Woman’s Voice

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015: EO]

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015: EO]

When I published “Bule Hunter: Money, Sex and Love”  in September 2014, I received a stream of criticism in the net from many people. I would have understood that they criticized my book after they read it but they have not. They criticized it based on some media coverages. Those are including many Indonesian  women, who are in relationship with Western Men and feel offended with my writing as well as other people are who simply narrow minded.

Some of them said that it was just a bunch of gossip, some of them said that it’s not a journalism work because it’s very subjective yadda yadda yadda (Well honey, it’s hard to find an objective journalism work these days. Media is controlled by companies who are linked to govt). Anyway, there were big wave of nasty comments coming toward me. It was terrifying! 

Frankly, I was shocked reading those comments. I refused to read further for few weeks. But I must say that I am grateful because  those haters actually  inspired me  to write my next book. 

So when I went to  Times Bookstore in Plaza Singapura, I saw this book and purchased one. I read nearly half of the book within few hours over few glasses of Chardonnay. Since I read the title, I already assumed that it would have similar content to my book Bule Hunter. And YES IT IS! 

It talks about Indonesian women, Western men, Indonesian men, western women,money, sex and  relationship. However, it seems nobody attacking the Australian author Malcolm Scott. At least, I didn’t hear about it. 

Is it because the author is a man? Is it because the author is a Westerner? Or is it because he choose a soft title instead of Bule Hunter?! Or is it because it’s written in English and doesn’t get a lot of media exposure in Indonesia (if I understand correctly)? 

Oh well, we are still living in an era and place where women can hardly say their voices loudly and bluntly! 





First of all, I want to thank some of you who made some hateful comments about my friend Elisabeth Oktofani and her book, Bule Hunter.

No, seriously, thanks for making my friend famous. I mean, hey, if you bother to open your laptop and throw nasty remarks at her on the internet, it means you actually give a damn about it.  And, in addition, you make more people aware about her book.

There’s no such thing as a bad press.

But I think all of you need to take a moment to calm down, take a deep breath and, uh, eat a cookie. Some of those comments I’ve read so far are not only misdirected but also so wrong in so many levels. Clearly some of you haven’t read the book.

Repeat it after me: Calm down. Keep breathing. Eat a cookie.

First, I realize some of the people who give mean comments only judge the book after reading news in a particular online media. Like this one right here And, some of the comments become too personal I can’t even … whatever. I mean, the article only grasp some crumbs of the book but fail big time to take what the book is all about.

I’m not saying you have to read the book. But I think it’s just unfair to judge a book before actually reading it.

Even when Oktofani want to make the record straight by writing a letter to the editors of that online media, this lady right here, said “Oh, she only wrote a letter because she want to be famous.”

Lady, if you have a daughter and some random online media write something that will damage or hurt your daughter’s reputation by spreading news that is untrue, wouldn’t you want to do something about it?  Ugh, seriously, get real. I already did you a favor by link your blog so more people would visit it because I assume you’d like that. Thank me later.

Oh, and by the way, speaking of wanting to get famous, do you really think tearing other people down on your blog is an elegant way to gain traffic? Shame on you.

Perhaps is a good thing that this online media wrote those outrageous articles because more people are now aware of this book but, seriously people, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Moreover, you can’t judge a book before you actually read it.

First, some of the people berate the writer for her decision to choose the term “bule hunter” for the book’s title. “Bule” here is an Indonesian slang for Westerners and thus, “bule hunter,” is a derogatory nickname for Indonesian women who prefer Western male as romantic partner.

Look, the term “bule hunter” does exist. The writer did not coin the term but merely use it as the title of her book. Sadly, this term is sometimes also applied to ANY woman who ends up with a bule as a husband. What about those women who never intentionally search for a bule as their partner but end up with one anyway?

Google “self-deprecating humor,” people. Educate yourself.

Yes, netizens, Oktofani also write about those women in her book.  Real women, by the way. This book is not a work of fiction. This is not (I repeat: NOT) a novel. It’s a true story. Even though the tone of the book is casual, Oktofani gathered her facts just like how a journalist should. And journalist is, in fact, she is.

In Oktofani’s book, these real Indonesian women (granted, they didn’t reveal their true identity to protect their privacy) just want to give their side of the story.

No, Oktofani does not judge anyone here. I have it on good authority that a certain Facebook group, which consist of Indonesian women with foreigners as partners, bullies her. No, ladies, seriously. She’s actually on your side. Yes, she choose the title “Bule Hunter” to catch readers’ eyes (and, admit it, she succeeded), but this book is more than that.

I mean, come on, what she must do then? Make her book title “I AM NOT BULE HUNTER EVEN THOUGH MY LOVER IS A WHITE GUY SO DON’T JUDGE ME PLEASE”? She can’t do that, can she? Too long. And, let’s be honest, not catchy at all.

Some of the ladies in this book got story to tell. Yes, they are no saints. But these stories are real?

What about Nurmali? Who lost her husband and couldn’t find a proper job because she did not go to college (heck, she only attended elementary school)? If she want to sell her body so she can feed her children I say “you go, girl!” I mean, it’s her body. Unless you volunteer to pay her bills stop berating her choices.

In the book, Nurmali said she did not want to marry a bule. Yet she admit that her bule customers are more decent in terms of politeness, show her respect as a human being and, most of all, agrees to wear a condom when she ask. In other words, according to her, bule men are not hypocrites. And they give a damn about safe sex.

And what about Jovita? Who regret her choice to marry an older, white guy because not only he abuse her, he (almost, thank God) contracted her with HIV?

This book is more than just some women finding happy endings after marrying their husband. No, this is not “Pretty Woman.” Some of the women here actually struggle during their relationships with bule.

Stereotypical? Well, maybe some of the women are. But not all of them. And these are real accounts. This is not a novel (if any of you still refer this book as a novel I will slap your face with this book, I swear to God).

What Fani did was giving these ladies some chance to speak up.

If you don’t want to have a bule for a husband, by all means, don’t. Fani never (I repeat: NEVER) said in her book “You should go out and bang the first white guy you see.” If you think like that, all I can say is you misjudge the book. And I pity you.


PS: This article is written and published by Mahel on his blog on Sept. 12, 2014