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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Marriage-Oriented Society




More or less ten years ago, I believed that only in Indonesia (plus perhaps some neighboring countries) we could find people who adore marriage. The so-called (boring) “normal” life cycle for Indonesian people is this : being born – going to school – going to college – graduating – getting a job – getting married – having kids – getting old – finish.  :) To be (considered to be) happy, someone MUST get married, then MUST have kids. Without getting married and having kids, someone’s life is considered not complete, even perhaps dull.

While watching serials in Sex and the City (season 5 dan 6) around a decade ago, I noticed that for New Yorkers, to be considered happy, there are three things they must have (1) established job (2) house (3) life partner. 

The main focus of Indonesians and New Yorkers are a bit different. But there is one similarity : life partner, although in Indonesia, someone must get married (legally) in order to avoid being gossiped by neighbors, (cohabitation is still considered morally low here) while in New York, someone does not need to get married, as long as they have life partner. 

Recently I have started watching SATC again, but this time starting from season 1 and 2. In these two seasons, the four girls were still single, changing dates very often. I saw how unhappy they were when they broke up, or when they had no dates. Despite the fact that they wanted to be known as “being single and happy”. Isn’t it contradictory? This made me question whether this serial really wanted to show that girls can choose to be single and happy? 

We know that by the end of the serial (season 6), Miranda and Charlotte both were illustrated as happily married. Samantha was happy with her young boyfriend, Smith. Meanwhile, Carrie (eventually) married Mr. Big in the movie. :)

Perhaps marriage-oriented society still lingers everywhere, not just in the developing countries. J Feminists still have to struggle to convince society – especially girls – that to live single and happy is absolutely possible. Well, at least, minimize the number of people who choose to get married only because of social pressure. Get married when they are really ready for that.

LG 2015 - 2016

The pic was taken from here 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Polygamy versus Having Affair

In Indonesia, where it is claimed that the majority of its citizens are Muslim, you can imagine that people think polygamy is not the same as having an affair. Polygamy is socially accepted (although not preferred for sure) but having affair is not although it does not mean that you will not find any case like that. :D However, I believe the phenomena about this having affair is not as bad as having sex outside wedlock. :)

I have been idle from blogging for years, except blogging about my biking activities. (You can check about this biking blog of mine here. I write mostly in Bahasa Indonesia though.) I have been very active on facebook these past a few years but I seldom write anything to expose my feminist way of thinking. I took it for granted that my facebook friends know I am a feminist. #smile ... I forgot that the last time I posted about feminism years ago, and of course I have got more 'friends' there, those who do not know that I am a feminist.

This post of mine was triggered by one comment of one facebooker on one status of mine, innocently stating that polygamy is endorsed in Islam. He even said that God asked Muslim men to have more than just one wife. :)  I was almost furious when reading his comment. LOL.

In short, in that post I wrote that in fact -- at least for me and (I believe) for many other feminists or those who avoid calling themselves as feminist, but humanist instead -- polygamy is the same as having affair. Both refer to disloyalty, the husband/the wife let himself/herself fall in love with another.

The difference is the practice of polygamy -- read it as polygyny meaning one man with more than one wife -- is 'protected by alquran (Surah An-Nisa verse 3). The verse gives Muslim men right to marry more than one woman, and what they do is ok. On the contrary, when people use the term "having affair", both men and women are socially condemned when doing it. When using the term polygamy, men are supported to do that, women are not allowed to do it, because 'it is against natural law'. :) However, when using the term "having affair" -- not related to any religion -- both men and women are wrong. There is equality here. As a feminist, I love equality. LOL.

So come on guys, be responsible! When you cannot be true to your partner, don't hide yourself behind your so-called holy book. Accept the fact that you are too condemned! LOL.

IB180 14.53 19/12/2015

P. S.:
When looking for pictures in google, I found out that in fact there have been many writings on this topic, polygamy versus having affair in Bahasa. I haven't opened those websites though. Nevertheless, I could conclude that those  writings are to defend men who practice polygamy. How boring! LOL.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Homosexuality and a friend

Several years ago, I got a comment from someone in this post of mine. Then I found out that in fact this "commentator" was someone that I personally knew, though at that time we have not met yet.

In my (real) life, that was the first time I knew someone that 'boldly' came out to me, a girl, who openly said that she was a lesbian. (Through one mailing list I joined, I 'knew' a guy who came out to be a gay and then became an activist in LGBT in Indonesia. We have never met in person yet. But I remember my 'surprised' feeling reading his 'coming out' article in the mailing list for the first time, years ago.) I was really elated knowing that. Moreover, she and her (then) partner opened themselves by writing in a blog, about their relationship, their happiness and sorrow, their obstacles in their relationship, etc.

From their blog, I knew they met for the first time in one social media, by joining a 'lesbian' group. The group is a kinda cyber gathering for anybody labeling themselves as a lesbian who are looking for friends/partners who are also lesbian (of course).

Many times I have read articles/true stories about homosexual people. Perhaps because in Indonesia people do not welcome (yet) homosexual relationship, many of them then eventually leave their gay/lesbian partner to marry someone from opposite sex; perhaps to make their parents happy (because their parents ask them to get married), or due to social pressure. Maybe their marriage lasts long; but I also read that some of them finally cannot deny their 'nature call' to be born as gay/lesbian so they choose to get separated from their spouse.

This friend of mine, let's call her A, wrote in the blog that she was born to be lesbian, never feel attracted to any boy romantically. On the contrary, her partner, B, has been in some relationships with guys before having relationship with A. Not clear though whether B 'finally' followed her nature call, or just got bored with unhappy ending relationships with guys.

I thought -- to my naivete -- their relationship would last long. Isn't it easier to live together -- without getting married -- with the same sex in Indonesia rather than with the opposite sex? As long as they do not expose romanticism to the surrounding, people will not think that they are lesbian couple.

To my surprise, though, they broke up after having the relationship for three years.

My next curiosity, then, was, will they have another relationship with another lesbian (especially A who seemed to be a 'straight lesbian' :p ) or with a guy?

Just a few days ago, I found their blog again. (They changed the we address now and then so I lost track.) The blog still existed with some new posts. They were written by A, expressing her uncomfortable feeling being separated. She seemed that she still could not accept the separation although she has tried to show she is tough. B doesn't post anything there.

And I was struck by melancholic feeling. :(

If one day A has a crush on with a guy, moreover marry him (perhaps to make her parents happy or with other reasons), I will totally be broken-hearted. In my (real) life, I have never known a 'real' lesbian who will always follow her nature then. :)

If B has a crush on with a guy then marry him, I still can accept it. She had several relationships with guys before, after all. :) Perhaps when she decided to break up with A, she realized that no matter what, she is straight, not a bi, or a les.

IB180 20.16 17/12/2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Naivete



Several decades have passed. A few days ago I just realized that I am -- sometimes -- still naive. LOL.

Here is the story.

For the first time I got a schoolmate who was not Muslim when I was in the first grade of junior high school. (I attended an Islamic elementary school). Since I got brainwashed that in fact Christians have worshiped the wrong 'god' -- Islamic teaching says that Isa (Jesus) was not killed, to save him from the angry society who didn't believe he was the prophet sent by God, he in fact was lifted by God -- it means the one whom Christians 'think' their god is someone else. :) The one whom my schoolmate (sitting at the same desk with me) thought god was one disciple of Isa (Jesus).

One day, out of my feeling concerned that my schoolmate worshiped a wrong god (LOL), I told her about what I used to believe."Don't you know that in fact Isa was not crucified? he was not killed? in fact he was still alive because God lifted him to the sky? and he will go down to the earth again when the doomsday is near."

My schoolmate looked at me with disbelief look in her eyes. But then she said something that I didn't think would come from her mouth. "I've heard about that. But of course I don't believe in it." bla bla bla ... one thing that made me sad because she didn't let me "save" her from a wrong belief. LOL.

In another chance, she wanted to learn to read some Arabic writings. In one religion book, I showed her an oath Islam people call 'syahadat'. 'Syahadat' is the first requirement for people to say to convert to Islam. When she could follow me reading 'syahadat', I told her that after reading it, automatically she became Islam. Again, to my disappointment, she didn't wanna be saved (by me). LOL. She "withdrew" what she has mentioned. She insisted that she was (still) Christian. :)

******

I have been undergoing up and down spiritual journey since 12 years ago. From being a (so-called religious) Muslim, I converted to secular (still Muslim), then agnostic.

Several days ago, a workmate of mine said that she no longer can read any book which is not about Islam, including novels. I believe her husband was the one who prohibited her to do so. Honestly I was shocked to hear that. Spontaneously, I wanted to tell her, "Don't you realize that in fact all religions are made up by human beings? Those humans who thought that religions will make people live in harmony. bla bla bla ..."

This spontaneous want reminds me of what I wanted to tell my schoolmate decades ago.

I am still naive. LOL.

IB180 13.08 20/11/2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

EX AND THE CITY

EX AND THE CITY


Different from the characters in SEX AND THE CITY who found it difficult to befriend with their ex (as depicted in the episode “Ex and the City” of season 2), I, in fact, didn’t find it hard to befriend with my ex (Angie’s dad). However, it was not that easy as I expected to still be friend with him because my friendliness to him was considered wrong by him. He thought that I still loved him (ahhh, I even don’t remember whether I really ‘ever’ fell for him long long time ago. LOL.) whenever I was still willing to spend time to chit chat with him. So? In order not to make him have the illusion that I was still his, I decided to avoid him whenever he visited my residence to meet Angie.

I left our old house in 2005. I ran away. LOL. I eventually got a chance to divorce him in 2008. Once or twice I spent some time with him when he came to my residence to meet Angie. But then I decided to avoid him thoroughly after I read his body language whenever we met.

A few months ago, Angie told me that her dad would get married again. I was really relieved. (I needed 7 years to get the real feeling that we were no longer destined to be together. No idea why I should think this way.) Guess what? Frankly, I wanted to attend his wedding day, I would show him my wide happy smile to show my relief. LOL. However, he didn’t invite me. LOL. And when the day came, I was attacked by the feeling of laziness to go so I didn’t go.


I didn’t date lotsa boys before I married my ex. But in 2008, several times I dated a guy whom I dated after graduating from high school. He said that he never stopped loving me after 20 years. Ha ha … do you believe what men say? He was married, but I just dated him, not more than just had dinner together. If you believe. LOL. But not long, I stopped dating him when he expected more than just friendship. Ha ha … In this episode, Samantha said “women are for friendship, men are for fucking.” But eventually he said to Mr. Cocky, “Could we be just friends?” because of his too big dick. LOL. In several episodes before, she broke up with James because his dick was too small. LOL. Meanwhile, in this same episode, Miranda had sex with Steve after breaking up for some time. After having sex, Steve asked her, “Are we still friends now?” Miranda answered, “Yes. We are friends who have sex.” LOL.

After leaving my ex in 2005, I dated quite a lot of guys, all of them were younger than me. J But nobody really made me fall for them. Am I, in fact, unable to love anybody? Hah! This idea reminded me of Celia, one character in T. S. Eliot’s drama entitled “The Cocktail Party”. Oh well …


PT56 15.49 24092015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

OLD DOGS, NEW DICKS



OLD DOGS NEW DICKS

Everything changes. People change. Because, wise people say, “Changes are the natural law.” Do you agree? But in the case of man-woman relationship, it doesn’t sound right. LOL. 


In one episode Sex and the City entitled “Old Dogs, New Dicks” Carrie complained to Samantha about Big who (still) liked looking at other women, although at that time they were spending time together. Instead of approving Carrie’s complaint, Samantha said, “If Looking at other women is the biggest problem of your man, you’re lucky. It is part of their genetic code, like farting. Once you start to change a man, it’s doomed. They won’t budge an inch.”

Do you agree with Carrie or Samantha? J

Well, I understand Carrie’s annoyed feeling. It is annoying to be with a man you are in love with – and you think he is also very fond of you – who constantly looks at other women, although once upon a time I dated a guy – I was very positive that he was really fond of me – who liked doing that and I didn’t mind at all.

Can I say that one thing that made Carrie annoyed is that she was not sure if Big responded her feeling the way she wanted him to?

In that episode, Miranda complained the different ‘schedule’ she had with Steve, who was her new boyfriend at that time. Steve who worked as a bartender loved having sex in the morning while in fact at that time Miranda had to be in a rush to her office. Miranda had much spare time in the night but Steve had to stay at the bar till at least 2 a.m. when Miranda was asleep.

To ‘solve’ Miranda’s problem, Charlotte came up with a suggestion, “How about making sex schedule?” Cynically Miranda said, “How romantic!” LOL.

Samantha said, “Once you try to change a man, it’s doomed. They won’t budge an inch. The only things that you can change are their hair and their closet.”

But then Samantha found out that she had changed a man to be a queer, a guy she dated years ago. And ... perhaps the guy was really fond of Samantha, so when he got dressed as a woman, he used name “Samantha”. LOL.

Have you ever imagined a guy you once dated ‘changed’ to be a woman? LOL. Try to be in Samantha’s shoes. LOL. No wonder she was very disgusted. Hmmm ... btw, a few years ago I had a crush on a guy who was very intelligent and critical to (almost) everything. One time we chatted via YM and he told me that in fact, he was feminine (although his writings sounded far from being feminine). He felt that he was trapped in the wrong body. But ‘luckily’ he claimed that he was ‘lesbian’. So, for those who don’t really know him will never know. We only knew each other online. Cannot imagine if I saw him in real with his strong feminine side. LOL.

Meanwhile the case with Charlotte in this episode was Mike – a guy she dated here – was that Mike was uncircumcised: one thing that shocked Charlotte when the first time they were about to have sex. In fact Charlotte was very disgusted so that in their next date, she refused when Mike was about to drop by at her apartment. And ... to everybody’s surprise, Mike was willing to be circumcised. Not only for Charlotte though. Mike himself couldn’t take it any longer, most women he dated gave the same (shocked) reaction when seeing his penis.


After Mike was circumcised, and both Mike and Charlotte enjoyed their first lovemaking, Charlotte got another shocking news. Realizing that to be circumcised made him a virgin, Mike was not ready to be in a serious relationship with Charlotte. He wanted to share his penis with many other women. LOL.

So ...

Have you ever thought of trying to change your life partner? His hobbies? His way of getting dressed? His job? His (un)healthy lifesytle such as smoking and drinking? Or are you the one who (have to) change for the sake of your relationship?

PT56 10.28 24/07/2015 

The first pic was taken from here
The second pic was taken from here

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marriage & Homosexuality



Marriage will always be a never-ending topic to be discussed. :) In my "Religion Education" class we also talked about it. (See my previous posts here and here.)  Below you will find the answer of my students in one quiz I gave them some time ago. There are 12 students in my RE class.

The first question is "why do people marry?"

Interestingly, the number one answer is to be able to celebrate the joy of sex. Well, despite the fact that some students of mine claim that they are non-believers, they put "sex" as the most important thing people pursue from getting married legally. The second most answer is to have babies. No matter what if you live in Indonesia, you will feel more ungodly if you have babies outside wedlock. You will feel that you follow the society norm by having babies after you get married.

(I remember many years ago, I liked teasing my students if they answered "to have babies" to answer why people get married by saying, "To have babies, you don't need to marry, you just need to have sex with someone. LOL.)

Some other answers vary from to strengthen the bond with the one they love, to prove to their loved one that they love him/her, to continue the family name after having babies, to ensure that their partner is committed to them and is responsible for the babies they "produce" :) to get rid of society's pressure that someone must get married after reaching a certain age until more "economic" reason such as to lessen parents' burden, to ease financial burden, and to continue the family business (in case of forced marriage). Some students answered people marry because their religion asks the adherents to. :)

The second question is "Explain why attitudes towards marriage have changed."

There are some interesting answers. First is the influence of globalization era. This era really has shrunk the world so that one nation cannot avoid the influence from other nations. Second now that women have more rights (in public sphere), such as working to make their ends meet or pursuing education as high as they want, they become less dependent on men. When a woman does not depend on a man, she probably can view marriage differently; this probably makes her think that she no longer needs any bond with any man. Third, economic factors.  Marrying and 'building' a family is costly in  this era so that it can stop someone from thinking of the need to get married. This, therefore, leads to the following reason: people are a lot more career-oriented.

Besides those four reasons, some other reasons are mentioned such as in this era people are not that strict anymore in adhering a religion so they do not need to feel guilty/sinful to have sex outside marriage. When they can have sex before getting married first, why do they need to marry? :) (This reason is really contradictory to the answer in the first question, isn't it? :) ) The practice of cohabitation is more acceptable now. Last but not least is in this era gay people are more open about their sexual orientation; so as long as they have a soul mate (from the same sex), they do not need to 'imprison' themselves in a marriage boundary. :)

The third question is "How does Judaism view marriages?" but I do not want to include the answer of this question in this post.



The last question is "Do you think religions should accept homosexuality?"

From 11 answer sheets I have (1 sheet was gone :( ) three students answered NO. There is only one reason: it is against religion teaching. They believe that God created man and woman to love each other, it is the natural law. Man and women are created to love each other, then marry and have babies to continue "human race".  A homosexual couple cannot have baby so they are against the "natural law".

Eight students answered YES. Some reasons are

  1. It is everyone's right to choose who they will live their life with as long as they do not harm others.
  2. Spiritual encounter is personal, it differs from one person to another.
  3. Gay people deserve equality with heterosexual people.
  4. Religions (are supposed to) believe that only God judges a person for his/her sins, not a preacher.
  5. There is nothing wrong for being gay.

No one remembers to answer that love is more important than being heterosexual/homosexual. As long as love exists between two people, what else matters?

GG 08.14 11 September 2014