Inaugurated, FIB Professor calls for resistance to women stereotyping and homogenization

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Prof. Diah Ariani Arimbi PhD, a professor of Faculty of Humanities, UNAIR, delivers a professor inauguration speech, Thursday, October 8, 2020. (Photo: M. Alif Fauzan)

UNAIR NEWS – Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) held another inauguration ceremony for four professors on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Prof. Diah Ariani Arimbi, S.S., M.A., Ph.D. from Faculty of Humanities (FIB) was one of the academics conferred as UNAIR professor.

As a professor of Cultural and Gender Studies, Prof. Diah in her oration called for resistance to gender stereotyping and construction, which especially hasmful to women.

The second active FIB professor highlighted how women’ presence is still limited to their physical appearance, when as human beings, women also have a mental, social, cultural and identity presence that should be respected by society.

“That’s why there is still a long struggle towards gender equality,” said the master’s graduate of English Language and Literature, University of Northern Iowa, United States.

In the ideals of 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prof. Diah explained that women are still vulnerable to marginalization due to the practice of child marriage, catcalling , body shaming, bullying, and personal ridicule. So women are now still minor figures who are swayed in the cultural vortex.

Meanwhile, in the construction of cultural identity, Prof. Diah took an example on the changing standards of beauty in Indonesia which in fact encouraged by homogenization of women. “Previously, in the Kakawin Arjunawijaya Book, women’s beauty was described in those with long arms, wavy black hair, and yellow skin like saffron,” explained the 502nd UNAIR professor.

However, the standard of beauty has now changed with the influx of foreign cultures. Those with white skin, straight hair, slim figure, and sharp noses are now considered the only standard representation of female beauty. So women now seem to be indoctrinated and homogenized in certain identities that fail to reflect their personality.

This doctoral graduate of Women and Gender Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia has even highlighted the case of Tara Basro, who was convicted because of her post showing her own body shape. In fact, this post is a message for women to love their body more and a form of campaign against body shaming.

Furthermore, Prof. Diah also hopes that gender equality for both men and women can reach beyond space, time, region and culture.

“I dream of the faces of Indonesian women with various colors and shapes. Even though our struggle is still long, I thank gender fighters who advocate for equality and women’s rights in society, “she said. (*)

Author: Intang Arifia

Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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