|HOW WE WORK|
|current projects||recent publications||past publications||OUR BOOKS|
The Story of a Woman Sacrificed to Patriarchy
In “Calon Arang, the Story of a Woman Sacrificed to Patriarchy” one of Indonesia’s foremost feminist poets, Toeti Heraty, not only brings attention to the causes and futility of the war between the sexes, but to the threat to peace which patriarchy personifies in its continual efforts to lay blame elsewhere.
Toeti Heraty Noerhadi-Rooseno is considered the grande dame of Indonesian poetry, as well as a distinguished philosophy professor, art historian, businesswoman, and cultural and political activist.
In her interpretation of Calon Arang, Toeti talks to her readers, sometimes making them smile, but always making them think. In this work, Toeti delves into old Javanese history and its traces in modern-day Balinese history and culture.
In the figure of Calon Arang she finds an example of the kind of demonizing of the mystical powers of female seers that has taken place in all patriarchal cultures across history. But her interest isn’t confined to the history and myth that is embodied in the traditional dramatic forms on display in modern Bali.
This historical legacy cannot be divorced from Indonesia’s contemporary struggles. The fall of the New Order and the challenges of the Reform Era also involve the struggle of women against the injustices and inequalities of patriarchal culture and society.
The reader is made to think about this ongoing struggle, but there is also an additional challenge in Toeti’s work: readers, both male and female, are urged to take part themselves in overturning the patriarchy.
In this way, Toeti’s Calon Arang belongs to what we understand as “engaged literature”. Its target is the ideology that underlies global culture in its most fundamental and all-encompassing form: the ideology of patriarchy that has already done too much to limit human potential, the rightful possession of us all.
Calon Arang, the Story of a Woman Sacrificed to Patriarchy
Take Me to Paradise [new!]