A Chicken Wings to Set Me Free

This is a blog which helps me thinking in English and keep me practice on writing and narrating in English. Those essays I wrote in Medium are raw and no need to criticized because this ain’t serious essay. Just a draft of my thoughts.

I love chicken wings. Everytime I have a chance to choose a part of a chicken to eat, my option goes to wings. I still remember the first time I always choose chicken wings part among other sections. That because my grand mother taught me. I was junior high school and we were in a big family dinner . My big family has a tradition to go to our private villa and spend weekend during long holiday in there. During the vacation, my grandmother always cook for us, it is a really big family with at least 30 people attended. My uncles, aunties, nieces were there and my grandmother cooked everything.

When dinner time came, my granma cooked sayur asam, traditional fried chicken and sambal. I was quequed behind my nieces and wondering which part of chicken I should take. The options were head, breast, upper legs, lower legs, and wings. It took longer for me to decided which chicken parts I should take. And my granma gave me this suggestion, “if you take the head part, you will become a chairman in your office just like aunty A (oldest daughter of granma), but if you take the wings part you will have a husband that will take you far away”. Without replying anything, I grab the chicken wings and putted it on my plate along with warm cooked rice. I was ready to eat. I knew that my granma suggestion had no scientific background as an evidence but I listen to her instead.

Years goes by and I always choose wings part of chicken to eat. Eventhough some of my friends told me that “the wings is the part where they injected hormones to the chicken so the chicken will grow bigger. When you eat the wings you will have bigger risk on cancer” but my human brain is cherry picking. I ignore the suggestion. Beside, economically chicken wings are relatively cheaper than any chicken parts.

My moral values and thinking changing by the time I entered university and met my lecture Miss Emma Soekarba. I was in her class when she asked me to be a class presidence since I was actively asking question. But I refused with statement, “I was a woman mam, I am no leader. You should choose those men instead”. She was upleasently suprise, I cannot remember exactly what she told me but her speech change my live forever. Not only she mentioned the female leaders in history but also questioning my psyche of being an inferior woman for my whole life. From her, I learned a concept of patriarchy and how Islamic religion has became a justification for mysogini. That we are women, supposed to be treated as an ordinary human being.

And I was questioning my intention of selecting chicken wings as my favorite part for a chicken. I was growing up and raised as the oldest daughter. I was constructed to become a woman. I watched Disney Princess Movie as I grew up and I always wanted (and acts as) to become one of them. Pity me, the Disney Princess movies I watched were in a generation of Snow White, Aurora Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid. When a female heroin need man and marriage to complete and save her life then happily ever after. My preference of a chicken wings was based on how I was hoping a man to save my life and bring me away from this miserable life. Far far away.

I didn't like being at home and being with my family. Not because I do not love them. I just feel family is too demanding and they cannot accept me for who I am. They always want me to become something that they want. I was rebel and I show them what I really want but the cannot accept me. They like to be fooled rather to face a truth. They cannot bare a pain from truth so they hurt me instead. And I want to let go, I wanna be set free. And with my previous patriarch mind, I need a man as a savior. That is why I keep eating chicken wings.

But realising the truth behind my acts does not simply change who I am. After 6 years from bu Emma class, I met someone who right now become my husband. I am fully aware for not making my husband as a gateaway from my traditional patriarch family. I love my family and I do not want to disappoint them by just run away from home. So I married this guy, eventhough for me marriage not so important but it was so important for my family and both our states (Indonesia-Germany). Beside, I runaway from Indonesian family demand to breed and so on, we decide to live in Germany.

To be married I have to aware on two things: do I love the person or I love the idea of him? and how long this passionate love last and how can I manage a compassionate love when every happy chemicals leave my brain? does we have the similar lifestyle and how far we could negotiate each other?

This decision of marriage are more rational, as long as I could make.

I knew that I like being with him and he seems a compatible partner, intellectually and daily live. Suprisingly we have similar background and way of live.

Beside, I have the ability of reflecting every single decisions I have made.

Because by the time I met him, I never thought that because I was eating chicken wings continuously just like my granma told me. The chicken wings was a tools for me to reflect my thought. My psyche that constructed me to be a woman like my family demands me to be. My psyche created a justification, those justification could came or based on family traditions or religions that locked women thought and make her think that they are “naturally” inferior and incapable of so many things so she needs a savior to set her free.

And feminism, are about humanized women. By humanizing means that provide women on her basic humans needs: being alive, respected, and equal opportunity. Now I have awaken with those value, have I changed? I keep questioning myself.

Tonight I ate chicken wings and it gave me thinking. Do I eat chicken wings because I still need to be set free or because I have created habitus on eating chicken wings?

one thing I know, I do not need saviour to set me free.

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