Sometimes I had a question and I got it: What do you have with dusty Multatuli, that old white man who has nothing to do with the things you stand for? How can you take him as an example for your engagement? I keep looking forward to this question, because I really think it’s a clear correlation. Multatuli and I are proclaiming essentially the same message.
Multatuli is a huge inspiration to me; Example, role model, fetish. Not only because he unrivaledly masters the art of writing and plays with language like few others, but also because of his courage, courage and originality. Those who delve into the man soon discover that he was not only an expert in language and political activist who fought tirelessly and risked his life against Javanese colonial persecution and thus managed to influence Dutch politics, but also a great thinker in other fields. He already had thoughts on the major social issues we still struggle with today.
It’s not for nothing that I used his words as a slogan for my book I’m going to live† This was a very thoughtful and conscious choice, because Multatuli already proclaimed in his day what many still have to publish today. What has been tested as innovative, shocking, and modern within the society I come from, Multatuli actually originated in 1860. And that is very special, at least to me. He was a true cross-thinker, a clever cross-thinker and a visionary. Whether you are talking about women’s rights, feminist principles, religious criticism, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, or principles of a just-functioning policy; I loved it all.
Read also: Max Havelar closed
Why were women not allowed to vote? and not teach? Why do they always have to be good and humble? He argued about the sexual education of girls as a result of Christian morals and fought for free love with his pen. Like I’m trying to do. Mulatuli expressed the discontent of early feminists and thus had a major impact on women’s emancipation. Even Aletta Jacobs acknowledged his contribution. He said about women’s right to vote. “Why don’t women choose? If ministers squander the nation’s money so that taxes remain high, they also suffer from that pressure. If we are subjected to riots, war, or floods because of bad government, don’t they also suffer from those calamities?”
For example, I think it is an invitation to veiled Muslim women to enjoy the sun on the beach in summer in a bikini.
Because of his progressive views and humorous style of writing, I had no choice but to show respect to Multatoli aka Edward Dawes Decker. I’ve used the following quotes from him as a catchphrase in my book because that’s what interests me too:
“What do you make of our daughters, morals! You force them to lie and pretend. They should not know what they know, not feel what they feel, not desire what they desire, nor be what they are.”
“No girl does that. No girl says that. That’s not what a girl asks. No girl talks like that…”
There is a rift in education. And when such a poor, swaddled child believes, and acquiesces, and obeys… When she is so submissive, and has spent the climax of her beautiful giving in pruning and knotting, stifling and raping lust, and mind and soul… Good – that’s what the customs call good! – Then she has the chance that this or that corrupt person will come and offer her a wage for much good, by appointing him the steward of his wardrobe, as an exclusive license machine to keep the pastor’s generation going. he deserves it!”
And like Maltatoli, this applies to me: “I want to read!”
I keep getting questions about the motto “Invite a human being to be human”; What did Multatoli mean by that? While I immediately understood it, when I first saw it. This was in one sentence a summary, indeed, of all religious criticism one could be subjected to; All things that are strictly forbidden in strict conservative circles, especially for women (eg: not allowing them to fall in love with someone of a different religion), are temptations to violate, because they are human. It’s normal. For example, I think this is the invitation of veiled Muslim women to enjoy the sun on the beach in the summer in bikinis, just like men in swimwear.
Not only was Multatuli a huge inspiration for my first book, but I will also be influenced by him in my next work.
“Looking from the moon,” he wrote, “we are all equal in size.” This is so. Every week when I have to turn over a column or tell something about my camera, I think of Multatuli. And then I don’t care what people think about me.