Tag Archives: perkawinan

Gay Marriage, An Abused Ideal?

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Until now I still have mixed feelings about homosexuality. But lately, things got more complicated when the same-sex marriage is being approved in New York City. As a married woman, I find it difficult to understand the reason and purpose behind this breakthrough.

I always believe that a marriage starts at the very moment when a man said his vows to a woman’s father during the ijab kabul process. This system has put men and women in different positions with different responsibilities. Prior to being married, the responsibility to protect a woman in terms of mental, physical and financial, lies in the hands of her father. But when a woman is being married to a man, her father will transfer all the responsibility to her husband. This does not mean that a woman must rely their life to men all of her life, it is okay if she can be independent and self-financed but still, she can rely to her father or husband for protection.

But apparently, in the same-sex marriages we will not find neither the bride nor the groom. Instead, we will possibly see two grooms, or two brides. In this situation, who will act as the husband (and say the vows), and who will be the wife (whose father will transfer the responsibilities) if I may ask?

Well, it’s a common question for anyone with religious beliefs combined with the influence of the so-called patrilineal culture. But for me, the arrangement of a father transferring responsibilities to men does have magical benefits in creating and maintaining a safe, secure, and sane marriage. If all men understand what it means to marry a woman, they will behave according to their own vows. And we will have no question about their commitment. But in reality, well, every marriages will have their own problems, some can find a solution, some will have to end in divorce.

The approval of same-sex marriage undoubtedly gave a new challenge for two people with the same sex, who wish to legalized their “love-based” relationship into a higher level. But at the same time, it has also abused my ideal portrayal where a marriage is supposed to be a transfer of responsibility from fathers to husbands.

When it comes to my own understanding of a sacred marriage, I know I will never be able to relate it to same-sex marriages. But if you see a marriage as an individual right, perhaps I have to force myself to accept the fact that everyone deserves the chance to share a life together as married couples. No matter what their sexual orientation are.

I surely hope I can. Good luck and congratulations, anyway.

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If You Decide To Go To Hell

Last night, I was watching one of my favorite series “Glee” and got mixed feelings about the show’s gay character: Kurt and Blaine. I’m not homophobic, I’m just a parent who is still uncertain on how to react. To be honest, they aren’t exactly the kind of role model that you want your son to have, right?

Kurt & Blaine of Glee

But homosexuality is not the only confusing culture which bothers me as a parent of a young boy. A study has presented a controversial result where 51% of female students in Jabodetabek area admitted they have had a sexual intercourse. It’s not a matter of virginity, but it’s how prone they are to sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancy. And yet for the minister, sexual education is still considered unimportant.

As I searched for answers to overcome my confusion, I became lost. For some people, one of the reason behind this “alarming” facts of teenager behavior is parents who no longer stressed on the importance of religion. For our government, represented by the ministry of education, ‘character-building‘ (which will soon be implanted to our current school curriculum) is going to fix this problem. And according to our minister of communication and information Tifatul Sembiring, pornography is the reason behind this mess, hence blocking it (and putting Ariel to jail, maybe) will become the best solution available.

None of the above mentioned solution is satisfactory. Instead of finding the answers, I became angry and more confuse than ever. Luckily after Glee, there was a documentary program about the recent megaquake and tsunami in Japan. And somehow, it was the scientist’s words that opened my mind. “We can’t pretend that the threat of natural disasters don’t exist. We need to find a way on how to live with them, and prepare ourselves for the danger they possessed.”

Now, that, my friend, is what I call a reasonable solution. There’s nothing wrong with having a solid knowledge about religious doctrines that you believe, but when it comes to protecting your child against something that he is unaware of, we need to go beyond heaven and hell.

First of all, we all need to accept the fact that every normal teenager will want a taste of intimacy. But sexual intercourse, is not the only way to satisfy those needs. Especially when it puts you at risk of being infected with deadly viruses such as herpes, hepatitis, and of course the incurable and life-threatening virus of HIV. When you’re enjoying a sexual intimacy, you are “doing it” with anyone else whom your partner have ever had sex with. And who knows what those people are carrying in their genitals. That is why we are strongly recommended to only doing it with our “eligible” partner whom we are married with. It decreases the possibility of being infected with those deadly viruses.

People are threatened by natural disasters, the same way my son (along with the rest of our future generation) shall be exposed to negative sexual stimulator such as pornography. But hiding it away from his sight will be like pretending that tsunamis and earthquakes don’t exist. At any moment, not just from the media, but also from friends, my son (and everybody else’s child) will see it, hear it, feel it, and eventually digest it. Our duty is to provide them with survival tools to choose the good ones, and give them sensible reasons on why they must leave the bad ones. And to my opinion, the hot flames of hell is not sensible enough for the critical minds of the modern young.

Nothing is taboo when it comes to survival and staying alive. It does not mean that I disagree with religions who forbid sexual activities before (or without) marriage, but I do know now, that I can’t solely rely on its doctrines to keep my son away from the danger of modernization. But on the other hand, I can always explain the importance of wearing a condom, just in case he decides to go to hell.

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This post was submitted to join “The Jakarta Post – IMO Blog” Blogging competition on May 2011.

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Benarkah Hidup Perempuan Belum Lengkap Tanpa Anak?

A Mother And Her Baby

Sebuah artikel di Kompas Female menuliskan sesuatu tentang perempuan dan keputusan untuk memiliki anak. Begini bunyinya: “lengkapnya hidup Anda sebagai perempuan tidak hanya ditentukan oleh kemampuan mempunyai anak.” Setuju? Tidak setuju? Atau ragu-ragu?

Jawaban saya, Ya dan Tidak.

Ya, karena perempuan (layaknya manusia dengan jenis kelamin lain), tidak hanya diberkahi kemampuan berkembang biak tapi juga segudang kemampuan lain yang melengkapi dirinya (dan diri orang lain juga, sering kali). Kita bisa bekerja, mencari uang, berprestasi di bidang apapun. Masih ingat filmĀ  Monalisa Smile yang dibintangi si cantik Julia Roberts? Disitu ia berperan sebagai guru yang memotivasi anak didiknya untuk tidak terburu-buru menikah dan berkeluarga.

Tidak setuju, karena pada akhirnya ketika perempuan telah siap, dia akan merasa tidak lengkap tanpa kehadiran anak. Sebuah acara di BBC Knowledge berjudul Tribal Wives membuka mata saya, betapa seorang perempuan di Inggris yang menghabiskan hampir seluruh hidupnya untuk mengejar karir, akhirnya memutuskan untuk tidak menerima tawaran pekerjaan baru yang menggiurkan (dari sisi materi), dengan alasan: “I want to have a life.

Segala sesuatu selalu memiliki dua sisi yang menuntut kita untuk berfikir sesuai kondisi masing-masing. Ini bukan masalah kesetaraan gender atau emansipasi dimana perempuan juga berhak untuk mengejar karir. Bukan juga kondisi dimana perempuan yang memutuskan menikah muda dan segera memiliki anak lantas dianggap peninggalan bersejarah. Setiap orang, termasuk perempuan memiliki prioritas dan life purpose yang berbeda.

Beberapa diantara kita menempuh jalan menunda kehadiran anak untuk meraih keinginan. Sementara beberapa diantara kita justru melakukan sebaliknya, juga untuk meraih keinginannya. Tidak ada yang salah, karena semua bertumpu pada keinginan pribadi setiap perempuan.

Yang terpenting adalah untuk menghadirkan anak ketika kita memang sudah siap mental (dan finansial). Bukan karena paksaan lingkungan, bukan karena usia yang makin mengejar (walaupun faktor fertilitas kita dipengaruhi olehnya), dan yang jelas bukan karena “kecelakaan.”

Menjadi ibu adalah sesuatu yang bersifat naluriah, ketika perempuan siap menerima tanggung jawab mulia ini, maka hidup akan terasa semakin indah. Karena insting untuk mengasuh memang sudah ada di diri kita sebagai kodrat perempuan, tetapi kapan insting itu tampil di permukaan akan tergantung pada kesiapan yang tentu saja berbeda untuk tiap individu.

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Men, Women, Marriage, And Equality

Last week, I posted a blog about an overrated version of a Good Wife. From it, I received comments about gender equality. In this modern age, where women have the same opportunity as men, turns out that there are still men who prefer to have a “stay at home” wife. And then someone asked..

“Are we not all created equal? Should we not all have equal rights, duties and expectations, no matter what our gender is?”

From this question, we can see a view saying that it is not fair for women to stop pursuing their dream, to not be able to have a career, just because their husband doesn’t allowed them to. In this particular case, I wouldn’t jump to conclusion that this man is an old-fashioned, close-minded person, without looking at his reasons. He may have a point after all! Such as a condition when he have a stable income that can support his entire family, therefore he needs to have a partner who can manage his house, his children. I personally will accept the offer to stay at home and create my own business, because flexibility has always been my dream.

I too, at first, think of the term “equality in marriage” as a condition where women are allowed to pursue their dream, to work, to have a career, instead of staying home taking care of the house and children. I’m not a feminist, or an expert in psychology, but I believe that housewives can have equal responsibility in marriage because it’s not always about the money or who has the better career. There are other things such as children education, house maintenance, financial issues and management, which are also part of a marital life and sometimes it can even caused a severe head ache. I am a wife, and a mother, and my salary is bigger than my husband’s, but when it comes to finding a solution for our daily problems, both me and my husband are entitled to look for the best options. Just because I made more money, it doesn’t mean that I’m the one who always have the best answer and opinion about everything.

So it doesn’t matter whether you’re a career woman or a housewife, you must have an equal share of marital responsibilities, you have the right to speak and decide what’s best for you and your family.

In fact, to be honest, if I can just stay at home, I certainly will, because it will lessen my burden and gives me plenty of time to play with my 20 months old son. But at this moment we need all the money we can get, so I am still a bored employee, wasting her time writing blogs during office hours.

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