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Jakarta Post

Good bedtime stories make our daughters strong women

  • Wulandari Pratiwi

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 16 2019   /  01:33 am

At the beginning of this year, in order to write another children’s book, I conducted an objective appraisal of Indonesian folktales. It involved 25 folktales from all over the country as samples. I evaluated language and/or discourse to find out interpersonal positioning and relationships between the characters involved in the stories, helped by a linguist theory of appraisal introduced by James Martin and Peter White. All samples involved both male and female characters and their social relationship. Twenty of them have females as leading characters, largely portrayed as remarkably beautiful. However, they are described as lacking the power or right to express opinions or exert control over important issues in their life, such as marriage or domestic violence.Like in Bete Dou no Mane Loro, a folktale from East Nusa Tenggara, the female character does not voice her objections when her...