Colonialism and Malay Masculinity: Malay Satire as Observed in the Novel Kawin-Kawin
This article evaluates the novel Kawin-Kawin as a satire, and as a mode for
forming social criticism on Malay society. An assessment of such a genre must
consider the target audience and the Islamic cultural context of the novel. The
discussion seeks to identify male domination that through legal frameworks such
as the mut’ah, and reduces women to objects of male sexual pleasure. The reading
of cultural domination includes what may perhaps be considered a postcolonial
analysis of notions of hegemonic masculinity, and of colonialism pertaining to
Malay writings. Both notions share similarities in their functions and effects on
marginalized groups and are debated under the categories of Islam and women.
The discussion concludes with an evaluation of the literariness of Malay writings
and the need for their detachment from Western literary frameworks if they are
to break away from lingering aspects of colonialism.