreciate your smartness (for example), I’dsaythatit’stimetofindanothermancausehedoesn’tdeserveyou.
In Indonesia, we always celebrate Kartini’s Day every April 21st. I know it’s so late, but, it’s okay to write this topic today. As long as there’re women who are discriminated, labelled or stigmatized, I have the right to speak up anything about it. Anytime, anywhere.
First, Idon’twanttoclaimmyselfasafeminist. Because I think I can speak up anything I care/interest/know about without labelling myself. And I won’t force you to agree with what I write here.
Ok, then. Back to the title.
Womanis amulti–rolecreature. They can be daughter, sister, wife, mother, member of society, citizen of country even a leader of the group/organization/institution/country. Womanisamulti–taskingpersontoo. Have you ever seen a woman who’s doing chores while holding her baby? That’s one of a proof.
Today, women have the same opportunity to get better education and pursue their career. Then, the debate between working mom vs stay at home mom appears on public.
Working mom often assume that stay at home mom waste their knowledges, talents, degrees, achievements, opportunities etc. Meanwhile stay at home mom assume that working mom are too ambitious, selfish and not taking care of their families well. Sometimes, stay at home mom use religious dogma (Iwon’tmention certainreligionherecauseIdon’twanttostereotypingthem) to offend working mom. Meanwhile working mom, sometimes, use feminism issues to strike back.
Like I said before, woman is a multi-role creature. Women have the right to choose what’s the best for their life and future. Whether they choose to be working mom or stay at home mom, they could have gone through an uneasy inner conflict. We might not know how hard the pressure they’re received from family or society.
So, if you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by supportive people and enviroment (parents, siblings, partner, friends, etc), that’s great. But, how about them, who are raised in very conservative family and society?