'You can’t avoid sex and cigarettes': How Indonesian Muslim mothers teach their children to read billboards
Muslim mothers in Indonesia find many roadside billboards confronting, especially those advertising harmful products such as cigarettes or using sexualised images of women. This unease is exacerbated by the fact that during daily commutes neither they nor their children can avoid seeing these billboards. However, while billboards pose a challenge to Islamic sensibilities, some Muslim mothers use these billboards as sites to educate their children about piety, modesty and tolerance. Such reflexive engagement is informed by an ongoing dialectic between mother’s interpretations of Islamic teachings and the realities of contemporary Indonesian media culture. This article explores this dialectic through interviews with Muslim mothers in Semarang, Indonesia.
Alī Al-Hāshimī, M. (2000). The ideal Muslimah: The true Islamic personality of the Muslim woman as defined in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: International Islamic Publishing House.
Al-Jayyousi, G. F., Roy, R. N., & Al-Salim, F. (2014). Muslim mothering and migration. International Journal of Education and Social Science, 1(4), 41-49.
Ali, S. M. (2004). The position of women in Islam: A progressive view. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Amrullah, E. F. (2011). Seeking sanctuary in ‘the age of disorder’: Women in contemporary Tablighi Jamāʼat. Contemporary Islam, 5(2), 135-160.
Arnez, M. 2009. Empowering women through Islam: Fatayat NU Between Tradition and Change. Journal of Islamic Studies, 21:1, 59–88.
Blackburn, S. (2004). Women and the state in modern Indonesia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Barlow, K. & Chapin, B. L. (2010). The practice of mothering: An introduction. Ethos, 38(4), 324-338.
Bayraktar, A. (2012). Does sexuality in ads work for everyone: Muslim consumers’ reactions to sexuality in ads. Review of Business & Finance Case Studies, 3(1), 53-60.
Blum, L. M. (1999). At the breast: Ideologies of breastfeeding and motherhood in the contemporary United States. Boston: Beacon.
Bolin, I. (2006). Growing up in a culture of respect: Child rearing in highland Peru. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Buckingham, D., Willett, R. (2013). Digital generations: Children, young people, and the new media. London, UK: Routledge.
Brenner, S. (1996). Reconstructing self and society: Javanese Muslim women and the ‘the veil’. American Ethnologist, 23(4), 673-697.
Brenner, S. (1999). On the public intimacy of the New Order: Images of women in the popular Indonesian print media. Indonesia, 67, 13-37.
Cronin, A. (2013). Publics and publicity: outdoor advertising and urban space. In Public Space, Media Space (pp. 265-276). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Danzinger, K. (1960). Parental demands and social class in Java, Indonesia. The Journal of Social Psychology, 51, 75-86.
Davies, S. D. (2010). Gender diversity in Indonesia, sexuality, Islam and queer selves, London, UK: Routledge.
Davies, S. G. (2015). Surveilling sexuality in Indonesia. In L. R. Bennett and S. G. Davies (Eds.), Sex and sexuality in Indonesia: Sexual politics, diversity and representations in the reformasi era (pp. 30-61). London, UK: Routledge.
Davies, S. G. (2016). Indonesian ‘tolerance’ under strain as anti-LGBT furore grows, Asian Currents, available at: http://asaa.asn.au/indonesian-tolerance-under-strain-as-anti-lgbt-furore-grows/
Dewi, K. H. (2012). Javanese women and Islam: Identity formation since the twentieth century. Southeast Asian Studies, 1(1), 109-140.
Djajadiningrat-Nieuwenhuis, M. (1987). Ibuism and priyayisation: Path to power? In E. Locher-Scholter & A. Niehof (Eds.), Indonesian women in focus: Past and present notions (pp. 43-51). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Foris Publications.
Doorn-Harder, P. v. (2006). Women shaping Islam: Indonesian women reading the Qur'an. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Faircloth, C. (2014). Parenting: Kinship, expertise, and anxiety. Journal of Family Issues. doi: 10.1177/0192513X14533546
Faircloth, C., Hoffman, D. M., & L. L. Layne (2013).
Introduction. In C. Faircloth, D. M. Hoffman and L. L. Layne (Eds.), Parenting in global perspective: Negotiating ideologies of kinship, self and politics (pp. 1-17). London, UK: Routledge.
Faizal, E. (2016). Cigarette ad ban gets irate manufacturers in a puff. www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/03/21/cigarette-ad-ban-gets-irate-manufacturers-a-puff.html
Farah M., El Samad, L. (2014). The effects of religion and religiosity on advertisement assessment among Lebanese consumers. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 26(4), 344-369.
Ford, J., LaTour, M, Clarke, Irvine, (2004). A prescriptive essay concerning sex role portrayals in international advertising contexts. American Business Review, 22(1), 42-56.
Geertz, H. (1961). The Javanese family: A study of kinship and socialization. New York, NY: The Free Press of Glencoe, Inc.
Ghouri, N. M. Atcha and A. Sheikh (2006). Influence of Islam on smoking among Muslims. British Medical Journal. doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7536.291
Governor Ahok signs bill (2016, January 28). Governor Ahok signs bill banning ‘all’ outdoor and indoor tobacco advertising in Jakarta. Coconuts Jakarta. https://coconuts.co/jakarta/news/governor-ahok-signs-bill-banning-all-outdoor-and-indoor-tobacco-advertising-jakarta/
Handajani, S. (2008). Western inscriptions on Indonesian bodies: Representations of adolescents in Indonesian female teen magazines’. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 18, October.
Hariyadi, M. (2010). Indonesian Islamic organization issues a fatwa against smoking. www.asianews.it/news-en/Indonesian-Islamic-organization-issues-a-fatwa-against-smoking-17838.html
Harsono, A. (2011). Public health suffers as Indonesia ignores calls for tobacco reform. www.icij.org/node/28/public-health-suffers-indonesia-ignores-calls-tobacco-reform
Hartono, V. (2017). Indonesian Muslim mothers and reflexive media engagement: An ethnographic study. Unpublished PhD thesis. Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.
Hasan, N. (2007). The Salafi movement in Indonesia: Transnational dynamic and local development. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and Middle East, 27(1), 83-94.
Hays, S. (1996). The cultural contradictions of motherhood. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Hefner, R. W. (1993). Islam, state, and civil society: ICMI and the struggle for the Indonesian middle class. Indonesia, 56, 1-35.
Hewlet, B. S. (2008). Fathers and infants among Aka pygmies. In R. A. LeVine & R. S. New (Eds.), Anthropology and child development: A cross-cultural reader (pp. 84-99). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Hewlet, B. S. (Ed.). (2011a). Father-child relations: Cultural and biosocial contexts. New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine Transaction.
Hewlet, B. S. (2011b). Husband-wife reciprocity and the father-infant relationship among Aka pygmies. In B. S. Hewlett (Ed.), Father-child relations: Cultural and biosocial contexts (pp. 153-176). New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine Transaction.
Husain, R. (2014) Saudis ban smoking, hookahs, tobacco in Islam’s holiest cities. www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/14/rahat-husain-saudis-ban-smoking-hookahs-tobacco-is/
Inside Islam (2012). Available at: https://insideislam.wisc.edu/2012/05/the-importance-of-the-mother-in-islam/
Ismail A. & Melwar, T. (2014) Attitude of Muslim consumers toward sex appeal in advertising: A comparative study between subcultures in Malaysia. Journal of Promotion Management, 20(5), 553-570.
Junod, H. (1912). The life in a South African tribe. Neuchatel, Switzerland: Imprimerie Attinger Freres.
Khisbiyah, Y. (1992). Domestic roles of employed mothers in Indonesian dual-earner families: Housework and child care in socio-cultural context. Unpublished masters thesis. University of Massachusetts, Lowell, United States.
Kitzinger, S. (1978). Women as mothers. Oxford, UK: Martin Robertson & Co.
Klein, N. (2000). No logo: Taking aim at the brand bullies. New York: Picador.
Konner, M. J. (1977). Infancy among the Kalahari desert san. In P. H. Leiderman, S. Tulkin, & A. Rosenfeld (Eds.), Culture and infancy: Variations in the human experience (pp. 287-293; 321-328). New York, NY: Academic Press.
Konner, M. (2005). Hunter-gatherer infancy and childhood: The !Kung and others. In B. S. Hewlett & M. E. Lamb (Eds.), Hunter-gatherer childhoods: evolutionary, developmental & cultural perspectives (pp. 19-64). New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine Transaction.
Konner, M. J. (2008). Infant care in the Kalahari desert. In R. A. LeVine & R. S. New (Eds.), Anthropology and child development: A cross-cultural reader (pp. 66-72). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Leis, M (2015). Tobacco smoking among Peking University students—smoking as a resistance, lack of information on health problems, or a societal norm? A case-study in Peking University with students aged 18-28. https://lup.lub.lu.se/student-papers/search/publication/8054241
Lee, E. J. (2008). Living with risk in the age of ‘intensive motherhood’: Maternal identity and infant feeding. Health Risk & Society, 10(5), 467-477.
Lembo (2000). Thinking through television. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press.
LeVine, R. A. (2007). Ethnographic studies of childhood: A historical overview. American Anthropologist, 109(2), 247-260.
Liamputtong, P. (Ed.). (2007). Reproduction, childbearing and motherhood: A cross-cultural perspective. New York, NY: NOVA.
Mahmood, S. (2001). Feminist theory, embodiment, and the docile agent: Some reflections on the Egyptian Islamic revival. Cultural Anthropology, 16(2), 202–236.
Mahmood, S. (2005). Politics of piety: The Islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Malinowski, B. (1929). The sexual life of the savages in north western Melanesia. London, UK: Routledge.
Mead, M. (1928). Samoan children at work and play. Natural History, 28, 301.
Mead, M. (1963). Growing up in New Guinea. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books. (Original work published 1930).
Mead, M. (1975). Coming of age in Samoa. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books. (Original work published 1928).
Melanngar Perda 2015. Melanggar Perda, Ratusan Spanduk Dicopot. Metro Semarang. 31 March. Available at: http://metrosemarang.com/melanggar-perda-ratusan-spanduk-dicopot.
Mulder, N. (1992). Individual and society in Java: A cultural analysis (2nd ed). Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Gadjah Mada University Press.
Nastiti, (2014). www.facebook.com/Nastiti-Wedding-Organizer-280718821970860/
Ng, N., L Weinehall, A. Öhman. (2007). ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys' views about smoking. Health Educ Res., 22 (6), 794-804.
Nurmila, N. (2009). Women, Islam and everyday life: Renegotiating polygamy in Indonesia. London, UK: Routledge.
Oh, I. (2010). Motherhood in Christianity and Islam: Critiques, realities, and possibilities. Journal of Religious Ethics, 38(4), 638–653.
Parker, L. (2008). To cover the aurat: Veiling, sexual morality and agency among the Muslim Minangkabau, Indonesia.
Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 16. http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue16_contents.htm
Parker, L. Dales, L. (2014). The everyday agency of women in Asia. Asian Studies Review, 38(2): 164-167.
Polzin, G, S. Stanfill, C. Brown, D. Ashley. (2007). Determination of eugenol, anethole, and coumarin in the mainstream cigarette smoke of Indonesian clove cigarettes. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 45(10), 48-53.
Prasetyaningsih, L. A. S. (2007). The maze of gaze: The color of beauty in transnational Indonesia. Unpublished PhD dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park, United States.
Radwan, GN., Israel, E., El-Setouh, M. (2003). Impact of religious rulings (fatwa) on smoking. Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology, 33(3 Suppl):1087-1101.
Rakhmani, I. (2014). Mainstream Islam: Television industry practice and trends in Indonesian sinetron. Asian Journal of Social Science, 42(3/4), 435-466.
Riesman, P. (1992). First find your child a good mother: The construction of self in two African communities. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Rinaldo, R. (2008). Muslim women, middle class habitus, and modernity in Indonesia. Contemporary Islam, 2(1), 23-39.
Rinaldo, R. (2011). Muslim women, moral visions: Globalization and gender controversies in Indonesia. Qualitative Sociology, 34(4), 539-560.
Rinaldo, R. (2013). Mobilizing piety: Islam and feminism in Indonesia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rosewarne, L. (2007). Pin-ups in public space: sexist outdoor advertising as sexual harassment. Women's Studies International Forum, 30(4), 313–325.
Ruban, A. (2016). Cigarettes are ‘haram’ too, group says after Malacca bans vaping—See more at: www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/cigarettes-are-haram-too-group-says-after-malacca-bans-vaping#sthash.j6QjuxNX.dpuf
Sakai, M., A Fauzia. (2014). Islamic orientations in contemporary Indonesia: Islamism on the rise? Asian Ethnicity, 15(1), 41-61.
Saraswati, A. (2013). Seeing beauty, sensing race in transnational Indonesia. Honolulu, HA: Hawai’i University Press.
Schleifer, A. (1986). Motherhood in Islam. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Academy.
Schleifer, A. (2007). Respect for the mother in Islam. In V. G. Henry-Blakemore (Ed.), Voices of life: Family, home, and society (pp. 93-105). Westport, CT: Praeger.
Siregar, L. (2010, September 3). Upin and Ipin win hearts and minds. Jakarta Globe. Retrieved from http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/archive/upin-and-ipin-win-hearts-and-minds/
Shostak, M. (1981). Nisa: The life and words of a !Kung woman. New York: Vintage Books.
Smyth, L. (2012). The demands of motherhood: Agents, roles and recognition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Srimulyani, E. (2012). Women from traditional Islamic educational institutions in Indonesia: Negotiating public spaces. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.
Sullivan, N. (1991). Gender and politics in Indonesia. In M. Stivens (Ed.), Why Gender Matter in Southeast Asian Politics, Monash papers on Southeast Asia, No. 23, Melbourne: Monash University.
Subandi, M. A. (2011). Family expressed emotion in a Javanese cultural context. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 35(3), 331-346.
Sunindyo, S. (1995). Gender discourse on television. In V. M. Hooker (Ed.), Culture and society in New Order Indonesia (pp. 134-148). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Oxford University Press.
Sunindyo, S. (1996). Murder, gender, and the media. In L. J. Sears (Ed.), Fantasizing the feminine in Indonesia (pp. 120-139). Durham: Duke University Press.
Suryakusuma, J. I. (1996).The state and sexuality in New Order Indonesia. In L. J. Sears (Ed.), Fantasizing the feminine in Indonesia (pp. 92-119). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Suryakusuma, J. (2011). State ibuism: The social construction of womanhood in new order Indonesia. Depok, West Java: Komunitas Bambu.
Swasono, M. F. (1998) (Ed.). Kehamilan, kelahiran, perawatan ibu dan bayi dalam konteks budaya [Pregnancy, birth and mother’s and baby’s care in cultural context]. Jakarta: Universitas Indonesia.
Thorne, S. (2016). Interpretive descriptive. New York, NY: Routledge.
Ummi. (2013). Ibu menyusui ikut berpuasa? Mampu, kok! [Breastfeeding mums fasting? They can do it!]. Retrieved from http://ummi-online.com/ibu-menyusui-ikut-berpuasa-mampu-kok.html
Ummi. (2014). Shafiq Pontoh: ‘All Out’ untuk ASI! [Shafiq Pontoh: ‘All out’ for breastfeeding!]. Retrieved from http://ummi-online.com/shafiq-pontoh-all-out-untuk-asi.html
Ummi. (2015). Cara merawat anak dimulai saat bayi, pentingnya pemberian ASI bagi pembentukan sifat genetik anak [Childrearing starts from baby, the importance of breastfeeding for forming child’s genetic characteristics]. Retrieved from http://www.ummi-online.com/cara-merawat-anak-dimulai-saat-bayi-pentingnya-pemberian-asi-bagi-pembentukan-sifat-genetik-anak.html
van Leeuwen, T. (2011). The language of colour. London, UK: Routledge.
Volk, L. (2009). Kull wahad la haalad: Feelings of isolation and distress among Yemeni immigrant women in San Francisco’s tenderloin. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 23(4), 397-416.
Webster, T.W. (2010). Pergaulan bebas and gendered youth culture in Indonesia. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Murdoch University, Western Australia. research-repository.uwa.edu.au/files/.../Wright_Webster_Tracy_2010.pdf
Walks, M. (2011). Introduction: Identifying and anthropology of mothering. In M. Walks & N. McPherson (Eds.). An anthropology of mothering (pp. 1-47). Bradford, UK: Demeter Press.
World Development Indicators. (2016). https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/23969/9781464806834.pdf
WHO. (2014). http://www.who.int/tobacco/surveillance/policy/country_profile/idn.pdf
Yulianto, B. (2014). Festival budaya kotagede 2014. Radio Republik Indonesia, 14 October. http://rri.co.id/yogyakarta/post/berita/111012/seni_budaya/festival_budaya_kotagede_2014.html
Yulindrasari, H. & McGregor, K. (2011). Contemporary discourses of motherhood and fatherhood in Ayahbunda, a middle-class Indonesian parenting magazine. Marriage & Family Review, 47, 605-624.
Zevalkink, J. & Riksen-Walvaren, J. M. (2001). Parenting in Indonesia: Inter- and intracultural differences in mothers’ interactions with their young children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25 (2), 167–175.
Copyright (c) 2017 Hanny Savitri Hartono, Sharyn Davies, Graeme MacRae
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.