Tag Archives: woman

A Year to Reflect?

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The New Year has gotten me thinking.

It started after Mr. Fix-it’s holiday started few weeks ago, and we had so much time watching TV and doing virtually nothing. One of the show on the telly was this series “It was alright in…”. There were three of them — 1990, 1980, and 1970. Get it? So there were three episodes of them, each represents the decade, and what was acceptable in that decade which is no longer or slightly dubious nowadays.

Some celebrities, coming from different generations and age groups, were invited to make comments on what they saw on the screen — whether it was how news were presented, the comedy show, the unPC comments on talk shows, or even the (lack of) fashion sense. And, it was meant to be a light hearted, and was supposed to be in the comedy side.

I did found some of them quite funny, or even embarrassingly hilarious.  The ones from 1980s and 1990s that is. But when we were watching the one from 1970, things got slightly disturbing — even for me.

Things have changed, haven’t they?

It wasn’t as far as the Elizabethan time, Victorian time, or even the world wars time. It was only forty years ago, and look how far we have moved on. How much we have changed, as a society. And even it does make me excited, enthusiastic, and hopeful, it does make me feel scared too.

It made me think of myself, in thirty to forty years from now, where would this blog be? Would my ideas, and ideology still be relevant? Would I be in the right side of history?

I would like to think that I am doing the right thing, but I am sure that there were so many people in the 70s thinking that they were one of the most forward thinking and open minded people too. And they were not. What if in decades from now I would be the bigoted one?

You know what?

I think I should start this year by apologise in advance. For me and for people in the future. If this blog is still around by then, and if the world has changed so much and this blog has become offensive, and no longer relevant to the current sociopolitical correctness then — I apologise.

This blog is not perfect, but today, in this time period, I am trying to do what is right according to our sociopolitical situation today. If there are any wrongdoing, offence, etc. it wouldn’t be intentional. It is just what is acceptable today.

We have different questions, different priorities, and different cultural movements compared to the world in the 1970s. I believe things would be different too in 2050s or 2080s.

So, apart from apology, I would also use this blog to reflect, review, and retrospect, or even retract. Things have changed, and it will keep changing, and the only way I could be relevant is by knowing the changes.

That’s for today. See you again soon 🙂

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Letter To My Sister

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As you might have known, I like writing letters to my sisters and brother, although I know they don’t really read my blog. I don’t mind. I don’t write for them, I write for myself. It might be good for them if they visit this place every now and then to see what I have in mind that I cannot tell them directly, but if they don’t… well.. their loss. Ha ha.

Anyway…

Dear my Baby Sis.

I call you Baby Sis because you are. I know you are an adult and you are dying to be treated like one by us — our parents, aunts and uncles, and Grandma, and especially your sisters. Tough shit, you are still our baby sister, and we won’t stop worrying about you no matter how old you are and you will be. Have you seen our aunts and grandma? Have you seen how they treated each other? Yes, we are the same, this kind of thing runs in blood.

So suck it up and listen.

I know you have a new life, and a long long life ahead. It is time to start planning properly. Start finding out what you really want, start finding out what makes you really happy. Your happiness is not attached to other things, or people, it is in you and your state of mind. I learned it the hardest way, and I realised the best moral lesson from Disney’s films (our favourite) is Ohana from Lilo and Stitch.

I know your name is not Lilo, and although for some people it’s close enough :p, you are a Lilo. You are MY Lilo. And you might want to watch the film again if you forget, but being a Nani, I won’t let anyone or anything to harm you, although it means you will cry and shout and hate me. The difference is, you are an adult, and in the end you will have to choose your own way.

Whatever way you choose, please choose the way of happiness.

There is no happiness in trying to please anyone. And, believe me… the way of happiness is easy. It is always easy. You don’t have to break in, or make a force entry. You won’t feel alone, or embarrassed, or uncomfortable. You will be the best of yourself, and you will feel a whole even though you are alone.

There is no happiness in trying to avoid confrontation, because sometimes it has to be fought. Peace can only be found in freedom, and freedom can only be found in truth. People who said that ignorance is a bliss are cowards who would rather hide in the dark than go out and see the reality.

I really wish you read this, and you understand. That experience has made me bitter and suspicious, but it does me good. It makes me aware of things that you and your other siblings don’t understand yet. Some knowledge that I wish I could transfer, so you could understand without having to experience yourself.

In the end, I wish you a good life.

Prost!

Heute Bin Ich Eine Tante Geworden…

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Yes… and my German is getting better and better everyday, thanks to practising daily 😀 Oh, you’re can’t be bothered to copy and paste the title to google translator to know what it is about? Well… let me tell you what it means.

It means, “today, I have become an aunt”.

Yes my kind ladies and gentlemen, the lovely readers of Superbyq. Congratulate me because today, I am officially a proper aunt.

Of course I was an aunt before this. My cousins have got kids. And my husband has a nephew, but his nephew is not… you know… my direct nephew. And it is not the same because with my sister, I have been following her pregnancy process, and growing a sense of belonging to that baby. Aunthood is probably the closest I would ever get to parenthood.

Are you asking if I am not brooding? Nope. Still not.

I am still genuinely happy for my sister, and overjoyed with the new addition to our family. There is no question about it. However it doesn’t mean I would like to be the one contributing :0 Let’s not ruin today’s happiness with this “my womb my decision” rant, okay? Let’s just celebrate the day I officially become an aunt.

Ich bin außer mir vor Freude! Ich möchte mein Glas erheben, zu gratulieren meine Schwester und Schwager. Ich wĂŒnsche ihren Familie vielen GlĂŒck und gute Gesundheit.

Prost!!

Women And Hobbies

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One of my friend posted this link from MGOTW on his facebook page. This is the link if you would like to click, and if you don’t this is the summary:

It is basically a discussion thread asking why WOMEN don’t have hobbies and lack of creativity. The question was asked by a man, and it was answered mostly by men who agreed with him. The thread was basically discuss how women (or specifically women that these guys have known in person) don’t (or if they do, it would be rarely) involved in any activities other than gossiping (which they usually call “hanging out with the girls”), or stuffing themselves with cake while watching TV, or nagging their other half because they want attention.

Hold on.

I didn’t say that it is 100 percent true.

Afterall, the discussion is in MGOTW, where most users there are likely to have an issue with women in general. If I was a Freudian, I would assume that their mums had tried to breastfed them with lemon concentrate when they were still an infant, making them so bitter about women. So, if you did click the link and were feeling slightly upset… please. It is MGOTW, take anything you read there with a pinch of salt.

But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about what they’re saying though. There’s a reason why lots of people believe that women don’t have hobbies. Even women themselves agree to a degree that their peers seem to be lacking in this department.

Before I continue, I have to say that I have exclude the UK in general. I learned from my years being here, that this country is the “United Kingdom of Hobbyists”. It seems men, women, old, and young… everybody has a hobby. One at least. From stamp collecting, to trainspotting, from Magic The Gathering, to knit, and crocheting… you name it. They have it.

However if I see my friends in Indonesia — female friends, albeit I don’t have many. Ah, even my female family members. It seems that they don’t understand what a hobby is about.

Most of them love being online, looking at interesting stuff in video and repost and reshare, and tag people who actually have hobbies. “Bikin ini dong” (make me this, please). Or making a ridiculous comment about how my cooking and knitting hobby is what define me as a good housewife. Most of them don’t understand that people do stuff just for the sake of it.

People like being solitary, and being passionate about something. People do that to have fun. It doesn’t have to be the man-style hobbies like boxing, fishing, rock climbing. It doesn’t have to be too geeky like gaming, or train modelling. It is something that you do.

Most women I know don’t do this. Even my own mother thinks that hobby is a waste of time. She thought she gardens as a hobby, but to be honest, she just ask someone to do the garden while she enjoys looking at it. She doesn’t read, let alone write. She doesn’t cook, let alone experimenting with baking. But of course… My father is the same.

I don’t think it is all gender related. It is mostly cultural too. My grandfather is a big music buff, he wouldn’t spend a day away from our electric organ, he’s a greenfinger too — a proper one, you could see him on the garden tending our mango trees. My grandmother loves cooking, but she mostly do it as a part of daily chore. I am not sure if it is her hobby, or it is just something she should do because she likes feeding the family.

My sister loves tennis, like my grandfather. If she wasn’t pregnant she would have gone to the court at least twice a week. My other sister… she has a bunch of hobbies from crafting to mountain climbing. My brother on the other hand… I think he’s more like my father. He does game a bit, but I have never seen him with a particular hobby.

See? It is not a gender related thing. It is also cultural, and I believe economic factor plays a big role in it. My parents grew up when things were difficult, so it is impossible to develop a hobby because hobby takes money. I think human character plays a role too, because I found some people just don’t have this kind of passion some other has.

I think introvert people are more likely to develop a hobby because they have time for themselves. They will have time to consider things that they actually like doing, rather than doing things because their pals doing it too.

So…

What’s your hobby?

 

Is Life A Race?

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Seems like I couldn’t shake it off my mind since I came back from Indonesia last month.

Like usual, big events in our family means hundreds of friends and relatives gathered to give you their free opinion — yes free, you don’t even need to ask for it. Aunties are the worst of the kinds, because they do have blood relations with you, and they are in a higher position than you are in the family tree. A lethal combo in our culture.

It was much better that I had my husband with me last time I went back to Indonesia. It means that whenever I started to grit my teeth listening to these unwanted opinions, I have my husband to give me a reason not to blow up. Still a Mr. Fix-It, he will fix the situation — unknowingly, since he doesn’t understand a word my aunts said.

Anyway, on their last day in Solo (it was a beautiful sunny day, and much better with seeing them leaving), they made a comment about my sister’s pregnancy.

Great Comic from The Oatmeal: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/kids

If you think that when your sister is pregnant, your extended family will leave you alone being child-free, then you are totally and utterly mistaken. In fact, they were even more savage and fierce in telling you that you need to have kids as soon as possible.

One sentence that I couldn’t get rid of my brain is:

“Kamu kapan? Tuh kebalap sama adek…”

Which I could freely translate that to:

“When will you [have a baby]? Your younger sister has overtaken you…”

Overtaken?

Is this a race?

Haven’t they ever play “The Game of Life“? Everybody knows that anyone who finish first lived the most boring life!

But seriously? Is life a race though?

Is it about who graduate the fastest? Or who gets married first? Or get a job first? Be a mum first? It is an idea that I couldn’t get around to. I mean is it okay to ask someone who said that my sister overtook me because she got pregnant first by asking:

“When will you be dead though? You don’t want your younger siblings to overtake you, do you?”

Prost!

 

Yuyun

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Disclaimer:
If you haven’t heard about Yuyun, you are probably the lucky one. I wish I could keep you from knowing who was Yuyun and what had happened to her, but I couldn’t. And I shouldn’t. So, before I even begin, I would like to apologise if this particular post ruins your beautiful day.

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Yuyun was a 14 year old, Indonesian middle school girl who was allegedly kidnapped and gang raped by fourteen boys. She was on her way back from school that day, and she never made it home.

I don’t know what is different from this particular case, that it has got the mainstream media attention. Is it because that she is still really really young? Is it because the number of rapists? Is it because the fact that she was killed on the scene? Or… Is it because it is time for Indonesian people to recognise that we do have rape culture in our society? — so I hope.

Since I was really young, I was taught to dress modestly by my parents. Girls would have to wear a vest underneath their white shirts so if the shirt happens to be see-through they wouldn’t inadvertently showed off their underwear. My mum would wear petticoat when wearing light coloured skirt or dress, or something that slightly fitting to avoid indecent exposure. Can you imagine how hot it was wearing all those layers in a tropical country like Indonesia.

Very. That’s the answer.

But we did it. I don’t mind doing it at school as it is a part of a uniform and most of the time we will be indoor. But we did it outside the school. And what is it for? To prevent the unwanted. To protect ourselves from being a victim, because we know… we know exactly what would happen when we become a victim.

We will be blamed because we are not wearing enough layer. Or that our skirts are few centimetres too short than the decent length. We will be blamed for walking alone. Especially after dark. Because good women would cover themselves up, and not being seen outside without chaperones. And bad women? Well… they’re asking for it.

Now… that’s depressing, isn’t it? That’s why I am so lucky.

I got away.

But that couldn’t be the solution for millions of women in Indonesia (and many other countries like Indonesia). Not everybody could get away from that kind of situation.

Maybe.

Maybe Yuyun case is different.

If there should be a silver lining from this terribly sad story, it must be that this could be the turning point for Indonesia and law to protect women in this country. Maybe Yuyun would be the Indonesian equivalent for the Indian Jyoti Singh. Maybe this time everybody will take action.

One can only hope.

 

Fat Fashion

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Disclaimer: There is nothing PC about this entry. It is rather harsh, and most probably will make some people feel incredibly offended. However, it is a piece of thought, and it is not directed to a particular person. It is just an observation, and maybe… all of us need to get a life. 

It was a lazy weekend, and I was lying there feeling happy drinking my coffee, while playing TsumTsum on my phone. Out of nowhere (possibly out of the kitchen), my husband decided to weigh himself. If I haven’t told you yet, we just bought a weightwatcher’s bathroom scale, because we are thinking of getting ourselves in shape. (The first step to tackle a problem is to know how big the problem is — or the number is)

He looked a bit gloomy when he read the number, like I would too. I told my husband that I feel fat.

This is what he always does. He would dismiss me saying that I am fat, probably thinking that if he is agreeing with me it will make me feel bad. But I am not that kind of person, I don’t fish compliment to feed my self confident. However, lately, I have developed a new theory about why he dismisses my concern about bodily fat. Maybe he simply can’t see it.

I am not saying that he can’t see it because he’s blind. I am saying that he is biased. It is not because he loves me and accept me the way I am — of course he does, he married me. But that’s not the reason why he is biased. He is biased because in this country we are surrounded by a lot of overweight people. He started making comparison and unconsciously normalise what is considered as fat and what is not.

There are hundreds of articles or news (you could just google it), where people are protesting that one clothes manufacturer didn’t have more plus size dresses. Or that a certain brand doesn’t have “normal” size women to model their frocks. But what is not normal about being size UK 10? That’s S/M or size 8 in the US, or 38 EU size. That’s 36 inches bust circumference.

The reason why size 10 is not normal is because size 16 is the new normal. Based on a research, size 16 is the average size of women in the UK. No wonder when I have ballooned from size 10 to size 12, my husband is still saying that I am not fat.

Because, that’s the culture.

That’s the culture when people making all these “chubby is cute”, “curve is sexy” kind of thing as an excuse for giving up losing weight. Sometimes I wonder when these women said “I love myself, I love my body”, was it self appreciation, or just an excuse to make themselves feel better? Not that I see nothing wrong with it… I understand that for some people, denial is a form of self defence mechanism.

Before you said anything, I will tell you… in all honesty. I have gained more than 10 kilograms since the first time I arrived in the UK in 2011, and 8 kg of them was after I started the contraception pills. In the beginning of this year I has stopped consuming these pills because I managed to find a doctor to fit in the coil in my womb. Since then, I have lost 4kg.

4 kg in two bloody months.

And, before you said anything more, I will tell you that my sister has PCOS. It is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Her metabolism system is slow. Her insulin level is low. Not only that she is prone to diabetes, she also has problem losing weight because of that. But she lost 7 kg in four months, just with going tennis once or twice a week, and not snacking after dinner.

7 kg in four months.

So, I know how hormonal changing, or any illnesses, or disease could affect how your body reacts to… food. But I also know that it is not entirely impossible to do.

I am not saying that being thin is always the healthier way to do it. Some people are so obsessed with having thigh gap, or collarbone… well… I dont  mind having those. But I probably wouldn’t go the extra way that might harm myself. But going to the other extreme and finding it okay to be obese… Really?

Normalising being fat, and probably at the same time condemning people from taking care of themselves is not what you call “loving your body” is it? You said YOLO, and then scoff yourself silly with whatever your eyes see. If you know you only live once, would you want to live it dying on your bed not being able to move because you are too heavy to enjoy moving about?

Oh well…

Ranting does make you hungry doesn’t it? Time for cake…

Prost!

Letter… Letters… I Don’t Even Want To Write

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Preface

For the last few entries, I have written (what some people called) heavy subjects. I was thinking of writing something light and cheerful to lift the mood a little. This blog can’t be always gloomy, does it? Does it?

But then a call home and everything changed. I was no longer in the mood because of the news I had heard from home. I’ve been holding this for awhile, and there are not many people in the world I could talk to (especially about this particular matter). Therefore, I decided to write a letter instead.

To My Sister

I’ve been known to write open letters for my siblings. One for my brother when he reached adulthood, another for your (other) sister when she got married. I think it is about time that I write something for you. Unfortunately, this time it is not the joyful moment that brought me to the moment I am writing this to you.

Since we were very young, it’s been drilled in our head that we have to stand up for each other. We are pretty much brainwashed in a way. And, until today I am still doing that for every single one of my siblings. I stood up for every one of you, and will do it again and again. And again. The same way you stood up for your sister when we were in Primary School. Although in the end you cried after that boy clawed your face, you did stand up for her.

You don’t know how proud I was when I heard that from my friend — that my sister who just graduated from kindergarten could confront an older boy and fight him to the bitter end.

But how do you stand up for your loved one, when you know that they’re in the wrong? How do you support someone when you are bitterly disappointed with the decision they took? This… Is something that I’d have to work out.

I remember you and your sister must have endured the same thing when I was dating Si Onyed. I am sorry to put you in such a situation. But haven’t you learned from my mistakes? You are the smartest of us all… don’t you see it now what you saw before? Don’t you remember what you told Si Onyed when she confronted you about why you didn’t like her?

This is what you said: “I don’t have problem with you. But if you upset my mother, or any other people in my family, then I don’t want to have anything to do with you.”

Don’t you think it is safe to say that I might have the same feeling about your boyfriend? That I don’t have any problem with him, as a person. Because he might be a generous, kind hearted, smart and humorous. But don’t you see that what both of you (means he included) did was hurting Mum? My mum. Our mum.

Couldn’t you see it from our point of view that… well well.. If this little request from our parents was refused outright before you two are married, how could we expect him to help our parents when big things happened after you’re married? It is normal to think like that, isn’t it? It is normal to assume, and project what is going to happen in the future, based on what we see today, isn’t it?

I can’t talk to you about this now. But as this has stressed me out for the last few weeks, I feel the need to vent out my feeling here. You might not read this — well… you are most likely not going to read this, but maybe one day it will come to your phone or computer for you to see. But until then… please take care of yourself. I love you.

Your Sister

Bybyq

Law and Justice

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Mirna’s Case is now elevated to the next level as the Police Investigator has decided to change the status of one of the witnesses to ‘suspect’. J, the woman who has been under scrutiny for her so called suspicious attitude in front of the media was arrested and now detained.

J is now charge for a first degree murder — pembunuhan berencana or “planned murder” if it’s freely translated to Bahasa Indonesia. So, according to the police, J is responsible for (1) plan, and intention to murder, (2) execute the murder — successfully.

Many people are happy with this arrest, which is totally understandable as it is very much unsettling to have a murderer roaming around the city. However, there are many people believes that this arrest is premature, or some might say that it is unlawful. There is no physical evidence which link this woman to the murder itself — apart from her being in the crime scene.

There are at least three experts who disagreed with this arrest. No. None of them said that they think J is innocent, but they disagreed with how the police and the media has drive the public opinion into believing that she is guilty. Even with big media such as our national tv station, inviting the “body language experts”, saying in front of the audience that J’s smile means she’s lying and so on and so forth.

As a linguist, and a communication academia, I can say that what these experts said was totally and utterly rubbish.

These are other experts, which according my own opinion are worth listening. Listen to the logic, and if you have it, use your brain too…

1. Asep Iwan Iriawan
Asep Iwan Iriawan is a former judge and now an expert in judicial system. He believed that there is no link between J and the murder. Yes it is true that J was there when Mirna drank the coffee, and J was the first one who arrived at the scee. J threw away the trousers she wore that day, and she seemed so calm and smile in front of media. She is definitely suspicious.
But none of the think mentioned above — according to Asep, showed that J was the one who put cyanide in Mirna’s coffee. Even the CCTV — which is supposed to be the strongest evidence didn’t show that.
Asep even said as far as: “If I was the judge… with those [so-called] evidence, I’ll let her go”.
http://www.jpnn.com/read/2016/01/31/353935/Seribu-Alat-Bukti-juga-Percuma-
http://www.suara.com/news/2016/01/30/181024/ketika-dua-pakar-dan-mantan-hakim-berdebat-soal-kasus-mirna

2. Reza Indragiri Amriel
I haven’t heard about him before this case, but apparently he is a Forensic Psychologist. So, I trust him better than a hypnotherapist in this particular case. What does a hypnotherapist know about a murder case anyway… sigh. This country is sick.
As an expert Reza didn’t think that J is the murderer. He argued that cyanide is not a kind of poison anyone could acquire easily in Indonesia. Metro TV tried to do it on NSI programme, by sending some investigative journalist to buy cyanide from chemist and chemical store, with no avail. It is almost impossible for J, a girl who lives in australia to know her way in the city to get cyanide.
And, he’s also believes that any “body language experts” who jumped into a conclusion that when someone blinks it means that they’re lying, or if someone smiles it means that they’re hiding something… are bulshitting the public. I agree with him in this.
http://www.suara.com/news/2016/01/30/132934/psikolog-forensik-kasus-mirna-pembunuhan-berencana-salah-sasaran

3. Heru Susetyo
This is also the first time I heard about him, so I am not sure about his credibility. Apparently he is a Victimology Experts from Universitas Indonesia. Still a better credibility than a hypnotherapist in this particular murder case.
He said that the police investigators are reckless in confirming J as the suspect. He believed that as this case became big and that the media has blow this up to the surface, the police felt more and more pressure. The drama of this murder case has driven the police to a rush conclusion, while indeed in fact there’s no physical evidence linking J to anything.
He believes that J has been victimised both by the media and police officer because the society pushed them to solve this quickly.
http://www.suara.com/news/2016/01/30/145519/pakar-viktimologi-polisi-terlalu-buru-buru-tetapkan-tersangka

Mirna’s father, was the loudest to fight for justice for her daughter. It is completely understandable for a father to do that when his daughter died in such a way. But it has to be understood that he is emotional too — he might not be able to see this case rationally. That is why in any criminal investigation, there should never be any personal relationship between the investigator and the case they’re working on. It will be bias.

Like Mirna’s father, I’d like the justice to be served too. Definitely. But as a citizen of Indonesia, I would be wary if this is how the “justice” should be served. I would like the law to be upheld, so that everyone would be protected by it. It scares me that the public opinion could pressure the police officers to take whoever they have in hand as the suspect just to calm down the mob, and give fake closure to the family of the victim. It sounds like desperation for me.

I am not saying that J is not the murderer. But if it is her, I would like the investigation to be lawful, and not based on bogus experts opinion, and circumstantial evidences… not a strong ones either. I wish everybody the best… the justice’s served and the law upheld.

good luck.

The Bun In The Oven!!!!

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Well… Before you get too excited about this, it is not my bun, and definitely not my oven. But yes, we have a bun in the oven right now.

I have to say that I am extremely excited with my sister’s pregnancy. And I am so glad that I took this visit home this time, just in time for my sister’s first USG photo. You know what? I was the one who saw the little spot in my sister’s uterus. No. That sounds creepy, but that’s the truth. I was the first one to know for sure that she is pregnant.

She’s entering the 5th week now, so she is still adjusting. She’s having the usual pregnancy symptom such as tummy cramp, and little but somewhat constant nausea. Although, I think she is enjoying it as she is expecting this too. It was a really nice surprise as only last month she started the program to treat her PCOS.

I am just happy she is pregnant.

My husband said that for someone who doesn’t want to be pregnant myself, I sound so excited for my sister’s pregnancy. But.. why shouldn’t I? Just because I don’t want to be pregnant, it doesn’t mean everyone else shouldn’t be pregnant. I am not bitter for choosing my own childfree path, so why can’t I be okay with other people’s life decision?

The way I see it: I am happy for not being a mum and my sisters are happy for me for my decision, And now my sister is happy that she is about to be a mum, and I am happy for that decision. I mean, it is not that difficult to understand how someone could be happy that the people that they care about is happy. Happiness for someone else’s happiness. That is quite simple really.

After all, there are more good things come out from this situation. One, my parents are now no longer pushing me to have babies, as now they have a grandchild on the way. Two, since my sister and my brother in law are smart people, we will create a baby with good genes — our contribution to the gene pool.

Ah… time for more and more things to celebrate.

Okay, that pictura above is a little bit over the top… But… In the end, I would like to congratulate my sister and my brother in law for the pregnancy. I hope that the next months would be easier for my sister, and that the delivery would be smooth and safe.

Prost!!

P.S. I think congratulating a pregnant mum with alcoholic drink is a little bit taking the piss…