Gendered Anxieties: Islam, Women’s Rights, and Moral Hierarchy in Java

Citation:

Adamson, Clarissa. 2007. “Gendered Anxieties: Islam, Women’s Rights, and Moral Hierarchy in Java.” Anthropological Quarterly 80 (1): 5–37.

Author: Clarissa Adamson

Abstract:

This paper examines debates that occur in the course of Muslim women's rights advocacy in Java, Indonesia, to provide critical ethnographic insights into the ways that gender issues and notions of family are implicated in political consciousness about nationhood, religious identity, boundaries, and governance. Javanese Muslim women's rights activists focus on the historical contextualization of religious doctrine to argue against what they see as misguided interpretations of Islam that threaten to control women. This paper examines these efforts through a close reading of the discursive shifts and arguments that take place in the context of programs designed to promote women's rights in Islamic education in Java. It argues that the challenge for women's rights activists and intellectuals is to locate the ways that moderate or normative social and religious values can combine during times of change or crisis to reinforce a moral hierarchy of gender relations and an "idea of woman" in an attempt to control such change. The paper demonstrates that in Java, a moral hierarchy of gender relations, mimetically extended from family to nation, dovetails with religious interpretations to resolve anxieties about social change and security through the control of women.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Governance, Nationalism, Political Participation, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights, Security Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2007

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.