Single Indonesian Women

May 19th, 2008, in Opinion, Society, by

Therry Therry says overseas educated Indonesian women are faced with prejudice back at home and poor choices on the men front.

SOB’s, Single Overseas Bachelorettes

Indonesia Dating

For single Indonesian women who

  • are graduates of overseas universities
  • or have spent some time overseas
  • and/or are deeply influenced by the western-ways of thinking

while we’re women who are fortunate enough to have earned an overseas degree and are able to speak in another language, people often assume we are outrageously rich and likely to be snobs, and we are left with the dilemma of finding the right kind of man.


In a country like Indonesia, where everyone seems to get into a state of frenzy if they aren’t a part of a “couple”, it has become almost a sin to be walking around without your so-called other half. No matter how emancipated women have become, they still feel it’s imperative that they are to be wedded off – soon, hopefully, no later than the age of 26. As soon as they hit 30, sirens start to blare off from their ears, forbidding them to enter places like cinemas or cafes with dimmed lights – as if these places have invisible placards on top of the entrances blazing “No singles allowed” blinking on and off in garish purple neons.

At times like these, it is possible lose our belief that it is okay to be single – no it’s definitely fine spending Saturday evenings in front of the telly watching repeats of soap operas, munching on crackers and glugging wine down to the very last drop – but when it comes to the topic of “boyfriend”, we often get into a desperate state where we’d ask each other if there’s any guy – anyone? anyone at all?

But to our despair we have come to a realisation that we know – yes, we know – that it is a tough battle to find the man who could really come anywhere near our expectations – even though we don’t expect that much. Well, so long as he’s presentable, not like someone that even your dog would recoil from, and comes with a decent form of transportation and doesn’t scab money from us – won’t it be alright?

Even so, the choices aren’t great:

  • Typical Indonesian guy, whose ways of thinking repel us so much we shudder at the very thought of him. The mind games, the play-hard-to-get, the sleazy attitude, not to mention the somehow twisted attitude that they think females are only good for cooking, cleaning, bearing children, acting feminine, and being plain submissive – need we explain more?
  • Overseas-veteran bachelors with over-indulgent parents who give them with BMW’s and Mercedes Benzes and do many of the other destructive things that filthy rich people do to their kids, thus unknowingly making these potentially fine young men turn into selfish ignorant brats who suffer from what we like to call “The Little Emperor Syndrome”. Although, because they live in western countries, they are very much influenced by Western ways, they are still very much Asian – unfortunately left with the bad parts.
  • Foreign men, expats – forget it. Most of them are fat and balding with burnt red skin. Anyway, these guys go for the authentic Indonesian looks so there’s no way they’d be interested in women like me who don’t look that way.

So the question – plus the quest itself – remains the same: How on earth are we going to find the man who doesn’t have all those dreadful characteristics? The time left is getting shorter by the day and the numbers of eligible men are definitely getting smaller. I am simply clueless as to think whether we are simply left with no hope or should remain optimistic.

To hell with it. I’m just going to purchase another dog and be done with it.


Being the naive girl that I was, upon returning from my study overseas, I thought getting a job would be an easy task, because an overseas degree must have been more appealing than a local degree, right?

Wrong. It was difficult for me in finding a job. I sent out resumes after resumes only to usually receive zero response, and even if I did manage to score some interviews, they never led anywhere.

I had thought that my resume and the abundant amount of work experience I had was something that would have floored them – but it seems a lot of work experience probably meant I was not loyal enough (even though they were all mostly part-time jobs that I did during college) and carrying the title of an overseas graduate scared most people off because they probably thought I was going to ask for a huge starting salary which was equal to the salary of a person who had worked for ten years.

It was when I was almost totally fed up with all the useless interviews that I finally, finally, got a job. Unfortunately, before I even started working, someone had leaked the fact that I was (gasp!) an overseas graduate, and before I even knew it, I had my very own persona labelled onto me; the snob girl who must have had a very grand life and very loaded parents at that.

That wasn’t the first time it had happened to me. In the brief period of me working as an English teacher in a small institution in Thamrin, I had received the same treatment – the other employees were not keen to be friendly with me, and I couldn’t immediately start chit-chatting away with them for fear of being too friendly aka SKSD (Sok Kenal Sok Deket) and scared them even more; besides, the Indonesian Art of Basa-basi was not one I had mastered yet.

Which was why it was funny that when we finally got to know each other, they were surprised that I wasn’t at all what they thought. As a matter of fact, I was just like everybody else.

I went to work using public transport, instead of a hand-me-down BMW and a personal chauffeur.

I bought my clothes at places like Matahari and sometimes Mangga Dua, not from Guess or Mango. Although if I had a lot of money I probably would gone to the expensive stores, but clothes have never been an important thing for me – I’d rather spend my money on books, to be completely honest.

I cut my hair at the local Johnny Andrean and experienced bad hair days because it was the wrong style, instead of colouring and rebonding it at LuVaze – I’m not freaking Agnes Monica, for God’s sake. I wasn’t at all as glamorous and snobbish as others assumed by default.

Perhaps it is common to label supposedly rich people as snobs – because they are wealthy, then they are assumed to be arrogant. So it must be weird to see a rich person not being smug about their richness, because many of them are like that.

I remember what this other colleague said about this Javanese girl in the R&D department who drove to work using a Suzuki Katana and just recently changed her car to a Toyota Soluna, (bear in mind we’re talking about Japanese cars as opposed to European);

“Even though she’s rich, she’s a very friendly person.”

Wow. That “even though” bit really got me. As if being wealthy – or living an abundant and sufficient life – was a weakness, something to condemn to, and an excuse to make sense of their judgement.

Which is why whenever I met new people, I dread the very question of,

“Where did you graduate from?”

I’d contemplate lying, but I have never been a very good liar, and if I do lie, it will all just get out of hand in which they probably go,

“Oh, you went to so-and-so university! What year did you graduate? Perhaps you know my friend Budi, he was the manager of the student lounge?”

See? Not a very good idea. So now you would have understood my dilemma – if I’m being honest, I’m definitely going to be judged as a snob as to what has happened before, and if I do lie, I’ll just get myself into more trouble. And all because I spent a few years of my life being overseas.

Hardly a big deal – but not to some people.

145 Comments on “Single Indonesian Women”

  1. ET says:

    aussie sunshine

    but the day I feel jealous of the lil Asians gals is the day I dye my hair black,wear black contact lenses,starve myself till I look like a little ‘boy child’, blablabla…

    This reminds me of something I forgot to ask. What’s your weight?

  2. aussie sunshine says:

    hmmm Deta.. you are sounding a little bitter & threatened that your Asian women are deciding for themselves that they prefer a life beyond devoting their whole existence to the ‘uplifting’ of men.. im sure if you made your own decision to be whatever you choose,you would not call this misled or white washed,but just your right to be the individual that you are..seems a bit biased …funny that !!! .. you’d probably be very surprised to know the real truths of your females hearts and desires,but perhaps you are too afraid to look..or to care that they are dissatisfied,and go looking to foreign men who they think will give them freedom to be themselves,hehe,then they get disappointed again yes… ??? yes they struggle against years of training and indoctrination,guilt and unacceptance and are easily pressured back into guilts for being intelligent,to have their own dreams and other attributes,besides cooking,cleaning,baby raising & subservience to the likes of you,yes?? Its truly a sad state of affairs,that still in 2011,a woman with a mind and voice will be a threat to a male and seen as ‘butch’,or that she must be fat and ugly and stupid and a lesbian..hehe…it couldnt be further from the truth,and is the only reasoned I explained my feminity and normalcy in previous text.. with all respect Deta,Im sure I have no understanding of your comment on a ‘debate between who gets more partners’ .. I dont think that subject even arose ???/ …. its not about who gets more,its simply about being ‘honest’ enough to be able to all be who we are,and being truthful about it,and not playing the games we know will entice men or women in,for our own gain.. I just feel its a damn shame that so many males today are so intimidated by self assured ladies,when a strong loving,loyal and supportive woman by your sides can only benefit you…and yes,its quite sickening to a lot of men and women that yas are still out there,needing humble subservient ladies,tiny boy like gals to make yas feel ‘bigger’ as you may now understand,my self esteem is very healthy thankyou,if it wasnt,I wouldnt be ‘trying to please you’ right now’ dont you think,but I suspect,with your obvious need to delight in the submissive female,you’ve got your own self esteem issues to deal with,gdluck with it,have a happy day 🙂

  3. ET says:

    aussie sunshine

    Its truly a sad state of affairs,that still in 2011,a woman with a mind and voice will be a threat to a male and seen as ‘butch’,

    Only those with a voice and no mind, Sunshine. Especially when they don’t stop talking. In Indonesia we have a saying tong kosong nyaring bunyinya (= an empty barrel resounds loudly).

  4. aussie sunshine says:

    I spoz Mr ET that you are unsure of a size 8,bout 55 kgs and 5 foot 6″,and oh God yes I do own hips,breasts and a bum and I dont come in ‘black’ all over..not to your taste im sure lol… oh,and if I was interested I would have asked you if you are fat,bald and have a tiny penis,if you have inadequacy issues,if you are four feet tall and secretly enjoy young boys and dominating and controlling other people……but im not interested,so I wont ask 🙂 .. My man & I got on here for a ‘looksy’ cos we’re teaching in Asia again soon,seems nothing much has changed in the ‘male attitude’,but we’re happy to see the girls are still fighting for their right to be individuals instead of slaves&sex objects..stay strong girls,you dont need to play the submissive games for them anymore,its really okay to be single over 26 years old………..and trust me,the white men are mostly just out to treat yas exactly the same as the Asian males,subservient.. get yourselves a big black sth african Real Man as I have,choose a good strong loyal one,and I promise you,you wont be disappointed. toodles,be nice everyone

  5. deta says:


    im sure if you made your own decision to be whatever you choose,you would not call this misled or white washed,but just your right to be the individual that you are..

    I was only referring to your comment about how these ladies loved playing games to fool western men. I don’t remember that’s on the list of what general Asian women are struggling to achieve for their life.

    You obviously have no idea whether I am female or male. That alone is a proof that you need to observe more before jumping on a conclusion 🙂 But thanks for sharing.

  6. ET says:


    My man & I got on here for a ‘looksy’ cos we’re teaching in Asia again soon,seems nothing much has changed in the ‘male attitude’,

    get yourselves a big black sth african Real Man as I have

    If you’re coming to teach why are you and your big black Sth African Real Man having a ‘looksy’ in a thread about Single Indonesian Women’? Are you both interested?

  7. aussie sunshine says:

    sweet Deta,please forgive my grammatical correction,we can perhaps “jump TO a conclusion,but not onto one” .. and yes,perhaps you are right and I am in error of thinking you, because of your apparent degrading words regarding the free thinking Asian ladies who strive to answer to ‘their own dreams,needs&ideals’,instead of your countries,your culture or societies dictates,yes.;.I truly thought you must have a ‘Scrotum’ …a penis yes and the male mentality…and yes also,of course I am wondering why you would need to appear of ‘No Gender’ on this site..but maybe I can understand this also……………..;perhaps,yes,you are female,but God I truly Hope Not,I Truly Hope that Women,as Sisters,are now here in support of each other…of course it is okay for YOU TO BE AND DO who YOU want to be Deta,but if you ARE Woman,then maybe you can be wise enough to encourage and allow your sisters to grow and BREATHE..take the frigging chains off..there is NO GUILT for being our OWN strength,NEVER,NOWHERE.. and if you do find something written that says a woman ‘should always remain a mans slave,,that she is only on this planet to serve and breed… then have a GOOD LOOK,you will surely find it is written by a male… No Deta,I do not have big strong muscles,I am not a big person who can fight,maybe also I cannot hunt…; but I have more inner strength,courage,spirit,intellect & love and determination in my heart and soul than a lot,most white men I know…this is not something that makes me happy,it actually disappoints&even frightens me to some degree because Im old fashioned enough to enjoy our men ‘leading,protecting&guiding’ their loves,their family and our lives & spirituality..but..if they cannot or will not do this,I can only continue to survive the best way I know how,without being dependent on a person ‘weaker than me’.. No Offence is meant to you in any way at all by me,I just value women a lot,we are very awesome creatures with our very own unique attributes to offer to OUR WORLD,and I wont pretend otherwise,for anybody,ever. Blessings

  8. aussie sunshine says:

    lol…ET…Oh, I am sure you think you are being very clever and unique,but quite truthfully,your persona is quite common these days… you run in,you poke,you try to antagonise and irritate and make your ‘Grand Statements’,but then dont back anything up, and then you immediately try to put down and criticize anybody that chooses to voice their own opinion … you speak of Indo philosophy of ‘using very few words’ yes…but in my culture,it actually is respectful to acknowledge and respond to somebodys views,thoughts,feelings or questions… so hon,you can take this as me showing you some respect to you okay 🙂 .. I see that you cannot ‘show yourself’,I see that you ‘hide behind your cultures views and opinions’,I see that you can throw your challenges and questions around to others,but you cannot accept,consider or answer anybody elses,I see that you perhaps hide behind your computer and fear opening your mind & spirit to different perspectives..and perhaps I can perceive that you fear understanding the ‘power inside females’.. and babe,I guess I shall leave it upto your own mind to answer your own question to me, ie,”why would two multilingual social workers be checking out Indo web sites … environmental,political,kids,religious,male&female ??? ……. hmmmm?? If your own intellect wants to take you to your own ugly or dirty conclusions,so be it love..

  9. aussie sunshine says:

    Oh…and P.S …….please forgive Deta if I have not been clear enough in my writings regarding some attitudes of Asian ladies toward the Foreign male.. I did try and make it clear that this was what I was told and learned after studying,living and working with some ‘modern Asian ladies’ for over six years..and no, I am not ever trying to say that this is the ‘general life determinations’ of the Asian ladies.. and yes,of course after spending my whole life in the ‘company’ of ‘white males’,I would never advise or suggest that you ladies follow this path,of playing the weak,submissive,brainless role of female needy subservience .. not to a pink,black,yellow or white male,not to a monkey or kangaroo… trying to lighten this up a bit,but I hope you understand what I am saying,no matter where you go,or what country or culture you experience,there still sadly generally remains the ‘male who is and will always be intimidated’ by a free thinking self assured woman .. Over the past 6 months,I worked with many many different nationalities..but the most disgusting was all the young French males,who came to Aust to make some big fast money,and then went on to to Indonesia,to act like the Big Rich kind and generous King,who were writing home to their mates that the Indo girls are so easily impressed by so little,who were just going there to play with you females,and only to get what ‘they wanted and leave’.. perhaps it is not my place to speak of what I have heard and learned,but its just in my ‘protective nature’…writing is always harder to understand the real person,face to face is always easier,but I Do Hope that I have been speaking a bit ‘tongue in cheek’…I have been repeating what the MALES have spoken about Asian gals..yes im sure the ‘males’ will understand what I am saying because it comes out of ‘their’ mouths..and perhaps the ladies will not understand my low witted sarcasm,sorry,i never mean offence to male is an exception I think because he really enjoys my Female Strenth because he has had a very hard&challenging life,to survive and he’s found his own very strength & self assurance & is not intimidated by mine. Love to you babe xo

  10. deta says:

    Happy to be corrected, Ma’am, no hard feelings. And glad that you finally put sense in your words. I’ll take your advice as an input (after I go checking my gender).

  11. ET says:


    After reading this never ending eulogy about Female Strength I praise myself lucky not having to listen to it. If this is your idea of ‘social work’ I pity the poor people who have to endure it.
    Honestly, can’t you loosen up a bit or are you a troll?

  12. Oigal says:

    Oh yawn, yet another spoilt one lecturing Asian women on how to be strong and just like me. Never occurs to them, they are mostly pitied not admired.

  13. deta says:

    I don’t mind giving her a chance to lecture Asian women, though, as long as it is not in attacking mode. After all, who knows better about Asian women, and have a better understanding of what is best for them, than the western women themselves? 🙂

  14. ET says:


    After all, who knows better about Asian women, and have a better understanding of what is best for them, than the western women themselves?

    Asian women should all be given a lesson in Female Strength to defend themselves against hordes of white predators. And why should they, the Asian women, have all the fun?

  15. deta says:


    I twisted that sentence a bit. This is the correct one:

    Who knows better about Asian women, and have a better understanding of what is best for them, than the Asian women themselves?

    Every culture is unique, in fact, every person is unique, and I don’t think Asian women need to look up to other models about female strength. Life has taught them more than what they need to know.

  16. ET says:


    I understood you correctly. I was just being sarcastic. *

    * nasty habit of mine

  17. aussie sunshine says:

    tis awesome responses thanks people,you just perhaps need to understand, that when Social Workers/psychologists,humanity activists are ‘invited’ and ‘paid good Welfare/Comm Services money’ to do a little research regarding human affairs,minority groups,gender conflicts and political evaluation,of course we expect to hear from the mind benders,ie the control addicts,the less educated and the ones with their own psychological/emotional/physical issues, who see intellectual/humanitarian or gender challenges as provocation or ‘lectures’, and the very first signals for us are the very people that react in an aggressive or defensive manner and use attack or insult to try and support their views. Please understand that I am not at all surprised or negatively affected by your comments,it was expected,particularly on this site we chose to contact,but yes, it would have been good to hear from a few of the ‘brave hearted’ who have found their own courage to speak out against the smothering & debiliating affects of ‘Minimisation/Categorization’ of Asian females. It has perhaps still been some what disappointing to hear the ‘chauvanism’ and also the general ‘fear’ and ‘unacceptance’ for the very valuable & worthwhile ‘modern woman’,no matter her race, but it is all,of course very ‘useful statistical information’,thanks for your interesting input. Oh yes,just for the record,perhaps our background,blood lines are a little more Asian than you’ve cared to question. .. and readers,if you do truly have any problems making ‘sense’ of ‘an honest and confronting person,male or female’, I can only suggest that you try your best to drop your limiting,culturally imposed boundaries and open your minds to reality and equality. ..yes lol,a female can remain totally feminine& sensuous and still be entitled to her own mind,dreams ,individuality and inner strength

  18. Oigal says:

    Aussie Sunshine….:-)..Thanks for the laughs..I am sure the Asian girls here are just falling over themselves to be just like you and your condescending attitude towards them, I found you funny, my partner on the other hand, well lets just say I wouldn’t plan any trips to Sumatra and spout the same patronizing, arrogant nonsense .

    By the way, I take it your African guy is deaf? Take a breathe and use a paragraph sometimes. Nice piece of trolling overall.

  19. aussie sunshine says:

    thanks truly Oigal,its good to see that you’ve been affected enough to respond&sometimes this can be the beginnings of seeing a perspective besides your own,and yes of course females everywhere know that if ever things get too confronting for you,you can always revert back to the age old attack and excuse and criticism on us, that a womans words are just simply non sensical and ‘too much’..your attempt to minimise a womans difference of opinion to yours are very obvious and ‘old news’ Oigal……women are just not capable of one or two ‘grunts’,sorry,and if we disagree with you,Suck It Up love…..and yes of course I knew that I was gonna be the ‘fall out guy’ every time I am ‘asked’ to write the true views&thoughts by SOME [but more than you might think] Asian ladies,and perhaps it may surprise you that I am regularly contacted to Advocate for women in fear of Violation … this is not something I ‘Invent’ because it is Fun,this is something I am asked and paid to do num num…..oh and yes,they’ve very real fear & intimidation about speaking their ‘truths’,simply because they fear retribution and alienation for daring to be individuals…but of course you already know this dont you??? … so,try and kick my arse lol…try any diminishing tactics on my womanhood,or the way I write, or my culture or my own self value or right to ‘speak’,tis awesome and your right of course to show the world who you are,but you are giving ‘our group’ some great insights and giggles.. and truly,if the Western philosophies are ‘so unwanted’,then why are ‘fearful&dominated women’ opposing what you say they are So Happy with..??? As you know in Asia,as a FACT, What you Are Shown to your Face,is Hidden Behind Protocol and Politeness…You need to wake up a LOT love love

  20. Oigal says:

    Way too verbose and really what did paragraphs ever do to you? Honestly though, you really do need to get out more and meet some of these people you are so patronizing about.

  21. ET says:

    This is too weird to be true. Somehow Lomboksurfer comes to mind. Same style, same nonsense but still funny if you don’t mind the chaos.

  22. Lairedion says:

    So lomboksurfer is involved with an African guy now?

  23. Oigal says:

    Indeed 🙂 good trolling

  24. ET says:

    Maybe he got fed up with the surfer-groupies and wanted to try something different.

  25. aussie sunshine says:

    still feeling ‘safe’ living with in ‘the human herd’ people..?? lol… afraid to show some ‘individuality’ & different opinions…..?? … 7 world wide forums we’ve just researched and yas are ‘still rated the Lowest Intellectually,still the Lowest archaic Chauvinism, and still the most’ ‘afraid & unwilling for awakening & change’.. Well Done!!!! ‘… Oi…and apart from Our Govt. Research,on a personal note,the way you speak of women,your speak about their genitals & ‘blowing kisses’…hmmm..well yeh,it says it all about your ‘mentality’.. and explains why you still fear ghosts and disrespect animals…enough said yes,enjoy your Own Minimisation and your self inflicted Poverty,Social Issues and dissatisfied,sad women,who are only brave enough to speaki their frustrations behind your backs… but hey little ones…just STOP begging us Western people to come keep saving your weak ‘yellow butts’ every time you fail,fuk up & get scared… oi and thanx for your contacts u 5 anonymous gals,I do see now & understand all the total ‘shit’ and provocation…we’ve raised some big dollars thanx,my bwana is doing your Uni talks in 3 weeks,stay strong gals…tis ok,we are used to it,the fools in your country are only like the cockroach in my country…Hugs xoxo

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