Feminism in “Arte”: Do instead of Dreaming


rte One anime that we have been talking about for a couple of weeks back because we want to have a woman empowering article in Risa Media, and voila it happened to celebrate “Kartini’s day,” which is one of the celebrated days in Indonesia. Kartini’s day, like other significant days, is a day to celebrate one of the women empowerment characters that push the education rights for the women and women’s rights in general.

I remember two years ago i worked on a company, the boss is a “women number one” type, but she hates Kartini because she thinks that she got the title only because people have been translating her letters become a book. The scariest part of it, i kind of thing that she’s right, and people over-romanticize it too much. Yesterday, i read Arte for the first time, and i can say that it’s a good experience for me, which makes me think that how to empower women the real way, instead of dreaming.

Arte and Kartini have the same background; They came from nobility, and they wanted some changes in women standing in society. The thing is, Kartini is a dreamer while Arte is more like a Do’ ers. While Kartini only dreamt of what is the best world, Arte dreamt about it and did something about it.

Kartini’s Portrait

Same with Kartini, Arte came from the world where women only destined to “please men” by marrying them. Arte and Kartini share the same fate where both of them are forced by the parents to marry some nobleman. The difference is, Kartini instead of doing something, she says yes and marries the nobleman while Arte cuts her long hair and starts looking for an apprenticeship with craftsman in Firenze/Florence. And yes, of course, Arte is not real, while Kartini is an actual living woman in the past.

Arte is an anime about Arte, whom a fallen noblewoman that forced by her mum to marry another noble to save her family and give her dream up to be a great painter. She said no, cuts her lengthy hair, and starts to search an artisan that wants to accept her as a woman painter. She found Leo and begins her long and harsh journey as a painter with Leo.

A Dream is Not Enough

he title may give it all away, but yes, i think that just dreaming is not enough. It’s like you want something but you only standing and hoping that someday it will come true in the end, well the world doesn’t work like that unfortunately because a dream is not enough, you know you have to do something to make it come true.

Arte, as you expected, is your irregular girl that always seems happy-go-lucky even the world is not on her side. She fought back misogynism with hard work and smile because she knows that if she works hard enough, then people would acknowledge her as their peers, and Yes, eventually, people acknowledge her at some point.

The thing is if Kartini wishes for changes in society, then she would try to take it to her own hands. Kartini is a noblewoman, and surely she can round up other women to study under her. I am sure that she is an educated woman, which at least she can teach reading, writing, and simple math to others; instead, she only dreamt about it and let other people continue her dream until today.

I believe that Kartini is one of the amazing women in Indonesia, but people over-dramatize it too much, so it almost sickening. Yes, Kartini’s ideas are great and amazing, but if the movement is not started by herself, then should we over worship her as “Our Mother Kartini”? Try to think about it!

Risa Media Head of Communications, Big fans of Japanese Stuff…