I spent this Sunday with my lover walking at a forest from Maarn to Pyramide of Austerlitz to Austerlitz and then back to Driebergen-Zeist, a total of good 12 km. It was such a pleasant day with a warm -near Spring- sun. So much so that I had not realise about the International Women’s Day until I reached home and opened my laptop reading posts on twitter and mbak Yoyen’s and mbak Ailtje’s blog post. And then this news about an offensive shirt label washing instruction appear at NOS, BBC and the Independent. It is indeed so outrageous I can’t help but felt compelled to put my foot down and say something about this outrageous stunt the sports attire company is doing and a society that is somewhat OK with it. I say it is not OK to consider women as men’s property. I say it is not OK to compartmentalise women as a ‘better’ washer therefore they should do all the washing for men (what kind of warped mind is that?). “That’s her job” is typed with bold font, just to be sure I suppose. I say it is not OK that the society to just brush this kind of behaviour away. While I personally don’t buy jerseys let alone from this company, I certainly won’t start now.
This case made me think how I seem to perceive that sexism and misogyny is something that happened out there, to other women far away – even though in fact, I myself have been in many ways experiencing it myself with own close family. My uncle hits his (then) wife in front me and my brother in a dreadful evening. My parents has somewhat inherited a misogynistic Sunda/Java/Islam culture in sharing the household role between my mother and father. My good friend is experiencing a kind of domestic pressure to be that kind woman who takes care of children and husband and tidiness of the household (her husband thinks that her work as a lab chemist is just a side thing that women do, a bonus). Even I am experiencing some left overs from the culture I was raised in to be a certain kind of woman that fits in a certain set of behaviour. Sometimes I forget about these things because it is easier to think about feminist thoughts when it happens out there, to other people in another society. These struggles on inequality are real and close to my personal life and I am sure this is as real for many out there, too.
What I would like to make happen is a society that would speak up and act against unfairness. I would like to see a society that takes care of working mothers. Baby day care in offices/ schools should be made mandatory for institutions to provide access to, so mothers (parents) could work and live their daily lives. I would like to see more men having awareness of equality in partnerships. I would like to see a society without violence.