Moral discourses in Indonesia are both gendered and sexualised, and deeply implicated in maintaining social hierarchies. This panel will explore the meanings and impact of dominant and contested moralities in relation to health, marriage and the family, gender based violence and GLBTI communities.
The New Order regime's 1998 downfall was interpreted by many Indonesians as stemming from widespread moral crisis. In the subsequent Reformasi era, public considerations of morality became central to contestations of power. Such considerations of morality are gendered and sexualised, and deeply implicated in maintaining sex and gender hierarchies. Recent high profile moral debates have centred on: the definition of appropriate gender roles (e.g. can a woman be head of state?); the disciplining of Indonesian sexualities (e.g. the anti-pornography bill); and the stigmatization and denial of sexual health imperatives (e.g. pro- and anti-condom debates).
Surveillance of Indonesians' gender and sexual morality continues to escalate via both customary mechanisms and emergent technologies. Globalization and the popularity of social media among Indonesians have expanded the forums for performing acceptable public moralities and for the critique and condemnation of 'moral deviance'. The pivotal role of moral discourses in shaping power relations and legitimating or negating the identities and practices of Indonesians has yet to be adequately explored. Moreover, the gulf between public performances of gender and sexual moralities, and the actual private practices of individuals remain largely unexamined. This panel thus invites papers that investigate the meanings and impact of dominant and contested Indonesian gender and sexual moralities in relation to health, marriage and the family, gender based violence and GLBTI communities.