This article examines images of men in Indonesian popular culture, focussing on TV advertising in particular. Extending previous feminist scholarship on gendered representations in the Indonesian media, this article suggests that on the surface, Indonesian TV commercials reinforce and streobrthen male dominance in Indonesian society, promoting the notion that a man's primary roles are public ones, and a woman's primary roles are domestic ones. However, this investigation also suggests that so-called 'domesticated' women are also represented as actors in the public sphere, in roles as earners and spenders. This observation correlates with the argument that from the late New Order period, in media representation - and in some small sections of society, even in practice - women and men in Indonesia were becoming increasingly more equal (Sen, 1994, 2002). But is the pendulum of gender relations now swinging the other way? By examining Indonesian popular culture from the perspective of what it reveals about men and masculinity, this paper argues that a significant number of TV commercials may point towards another emergent trend in contemporary Indonesian popular culture: the rise of misandry, which is defined as a negative or contemptuous attitude towards men, 'the sexist counterpart of misogyny' (Nathanson and Young 2001, ix).
Field of Research
190299 Film, Television and Digital Media not elsewhere classified
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