Since I fall happily into the BTS’s rabbit hole, I use them not only to make me happy (as Jin and RM told us to) but as my production means. Does it make me sounds academic?
I work around the issues of Gender and Social Inclusion and whenever I do the training or work or people recognize me as a feminist, there are some resistances, I can hear “sigh” from the audience even just looking at their changing faces. Why do we need to learn about gender? Are you trying to change our habit, beliefs and culture? Why is it so important for us to know the different between sex and gender? There is no such as a social exclusion in our community. Such a basic and common comment I have every time we have the session.
It is so challenging and for those who knows me well, I really love challenges, they make me feel alive and useful. So, the first important thing I prepare when I do the training or talking is an ice breaking. I tend to make myself “fool” and funny in front of everyone. Music is a universal language that can break any language barrier, after all, you can always find video with the lyric if you want to understand it. So, I use music one. For adult audience, I use dangdut, I use pop music. For young audience, BTS is on the playlist and I open for a request. I use premium Spotify – damn I should get a discount for using it for a good cause. Not just for a smile and a head banging session, you can challenge the audience with asking them about the message in the lyric, what issues are the singers wants to challenge? And you can find interesting answers. Making gender issues as public talks is fun, there is where you start, where I start. Here are some pictures to challenge the hegemonic of gender role, the patriarch culture. I put not only BTS, because they are not the only one who challenge the hegemonic.
Currently, Indonesian officer has been busy repainting wall that being used by artists to spread their messages, a critique to the authorities. Followed by the respond from the government that if you have something to say, better to have a dialogue, how government is very open for one. What a polite argument, while at the same time, officers have been put the painters on the list to catch like a criminal. Is that how you treat people with some critiques? I know the hegemonic is very annoyed with Bansky’s and painters or artist who followed him. If the dialogue is open for every one equally dan fairly, they might not use the mural, and other art to send their message. The more tense of pressure the authorities give, the more resistance they will get.
Why pop culture?
Pop culture has two characteristics; it is dynamically expressive, and it is accessible. Popular culture acts both as a means for us to have enjoyable and emotional experiences with characters, places, things, or situations that we may not otherwise experience—perhaps because they are not even real—and a means for us to define our social reality (Doveling et al. (2014). Emotions and mass media: an interdisciplinary approach. In Doveling, et al. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media)
However, during my times talking about social inclusion how youth for example feeling being exclude from the public decision-making process while they feel “home” and belong around their groups as fandom. When we are talking about pop culture, it is not only about music, but also movies, sports, where their fans develop their own identity and values. So pop culture is not just about the mass-product of art but we can look at it from the social movement and politic perspectives as an agent of change. I am not saying like a changing behavior because it will take long times, but through this pop culture and fandom life, we can find the change of perspectives, identity and public discourses. Like countering the patriarch culture, erasing gender gap, and creating an equal and inclusion society is so big that is not happening in short time, even if the struggle has been running for decades. However, being able to make gender issues as a public talk and discourses, and people can recognize social exclusion while talking and taking a small step toward inclusion, is some of an achievement. And I prefer using pop culture in doing it, as means of production of consent. Using the same “weapon” to manufacture of consent. The hegemonic occupied the media mainstream, and maintaining the culture as status quo, while I and we can use the pop culture to counter it. And why not!
I should mention that it has been eight months since I fall happily and become an ARMY, an adult ARMY. I see how ARMY doing good things and the individual feelings that they do change how they thoughts and behave in daily life. One of my friend said “my husband is very supportive to me because he sees that being ARMY is changing me into a better person.”
If you read this article: https://www.koreaboo.com/news/turkey-government-investigating-kpop-threatens-traditional-values/ you will find how the hegemonic is feeling threat by pop culture, have we won yet? Nope, a long way to go. But at least it is there, the change is in everyone’s mind.
Time for me to go and leave your brain digest this mumbling thought of mine. Let me leave by saying Happy Birthday to the golden Maknae, Jeon Jungkook! I really love your kindness, duality, and your puppy eyes when you are excited on something or being zonk into your own world. I love your painting both the natural one and the abstract one. I don’t have to say that I love your voice anymore because I listen to yours and BTS every day! Stay healthy and happy JK, you deserve every second of happiness in life.