Introduction In its wielding of authoritarian power, Suharto’s New Order adopted policies intended to control expressions of difference and homogenize the diverse peoples of the Indonesian archipelago. An ideo logy of sex categories based on biology (at least in the case of women) and the promotion of a unitary women’s role were fundamental to the organicist political ideology of the New Order, founded on the idea of the state as a ‘family system’ which valorized the ‘natural rule’ of the father (see Chapter 3). The regime placed limits on the possibilities for women’s social participation and political agency through statesponsored practices organized around a dominant trope of woman as wife and mother and the notion of women’s social roles being based on their biological nature, expressed through the concept of kodrat wanita.1 In Indonesian, the Arabic-derived term kodrat connotes ‘God’s will’ or ‘God’s omnipotence’, with the related meaning of ‘the power of nature’ and ‘nature or character’ (Echols and Shadily 1983). In terms of its use in New Order ideology, kodrat wanita (wanita meaning woman) can be glossed as ‘woman’s social role that is preordained by her biological (especially reproductive) capacities’. This ideal took its place in the state ideology, the azas kekeluargaan or family foundation. The family trope, as a model for authority relations within the state, ‘sanctions social hierarchy within a putative organic unity of interests. Since the subordination of woman to man and child to adult [is] deemed a natural fact, other forms of social hierarchy [can] be depicted in familial terms, to guarantee social difference as a fact of nature’ (McClintock 1993: 64). State discourse also framed an officially sanctioned masculinity, organized around the idea of men as household heads who represented the inner world of the household in the outer world of public life, but the state did not frame masculinity in terms of kodrat-which occasionally leads women to pose the question: Why is it that only women have kodrat?2