Following the announcement of singer Bunga Citra Lestari’s marriage to Tiko Aryawardhana, netizens flooded her Instagram with comments, questioning and ridiculing her decision. This incident sheds light on the broader issue faced by widows, where societal expectations and gender constructs often subject them to judgment and scorn.
Netizens’ Mockery on BCL’s Instagram: Unraveling the Criticism
BCL faced over 1,600 comments on her Instagram, with some questioning her commitment to the late Ashraf Sinclair. Ridicule focused on her decision to remarry, challenging the promise she made to live faithfully in memory of her ex-husband. The online backlash highlights the pervasive societal bias against widowed women seeking companionship.
The Gender Construction Dilemma: Insights from Experts
Andy Yentriyani, the chairperson of Komnas Perempuan, attributes the criticism faced by BCL and other widows to gender construction. Women are often positioned as symbols of loyalty, facing heightened expectations to uphold morality and faithfulness. In contrast, men are perceived as the party being served, justifying their remarriage as a need for companionship and productivity.
Why Widows Face Scorn: Unpacking Societal Expectations
Societal expectations dictate that women must maintain higher levels of loyalty compared to men. Widows, in particular, are scorned when they decide to remarry, facing sarcastic comments and judgment. The historic perspective, deeply rooted in cultural traditions, imposes unrealistic ideals on women, perpetuating the belief that they should not change partners even after the death of a spouse.
Impact of Gender Construction: The Struggles of Widowhood
The consequences of gender construction and societal expectations make widowhood an arduous journey for women. Beyond facing ridicule, widows are often labeled as individuals with a tendency to “steal” others’ partners. This perception, tied to their sexual experiences and life history, adds complexity to their quest for companionship.
Challenges Acknowledged by Widow Community Founder
Mutiara Proehoeman, founder of the #SaveJanda community, emphasizes the difficulty widows face due to societal perceptions. Widows are often considered lower-class citizens, labeled as “used goods.” The decision to remarry is met with skepticism, with questions about motivations, economic considerations, and doubts about sustaining a marriage. The stigma intensifies when widows, especially those with higher educational and economic status, seek deserving partners.
The Struggle for Widows: A Call for Empathy and Understanding
BCL’s experience highlights the need for a shift in societal perspectives and a more empathetic understanding of widows. The online mockery faced by her reflects a broader issue that widows encounter when navigating the complexities of remarriage. It is a call to challenge traditional norms and foster a supportive environment that respects the personal choices of widowed individuals.