The Rhetoric of Gender and Sexual Codes in Contemporary Indonesia


Double Panel

Part 1

Session 1
Wed 09:00–10:30 Room 1.103

Part 2

Session 2
Wed 11:00–12:30 Room 1.103


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Indonesia has come a long way since reformation era emerged, with shimmering and glorious cityscapes representing its role onto international recognition in late modernity era. These remarkable alteration corresponds with changing behaviors and perspective encompassing the issues of gender and sexual identity – some of the most disputed political discourses in Indonesia – with terms: multiculturalism, unity in diversity, feminism, LGBT as crucial to sociopolitical landscape of the nation. Those concepts that strongly affect the eminent imaginary are ‘freedom’ and ‘difference’, accentuating the hegemonic hold on individual rights as global or western ideology. Moreover, Indonesia has encountered the changing of sociopolitical currents which perceived the processes of modernization, emancipation, women’s suffrage, nationalist uprisings and globalizing communication networks through which digital information and labor markets thrived. Thus, the concepts of gender and sexual identities and codes are as much in flux by now. Given that notions of gender and sexual codes have always had to conform to normative rhetoric and traditional binaries, we have been researching on what extent Indonesia has really changed. How gender and sexuality being contested as political and cultural domains of representation and expression, for now and in the future? Are they still interweaved in structures and practices of territoriality and social class? And in what ways have these embedded codes of gender and sexuality altered shape over the past decades? We address these key questions by analyzing Indonesia gender and sexual codes in conjunction with the meanings, ideas and imageries emerging from several aspects such as migration, workforce, local wisdom, militarism and media in contemporary era. By approaching these rhetoric as contested sites of identity, power and performance, this session explores the extent to which they have regressed through the hegemonic discourses of culture, nation and in terms of globalization wave.