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Friday, August 04, 2006

Si Parasit Lajang

SI PARASIT LAJANG by Ayu Utami, a feminist writer of Indonesia is one of my favorite books. I bought it in one book fair held in Yogyakarta on October 12, 2003. FYI, I always write the date and the place where I buy my books on the last page so that it is easy for me to check it next time. :) So, it is not coz I have a very great memory. LOL. How can I remember the time and the place where I buy all my books that until now comprise more than 700 titles? LOL.

I was still shaping myself to be a feminist at that time, after I bought a book entitled STUDI ALQURAN KONTEMPORER some months before that. This is the first book that opened my mind that there will always be new things in anything, including in interpreting Alquran, moreover in any other thing. When something is socially constructed, there will always be changes in re-viewing it. Naïve Nana was still very naïve at that time, and oftentimes saw social constructions as something created, as a “destiny”. A new Nana was born in 2003. LOL. “Do you feel happier with the new you?” a workmate asked me such a question some time ago. “Everything has risk and responsibility in this life. In one side, probably I am happier with the new me. However, in another side, I also easily become hurt when seeing the unfairness done to women, something that probably didn’t bother me in the past; such as a woman will always be the second in the family after the husband, sometimes even the third after the husband and the children. Aquarini illustrated in her book KAJIAN BUDAYA FEMINIS, “an ordinary woman is a woman who is willing to lose her old self, who always gives the first priority to the husband first, the children second, and herself the last, if she still has time to take care of herself.”

Many provoking ideas I got when reading Ayu Utami’s book. Therefore, I often promote the book to my workmates and friends. LOL. I also bought the book to two male friends of mine to show my gratitude to them. Well, two reasons behind it: I wanted to thank them for spending their special time for me, and making me very special. LOL. The second reason was that I wanted to provoke them too in viewing man-woman relationship when reading the book. Tricky of me, huh? LOL.

The book consists of 33 articles, not all about gender things. Some are about Ayu’s witty criticism on life (such as, why writers in Indonesia seldom include animals in the stories, does it show that Indonesian people don’t love animals? About urine therapy, etc), also her criticism on the national politics of Indonesia (e.g. why until now PKI (Indonesia Communist Party) is still considered as latent danger. After Soeharto diminished the party in 1966, the offspring of the party is still considered as danger, to enliven this Communist Party again so that they don’t get appropriate treatment from the nation. Indonesian people easily get provoked with this PKI term until now.

I also take two articles from the book to discuss in my SPEAKING class. I didn’t bother myself to translate the articles into English. I let my students read the articles in Bahasa Indonesia. However, of course, the discussion in the class was conducted in English.

Until now, I have read some articles in SI PARASIT LAJANG many times. I never find it a bore. :) Perhaps next time I will give an interpretation of one article and post it in my blog. :)

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