This article explores the conformity between women's experience in standing for a legislative election and the literature on women's parliamentary representation, using Indonesian female politicians as a case study. By interviewing 28 national female politicians in Indonesia, the analysis reveals that the strongest agreement was given to the cultural/ideological explanation. It also confirms that open-list proportional representation (PR) electoral system and gender quota offer a greater opportunity for women to win an elective office. However, as elaborated in the discussion section, the rampant practices of money politics and vote counting fraud can be a stumbling block to all candidates if not properly addressed. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that the subjective experience of female MPs is important and needs to be acknowledged in order to comprehend what is really harming women's political nomination.