I’m Indonesian, born in Indonesia, raised in Indonesia. However, I was not raised to be submissive to men. Neither was I raised to think that women are the same as men. No, I was raised in an environment where women are women and men are men, with their strengths and weaknesses. I was raised to believe that men and women are born to complete one another, not to dominate over one another, nor to equal one another.
When I talk to some people, I get different views in relationships. One side believes that women should serve their men, that women are meant to be protected and men are their knight in shining armor.
Another side see men as their competitor in a relationship, someone to challenge mentally, rationally or even sexually. Some even go as far as thinking men are beings that should be controlled, reined and put on a leash.
For me, a relationship is like driving in a rally. One person is the driver and the other is the navigator. To me, men should be the drivers and women the navigators. This in not based on dominance or importance. The driver can’t drive without the navigator, and the navigator can’t go anywhere without the driver. They are a team, not equal in their task, but compliment one another. The basic nature of men is that they are more about thoughts than emotions. And the basic nature of women is that they are more in touch with their emotions. Men can make rational decisions and women can support them by feeding them emotional consideration on things. There’s even the saying “behind every great men, there’s a great women.”
I, of course do not agree that women are second to men. But then again I also don’t really think that women = men. Emancipation for me is not for women to start wearing pants, but more that there’s a recognition both by men and women that women are creature uniques with their own traits. Women are no longer just things. Women are beings with abilities and competence. They may not have the same ability as men, for example men are physically stronger, but are just as important.
This, in my opinion, should also be implied in relationships. Instead of taking the role of the men, women should enhance their own roles. Instead of being the driver, why not be the best navigator around?
There is of course instances where women and men switch roles. There’s nothing wrong with that. The most important thing is that not both try to be drivers and not both try to be navigators. It’s the harmony that makes a relationship work. To adapt and to work together.
Om’bak guest writer Vicabar is a 23 year old Jakartan with a penchant for puppies, films and travel.
So who do you think should drive?