Friday, August 21, 2015

Am I too old to understand these feminist statements or they’re just matter-of-factly weird?

Do you know what makes life colorful and interesting? The answer is not Pentel crayons, or cartoon, or money. It’s the existence of women that makes the world not boring. We, women, always have ways to make the world turn to us. When men disagree, they tend to fight. On the other hand, women are far more creative to show their objections, for instance: braless rally.

Due to bitter history the gender has undergone, women strive for equality in many forms of defiance actions. We demand the same right and freedom as men can get, from education opportunity, political rights to self-expression freedom. It seems that today’s feminist generation puts more focus on body-conscious statement rather than other women-related concerns even though until now there are still gender preference and discrimination in the work-osphere. We’re sick and tired of obeying the tiresome beauty standards and seemingly demand the EXACT same right for physical image expression and want men to agree with it. For example, they say, if it’s okay for men to be topless then so is for women (which must be very welcomed by men). They—now I change the pronoun—also want men to accept all women’s human-nature conditions without asking women to give effort to change them, from “all body types are beautiful” campaign to the eyebrow-raising stance of unshaven armpits and pubic hair. But have we—or probably they—gone too far in the name of ‘raising awareness’ for self-expression equality and freedom?

I totally believe that all women are beautiful and unique in their own bodies, complexion, shapes, etc. and we should not be pressured by the beauty standards set by men. I support that we all should be given equal rights and opportunity in many aspects of life. I object the ancient stereotypical description on women made by male authors. I disrespect all the men who still proudly underestimate our sex. But showing off vibrant-colored-armpits and unshaven pubic hair?? Count me out.

As also a part of the sex, even I am often startled by some statements and campaigns meant to raise awareness. Nowadays, it sounds exaggerated to name #Dyedpits phenomenon the weirdest feminist movement. Teenagers post their photos in bikinis with their pubic hair sticking out from their bikinis. A woman joined London marathon without tampon to raise awareness, the cause is called #FreeBleeding. Their ideas are that menstruation is natural and should not be hidden and that tampons and pads are MAN-made inventions intended to inadvertently rape a woman during her period. How unbelievable!!

These movements are serious movements, I mean, they really mean it. Each movement has sites. I didn’t know how to react when I read ‘catchy and deep’ sites’ names such as “Free Your Pits”. My comical brain started to imagine tons of armpits in a demonstration demanding to be free with banners on their hands written with things like this: “We want freedom and justice!” , “Free us from deodorant and razors! We have rights to grow and you, humans, have to be proud of what and how we are!” or “Love us the way you love the hair on your heads! Braid us!”.

Eva Arnaz, Indonesia's Armpit Hair Icon in the 70s

However, one of the most surprising sites that I’ve found is mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com, dedicated for all the men who spread their legs and elbows too much on public spaces. Most women, I think, since their childhood, must have at least similar experience once, but we have different ways to handle this discomfort. I choose to just tell them directly because it’s simpler and always works rather than be grumpy during the trip, secretly take pics of them and bother myself making a soc-med account as confrontation. Too much works!

I start to imagine what if the men were as creative as we are.  Most women take more time and tend to be late on dates, then, would they make such sites like, womendisrespectingmenslife.com ??

I know and believe that we, women, are probably doing these things for a good cause. I agree that women should be allowed to make decisions about their own bodies. But I just don’t share the enthusiasm. Excuse me for being unable to understand how dyed armpits and the ‘free flow’ can demonstrate my feminist belief, and for being not able to believe that those are the best ways to raise awareness. Now, I may sound like a granny to them, or maybe to you.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

25 Things about a Quarter

 1.   Happy birthday to Me, you’re 25 and freaking out.

 2. You’re no longer ‘early twenties’. You’re mid-twenties now, with mid-twenties-crisis: figuring out there are too many things to figure out and have figured out.

 3. Welcome to the age when society will torture you with none-of-their-business kind of questions, “When will you get married? You’re a woman, time is ticking, what’s wrong with you, you’re not that ugly? Stop making money, that’s not what you’re born for! Lower your standard!” etc… etc..

 4.  Change of plans. This age’s goal: education. A man told me this, “It’s about buying freedom.  You won’t go far with undergraduate degree.”

 5.  Change of direction. I used to picture my self as a ‘mompreneur’ in the future. But now I realized that I can’t stand being static. No offense for stay-at-home mommies, it’s my personal ideal and perspective, I just don’t wanna be ordinary. I am fond of knowledge, ideas sharing, meeting smart people and experts, cultures, languages and research. Hence, now I want to jump my self to academic life. I want to be a lecturer, who also runs creative business of course. Art is part of my life. But I also want to see my name on Google search result for articles or journals, not only for online shop. Jenuh Barbie jadi sistah-sistah OL shop…

 6.  Finally I drive, yeay! Even though with poor (or dangerous, life-threatening) driving skills. Maklum, darah biru.

 7.  Successfully maintaining having yoghurt everyday and monthly beauty treatment. (My name has “Ayu”—beautiful—in it. I have a reputation to keep. Lol.) Next step: consistent daily work-out.

 8.  Marriage? That will be my least priority in this age (unless a sudden unavoidable bad thing takes place, then I will think about that). A friend told me, “Why so hurry? You will be married the rest of your life, and you can only be single for a quarter of your life.” True that.
 9.  Being selfish is not as bad as what your religion teacher taught you it was. One has to put her/ his self first. I cant make people happy if I am not happy. I only live once, not to fulfill other people’s happiness and expectations.

10. Seemingly my exes are going to win the race. Flashback, I was the one who always urged to marriage. I broke up with my first BF with an excuse that I couldn’t wait for his study, I wanted to get married ASAP at that time (yeah I know this is embarrassing). Now he (or they) must be laughing. All I can say is congratulations to you (all), for your almost-game-over! Lol!

11. Focus on trying to get scholarship, the once-forgotten dream (because of stupid marriage thing. Society, please… educate yourself.)

12. Voltaire is now on the list.

13.  Living with family is a No-No. A little distance is better.

14.  Finally I succeeded convincing my parents that they’ve been wrong all this time. Mom, you should be proud of me and brother. If your kids always agree with you, it means you didn’t provide them enough education. Our rebel is truly your achievement, Mom!

15. Ya ampun, Lebaran is so expensive.

16. Nothing in the malls is as tempting as when you were 23. “Idih bused, risoles gini doang goceng! Kain dipotong-potong aja cepek!”

17. I need more bookshelves.

18. Asset-based thinking.

19. Damn you, taxes!

20. Insecurities?? Never heard that word before.

21. More and more thirst for knowledge.

22. The 90s is awesome. We’re the luckiest. Poor you, Generation Z!

23. Culture and tradition are nice and beautiful, but doesn’t mean I have to follow it or apply that to my life, if that just complicates my life. Such as: ridiculous Indonesian wedding, ‘imprisoned’ heiress, etc.

24. There are some things that I used to practice, I don’t do it anymore. And I am happier. It only took some time to adjust with ‘the loss’.

25. I cant be more thankful for all the things that went out of plans. When I just graduated, I planned to only work for a half year, then resign and get married. But failed. Now I have been working for 2 years, I’ve got the experiences, knowledge and motivation that we don’t get from school, and most important is, I have time to enjoy the financial freedom. I have stories to tell my kids in the future and my work experience has helped to shape my personality and point of view.  I love my messed-up plans!

Monday, June 1, 2015