International Women’s Day 2022
Understanding Our Language
Women are strong in so many ways and there is no one definitive adjective that should be used to describe the strength of a woman. International women’s day is a day to have an honest conversation about what means to be us, how to celebrate us, and how to support us. As a woman-led small business it’s important to create a safe environment to share and discuss ideas to be open to the chance of self reflection.
As we reflect on how different we are, we also reflect on how to be a support system to one another without undermining the other. We also come to an understanding of similar difficulties that has been put before us in the society and what can we do as a collective to overcome them.
How do we see ourselves as a strong woman?
I am strong because I allow myself to fully embrace my femininity. I love my role as a wife as much as I allow myself to love that I have a career. I find the gentle balance between the two as a strength that is unique to my own. Like Bedhayan, the traditional Javanese dance, I feel my strength as a woman in my flowing movements and but firm foundations. Embracing my intuition and feelings has definitely woke me up spiritually and be the rock to those around me.
As the oldest granddaughter and daughter from my family I am proud of myself to break barriers. My family’s culture has always highlighted the importance of women as a housewife and has never expected anything of me besides finding myself a husband. My ambition towards my career in the fashion industry and everything I have accomplished has set a new standard in my family. I open their minds to a whole new world of possibilities for woman and also inspire them to see women in a whole new light.
I am a young single mother in Indonesia that works, study, and also care for my daughter at the same time. I am strong because I am adaptable. Even though there were many people who tells me I can’t when I was pregnant with my daughter, I pushed through and now I am both the father and mother to my precious daughter. My will and courage has allowed me to prove those who doubt me wrong,
My strength is in listening. It may seem simple but it’s what most people around me need me for. To be able to listen without judgments, care without expecting anything in return, be a shoulder to lean on when times are tough. To nurture for me comes naturally, it is an innate behavior that has proved time and time again that allows me to be strong for those I love.
How have you broken the stigma society has put upon you?
Single mothers in Indonesia have such a bad rep. Society has put us in a box and cast us aside and it’s rarely the fault of the father. When I decided to go through what I go through there were many of my closest ones that doubt my ability as a woman to be a single mother because of the judgment that may come with it. I prove that I can do it, I think society needs to reflect on how they support women that needs help, not blame them.
I come from a family of a head strong woman who have amazing careers but this somehow comes at the cost of family. I have never had an example of a well-functioning family ever since I was little, and there’s always a stigma that choosing a man over a career is fatal. Well I chose both, I choose to have a career that I love but I refuse to let it be my everything. I cherish my healthy relationship with my partner and I also allow myself to not get wrapped up in just my work, at the end of the day I won’t let career get in the way of my relationship. In fact, my partner helps me a lot in what I do. We share the same vision and passion so it adds to my marriage instead of against it.
How do you define being a feminist?
Everyone needs to be a feminist, and being a feminist does not mean hating on the other gender. It actually means to fight for an equal opportunity for both the genders. Women’s right are so far behind that we need to catch up by getting ourselves informed on what issues that are going on.
Women needs to support and listen more to other women and men should be included in the conversation too. We need an objective perspective and we also need them to understand our position as women in the society as general. So they can be an ally to us collaborating for a solution.
With social media we can see that there are more women who are vocal about fighting for their rights especially in sexual harassment cases and that is what is wonderful about the world we are in, we are progressing. But with progress, we have to take accountability too for our actions. We are responsible to present ourselves as an integral part to society.
Being a feminist means that we are independent but we can allow ourselves to nurture those around us as well. Being non judgmental to another and allow empathy to other humans not just women to be part of the change. To not judge someone based on their gender alone but instead keeping an open mind to what their capabilities are.
Women are so easily pitted to one another by the media and it is our responsibility to filter and consume the media wisely. The media is an inevitable part of life but so is change, so we need to strike a balance of voicing out what seems to be injustice responsibly. There is a time to be vocal and there is also a time to listen and reflect because ultimately change comes from the ability to better ourselves for society and those around us.