"I view it more through a human angle. It doesn’t matter if you're a male or female...We are raising humans."
MELATI ON RAISING HER 2 DAUGHTERS (7,5)
BALI | INDONESIA
Feminism in Indonesia
Unfortunately, in Indonesia we’re still trying to deal with violence against women. Rape issues, brutality against women, victim blaming, etc. These harder and more obvious issues. Other parts of the world have progressed farther in that they are able to talk about raising feminist kids, but we’re still behind in dealing with basic violence against women. Those are the crucial topics were still dealing with now. There’s a lot of ties with religious issues. For example, women shouldn’t wear revealing clothing. The feminists here are dealing with more brutal issues than the gender equality nuances that other more progressive feminist cultures are dealing with now.
The girls right now love these small ‘girly’ dolls. We allow them to have them but the way they play with them is not about taking care of their appearances. Like brushing their hair or dressing them up. They are playing pretend with them and creatively using their imagination. They love making up scenarios of their dolls going to the beach or climbing a mountain. So the dolls are used for imaginative play, not necessarily for dressing up. However, to this day, we still haven’t allowed the girls to play with Barbies.
Outside family influences
Compared to other families, what I’ve noticed is the big difference is the fact that my husband and I are raising our family far from our own families. So there is not a big influence from our older family members on how to raise our children. But our friends are close to their main families so they're heavily influenced by grandparents. They are obviously a bit more old-school in their thinking. For example, we have a friend’s mother that insists that her granddaughter wear pink and that she has to dress up. Since they were babies, there were very obvious gender differences in the way they had to dress their children. So their children are influenced by that. However, I see a lot of my friends that have very similar approach and views with our family.
I don’t consider myself as an extreme feminist. I view it more through a human angle. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. We are raising humans. Some extreme feminists are really about women ruling the world. That’s cool, if you can. If you can’t, don’t push it. Women need to do this and that. Don’t make it about insult men as well. It’s not about underestimating men. We’re not trying to be above them. Also, I’ve heard rhetoric from feminists suggesting stay-at-home mothers are not feminists. So the term is loaded here. Feminists here are sometimes defined as women working outside the home, or needing to be above men. It’s not about that, obviously. I guess that’s why I raise my children in a more human context, not so much as feminists.