Indonesian Woman Has to Fight Water Gallon for Equality
Hoping to break free from this foolishness
This is a story where all Indonesian women can relate to.
One day, my friend just had a bad breakup, so she’s not in good condition. Therefore my friend, ex-boyfriend and I decided to dine out.
When we were done eating, I offered her a lift home then planning to stay with her as long as she wanted to make her feel better.
But my friend politely refused,
It’s okay. I’m a strong woman. I can do all things alone.
Then she went home while I was preparing to go home with my ex.
When my friend was already out of sight, my ex spoke to me,
She can do all things alone, huh?
Let’s see if your friend can lift a water gallon by herself!.
My expressions at that time:
The Culture Behind
Water gallon is an essential part of Indonesian. We do not have tap water here, so we have to buy one-litre water gallons per month. Then we have to put it in a dispenser.
The source of the culture starts here.
Many Indonesians still use an old design dispenser that requires a lot of strength to lift the gallon. Usually, the man at home offers to lift it as they have more power than women.
So when women in Indonesia said they wanted to do all things alone, it became a pattern when a man smirked and said, “So who will lift the water gallon at your home?” as my ex said.
I didn’t realize the culture was so big until a mineral water brand did an advertisement in Indonesia.
Aqua, a famous mineral water brand in Indonesia, decided to make Raisa their ambassador in their last advertisement. She is Indonesia’s renowned singer and mother of one child.
The advertisement mainly says about how we should choose our mineral water well. But Indonesians made it a joke as they asked,
Who is the man that lifts the water gallon in Raisa’s home?
It has become trending on Twitter for weeks. Raisa even published a video to reveal her husband as the man who lifted the gallon to answer their curiosity.
Then media starts to notice it and make it even more significant.
I’m starting to realize that it has become a culture in Indonesia where:
There is a water gallon in your home = You need a man
Lesson We Can Take
Sometimes because of stupid cultures, we think that we have to validate our worth more.
- A woman will look more beautiful if she puts more makeup.
- A woman will look smart if she wins a math competition.
- A woman will look capable if she works in a decent company.
- A woman will look happy if she has a husband and children.
When the water gallon trend happened, I began to search for ways I could lift my gallon. Either by showing a new design of dispenser where we are not obliged to lift the gallon, or a service to send gallon directly to our home, etc.
But when I think about it, I feel so stupid.
I know I am a capable and intelligent woman. So why do I have to validate myself with a mere water gallon?
Fighting a stupid match makes your energy becomes futile.
Once I realized this was a stupid culture, I eventually broke up with my ex because he didn’t support my value as a woman. I also began to ignore any articles and jokes that confront women with this topic.
We have to accept that no matter what era, there are still stupid people who confront women with foolish culture.
Do you recognize other stupid cultures in your country like my water gallon?
Well, you know what to do.
Please ignore it. They are stupid anyway.
The road toward woman equality is still long (at least in my country). There will be many problems ahead.
If we try to solve all problems at once, we risk wasting our energy too much on useless issues.
So let’s choose our match wisely.
Choose which problems:
- You desire to solve.
- Make the most impact.
- Worthy of your energy.
- Deserving of your time.
- You are genuinely passionate.
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