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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


“God never made mistakes in creating human beings!”

The statement above was said by one student of mine several months ago when I asked the class to discuss homosexuality/transgender/transsexual. I cited a statement of one transsexual I found in a book entitled Transekssualisme: “I was trapped in a wrong body.” And then I asked the class consisting of college students to discuss in small groups. The background of the discussion was the ‘gossip’ of one celebrity in Indonesia, Krisna Mukti. (Absolutely I am not a fan of infotainment program. However, I was interested in discussing this gossip in my class since the movement of feminism is indispensable from the movement of LGBT—lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. And I am an open claimed feminist as you can find in my blogs.)

In responding my student’s opinion (I directly realized that I was facing a group of students who would probably oppose my way of thinking that is pro to freedom of choosing sexual orientation), I had to do it very carefully and wisely.

Obviously I also do believe that God never made mistakes in creating anything; name it human beings, animals, plants, this universe. Human beings made mistakes though. In this case, including to limit human beings only into two kinds—female and male, and then decide that the ‘normal’ one is when female is attracted to male and on the way around, especially romantically, sexually, and sensually. Outside that, there must be something wrong. Strongly opining that “No one is supposed to think that he/she is trapped in the wrong body” is indeed narrow-minded because we view things only from one perspective, ignoring that there is another—even some other perspectives.

Based on researches done, anthropologists have classified human beings into at least four categories, in terms of sexuality:

  1. Male that is sexually attracted to female
  2. Female that is sexually attracted to male
  3. Male that that is sexually attracted to male
  4. Female that is sexually attracted to female

The strong influence of Abrahamic religions (read: Jewish, Christianity, Islam) narrowed the four categories into only two during the Victorian era, the first and the second categories, leaving the third and the fourth become unknown, and eventually they were labeled abnormal or against natural law.
The Dutch colonial government brought this influence to Indonesia; making some communities that used to give respected position to homosexuals (such as bissu community in Makassar, warok gemblak in Ponorogo, dalaq in Madura, shaman in Dayak Ngaju, etc) cornered and gradually disappear. Besides, the strong influence of two main celestial religions (Christianity and Islam) brought to Indonesia made the homosexual communities come to an end. While before, those communities were viewed normal, even respected.

Isn’t it time to start viewing things from other perspectives, to understand the way others think and feel, to be empathetic.

Irshad Manji (a feminist Muslim that claims herself as a lesbian) said, “Bukankah Tuhan sangat bisa dengan keMahaKuasaan-Nya menjadikanku untuk tidak menjadi seorang lesbian?” (JP number 58) and still she is a lesbian. There was God’s interference behind it.

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johnorford said...

what did your students say after discussion?

-maynot- said...

Hmm... you said "Human beings made mistakes though."

My question is: if human beings made mistakes, what makes you so sure that "limiting human beings only into two kinds" is the mistake? Following your logic, there is always possibility that the mistake human beings make was "classifying human beings into at least four categories"

My second question is about the Manji's quote. Yes, indeed, God can make her not a lesbian. But... as a Moslem, I believe Manji knows that there is two kind of taqdir: muallaq and mubrom. The Muallaq we cannot change, but Mubrom is open to change as long as we try to change it. Muallaq covers birth, death, and "jodoh". Other things are mubrom.

What makes you so sure that "homosexuality" is muallaq? How can you be so sure that God does not change it, because YOU have to change it yourself?

Just a critical thinking of mine :)

A Feminist Blog said...

To John:
My students did not say anything after that. I still could see dissatisfaction in their eyes after hearing what I said. But I also could see that they were also curious to know about this case more. I hope I have opened their mind about a new way of viewing things. :)

A Feminist Blog said...

For 'maynot' ...
thanks for dropping by and leaving this valuable comment, to continue the discussion.
Some time ago I read a book in Bahasa Indonesia. I found a very interesting sentence saying, "Truth is future tense while good deeds are present tense. If truth has to be declared today, it becomes power."
To find out the truth about how many kinds of human beings God has created, we have to ask God, right? We cannot find it now, because we have to wait until the D day when we can meet God. When someone insists that the truth is only two kinds of human beings, we will be authoritarian, to force other people to believe in what we believe.
I am sure with my way of thinking, other people can be sure with their perspective in life of course. And then comes the next step, let us respect each other's way of thinking.
For your second question about Manji's statement, I will answer the same thing again. We will find the truth later, after God declares why God made Manji as a lesbian.
Thanks for the critical question. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the article and the comments by two of you, 'maynot' and 'feminist'.
Allow me to share.
1. Human being learns from mistake. For thousands of years, human evolve to be better and better.
True, limiting Human's Passionate into 4 categories only, maybe still inadequate, but its better than 2. Beside, Feminist said 'at LEAST four categories', not 'four' only. So, for humanitarian sake, let them choose what they want, as long as not interfering with others.

2. Maynot thought that, it's people's will if they want to change. Do not blame God.
Mean time, Menji's thought, if God let me be what I am then, I am ok. After all, God is the all mighty, the omny potent.
Thus, 2 different perspectives.

Who’s right or wrong? Perhaps as Feminist said ‘wait till we meet ‘God’ and ask Him directly. At the mean time, let us respect each other's way of life.


A Feminist Blog said...

Dear Cig,
thanks a million for the comment. I completely agree with you that 'maynot' and I have contradictory perspective. Nevertheless, we had better respect each other's opinion, hadn't we?
Let us live in peace.

Agnes said...

Homosexuality is not only found in human. I know that at least penguins and flamingoes can be homosexuals. If we assume that animals have less capability to control their behaviour (compared to human), then we must conclude that they (these penguins and flamingoes) didn't choose to be homosexuals; or "God created them as homosexuals". But talking about God is a bit too far to my opinion, breeding resulted in endless variation in character and morphology, so why not in sexual preferences/characters?

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A Feminist Blog said...

Agnes, yes, we also can use that statement. Thanks :)

CEWS, thank you for your dropping by and supportive comment. :)

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Pacarnya Wina said...


"rasa cinta itu datangnya dari Tuhan, Tuhan yg mau saya jd lesbian" sering bgt dnger ini digaung2kan.. But sorry to say, i dont buy that. Rasa ingin mmbnuh yg kita rasakan ketika membenci/marah dgn sangat pun datangnya dari Tuhan, Tuhan yg menciptakan kita sbgai manusia dgn rasa itu, tp itu tdk bs jd alasan pembenar/pemaaf untuk membunuh kan? Nafsu itu harusnya dilawan..

Dont get me wrong.. Me myself is Lesbian and i am in a commited relationship with a woman now. I just... Well..buat saya ap yg saya lakukan ini dosa, saya sadar ini dosa.. Tapi saya terlalu lemah untuk melawan perasaan saya, toh tidak seperti membunuh...mencintai sesama jenis tidak menyakiti orang lain..


eh,maaf udah nyampah ma'am :D

Nana Podungge said...

Hello 'Pacarnya Wina'

it is nice to be visited by you and get a lovely comment too :)

aku setuju denganmu bahwa mencintai sesama jenis tidak menyakiti orang lain, namun jika kamu berpikir bahwa itu dosa -- dan mungkin kamu belajar tentang dosa itu dari orangtuamu -- bisa jadi kenyataan bahwa kamu mencintai sesama jenis menyakiti hati mereka? karena kamu melakukan suatu dosa?

btw, nafsu yang harus dilawan kupikir jika akibat dari nafsu itu membawa 'mudhorot' (bahasa Arab :-P) atau keburukan bagi orang lain, bahkan juga untuk dirinya sendiri.

jika Irshad Manji berpikir bahwa mencintai sesama jenis itu bukan nafsu, so why not? :)

Salam buat Wina ya? :)

Pacarnya Wina said...

iyes...cinta bukan nafsu... dan mencintai sesama jenis (mungkin)sebenarnya bukan dosa, yang dosa adalh hubungan seksualnya... iya ngga sech? hehehehe

terimakasih sudah berkunjung balik :)

Nana Podungge said...

Pacarnya Wina,

sudah baca novel Ayu Utami terbaru yang berjudul "Cerita Cinta Enrico"?

di dalamnya ada pembahasan sedikit tentang yang apakah hubungan seksual berdosa atau tidak, tentu saja berdasarkan pandangan Ayu Utami yang bertitik tolak dari Bible.

I know you are the "religious" one, sedangkan aku mungkin lebih ke tipe Wina dalam hal ini. "masa" relijiusitas dengan cara pandang hitam putih doang itu sudah berlalu dalam hidupku. :)

Melisa Marzett said...

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