Growing up and living in Indonesia for 28+ years have opened my eyes to 2 things: 1. The older generation, especially from some culture groups, still puts women in lower level than men; 2. On the other side, the younger generation (now the late 30s – early 40s) has been more open minded and supports feminism/emancipation. However, living in eastern/Asian culture where we are taught to always respect the elder has somehow brought the younger generation to finally agree to put men in higher class than women (even though in practice, I see that more young families treat women as equal to men – which is good).
There’s a saying: you are who you think you are, which is true. With the paradigm that women are on lower level than men, some people, especially from the lower education background, really put women as the lower group with less access to higher education and career. Thank God my parents are within the group of people who think of men and women as equals. They put me and my sister in good schools, teach us to be independent (with very less chance of getting spoiled), and support us to get decent career.
Dear Lovely Girls,
I know that most of you are feeling insecure about your physical appearance and love life a lot at the moment – I’ve been there, but it shouldn’t prevent you from preparing yourself for the future, to be independent. Most people (especially guys) misinterpret ‘independent women’ as the kind of women who can stand for themselves and don’t need men. This is not entirely wrong; we need to be able to stand for ourselves, regardless of whether we have men by our sides.
The best advice I can give you to be independent:
- You can do anything if you believe you can.
- Nobody can tell you that you can’t do something. (Just like the quote from ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’)
- Never wait for others – when you want to do something, do it.
- Study hard for what you want. Until today, I still believe that education is the most important and priceless thing someone can get. You can buy certificates, but you cannot buy the education experiences and the values you get from it.
- Speak up and be bold.
- Do things that you want to do, but listen to your parents. They might not know what you want, but they can tell you what you need if you open up to them. Anyway, they’ve lived longer than you.
- Stand up for the things you believe in.
- The best revenge (to the people who hurt you) is by being the best version of you. When you’re at your best, you will be happier than ever. When you’re happy, those who hate or hurt you will hate you even more, but you won’t have time to care.
If any of you ever worry that being an independent woman is going to push guys away, then don’t. When you’re independent, a guy that is meant for you will not run away – instead, he will stand by your side proudly.
Self-claimed independent woman