Your Not-So-Manly Traveler: A Case of Gender Stereotyping

Gender stereotyping is a discrimination based on one’s sex. It usually involves unfair treatment or infringement upon the rights of a certain sex. It is greatly influenced by culture and upbringing, in which you have to act in a specific manner. For example, if you’re a guy, you have to be rough and tough, or if you’re a girl, you have to be all sweet and graceful, otherwise you don’t deserve a certain respect.

This can break down to many other stereotypes: If you’re a male gym junkie, you have to have topless selfies; if you’re a gangster wannabe, you have to pose with cash and fake guns; if you want to be an Indonesian female soap opera actress, you have to be slim, have straight hair, and treat your skin like it’s made from porcelain. As for travelers, a First Media TV casting person had this to say to me this morning via email (English translation by me) about my casting video for their new travel program, which they had asked for two days ago:

“Thanks bro atas kiriman castingnya. Overall gw suka, tapi sorry gw akan bilang secara jujur, gestur kamu kurang maskulin, bisa ga lo kirim video casting kayaknya presenter tv yang lebih laki-laki pecinta travelling, atau lebih tegap lagi. Maaf bro, ini bukan sindiran, tapi ini masukan dari saya yang sedang mencari host untuk program travelling, dalam hal ini real travel blogger. Saya tunggu video selanjutnya, secepatnya.” – “Thanks bro for sending your casting (video). Overall I like it, but sorry I’ll say this frankly, your gestures are lacking on the masculine side, can you send (another) casting video like other male TV presenters that are more of the travel-loving-dude type, or more sturdy-looking. Sorry bro I’m not mocking you, but this is a criticism from me, someone who’s looking for a host for a travel program, in this case (I’m looking for) a real travel blogger. I’ll wait for your other video, as soon as possible.”


Well, bro, that is called gender stereotyping, as propagated by the media. I know it’s your job, but I’d rather put my money on a travel show with a lovable gay host (definitely not me) than watch your usual Indonesian macho ho-hum going here and there without the sufficient vocabulary to describe how fantabulous a place is. I know many other gay guys, who have got to be more effeminate than me, who love traveling. And can you say that they’re not real travelers just because they like to wear pink when they’re out and about, or scream “OH-EM-GEE! Gorgeousness!” when they see a breathtaking landscape? I guess it’s true that for Indonesian television, male effeminacy can only sell through slapstick comedies. Sorry, my fellow not-so-manly Indonesians, don’t get your hopes up to be represented in educational TV programs just yet.

And by the way, bro, is it a TV person thing to not know how to use punctuation marks correctly?

For the rest of my readers, here’s the said video. It’s in Indonesian, but I hope you can tell that I’m trying my best to be faaab with that uis beka buluh around my head. Thanks to Odino da Costa, Ibob Widiatmono, and Dorothea Diba for helping me make this video. You’re all divine!

13 responses to “Your Not-So-Manly Traveler: A Case of Gender Stereotyping

  1. santai aja om… gua juga pernah kok ditolak radio dengan alasan yg agak mirip. krn memang karakter suara gua laki banget (ga ngebass) tapi its ok org punya jalannya masing2 buat berkarya…

    • yang bikin gue gak sante ya cara bales emailnya. very unprofessional, dan benar2 membuktikan kalo program2 tivi indonesia tuh emang pada cupu.

  2. Whenever I have heard that a friend or a friend of a friend was planning to visit Indonesia, I have directed them to your blog. Shame on the tape reviewer for his attitude. Perhaps you should cast your net wider afield, to audiences that wouldn’t even notice let alone prejudice any effeminate body language. You are probably too seasoned and sophisticated for local tv anyhow.

    best and warm regards

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