Shaming the Other Woman (Pelakor): Female Catfight as a Spectacle in Social Media

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Trending social media phenomena in Indonesia involving the other woman or 'pelakor',which is an Indonesian word associated with a woman who 'steals' other women's husbands, are fundamentally public persecutions. The process of naming (and shaming) by popularizing the term 'pelakor' has been argued by scholars or Indonesian feminist activists to be simplifying the complexity of infidelity in which the woman, and not the man, is persecuted by the society as the guilty party. In other words, within the dominant patriarchal ideology, the catfigthing image of the legal wife blaming and shaming the woman who steals her husband prevails female inferiority and oppression. This research aims to challenge the normalization of the wife and the other woman's imagery of catfight in social media by examining its cultural workings. The chosen case studies are the aforementioned viral video and several Instragram accounts which were spesifically made to shame the other woman (pelakor). By conducting a textual analysis, I would argue that language is used haphazardly by initiating the word pelakor and how this recent social media phenomena is a distortion of female empowerment.
Original languageIndonesian
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventLanguage in the Online &Offline World 6: The Fortitude - ID, Surabaya, Indonesia
Duration: 1 Jan 2018 → …


ConferenceLanguage in the Online &Offline World 6: The Fortitude
Period1/01/18 → …


  • social media, shaming, female catfights, infidelity

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