Tag Archives: seks

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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Obedient Wives Club: Why I Don’t Want To Join

Nobody has invited me to join this club yet, but if I do get the invitation, I think I’ll have to pass. Not just because the awkwardly hilarious name, but because Dr Rohaya Mohamad, the founder this controversial club, seems to have a different definition of “a happy marriage.” From her statements, I see her as someone who neglect the equal position of a wife in a marriage. She thinks “happy marriages come from sexually-satisfied husbands” — but sorry to say, she is also married to a polygamist husband who has three other wives.

I agree that sexual intimacy is undoubtedly important in any marriage, but is it the only determining factor? Joining a club which transforms wives to whores is, well, seems a bit desperate and, hello.. we are living in a digital era where you can simply browse for this sort of thing, remember?

Dr Rohaya said, with easy access on prostitution nowadays, every husbands are in a critical stage to being tempted by prostitutes, and with the sex lessons offered by this club, it is guaranteed that husbands will no longer mess around with.. well, any women..

Right. Our beloved husbands will not cheat because they have their own personal, free, and ready-to-use prostitute at home by the name of “a wife.” Not because they have strong commitment to keep their promise which they have said in their marital vows. Instead we are enforcing the husbands to think: “Why bother paying a lot of money to prostitutes when we already have one at home?“– which straightly pops a question to my furious mind: “Is that how we want our husbands to see us? As a FREE prostitute?” What if someday, we suddenly got into a terrible accident and lost our sexual skills? Come to think of it, many normal women are already victims of polygamy, what will happen to wives with disabilities? No question, the holy bond of marriage will sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

A sexual connection is supposed to bring mutual satisfaction, hence it is also must be conducted without any domination from one person. My understanding of a healthy marriage within the Islamic law is perhaps scant, but I believe one of the main responsibility of a husband is to make sure that his wife feels safe, secure, and sufficient within a marriage. Therefore, she can contribute to the family and at the same time serve her husband’s needs –not just sexually– but also in terms of making decisions and providing ideas/solutions.

Sex is important, and yes, a wife must obey her husband. But to what extent? If Dr Rohaya thinks that a happy marriage is a result of a sexually-satisfied-dominating-husband with a depressed wife at home taking all the pain so that she can go to heaven some day, I rest my case. I’d rather go to heaven with my husband at my side holding my hands. Because a happy marriage is a result of two people having the same/equal responsibility to take care each other mentally, financially and sexually.

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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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Lessons From The Movie: “The Kids Are Alright”

Nic & Jules on "The Kids Are Alright"

Homosexuality issues are always interesting and at the same time provocative. Nic and Jules are two women who fell in love with each other, they got married, and they’re both using the same sperm donor to conceive Joni (Nic’s daughter) and Laser (Jules’ son).

One day, Laser and Joni are trying to discover their biological father (the sperm donor), and it triggered the family’s problems. Conflicts began to rise. But as the movie reached its ending, we will find the ‘hidden’ message behind it, that “a family who was built by a lesbian couple is still a ‘normal’ family, where your children are also living a normal life.”

(read more about this movie)

The movie proved that the definition of “marriage” has shifted. Marriage is no longer something that can only be done by a man and a woman. It belongs to everyone. More men are marrying another men, and more women are creating a family with another women.

It’s a fact. But it’s not what our kids will learn in school. At least in my country, where schools are following basic rules where reproduction and marriage is a process that must involve a man and a woman, having an intercourse and so on. It is also contrary to the subject of religion, which Indonesian kids are also learning in school.

So how do we explain the existence of homosexual couples to our children?

I don’t have an exact formula for that. Although I must admit that the thoughts of having a son who grow up to be gay, is not something that will make me happy. But I also don’t want him to grow up hating and cursing gay people. I know some parents are using religion as their ultimate weapon, but this country’s condition often misused it and made people trapped in some sort of ‘unreasonable fear’ with hatred towards diversity.

The only thing I have in my mind is to provide as many information as possible. Because knowledge is the key that will help him decide what’s best for him.

For this purpose, I must continuously maintain a high amount of communication. I’d rather have my son asking me silly, stupid, sensitive, and eventually confusing questions, than to have him asking someone else and receive a false explanation.

We all have our own way to educate and raise our children. But, Nic and Jules’ conflicts are happening to all of us. Their decision to hide Paul (the sperm donor, Laser and Joni’s biological father) from their children is not a wise decision. Families shouldn’t hide anything because families must not keep any secrets. If we want our children to see us as a source of knowledge, then no matter how awkward and abnormal or embarrassing the fact maybe, they deserved to know from A to Z.

The world and life is not a fairy tale, our children must prepare themselves for battle. With proper guidelines and love, hopefully they will have a solid understanding about whatever it is that’s going on around them. Thus, they will have a strong foundation to help deciding what’s best for them. We can only provide our support, but eventually we will have to learn to let them go, trust them in taking their own decisions.

But just like the other parents, I am also still learning and trying, and sometimes failing..

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