I realized my son was holding something back for me. Finally he came to me and asked, “Ma, why did you become a member of such a group, so morally depraved, bringing ruin to the country? Were you a whore too? Everybody said that all Gerwani members were whores and bad women”. How can I explain to him what we lived for, what our ideals were? I still see the confusion and shame in his eyes. How will he eer understand my life?
Sexual Politics in Indonesia (Wieringa, 2002).
In our society, use of the word “man”, most of the time, stands for “human”. Then you know, when you are a woman – you are not “human”.
If you are too smart: you are a witch, or a whore, or a Gerwani. If you are too dumb: you are a sex doll, or a slave, or an ibu-ibu Arisan.