Book review: Contrary Visions – Women and Work in Malay Novels Written by Women by Christine Campbell

Despite the clunky title, Contrary Visions (2004, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) offers a rather comprehensive review of novels by Malay women written between 1940 and 1995, including a couple of early Indonesian novels thrown in for good, hazy archipelagoan measure. Alongside Virginia Hooker’s Writing a New Society: Social Change Through the Novel in Malay (2000),… Continue reading Book review: Contrary Visions – Women and Work in Malay Novels Written by Women by Christine Campbell

Reinforcing stereotypes through romance – Mills and Boon style

I have never read a Mills and Boon novel in my entire life, and am proud of it. I can go as far as to say that touching them might soil my hands. Even during my girls school days – a time to channel all that naughty hormones into sleazy paperbacks, I hardly knew about… Continue reading Reinforcing stereotypes through romance – Mills and Boon style

Blurring the lines between social critique and pornography

I’ve come to terms with the idea that women have negotiated with age-old kinky fantasies, repackage them into female desire-driven works and named them ‘feminist porn’. And by ‘feminist porn’ I mean erotica made by women for women while at the same time trying everything in the postfeminist handbook to dispel the bad conscience of… Continue reading Blurring the lines between social critique and pornography

Ramadhan book club: Salam Maria

Since it’s Ramadhan I thought it might be quite appropriate that I have a special religious feature in my feminist/Malay lit blog. So in today’s post I’d like bring to your attention a little known novel by Fatimah Busu, ‘Salam Maria‘ (or Hail Mary) published in 2004. Unfortunately it’s in Malay, and almost impossible to… Continue reading Ramadhan book club: Salam Maria

No, thank you, Naomi Wolf

This is a response to hijab.com’s article, ‘Thank you, Naomi Wolf‘. When I started reading about Feminism (in order to get acquainted with the ‘canon’ before I can establish myself as a feminist), I bought Naomi Wolf’s ‘Promiscuities‘. As I was into sex-positivism at the time, the title even sounded like the right kind book… Continue reading No, thank you, Naomi Wolf

The peeping tom and adulterer: some themes Malays like

Dia melekapkan mata kanannya ke lubang paku tiga inci itu dengan hati berdebar-debar. Nafasnya terhenti sejenak bila melihat tubuh putih gebu yang sedang basah berkemban sahaja. Dadanya terdedah. Sharifah membuka ikat kain kembannya. Kain kuyup itu dikirai-kirai. Rambutnya yang lebat hitam terhurai lepas hingga ke paras pinggang berbuai-buai lemah. Badan putih melepak begitu lembut. Begitu… Continue reading The peeping tom and adulterer: some themes Malays like