Wed, 23 Aug 2000

Sexual attitude

If we are discussing sexual attitudes in Indonesia today, let's set the record straight. After having read yet another article pertaining to this topic in Sunday's The Jakarta Post on Aug. 20, 2000, again western influence bears the brunt. If that being the case, are we saying that Indonesians cannot make up their own minds and decisions on how to control and monitor their own preconceptions and beliefs on moral standards? If people here in Indonesia have these preconceived ideas that western influence dominates or directs their society's sexual attitude, then they must rethink.

Indonesia is a country that over the years has kept its beliefs and cultures, which have molded and created the name of Indonesia today. It is also respected around the world for its noted religion.

If one has seen or lived in various countries, one will find everyone goes their own way, following their own set of beliefs, rules and regulations. Outside influence is merely used as a tool to keep in with fellow neighbors. But it does not strip us of who we really are, our national standing or cultures and beliefs. We don't see aborigines in Australia donning the latest fashion trends from Paris. We don't see housewives in Saudi Arabia donning bikinis or hot pants on the streets, and we don't see the Americans donning Muslim dress. People follow in line with their own nation's code of ethics. However, what we do repeatedly hear in Jakarta is people talking about Indonesia's outside influence, or should I say western influence.

Let's take a look at Singapore with its conglomeration of various races and cultures. Yet, as a unified country, they live quite well as one. We can see the individualism among the different people, and it goes to show there, that they can live accordingly, despite different beliefs and cultures. Mixed races living together, salute Singapore. So let's be reasonable here, by saying Indonesian sexual attitudes are changing because, they want to change. Modern day society constitutes change and growth. Without one, we cannot have the other.

Indonesia, like other countries, is a youthful and strong growing country, if we shelve its political and economic disputes. As for sexual attitudes changing here, it is because the people and the times wish for them to change. Western influence is just an excuse.

Anywhere the world over, one will find a man cheating on his wife and it does not become a paper headline. But if it is the woman cheating on the man, it may read as scandal. On a personal note, I believe what's good for the goose, is good for the gander. (However, I'm old fashioned when it comes to love).

To put it all in a nutshell: what goes on in other countries does go on here also, in one way or another. Western influence has nothing to do with Indonesia's sex attitudes; people must choose to do what they want to do. Outside influence is merely used as a scapegoat when controversy arises on this issue.