Thinking: Tentang Bule Hunter

Setelah membaca tiga buku (Bumi Manusia, Semua Anak Bangsa dan Jejak Langkah) dari Tetralogi Bumi Manusia karya Pramoedya Ananta Toer, dapat saya tarik kesimpulan bahwa fenomena Bule Hunter sesungguhnya berawal dari jaman penjajahan Belanda. Yang menarik adalah laki-laki pribumi yang haus kuasa akan menyerahkan anak gadisnya pada jendral-jendral Belanda agar dapat jabatan di perusahaan-perusahaan Belanda waktu itu. Sehingga bisa dikatakan bahwa pada saat itu yang sesungguhnya Bule Hunter adl pria pribumi yang haus kuasa, haus harta

Bukan hanya itu saja, relasi perempuan pribumi dan laki-laki barat waktu itu justru memalukan bagi masyarakat pribumi dan bukan keren. Kenapa? Karena perempuan pribumi dijadikan tumbal oleh pria pribumi (biasanya bapak) yang haus kuasa. Oleh karena itu enggak heran bahwa relasi perempuan pribumi dan laki-laki barat kerap dihubungkan dengan harta dan birahi semata, di mana stigma terbentuk setelah Belanda menjajah nusantara selama 350 tahun lamanya. 

Stigma tersebut terus berkembang di kalangan pribumi meskipun nusantara merdeka dan menjadi Indonesia. Stigma tersebut terus melekat pada perempuan pribumi yang menjalin hubungan dengan pria barat meskipun kita memasuki jaman modern. Sekarang saya paham kenapa masyarakat kita kerap memberikan stigma pada perempuan Indonesia yang menjalin hubungan dengan laki-laki barat.

Cheers, 

Oktofani

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Bule Hunter, Cerita Wanita-wanita ‘Pemburu Bule’

Jakarta – Tak sedikit wanita Indonesia yang mendambakan memiliki kekasih atau suami pria asing. Alasannya pun berbagai macam mulai dari lebih romantis, tegas, hingga ingin memperbaiki keturunan.

Ketertarikan wanita Indonesia pada pria bule ini dirangkum dalam sebuah buku berjudul ‘Bule Hunter’. Buku yang ditulis oleh Elisabeth Oktofani ini berisi berbagai kisah nyata para wanita yang gemar ‘berburu’ pria asing sehingga mendapat julukan Bule Hunter.

Para wanita yang ceritanya ada di buku tersebut mencari pria asing untuk dijadikan kekasih, suami atau hanya sekadar TTM. Dalam buku Bule Hunter ini terdapat cerita-cerita dari beberapa narasumber yang disamarkan namanya, yang rela melakukan apapun untuk mendapatkan bule, termasuk soal seks dan percintaan.

Ketika disambangi dalam peluncuran bukunya, Elisabeth Oktofani mengaku tujuannya menulis buku ini adalah untuk mengekspos cerita-cerita yang ada di tengah-tengah kehidupan sekitar. “Banyak orang yang tidak melihat bahwa fenomena ini sebenarnya memang ada dan nyata di dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, jadi tidak perlu ditutup-tutupi,” jelasnya ketika diwawancara Wolipop di Reading Room, Kemang, Jakarta Selatan, Rabu (10/09/2014). Tujuan lain ditulisnya buku ini ialah, ingin menggambarkan bahwa sesungguhnya tidak ada perbedaan dalam menjalani hubungan antar bangsa.

Wanita yang berprofesi sebagai wartawan ini mengaku sebenarnya keinginannya menulis buku sudah sejak lama. Namun karena pencarian narasumber yang cukup sulit, proses penulisan buku memakan waktu kurang lebih dua tahun. Wanita 27 tahun ini sampai menyambangi klub malam untuk mencari narasumbernya.

Peluncuran buku Bule Hunter ini dihadiri oleh aktivis perempuan Myra Diarsih. Myra melihat buku tersebut bisa menjadi pendobrak cara pandang kaum wanita muda yang berani mempertanyakan secara kritis apa yang terjadi di sekitar mereka, serta memaparkan hal-hal yang dianggap kurang layak untuk diperbincangkan serta sebagai pembelajaran yang luar biasa. Buku Bule Hunter dijual seharga Rp 65 ribu.

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Tulisan ini dipublikasikan oleh Wolipop pada tanggal 10 Sept.

Piece of Mind: When Money Talks, Unity Takes a Walk

When I was in elementary school in the mid-1990s, my teachers went out of their way to emphasize the national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which translates as “Unity in Diversity.”

The motto — taken from a famous Javanese poem penned during the Majapahit kingdom in the 14th century — pertains to the fact that Indonesia is an archipelago that is rich with different cultures, tribes, religions and languages.

The motto is intended to draw on the country’s diversity as a unifying strength instead of allowing it to become divisive. It’s a nice idea, but one that seems to be showing more and more cracks these days. The most blatant recent examples pertain to religion and sexual orientation.

But there are other, more subtle examples that have increasingly come to my attention, mostly having to do with status and money. Take the artists’ enclave of Ubud.

With its starring role in the best-selling book “Eat Pray Love” and the film adaptation starring Julia Roberts, it seems like everyone has been talking about Bali and how perfect it is as a tourist destination. I lived there, among the lush rice fields of Ubud, for more than a year.

And while I love the beauty and culture of the place, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that while it was welcoming to foreigners from all over the world, this same welcome doesn’t always seem to be as warmly extended to fellow Indonesians.

As a Javanese woman dating a Western man, I sometimes felt that I was discriminated against in terms of race and gender while living there.

When I went to a restaurant or shop with my fiance, he was greeted with a warm smile and friendly words. I, on the other hand, was largely ignored. I found myself asking if there was something wrong with me.

Was it because my fiance was a Western man and people assumed that he had more money than me? Or was it maybe because of the stereotype that Indonesian women who date Western men are morally compromised and are just out to squeeze some money from the man’s pockets?

If I only felt this way once or twice about the way I was treated, I could probably just brush it off. But it happened again and again, almost anywhere we went.

I also saw it happen to other Indonesian women, even men, and it never failed to test my patience. I eventually decided to channel my anger in a creative manner by blogging about my experiences. I ended up getting a lot of responses and comments from readers who had experienced the same thing.

There were also some people who were surprised that this would happen, given that there are so many Indonesian tourists who visit Bali.

I have two theories about why this happens. The first is that Bali has become spoiled by tourism money. It seems to me as if a lot of people there have forgotten basic manners in their quest to take a bite out of the tourism pie.

My second theory is that some Balinese may simply not feel kind towards other Indonesians. This feeling may have increased since the 2002 terrorist bombings, from which the island is still recovering today. But it’s not just Bali. I have found that things like this happen in other parts of the country as well.

Before I moved to Jakarta, I called the owner of an apartment in Central Jakarta and tried to rent his place. He was friendly and organized as he went over the details with me. I agreed to all the rules and was ready to pay.

Then, oddly enough, he asked if the apartment was for me or a foreigner. I told him it would be for me, a young Indonesian woman.

I never heard back from him until my Western friend contacted him and he responded immediately with a rental agreement. It is quite sad that this sort of thing happens in Indonesia, especially when we are taught Bhinneka Tunggal Ika growing up. It seems that our motto of equality and tolerance is not always reality.

Tourists from Jakarta who visit Bali may be quoted higher room rates than others. Foreigners are usually given more friendly treatment in tourist shops and restaurants there. They also get easy access to apartments in Jakarta.

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is a great idea, it’s just one that doesn’t always translate into real life — especially when the equality and unity in question stem from one’s wallet.

Elisabeth Oktofani is a freelance writer.

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When Money Talks, Unity Takes a Walk was published by The Jakarta Globe on Oct 12, 2010 before I joined to the newspaper.

When Money Talks, Unity Takes a Walk | The Jakarta Globe