One Woman, One Mind, One Vote
It's such a relieve to finally cast my vote in the election.
A relieve because before this I did not even know which political party to vote for!
I was so confused I ended up going around asking for advice. I asked my husband, my mom, my neighbours. My husband said "Just pick based on their plans. Their programmes. What they have to offer." One neighbour said the same thing: "Just choose the one that is good for the country..."
That's easier said than done. Maybe I am stupid, but if I chose based on what they offer in the campaign, then they are all pretty much the same. Copy and paste. They all say they will work for the people, will eradicate corruptions, bla bla bla.
How do you choose?
Until one day I happened to speak with my Mom on the phone.
She said "Don't think too much. Just think what's important for you."
What's important for me?
"Yes, start with you. Yourself. As a woman, a wife, and a mother of one."
That made me think. What's important for me? Gee, that's not very helpful.
Tired of thinking, I spaced out for a while, and slowly my thought flew elsewhere.
First, I remember one news I read some months ago. A name popped up in my mind: Lutfiana Ulfa.
Remember her? A 43 year old man named Pujiono Cahyo Widanto aka Syekh Puji, who calls himself a Kyai (Islamic teacher ) is in the news for marrying a 12 year old girl, Lutfiana Ulfa, although it is against the law UU Tahun 1974 on Marriage .
I have an 11 year old daughter. That time, after I read the news I went to hold my daughter and I cried.
In the internet I read that a member of National Commission on Violence against Women, Kiai Husein Muhammad said such thing should not be allowed. It is againsts Islamic teaching. Islam protects women and not the other way around .
So I search some more: Is there any political figure who openly condemned such act? I found one: The chairman of Commission VIII DPR Said Abdullah said this is not a matter of religion. This is a matter of lust . Which party is he from? PDIP.
Meanwhile DPR Vice Chairman Hilman Rosyad Syihab said based on religion, health, psychology and sociology point of view, it is not a problem .
Which party is he from? PKS.
From that my thought jumped to another matter that always stays in the back of my mind: My neighbour, whose husband left her to marry another woman. I saw with my own two eyes how her world suddenly fell apart.
Ah yes, that again. Questioning polygamy. No, I don't intend to participate in the for or against polygamy argument. Trust me, it is very very difficult for a muslim woman like me, to be against something that my religion actually allows.
But if someone asked me: "If your husband were going to get a second wife, will you let him?"
My answer would be: No. Over my dead body.
And I believe any woman who has the option to say no, will give the same answer.
That's just my opinion, because I am a woman and a wife.
Then I read the news about an NGO releasing a list of candidates in the election, who are allegedly practicing or are supporters of polygamy . Responding to this release, one political party hotshot said that making a fuss about polygamy "does not sell and will not affect the result of the election" .
Oh really? Is that so? Hmmm....
Sure we can argue that it is a personal matter and we should not mix personal matters with political matters. But in my opinion, when I vote for a leader, I expect someone who are willing to sacrifice for the sake of the people. If that sacrifice took shape in having to stick with just one wife, is that so difficult? Surely not as difficult as having to wage a guerilla war in the jungle while suffering from tuberculosis like our war hero Gen. Sudirman  !
Looks like my Mom was right.
"Start with you. What's important for you."
On election day, I walked to the voting booth with my mom's words echoing in my head.
My point is this:
When I voted based on what I think is important for me, I voted because I think such matters is also important for other people who are like me.
When I am in the voting booth, everything that political parties said during the campaign, in television, radio, newspapers and posters, is no longer in my head. It's out the window. What's left are matters that are close to me. Close to my life.
Yes, they can promise prosperity, jobs, economic growth, and fight against corruption. Sure, it is important. It's great. But if I had to choose based on that, then all political parties are just the same.
In the meantime my mind went to my neighbour whose husband abandoned her, and to Lutfiana Ulfa, an underaged girl whom a middle-aged guy who calls himself religious would marry.
Yes, those things are important for me. Because I am a woman. I am a wife. And because I have an 11 year old daughter.
But what's important for me is not necessarily important for some hotshots at some political parties. It's no big deal for them to ignore one voice from one stupid woman such as I am.
They have the right to ignore me.
But I too have the right not to vote for them to represent me.
My vote is not a gift. I cast my vote with a hope that they will fight for me and for people like me.
Yes, one vote from one woman probably means nothing.
But they should remember: In Indonesia, there are millions of us and we all can think.
 WIkipedia: Kyai
 Kompas: Kasus Syekh Puji Bukan Semata Nikah Siri
 Detik: Kiai Husein Muhammad: Tidak Boleh Terjadi Nikah di Bawah Umur dan Nikah Siri
 Detik: DPR: Ini Bukan Persoalan Agama, Tapi Syahwat
 Detik: Anggota DPR: Tak Masalah Asal Semua Tercukupi
 Detik: 21 Nama Caleg Pelaku dan Pendukung Poligami Versi SPI
 Detik: Anis Matta: Itu Isu Nggak Laku, Soekarno Saja Masih Banyak Pendukungnya