English Education Department, University of Kanjuruhan Malang
English Literature Department, University of Kanjuruhan Malang
Abstract: This study was conducted to discover the discriminations against women on “Bekisar Merah” novel and how they formulate resistance to those discriminations. To address the above objective, this study used descriptive qualitative research design and feminism approach. Source of the data in this study was the second edition of “Bekisar Merah” novel written by Ahmad Tohari. The data were included words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs on “Bekisar Merah” which portray women’s discrimination toward Lasi as women figure on the novel and power types formulated by her who resisted the discrimination. To analyze the data, content analysis was applied. Triangulation was used to get the trustworthiness of the data. The result of the study showed eight (8) forms of discriminations and women resistances. The discriminations were domestic abuse, molestation, gender harassment, seduction behavior, imposition, coercion, bribery, and subordination. The resistances were physically, mentally, and verbally.
Key words: Resistance, feminism, and discrimination
Abstrak:Penelitian ini dilakukan untuk mendiskripsikandiskriminasi terhadap perempuan pada novel "Bekisar Merah" dan mendiskripsikan bagaimana mereka merumuskan perlawanan terhadap diskriminasi tersebut. Untuk mencapai tujuan di atas, penelitian ini menggunakan rancangan penelitian diskriptif kualitatif dan pendekatan feminisme. Sumber data dalam penelitian ini adalah novel "Bekisar Merah" edisi kedua yang ditulis oleh Ahmad Tohari. Datanya berupa kata, frase, kalimat dan paragraf pada novel "Bekisar Merah" yang menggambarkan diskriminasi terhadap Lasi sebagai figur perempuan pada novel tersebut dan bentuk kekuasaan yang dirumuskan oleh dia yang menolak diskriminasi. Analisis isi dilakukan untuk menganalisis data. Triangulasi digunakan untuk mendapatkan keabsahan data. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan delapan (8) bentuk diskriminasi dan tiga (3) resistansi perempuan. Diskriminasi yang berupa kekerasan dalam rumah tangga, pemaksaan, penganiayaan, pelecehan, perilaku rayuan, paksaan, penyuapan, dan perendahan martabat wanita. Resistensi wanita berupa fisik, mental, dan lisan. Kata kunci:Resistensi, feminism, dan diskriminasi INTRODUCTION Literary work is the way to extend the idea of the writer about the dynamic of human life. Literary work is human creation which is a reflection from real life (Luken, 2003). The idea at the beginning starts by perceiving lameness found in human life which led to restlessness. The restlessness finally brings the writer to think and create the new world in form of literary works. Windiyati (2008), states that literary work has its own existence showing a beautiful language which is used and full of reality.
In line with the above statements, literary work is not in social alienation, but it represents phenomena occurred in society. This is the essence of fiction while it is a consolation media. Many problems emerge in human life represents on literary works. One of them is what recently we know as gender bias. It is the understanding of man and women different role based on sex. Women are isolated in domestic works while men are in some productive ones. This understanding finally creates what we know as patriarchy culture which puts man as a superior and brings women not only to be subordinated but also to be treated in a rude way such as violence.
One of the novelists who presents this issue on his work is Ahmad Tohari under title Bekisar merah (Tohari, 2013). The novel portrays the practice of patriarchy culture which legitimates man’s domination to women. It also presents violence against women which are practiced in different way. Lasi as the women figure in the novel got these unfair treatments since she was youth until she became wife of Mr. Bambung, a milliner and authority holder in her country.
Underlying the above statements, studies in feminism have been investigated by a great number of scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Windiyati (2008) revealed (1) an injustice against women manifested in the class system in the society of Bali which became the setting of the novel. (2) Various forms of gender injustice. Gender inequity or injustice was reflected in the family. (3) The last reviewed in the study was women radicalism. Radicalism showed that the main character in the novel trying to obtain equality by getting marriage with man from Brahman caste. Unfortunately radicalism tends to benefit the main character only. In fact, that happened while maintaining the oppressive system.
Other scholars, Ambarwati, (2009), Kuncoro (2010) have investigated feminism from point of view, where feminism was associated with feminism perspective. The findings revealed the women existence as independent human beings, irrespective of all forms of gender oppression and be able to demonstrate status and dignity as human beings. Existence was realized in the form of freedom to choose and decide what they thought well, without being determined by men and others outside of themselves as women. Kurnia et.al (2013) had studied about ‘Feminism in the novel of “Secuil Hati Wanita di Teluk Eden Karya Vanni Chrisma”. The findings showed (1) gender inequity experienced by the main character manifested in the form of stereotypes. (2) Violence experienced was in form of domestic either a physical or emotional. There was also another public violence. (3) The struggle of women drawn from the results of these studies was limited only to the awareness and freedom of speech.
That the reason why modern literary work analysis on feminism review is an interesting topic to conduct. This study attempts to explore idea of the writer about the dynamic of human life such kind of women resistance toward discriminations.
Gender as Perspectives
Gender is not something we are born with, and not something we have, but something we do or something we perform (West and Zimmerman; 1987), (Butler 1990). As Rudman and Glick (2008) argue that gender relations involve pervasive such kind of intimate heterosexual interdependence, often with genuine feelings of love and affection between the sexes. Gender which is understood as its lexicon meaning represents the genital of man and women. Sugihastuti and Sastriyani (2007) give a different definition from lexical meaning which only defines gender as sex. They define gender into two specific definitions. The first relates to what is understood as genital organ or as sex. The second is social construction. Social construction perspective defines women as weak, having soft characteristic, fussy, motherhood, emotional, while men are strong and rationale. Sex has one dimension as genital organ only.
Money (1988) has introduced the terminological distinction between biological sex and gender. Oakley as cited by (Freedman, 2001) argues that sex is a word that refers to the biological differences between male and female. It is the visible difference in genitalia, the related difference in procreative function. Gender, however, is a matter of culture. It refers to the social classification into masculine and feminine. Gender is truly not about the genital differences between man and women revealed by God. With regards to two previous statements, Fakih (2012) distinguishes between sex and gender. Genital organ of someone which he names as sex is given. It is something which is permanent while gender is behavioral differences between man and women which is socially constructed. Relate to the above arguments, Money (1998) puts really deep differences between gender as a role of human and sex as part of our body.
Further, Umar (2005) gives a specific explanation to understand the concept of both terms. He divides that concept into four parts. They are gender attribute, gender identity, gender assignment, and gender role. Gender attribute is what have been explained above as genital organ while gender identity is a set of symbol which is associated to man and women based on their gender attribute. Gender assignment and gender role in Umar’s explanation are about to similar. Both are social construction and indicate what man and women must do. Society categorizes what they must do based on the genital bonded on their body. Gender is a set of behaviors that is learned and performed. It is something we do, not what we are, and it can change from culture to culture and even in individual attitudes over the course of a lifetime
According to Fakih (2012), gender can be manifested in form of (1) women marginalization, (2) women subordination, (3) creating a stereotype to women, (4) violence and works burden. The first is women marginalization. Gender inequality has a great impact especially on women and poverty. In poverty stricken countries, it is more likely that men have more opportunities to have an income, have more political and social rights than women. Some of strategic position in the industry, politic institution, office, and organization put the women under man. Their career is just to be a secretary or treasurer. Finally, women experience more poverty than men.
The second is women subordination. Based on Sultana (2010), the term women’s subordination refers to the inferior position of women, their lack of access to resources and decision making. And to the patriarchal domination that women are subjected to in most societies. So, women’s subordination means the inferior position of women to men. The feeling of powerlessness, discrimination and experience of limited self-esteem and self-confidence jointly contribute to the subordination of women. Herlambang, (2013) argues that subordination is cultural violence faced by women. It can be legitimated from ideology, language, religion, art, and knowledge. The reality which is common found in the society shows religion has great position in legitimating the gender inequalities. Religion interprets the gender as something given and should be kept for it is God’s rule. The effect of religion interpretation makes the society keeping the violence expressively without feeling guilty. It is more ironic when women do not think if they become the victim of the subordination. Women see what is done by man to them in form of domination as something normal.
The third is women stereotype. This can be seen when the women beauty themselves. When there is a rape happened to them, the society likely blames the women for they are thought always inviting the man to do. This is one of the examples which are commonly happened in the society. Fourth, violence is the common implication of gender bias. It is assault to women physic or their physiology. One of the causes of violence is gender bias when man believes that they have more power than women which make them feeling superior and think if women will not brave to fight them back. Fakih (2012) states that it is because of power which is not balance between man and women in society.
Further, Fakih, (2012) explains that gender inequalities as explained above can be classified into two broad classes which are physical and non-physical violence. Gender inequalities such kind of marginalization, women poverty, subordination, violence, stereotype, and work burden are manifested in many social systems. It can be in the state institution, local and world organizations such as United Nation (UN), state policy, and constitution. However, the gender inequalities are also happened in public space, family, education, religion, and many others (Jones, 2010), (Fakih, 2012).
The Notion of Feminism
Gay (2012), states that the term of feminism has become misconstrued and negatively associated in the 21st century. Further, he explains that feminism is a movement whose primary purpose is to achieve quality in all realms between men and women. While Freedman, (2001) explains that feminism concerns themselves with women’s inferior position in society and with discrimination encountered by women because of their sex. According to Bhasin and Khan (1995), feminist are an awareness of women who are under man’s domination in many aspects and a set of action to resist it. The gender inequality is the foundation of feminism movement. They believe that it is constructed time by time and from generation to generation culturally. So the movement created is a form of struggle to get back the right of women.
Gender Reform Feminisms
The term of feminism should be begun from the gender reform of western feminism because feminism as the reaction of women discrimination comes from it. According to Freedman (2001), gender reform feminism is categorized into three series of waves. Each wave dealt with different aspects of the same feminist issues. The first wave comprised women's suffrage movements of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century feminist movements that were concerned with gaining equal rights for women, particularly the right of suffrage. It’s focused on the promotion of equal contract, marriage, parenting, and property rights for women. By the end of the nineteenth century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women's suffrage, though some feminists were active in campaigning for women's sexual, reproductive, and economic rights as well. The second wave was associated with the ideas and actions of the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s. The second wave campaigned for legal and social equality for women.
The third wave was a continuation of, and a reaction to, the perceived failures of second-wave feminism, beginning in the 1990s (Krolokke and Sorensen, 2005). In the early 1990s in the USA, third-wave feminism began as a response to perceived failures of the second wave and to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second wave. Third-wave feminism distinguished itself from the second wave around issues of sexuality, challenging female heterosexuality and celebrating sexuality as a means of female empowerment (Cameron, 2010).Third-wave feminism also seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's essentialist definitions of femininity, which they argue, over-emphasize the experiences of upper middle-class white women. Although by the 20th century covertures had been abolished in the UK and the US, in many continental European countries married women still had very few rights. For instance, in France married women received the right to work without their husband's permission in 1965. Feminists also worked to abolish the marital exemption in rape laws which precluded the prosecution of husbands for the rape of their wives.
The birth of feminism in Europe finally inspired literary critics to apply the spirit of feminism on literary analysis. In the beginning, feminism is social theory which is adapted to literature. There are no differences between feminism as social theory and the theory of literary work analysis because both focus on gender equality. The birth of feminism analysis on literary is contribution of genetic structuralism. Taine cited by Endraswara (2008), states that literary work is not only an imaginative fact but also a recording of culture, and social situation when the writer writes it.
Explicitly, genetic structuralism emphasizes the necessity of literary work which is seen as a copy of the situation and the condition of society when the work was written. This means that the author gets an inspiration from the dynamics of community life and it is not pure imagination. So the genetic structuralism seeks to provide more to the external analysis of the literary works. Dealing with this view, genetic structuralism criticizes and gives new offer to literary review theory that was born earlier. It is pure structuralism which only emphasizes the intrinsic side.
Thus, the birth of feminism that tries to look at and examine the literature from the perspective of women's oppression is part of the development of the analysis of genetic structuralism. Feminism believed that literature was not born in a social void.
The Theories of Feminism
There are four main types of feminist theory that attempt to explain the societal differences between men and women. First is gender difference. Gender difference perspective examines how women's location in, and experience of social situations differ from men's. Feminist theorists believe that the different roles assigned to women and men within institutions better explain gender difference, including the sexual division of labor in the household. Existential and phenomenological feminists focus on how women have been marginalized and denied the opportunity for self-realization.
Second is gender-inequality. This theory recognizes that women have been isolated to the private sphere of the household and, thus, left without a voice in the public sphere. Bouchier as cited by Jones, (2010) states that family is a basic institution which exploits women. Further, Fakih (2012) argues that women are still expected to manage the private sphere and take care of household duties and child rearing this make new discrimination to women for it increase women’s works burden.
Third is gender oppression. According to Barker (2003) oppression is as the social act of placing severe restrictions on an individual, group or institution. While Deuthsch, (2006) explains that oppression is the experience of repeated, widespread, systemic injustice. With regards to two above concepts, theory of gender oppression argues that not only are women different from or unequal to men, but that they are actively oppressed, subordinated, and even abused by men. To comprehend the above theory of gender oppression, psychoanalytic feminism such as psychology Freud’s view of feminism (Ahmed, 2012) and radical feminism are discussed. Psychoanalytic feminists attempt to explain power relations between men and women by reformulating Freud's theories of the subconscious and unconscious, human emotions, and childhood development. While radical feminists argue that being a woman is a positive thing in and of itself but that this is not acknowledged in patriarchal societies where women are oppressed. They identify physical violence as being at the base of patriarchy, but they think that patriarchy can be defeated if women recognize their own value and strength, establish a sisterhood of trust with other women, confront oppression critically, and form female separatist networks in the private and public spheres. Radical feminism is the breeding ground for many of the ideas arising from feminism. Radical feminism attempts to draw lines between biologically-determined behavior and culturally-determined behavior in order to be free both men and women as much as possible from their previous narrow gender roles.
Fourth is structural oppression. This theory posits that women's oppression and inequality are a result of capitalism, patriarchy, and racism. It seeks to explain oppression and inequality across a variety of variables, including class, gender, race, ethnicity, and age. It may be said that not all women experience oppression in the same way. They face different forms of discrimination in the workplace.
This study used descriptive qualitative research method. To describe women resistance toward discriminations, feminism approach was applied. Source of the data was the second edition of “Bekisar Merah” novel written by Ahmad Tohari. The novel was published by “PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama” on January,2013. The data were in form of words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs on “Bekisar Merah” which portray women’s discrimination toward “Lasi” as women figure on the novel and power types formulated by her who resisted the discrimination. The data collected based on some steps; (a) formulate key words or phrases pertinent to the problem or question of interest, (b) search the general references for relevant primary sources, (c) obtain and read relevant primary sources, and note and summarize key (Onwuegbuzi, Leech, & Collins, 2012), (d) the researcher reads “Bekisar Merah” novel written by Ahmad Tohari, (e) the data which were marked by the researcher were written in the corpus, (f) the data were categorized based on problem focus of the study. In analyzing of the data in this study, content analysis was applied. It was used to determine the presence of certain words or concepts within texts or sets of texts. Content analysis which was applied in this study was to find out the content and meaning of a text. To find out the contents, it was needed to a descriptive study. And to comprehend the sense of the text, an analytical construct was applied. Researchers quantified and analyzed the presence, meanings and relationships of such words and concepts, then make inferences about the messages within the texts. Content analysis which was applied in this study was inductive approach. Elo and Kyngas (2007) divided the steps of inductive approach into open coding, creating categories, and abstraction. Open coding means that notes and headings are written in the text while reading it then the lists of categories are grouped under higher order headings. The aim of grouping data was to reduce the number of categories by collapsing those that are similar or dissimilar into broader higher order categories. The last is abstraction. It means formulating a general description of the research topic through generating categories. To get trustworthiness of the data, three (3) triangulations were conducted. Theoretical triangulation used to confirm more than one theoretical position in interpreting data. And methodological triangulation used to apply more than one method for gathering data. While investigator triangulation conducted to compare one researcher in the field to gather and interpret data.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The discriminations against women which were manifested on “Bekisar Merah” novel can be seen as the following data. There were eight (8) women discriminations and three (3) kinds of women resistance toward discriminations.
Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when a man in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control their wife. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose to gain and maintain total control over the victims. Domestic abuse toward Lasi in Bekisar Merah novel can be seen as follow.
“Malah perangai Darsa sekarang berubah. Ia jadi suka marah, sepanjang hari uring-uringan. Kemarin Darsa membanting piring hanya karena Lasi agak lama pergi ke warung. Aku kasihan kepada Lasi. Suami seperti kambing lumpuh, pakaianya yang sengak harus dicuci tiap hari, tapi saban kali Lasi malah kena marah” (‘Darsa’s character has a lot of changes. He is easy to be angry now. Yesterday, he broke the plate for Lasi was late to go to food stall. I had a pity on her. Her husband was like a lame goat whose dirty clothes should be washed every day, but she was always to be an object of her husband’s temperament) (BM-2013:44).
The above quotation demonstrated how Darsa treated his wife in very rude way whereas the cause was really simple. It was for Lasi was late to go to food stall. It showed that Darsa who felt himself superior tried to dominate his wife. His order should be obeyed rapidly without considering his wife’s condition. Lasi as his wife must accept that unpleasant treatment although she gave her really good treatment toward her husband every day while doing some of domestic works. As explained by Freire (2013) that the relation between child and parents commonly indicates the rule of culture practiced in society. With regards to his opinion, the above data illustrated how patriarchal culture was practiced in family. The fundamental understanding gave an authority toward man to control all parts of life included family. Women just followed what was instructed by their husband. The right to create a decision was totally held by man
Molestation is sexual abuse which is in the form of holding or touching the female’s body without their acceptance (Fakih, 2012). This form can be observed from the quotation of data below.
Lasi hampir tertidur. Namun terkejut karena tiba-tiba lampu padam dan ada bioskop di tembok depan sana. Lasi kembali terjaga. Apalagi kemudian Handarbeni kembali duduk disampingnya sambil melingkarkan tangan ke pundaknya (‘Lasi was almost slept, but she was shocked because the lamp suddenly went out and there was a motion picture in wall. She was not sleepy anymore due to the fact that Handarbeni got closer to sit beside her while he was putting his hand on her solders’) (BM- 2013-161).
It is important to know that just because the victim does not say “no”, it does not imply that they mean “yes.” When someone does not resist an unwanted sexual advance, it does not mean that they consent. Sometimes physically resisting can put a victim at a bigger risk for further physical or sexual violence. The point of this truly related to form of sexual abuse against Lasi in above quotation. The data indicated Handarbeni’s treatment toward Lasi. Without asking Lasi, he put his hand on her back. Lasi who cannot do anymore just let herself to be touched by him.
Gender harassment means statements and behavior that is degrading someone (women) based on her sex. Gender harassment in the novel was manifested in the data citations below.
“Lasi menahan napas. Tetapi di sebelahnya Handarbeni malah tertawa ngikik. Handarbeni sudah belasan kali melihat film cabul yang sedang diputarnya itu dan kini sengaja menyajikannya kepada Lasi demi sebuah tujuan. Dan lasi kembali menahan napas ketika melihat si lelaki purba mulai memaksa perempuan pasangannya. Brutal seperti kambing jantan” (‘Lasi held the breath, but Handarbeni who was beside her laughed loudly. Handarbeni had seen that obscene movie a dozen times which was being played and he deliberately presented it to Lasi for a certain purpose. Lasi held the breath for the second time when she saw the ancient man began forcing female partner brutally such as a male goat’) (BM-2013: 162).
In the above quotation, both Handarbeni and Lasi were in private room where Handarbeni tried to invite Lasi to be in intimate situation. The way to persuade Lasi was not verbally, but by showing an obscene video. Handarbeni had a purpose to raise Lasi’s desire. In contrary with his purpose, Lasi felt unconvertible. In this case, there was a gender harassment done by Handarbeni. As explained before, showing obscene picture or video for certain purpose was categorized as part of woman discrimination.
Seduction behavior indicated the presence of requests that were obscene or derogatory behavior based on sexual nature without the existence of a threat. Notice the following data.
“Bambung hanya tersenyum dengan sedikit mengangkat alis. Dengan cara itu sesungguhnya Bambung ingin mengatakan. Biasa, apalah yang dikehendaki lelaki ketika sedang berdua dengan perempuan di sebuah ruangan yang sangat pribadi” (‘Bambung just smiled with slightly raised eyebrows. In that way, Bambung actually wanted to say if there was no other thing that he wished from a woman which was in a very private room unless an intimate service’). (BM-2013: 267).
The above citation showed that Mr. Bambung attempt to seduce Lasi to do intercourse with him. Indeed, it was not done verbally, but by showing his behavior or body language to convey his desire to Lasi.
The imposition as illustrated in that novel was sexual intimidation which was done roughly or overtly. This kind was manifested in the quotation below.
Bambung yang merasa dirinya Rusman, bangkit. Dia siap mulai gerakan tari Gatotkaca Gandrung. Gerakannya boleh juga. Dan sepenggal nyanyian asmara mulai terdengar dalam nada tak karuan: Wis manuta dhuh wong ayu... Dengan gerakan bagai Rusman yang sebenarnya Bambung merengkuh dan membopong Lasi. Bekisar merah itu tak sempat menolak. Maka tubuhnya terangkat dan terayun-ayun dalam dekapan Bambung (‘Bambung who feels himself as Rusman rises. He was ready to start a dance of “Ghatotkaca”. He danced well enough and a piece of romance began to be sung: Please pretty girl just followed what I wanted... With a movement which was like Rusman, Bambung embraced and carried Lasi. She cannot refuse then her body was lifted and swung in his embrace’) (BM-2013: 271).
The above data showed the harsh and brash treatment of Mr. Bambung against Lasi. He tried to force Lasi to engage to something which she did not want. Even when Mr. Bambung did not get a response, he immediately held Lasi who was powerless against a man who was so respected in the elite level politicians of the country.
The coercion is typified by the action such as invitation to have intercourse with threat from the abuser. The example of data can be seen as follows.
“Ayo, Las. Kamu telah membuat pak Bambung benar-benar marah. Sekarang kamu harus ikut kami pulang ke Jakarta. Kalau kamu menurut, kami berjanji akan memperlakukan kamu seperti biasa. Namun bila kamu banyak tingkah, tak tahulah. Yang jelas Pak Brangas pasti sudah menyiapkan borgol buat kamu (‘Come on Las. You had made Mr. Bambung really angry. Now, you must come with us to return to Jakarta. If you cooperated, we promised to treat you as usual. But if you didn’t, I did not know what will happen. Indeed, Mr. Brangas must have been prepared handcuffs for you’) (BM-2013: 316).
From the above quotation, we can see how the threat was given to Lasi. In the first time, Lasi did not want to go back to Mr. Bambung’s house. Finally, Mrs. Lanting, a woman who sent her to Mr. Bambung, said to her if she stand with her decision she will be just like a law breaker who should be taken to prison with a handcuff on her hand. Treating Lasi just like law breaker is classified by the researchers as threat for her.
The bribery is an invitation to do things pertaining to sexual attention accompanied with a promise to get certain benefits such as gifts, salary increases, or job title.
Bila menurut nanti kamu bisa minta apa saja atau ingin jadi apa saja. Apa kamu ingin jadi... komisaris bank? Atau anggota parlement? Ya, mengapa tidak? Kalau mau, nanti saya yang akan ngatur, maka semuanya pasti beres (‘If you followed my rule, you might ask for anything or to be anything. Did you want to be the commissioner of banks or Member of Parliament? Why not? If you wanted, I would make it for you then everything went. (BM-2013: 272).
The data revealed how Mr. Bambung who had great power in government offered to Lasi to have career in a bank or to be a member of parliament. It was done in other to persuade Lasi to have close relation with him. As explained in the previous paragraph, the promise was not only in form of money but also everything which can make the women to make a deal with a man. In this context, Mr. Bambung strived for high position such as explained in the above.
The term of ‘women’s subordination’ refers to the inferior position of women, their lack of access to resources and decision making, and to the patriarchal domination that women are subjected to in most societies. The data can be seen below.
“Oalah, Las, dasar kamu perempuan dusun. Kamu tidak tahu bahwa kamu punya sesuatu yang disukai setiap lelaki: wajah cantik dan tubuh yang bagus. Kamu juga mungkin tidak tahu bahwa sesunggunya lelaki kurang tertarik, atau malah segan terhadap perempuan yang terlalu cerdas apalagi perpendidikan terlalu tinggi. Bagi lelaki, perempuan yang kurang pendidikan dan miskin tidak jadi soal asal dia cantik. Apalagi bila sicantik itu penurut. (‘Yeah, Las, you were truly still a hick. You did not know that you had something which were interested every man: a pretty face and a nice body. You also might not know that men were less interested or even reluctant to women who were too smart especially having high level of education. For men, women were lack of education and poor were not matter as long as she was gorgeous. (BM-2013: 144).
The above data was a dialogue between Lasi and Mrs. Lanting who made Lasi as merchandise. She tried to indoctrinate Lasi with the idea that a woman's value lies in their physical beauty and not the quality or capacity of the individual as a human being. Moreover, she should behave much less tractable that obviously legitimized women under the control of men.
The understanding of patriarchy culture that women have a faint nature and irrational are deemed inappropriate to serve as a leader. So far, the feminism that emerges to oppose the notion arguably successful because we see a lot of women who already take part in the political world. But unfortunately it is still symbolically and not substantively. That means if the spirit of feminism is not understood and applied correctly.
As illustrated in above data, it showed that although female had chance to be such kind of a member of parliament, it did not mean that if they had the same opportunities as men to voice floating the idea. It proved that the discrimination of women did not go away with the seating of a woman in a political institution.
Women Resistance toward Discriminations
In disclosing the resistance formulated by women figure in Bekisar Merah novel, the researchers observed the way of thinking, attitudes, and actions of the main character against discriminatory treatment that she received as a consequence of men’s domination. Some forms of the resistance are physically, mentally, and verbally.
Physical resistance was Lasi’s action to fight the all forms of discriminatory treatment which she received. This form was contained in the excerpt below.
Lasi mencabut kayu penggaris dari ketiaknya, lari menyebrang titian dan siap melampiaskan kemarahan kepada para penggoda. (‘Lasi revoked the ruler from her armpit, run across the footbridge, and ready to vent her anger to the teaser’) (BM-2013: 26).
The above data was a piece of events in the Bekisar Merah novel. It described the situation when she and some friends were on the way to home from school. In that quote, Tohari did not use figure of speech. He directly showed how physical resistance made by Lasi. It was reflected from a ruler used by Lasi to fight her male friends who continued to mock her as a child of rape. By regardless of the physical nature as a woman, she ventured to oppose the mistreatment against her.
Mental resistance was Lasi’s way of thinking. That showed if Lasi rejects any unfair treatments against her. Mental resistance often occured because women were not strong enough to against it physically due to the domination and control exercised by men so strong and sometimes physical resistance even more threatening women. Some excerpts from the novel that described this model are as follows.
Kedua tangan Lasi mengepal. Lasi terlempar kembali kedalam dunia hayal, menjadi kepiting batu raksasa dengan capit dari gunting baja. Lasi siap pertama-tama memangkas putus leher Bunek, kemudian leher Darsa, kemudian leher semua orang. (‘Lasi’s hands clenched. She was in an imagination of being a giant stone crab with claws of steel scissors. Lasi was ready to cut Bunek’s neck, Darsa’s neck, and then everyone’) (BM-2013: 55).
The above data was a condition after Darsa, Lasi’s husband, was dishonest to have a special relation with another woman. Different from that was previous mentioned before; the above quote reflected the use of figure of speech which was in form of simile. Tohari supposed Lasi with a giant stone crab with claws of steel scissors to discard all forms of unfair treatment that she received from her husband and all the people around her. Because it is presented an internal conflict, it was classified into mental struggle of the character
What the researchers meant by this model was a statement of Lasi to resist, oppose, and against all the unfair treatment that she received. Although merely verbal, the researchers found a commitment and effort of the main character not to continue to let her being subjected by male. The form can be found in the quote below.
“Tidak!” Lasi bereaksi cepat. Namun sanggahannya itu diucapkan secara tenang dan dengan penuh rasa percaya diri. Bambung agak terkejut karena Lasi berani memotong ucapannya (‘No! Lasi reacted quickly, but that objection was spoken calmly and with full confidence. Bambung was surprised because Lasi dared to break off him) (BM-2013: 330).
The above quotation was a fragment of an event when Bambung got Lasi to abort. The content was the result of her marriage to Kanjat. Lasi rejected the desire of Bambung by saying “no” firmly. Here, we saw that Lasi no longer allowed herself subordinated under Bambung’s superiority. However, she fought for the rights of herself by cutting the words of Bambung. The text used by Tohari was unadornet or directly to the point without any deviation of meaning.
The result of the study showed eight (8) forms of discriminations and women resistances. The discriminations were domestic abuse, molestation, gender harassment, seduction behavior, imposition, coercion, bribery, and subordination. The resistances were physically, mentally, and verbally. The researchers found the discrimination for women with no having chance to voice their idea which becomes the substantive of the political chance. The gender inequalities caused by patriarchy culture becomes worst for they are harassed while being subordinated. From the result of the analysis, the researcher also discovered certain way of women to resist those discriminations.
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