“It’s Not A Four-Wheel Drive”


A Jeep and A Honda Civic
A Jeep and A Honda Civic

It was a sunny Sunday, and I was hanging around with my family at the coffee shop, at our favorite mall. My mom was talking to my dad about cars and anything related to it.

“It’s a four wheel drive car, and I like the design.” said my mom. I guess they were talking about what kind of car that they saw on the street earlier.

“Well, it’s a banci car. It’s a two-wheel drive, it just looks like four-wheel.”

Something in that conversation bugs me. There’s something wrong about that conversation, but I just don’t know how to put it into sense. In case you don’t know, banci is Bahasa Indonesia for sissy. It refers to a person, especially a male, who acted like a girl and have an effeminate character. 

When we see that word in the context of conversation like my parents used before, what would we get?

A four-wheel drive car is a car whose transmission system provides power directly to all its four wheels. So instead of having two of its four wheels moved, it’s using four of them. What happened if a four wheel drive car called banci? What my father – and a lot of people – meant when he said that is: The four-wheel drive car which not functioned like it appear to be. It’s not a four-wheel drive, it only looks like one. I fact, it’s two wheel drive.

The question is, why do they (the car) called banci? Is it because banci can’t perform some function they suppose to have? Or maybe because banci have the manipulative appearance? Because some people believe that they act and perform unequaled with their nature? What?

I’m not defending Banci here, but it’s just funny when we catch people using a sexist words on their conversation a lot. I used to put some gender or sexist connotation in conversation as well, it feels funny, hilarious, and sometimes cool to put them that way, but is it right?

“Hey, I could tell that it’s a girl or it’s a boy when I see their work. Look at this one. It’s must be a girl.”


“Look at her hand writing and her drawing. It’s neat and tidy. It must be a she.”

What if it turn out to be a boy’s work?

“It’s okay to be messy or naughty, you’re a boy.”

What happen if I was a girl? Could I be messy or naughty as well?

I don’t want to be a person who complain about everything, a person who keep telling everyone that everything in this world are wrong, an annoying man who are keep criticizing. But it just bugged me when something doesn’t feels right. That banci word in that conversation was not supposed to be there. It just degrading.

Is it true that all about gender have to be a state where female and male are something that different from one to the other? Are woman and man supposed to be different? If they have to be different, what kind of differences that they supposed to have (despite they biological order)?

Since when that to be a girl is to be neat and tidy, and to be a boy is to be messy and dirty? Maybe the paradigm was builded up when a bunch or girls and boys were acting in a very identical manner from time to time on the history of humanity, but they must be someone who against that manner, who against the so called nature. Are they different? What is different?

Actually, this post are not going to discuss nor answer the previous question. I just want to imply the fact that we use to speak and act ignorantly about this issue. I don’t think that it’s right when people set the standards about how the certain sex should act or behave.

But what if it is something that should be fixed? What if this condition is actually matter and important? The answer still looks vague to me.

All I could suggest for us are to stop offend or put standard on some gender, and people. It requires a hard work to eliminate such habit in our lives. To not degrade or make a fool of someone is harder than it sounds. I myself have to be more careful to choose my words. Sometimes we just didn’t recognize when we said one, but to be aware of it are more than enough for now.

If you have a chance to describe a certain car, in spite of saying “banci”, you could use “it’s not a four-wheel drive”. It might be longer, but it sounds nicer.


One thought on ““It’s Not A Four-Wheel Drive”

  1. gue jd inget ngatain ‘banci’ ke ‘orang2’ [you know who] walaupun sebenernya tanpa bermaksud ‘mengatai si banci yang emang beneran banci’. sejujurnya gue lebih menghargai banci yang sebenarnya daripada cowok2 yang mengidentifikasi diri mereka sebagai ‘sangat cowok’ dan ‘menertawakan cowok lain yang nggak cowok2 amat’. berarti mereka udah membuat batas itu kan. maksud gw, cowok ky apa yg gak cowok2 amat heee…. dan lo tau kan maksud gue hakhakhak..

    anyway, likes this a lot Gal. nice thought.

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