Differences in men and women really do not matter as long as there are no gender injustice. However, facts show otherwise, that differences in men and women are not just on the level of the biological-psychological, but implies the hegemony of men over women.
With a number of ways and through various disciplines of science (history, anthropology, sociology, arts), including literature, men justify their hegemony. Literature has been used by men to perpetuate their hegemony. For women, this kind of relationship is impossible. "They don’t get what they expect in reality. Based on that, the research became important to reveal the role of literature to the society by describing women’s issues in the literature, mainly covers how the image of women and gender relation are presented in the novels published from year 1920-2000 using Islam feminism," said Didi Suhendi, S.Pd., M. Hum, on Wednesday (22/7) during an open exam of UGM doctoral programs.
He said religion played an important role in legitimizing and strengthening the inferiority of women that provides a major effect on the Indonesian novels. It was due to the strong influence of ideology and patriarchal view of the clergy. Interpretations of religious texts (the Qur’an and the misogynist hadiths) which do not take the social context into account have been the practice common in the novels," said Didi Suhendi, FKIP Lecturer, UNSRI Palembang.
In his dissertation Women in the 1920-2000 Indonesian novels: A Criticism Study of Feminist Literary of Islam, Dedi expresses the understanding that Islamic feminism has got rid of equality of men and women. Meanwhile, the assumption that is believed that the ideal woman is a housemaker whose only role is raising children (as mother) and serving the needs of the husband (as the wife) has been embedded in the novels society. "A lot of gender violence by male characters to female characters appears in the novels of research. Other problems experienced by women in the entire period of the novel appear, such as dependency and lack of empowerment, inferiority and marginalization to the domestic space," said the husband of Siti Fatima, S. Ag,and father of three sons.
Dedi concluded that there is diversity gap between religious practices (Islamic History and Islamic civilization) in the novel and the community-ideal normative teachings of Islam (Islamic normative). That the roles of women who appear in the 1920-2000 novel is more directed towards Islam empirical-sociological, placing women as a supplement to men.
Meanwhile, the Islamic normative-ideal (which upholds the principle of equality between men and women) is still a discourse, response and criticism which have been constantly fought for by women characters who are aware of gender. Therefore, the research about women’s issues in literary texts (poetry, novels, and drama) with cultural perspectives needs to be done considering that these issues play a role in creating gender inequality. It is also necessary to use religious and cultural perspectives in order to know the views, opinions and perceptions of women writers towards her kind.