INDONESIA: Boys and Their Toys

The November 19th Saturday Sidebar question was so interesting I couldn’t help but take a deeper look into the whole gender issue, especially from an Indonesian mother’s point of view.

(Disclaimer: it is not easy to characterize the existing patriarchy in Indonesia, as there are more than 200 ethnic groups organized along patrilineal and matrilineal lines. Also, I have no experience raising a girl here in Indonesia–-in fact, I had no experience in child rearing before my son was born. And finally, before I became a mother myself, I never paid much attention to how people raise children here.)

About two years ago, when my son was a toddler, who dearly loved stuffed animals, I took him to a store here in Jakarta. He immediately grabbed a stuffed pig off a bottom shelf and started loving it. The store attendant quickly made a comment that caused my defensive mama-bear mode to jump into action: (more…)


Founder of Single Moms Indonesia, community leader and builder. Deeply passionate about women empowerment.

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