AbstractThis research aims to analyze the discourse of Javanese women asceticism in the shadow of Surakarta nobility’s hedonism in the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. There are several problems to be discussed: first, analyzing the socio-political conditions at Surakarta in the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries; second, examining the hedonism of the royal elite which was celebrated over Javanese women’s asceticism; third, analyzing the motivation for the construction of the discourse of Javanese women’s asceticism. This research used the historical method. The result shows that, traditional rulers and Javanese noblemen Surakarta suffered political defeat against the Dutch colonial government. Hedonism was celebrated on the construction of Javanese women’s asceticism in piwulang estri texts as a release of political defeat. The motivation was to achieve victory over women’s bodies, hearts, and minds. However, Javanese women were good at negotiating with male power, thus they seized power spaces in the household, economy, and bed.
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