Kalis Mardiasih is a writer and women’s activist from Blora, Central Java. At a young age, the woman who was born on February 16, 1992, has written three books, each entitled Muslimah in Dispute (2019), Hijrah Don’t Go Far Later Nyasar (2019), and Sister Fillah, You’ll Never Be Alone. (2020).
On social media, she is diligent in providing alternative narratives to fight ancient views that often corner women. He is also active in voicing diversity through various activities and manages a bookstore called Akal Buku based in Yogyakarta.
Apart from her career as a writer and activist, Kalis is also a wife. In 2019, she married Agus Mulyadi, a man who also works as a writer. TheAsianparent Indonesia had the opportunity to hear his views on fostering an equal household.
What, after all, is an equal household? Then, why is it important for husband and wife to instill the value of equality in the household? Here is our interview with Kalis Mardiasih and his views on equal households.
Hello Mbak Kalis, how are you? What is your activity now?
Hello, Intan. Mbak Kalis is still busy as usual, still writing, preparing a publisher, and also working as a gender facilitator, yes.
Mbak Kalis, as a woman figure and also an activist who has built a household, I want to know Mbak Kalis’ view on an equal household. What’s it like, Ma’am?
Equal household means an institution of marriage in which one party does not act as ruler and the other party acts as a servant or subordinate. No one controls or is controlled, no one is controlled or controlled, but the relationship as adult human beings who work together, support each other, love each other, mutually support for a more meaningful life, a better quality of life, a better life according to the hopes of these two in the future.
Should husband and wife have an equal relationship? The reason why?
It’s really necessary because being a man who pretends to be in power, the strongest, the most over all, is tiring. On the other hand, his wife. When the initiative, the idea, or the mind is constantly blocked, restricted, it can’t be done.
His name is human, right, has expression, has initiative, if it’s a dead end just because you have to obey because all decisions are in your husband, you don’t have an opinion, you can’t. One day it will explode.
So an equal relationship is important so that all members in the marriage institution are mentally healthy. Equal relations, cooperation, mutual respect, mutual respect, mutual validation of each other’s existence and humanity are very healthy for both of them.
According to Mbak Kalis Mardiasih, what are the measures that can be used to assess a healthy household, an equal household?
A healthy household, an equal household, all members in the marriage institution have the right to have an opinion, have the right to have a voice, have the right to choose the best decision for themselves.
This means that if you have children, it means that your child also has the right to make decisions, yes, when he is an adult. If the children don’t have it yet consentI can’t make my own decisions yet, but I can’t either abusive although still a child.
In equal households there is also no violence whatsoever. In addition, I consider an equal household that is full of love and affection, because no one oppresses, no one demeans, no one subordinates, marginalizes, or marginalizes the existence or existence of one of the family members. So that if everything is equal, no one is demeaning, no one marginalizes, no violence, yes it must be full of love.
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The household, right, is very complex and involves various things ranging from financial matters, domestic affairs, each other’s careers, the decision to have children, even the smallest matters must be discussed together. From an equality perspective, how do you and Mbak Kalis and her husband manage these things? Start with finances first. How does Mbak Kalis manage finances equally with her husband?
Coincidentally, because we don’t have children, Agus and I both work, so before we got married, we didn’t have a living concept. What exists is the concept of both contributions. So Agus and I have made a joint venture for the same amount of monthly needs. To pay for electricity, pay for internet, and all kinds of things.
There is also savings for the two of us to plan our future house because we are renting it and we don’t get an inheritance either, so the savings so far have only been for land and houses. Apart from the savings, if we want to eat snacks, yes, we don’t take care of each other’s snacks. Because yes, it’s your money, Agus eats what you eat, it’s up to me, it’s up to you, it’s up to each person’s money.
As for domestic tasks, what is Mbak Kalis’ view on the division of domestic duties between husband and wife in married life? What is the ideal division of tasks like, Ma’am? Considering that this domestic division issue is often the subject of ridicule on social media. There are so many who accuse women fighting for equality that means they don’t want to cook, they can’t prepare food for their husbands, they have to be able to fix their own roof tiles and other accusations.
I cook because I can cook, yes. Agus is the first son in the family who raises his children according to traditional gender norms and he has two younger sisters, so he was never educated to do domestic work because all the domestic work must be his two younger sisters. work.
But from before getting married, Agus had been exposed enough that domestic work shouldn’t be a woman’s job, domestic work doesn’t have a gender, right? He has often discussed with me.
Although, in practice, for example, when I ask for help in washing dishes, the results are not perfect. So I ended up doing it myself. But he’s good at mopping, he’s good at changing sheets. We are flexible, the important thing is that she understands that domestic work is not a woman’s job and she is willing to learn. He wanted help. In principle that is.
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Regarding careers, what is Mbak Kalis’ view on women who have careers? Have you ever, Mbak, protested against Mbak Kalis’ current career as an activist? Considering the risk, right, it’s quite large, starting from hate speech on social media, threats, persecution, and so on.
She never protested because before she got married, right, she already knew that my job was to be an activist, another women’s issue. He has been exposed to my work material since before his marriage. Then if I register fellowship or activities abroad, he also never protested.
Sometimes I even said that if he wanted to leave, he would even ask why he needed permission. He said that, right, good for you, do you think the activity is good or not? If it’s good, then just go.
At most what we agreed on was how long we were gone, for example, he wasn’t really ready if his wife had a job out of town for a month and didn’t come home. He did not imagine such a condition, afraid to miss him. So at that time we agreed, for example, if we had work out of town for one week, after that we would go home for two days and then leave again.
Even though in practice I go away, yes, sometimes there are 10 days before I can go home, but it’s also okay to say anything important. The important thing is the communication is smooth, yes. Moreover, he knows that this job is my life. I did this because passionate to advocate for women’s rights.
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What is your husband’s support for Mbak Kalis Mardiasih like?
He never objected to what I did, that I considered as support from him. He never mind that I always have new initiatives and if for example all day I have to work like that, yes, marathon meeting for example and I don’t cook like that, yes, he buys his own food. Flexible, really, not rigid relationships.
When in conflict with your husband, what do Mbak Kalis and husband usually do? How to resolve a healthy conflict according to Mbak Kalis?
Our relationship is like an ordinary human, really. No perfect very. There are times when we fight and then respond to differences of opinion with emotion, that’s very normal, lah. It’s impossible to have a fight and then immediately think rationally.
We’re still human, aren’t we? So, for example, I am emotional, Agus is emotional, yes, for example, did we not? mood say a day or two, yes. Still greeting but no mood talk to happy just.
Well, then after that, usually when the emotions have subsided, both of them spoke, by conveying, actually yesterday my wish was, yes, like this, you know. Then Agus will also say, I didn’t like it yesterday when your response was like this, for example.
We told each other what was in each other’s heads. Yes, it’s over, apologize and make it up again. The point is still that in a situation of disagreement there will be moments of emotion, but after that, yes, with a clear head, both should have the opportunity to speak equally.
What is Mbak Kalis Mardiasih’s view on the decision not to have children?
A person’s body is, right, the most private thing, the most basic thing that a person has. So he has the right to decide what is best for his own body. But then in practice the woman’s body is normalized, punished by society and the state.
After all, it was his own body. Regarding the decision not to have children, it’s actually something very personal in nature. Now if those who have bodies and their partners have decided not to have children, what do we really want to do?
Do we really want to encourage them to let’s have sex until you can have children? Do you want to be a referee? Not really, right? After all, we also never know the reason behind a married couple deciding not to have children like that.
For me, I’m sure it must be a big decision in life. Why should we think about whether other people should have children or not?
The problem is when she has a child and then the child is neglected and becomes a social problem. And it will have an effect on us, on society. But if he doesn’t have children, he has a quality life, he has a happy life, so what’s the problem?
Parents, that’s our interview with Kalis Mardiasih, a writer and women’s activist whose work has inspired many people to create a more just world for women. I hope that there will be more independent Indonesian women like Kalis. Thank you, Kalis!