Androgyny Feminism in “ NAMAKU MATA HARI” by Remy Sylado: Man Write about Woman
“ Namaku Mata Hari ” is a novel that made by Remy Sylado which published on 2011. Actually, this fiction novel is based on the true story whose named Mata hari “ Margaretha Geertruida Zelle”. She is double agent for German and French in World War I at the end of nineteenth century. She worked as exotic dancer and prostitute while performing her duties. At the end she got the execution for treason of Germany that addressed to her with shoot way.
Interesting, the novel is made by man and the main character is a woman. Of course, the power of feminism will appear in this novel. But how Remy creates this real character ( Mata Hari) with his man mind to figure out of Mata Hari’s mind as woman, even he is a man?
The terminology to show the same role of masculinity and feminine called androgyny, as Plato revealed that the original human being was a hermaphrodite. The original person was two halves, one male, one female. Then these got separated. That’s why everybody’s always searching for their other half. Except for us. We’ve got both halves already( in Hargreaves: 2005). Remy tries to applied it in his novel “ Namaku Mata Hari”. But actually this technique also cause the problem about feminism, again man put his perception about woman.
Showalter explained in her essays that the woman as the reader makes woman perception about themselves to be misunderstanding, its impact of imagery man about woman. Woman claimed as literature consumer and man as creator. In this case, Remy put his perception about Mata Hari who is worked as erotic dancer. Vulgarly, Remy wrote about Mata Hari’s mind that’s something impossible to say as woman “ Ibuku wafat ketika aku berusia 14 tahun, bersamaan dengan saat-saat getaran badani mendambakan lelaki dalam imajinasi wortel dan kentang.” (19)…. “Dia menjulurkan lidahnya ke mulutku, dan aku merespon secara otomatis mengulum lidahnya itu… aku menikmati permainan burung merpati ini dengan gairah yang masyuk.” (24)
I assumed this excerption is man’s side of Remy. Actually a woman has sexual desire that different with a man. Man frontally says what in his mind, but woman not like that even Mata Hari is prostitute. I revealed this is sides of masculinity that is created by Remy Sylado to construct a woman. He created Mata Hari as his perception, he tries to figure out Mata Hari as prostitute with using vulgar words. Mata Hari is also imagined by Remy as stubborn woman and dependable like a man but cannot live without sex.
In this novel Remy also seemed exploit part of body and sexuality of Mata Hari “ Cremer selalu mencuri-curi pandang di tengah gelap malam yang diterangi obor-obor melihat payudaraku.” (100) …” Tahu-tahu dia telah membuka bajuku, dan mencium payudaraku… kemudian dia mendorong aku ke ranjang, dan di situ sambil terus mencium, dia copot semua kain di badanku. Gerakannya cepat sekali. Begitu juga, gerakannya dia mencopot pakaian-pakainnya atas dan bawah, sampai akhirnya kami sama-sama seperti dua ekor swike yang baru dikuliti, siap menarikan tarian ajaib dengan irama suka-suka. Artinya, memang kemungkinan-kemungkinan yang aku pikirkan itu, kini benar-benar terjadi…” (212-213) “ di hotel ini kami menginap tiga hari dan tak lupa saban malam senggama” (215) “ dengan goyang pinggul dan payudara yang sangat erotik.”(216). Remy exploit of sexuality of Mata Hari and make her become an object of satisfication of man’s lustful. But in this novel Remy creates Mata Hari as someone who can snare men with her body, beauty, and erotic dance.
Cixous says in the laugh of the medusa that for men, woman is an abyss which could omitted man (penis) which is symbolized by Medusa ( beautiful woman who cursed by Athena become woman whom her head full of snakes. Everybody who stare in her eyes woul be petrified) “Men have committed the greatest crime against women. Insidiously, violently, they have led them to hate women, to be their own enemies, to mobilize their immense strength against themselves, to be the executants of their virile needs. They have made for women an antinarcissism! Anarcissism which loves itself only to be loved for what women haven’t got! They have constructed the infamous logic of antilove”. This is imagined by Remy Sylado, even actually Mata Hari is an object of men she has controlled about who that she will tricked. Man have no controlled when met Mata Hari and paralyzed by her.
Sex for life became the main theme in novel “ Namaku Mata Hari”, she is the symbolism of woman that is constructed by man ( Remy Sylado). In this novel Mata Hari created as woman who could elude men and make them to be depend on her. This happened to government of French and German. They were so abided to Mata Hari and made her to be an agent to spy French (to German) and German ( to French). She is like a snake who has forked tongue, she used her sexuality to tricked men and knew their secret. Finally, men felt cheated and executed Mata Hari similar with Medusa in Greek Mythology beheaded by hero Perseus. “ Saya bukan penghianat… tolong. Jangan siksa saya. Saya hanya seorang manusia perempuan yang lemah…” (528) … “ “baik” kataku sambil mengangkang, menyingkap rokku. “yang didapatkan Von Kalle dari saya , ini, vagina saya, dan yang saya dapat dari dia, penisnya. Puas?”” (528)
“ Pendusta” (528). Finally man claimed her as a liar and traitor. Actually, man realized that Mata Hari is a poison that disturb the stability of state. So, she must be perished and executed. But once again Remy put his Masculinity in Mata Hari caharacter, she didn’t afraid of the consequent that should she face. “ Sudah selesai tuan-tuan. Silahkan tembak. Saya sudah memilih mati dengan cara betina seperti ini. Terimakasih, Tuhan” (559).
Androgyny showed by Remy to enter feminine world as Mata Hari, but of course he also cannot separated his masculinity because he is man. It caused sometimes Mata Hari looks like a man who independent, idealist, frontal and says vulgarly. In one sides she is a woman that constructed by man whom exploit her body and beauty to tricked men, sometimes she cries, feel in love, and sometimes she becomes a real mom.
Remy Sylado established Mata Hari with his perception about woman, erotic dancer and prostitute. This maybe different from real character of Mata Hari’s mind. Because man and woman are different. This novel maybe different if it is wrote by woman. Mata Hari is possible become dependent and has mysterious’mind. But again when woman writes woman (feminine writing) about something lability, emotional and illogical story. Isn’t also construct by a man?
If it’s yes, it is good when Remy Sylado put Mata Hari as independent woman and vulgarly. Maybe, woman also has to do something like Remy did. To be Woman even he is a man, and woman become a man even she is woman, to construct they perception abou men and women.
Cixous, Helene. 1976. Chicago Journals :The Laugh of The Medusa. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press.
Benstock, Shari; Suzanne Ferish; Sussanne Woods.2002. A Handbook of Literary Feminism Elaine Showalter “ Towards a Feminist Poetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hargreaves, Tracy.2005. Androgyny in Modern Literature. New York : Palgrave Macmillan.
Sylado, Remy.2011. Namaku Mata Hari. Jakarta : Gramedia Pustaka Utama.