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"He Is Your Garment and You Are His ...": Religious Precepts, Interpretations, and Power Relations in Marital Sexuality among Javanese Muslim Women

Lily Zakiyah MUNIR
Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
Vol. 17, No. 2 (October 2002), pp. 191-220
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41057086
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"He Is Your Garment and You Are His ...": Religious Precepts, Interpretations, and Power Relations in Marital Sexuality among Javanese Muslim Women
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Abstract

Three case studies of Javanese Muslim women excavate their marital lives to unpack some of the complexities of Javanese and Islamic traditions that condition their sexual relationship with their husbands. Both these traditions in their practice underline a patriarchal society that subjugates women in sexual and marital relations. The case for women's subordinate position in Javanese Muslim society shares some common philosophical grounds with the perspective of Western radical feminists in the 1970s. However, this is not a discourse pitting Western liberalism against a restrictive Islamic orthodoxy. Instead, the discussion draws on Islamic precepts that preach equity in gender relations and examines how they can coexist with certain Islamic practices that are unfair to women. The women in these studies vary in their abilities to draw on their religious grounding to negotiate a way out of unsatisfactory matrimonial situations. Their experiences provide an opportunity to discuss how religious texts should be understood when what they prescribe is subject to conflicting interpretations.

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