YOGYAKARTA - A dissertation research examining 22 titles of feminist novels published in Indonesia in the period from 1920 to the 2000s observes four male authors who are considered to have feminist outlook. Who are they? They are Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana (STA), Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya, Putu Wijaya and Pramoedya Ananta Toer. "In their novels, the feminism is very clear. They are male feminists as they have awareness of gender equality," said the lecturer of Indonesian Language and Literature Education, Yogyakarta State University, Dra. Wiyatmi, M. Hum, defending her doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Tuesday (23/10). Acting as Promoter is Prof. Dr. Siti Chamamah Soeratno, and co-promoters Dr. Juliasih and Dr. Wening Udasmoro.
Wiyatmi said the four writers always carry feminist view in their novels. The novels contribute to the continuing criticism of the patriarchal hegemony prevailing in the society since the colonial period to the present. "The resistance is realized by providing opportunities for women to pursue education in the school and outside the school as well as to participate in the public sector," she said.
As high as 70% of the 22 titles raised women issues, Wiyatmi mentioned some of the novels that promote resistance to patriarchal power in the domestic sector in the form of criticism and opposition to the tradition of seclusion, forced marriage, polygamy, domestic violence and economic dominance. The criticisms are described in the novels Azab dan Sengsara (Torment and Misery), Siti Nurbaya, Kehilangan Mestika (Losing Mestika), Widyawati, Atheis (Atheist), Bumi Manusia (The Earth of Man), Para Priyayi (The Noblemen), Perempuan Berkalung Sorban (The Woman Wearing the Turban), Geni Jora and Namaku Temerawut (My Name is Temerawut).
Meanwhile, resistance to patriarchal authority in the public sector is reflected in the novel Kehilangan Mestika (Losing Mestika), Jalan Bandungan (Bandungan Road), Manusia Bebas (Free Man), Saman and Larung.
In the economic field, the novels telling the managerial ability of women to manage the company, even giving great attention to the problem of unemployment are found in Burung-burung Rantau (Birds on Travel), Bumi Manusia (The Earth of Man), Canting dan Putri (Canting and Putri). The participation of women and social organizations is presented in Layar Terkembang (The Unfurled Sail), Belenggu (The Shackle), Manusia Bebas (Free Man), Atheis (Atheist) and Senja di Jakarta (Twilight in Jakarta).