YOGYAKARTA-Discussion of gender issue is mostly on women. In fact, gender issue has deeper significance, which discusses the social relation between women and men. "Of course, there are differences in studies between adult women and girls or young men with the old ones," said sociologist from the University of Sydney, Raewyn Connell, speaking at The 2nd International Graduate Student Conference on Indonesia, Indonesia and The New Challenges: Multiculturalism, Identity, and Self-Narration, at UGM Graduate School on Wednesday (3/11).
Although many discussions of gender issues focus only on women, Connell admitted that there have been a shift and development in research on gender issues. She cited several cases in Japan where men today actually made efforts to align their role with that of women. They also want to replace the multiple roles that have been done by women, such as child care or cooking. "There is progress in Japan, for example. Men there also want to play the role normally done by women," said Connell.
Connell explained, the masculinity problem is continuing but its development of masculinity discussion is not as fast as feminism issues. Change in ways of thinking (mindset) about masculinity is slower than about feminism. The institutional structure (government/state) plays a role in it. She cited in the period of colonialism, men were required to join the military. "This institutional structure, for example, is at the time of colonialism. The impact will be different for men in Iran, men in France or Japan, for example, "added Connell.
Almost similar to Connell, UGM researcher, Dr. Wening Udasmoro, M. Hum., DEA, said that the research about masculinity is still limited. As a result, there are not many experts on masculinity in Indonesia. This condition can be made an opportunity for researchers or students to extend the topic of research. "The sub-theme can be extended later, for example on issues of education, health, sexuality, and so on," Wening said.
Other keynote speakers in that conference and seminar were Michael Feener (National University of Singapore), an expert in religious studies, Ariel Heryanto (Australian National University), an expert on culture studies, and Harry Aveling (La Trobe University). The event involves students of S-2 and S-3 also discussed about 95 papers of students from various countries, including Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Australia, Philippines, USA, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.