Every year, we will celebrate the Kartini's day, and along with the robust growth of social media using among Indonesians, our social media feed will be filled with many women quoted Kartini's statement, wearing kebaya and declare themselves as Kartini, or declare their mother or acquaintances as Kartini. In TV and radio, we will also hear people quoted some women as Kartini.
And for these past two years, I will ask the exact same question to my boyfriend, "On what ground these women acknowledge themselves or their family or their friends as modern Kartini?"
Just because you are a woman, it doesn't make you automatically entitled to be "modern Kartini".
Just because a woman wearing a Kebaya, it doesn't make her automatically entitled to be "modern Kartini".
Just because your mother is nice to you and gave birth to you, it doesn't make her automatically entitled to be "modern Kartini".
Kartini is a woman who thinks ahead than her generation at that time. At her time, most of the women will think that it's completely OK and acceptable to get married as soon as possible without receive education or having a career. Their only goal is to serve their husband and be a good mother.
Kartini cannot just accept the traditions or culture that restrain her right to study or to work. And only for her, but for all of Indonesia women. And she did something about it.
A woman who deserves to be called "modern Kartini" is not a woman with Kebaya or woman who is nice to her kids. Every other woman in Kartini's era also wear Kebaya and is a good mother, but they are not Kartini. They just ordinary women who never made any significant thing for women empowerment.
"Modern Kartini" is a woman who (again) think ahead of her generations. Who is independent and can think and act for herself. Who realize that even today there are still so many discrimination (including in working place and in the society) and abusing to Indonesia women. Who acts and give her voice to that matter.
That is a modern Kartini.