On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part post on the pontianak and women’s laughter in Malaysian horror cinema. Read Part 1. Consider laughter’s capacity to upset and as a vehicle of resistance. More specifically when women laugh at men, laughing at patriarchy, laughing at power, laughing from below. Situated below speech in the register of… Continue reading On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 2)

#MeToo and the deafening Malaysian silence

I’ve talked about sexual harassment quite a bit. In light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the global domino effect it had across other industries and institutions within and outside the US, it seemed inevitable that Malaysian liberal circles felt compelled to join in the conversation, albeit in small-scale curated debates and scattered hashtag activism… Continue reading #MeToo and the deafening Malaysian silence

On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 1)

This is an edited version of a conference paper presented at the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies conference in Seoul, South Korea in July 2017 The meaning of laughter, seen as springing from humour and moral degradation, has been a matter of philosophical preoccupation with human morality since the ancient time of Aristotle. And for much of… Continue reading On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 1)

Free hair as critical subjectivity

Something exciting is afoot in Iran. Since 2014, women have been wanting to throw off their hijab and live more authentic lives. Led by journalist Masih Alinejad, many have taken to social media to protest against compulsory hijab. Using the slogan ‘My stealthy freedom’, they post photos and videos of themselves defiantly unveiled. In response… Continue reading Free hair as critical subjectivity

Post-liberal jihad: Muslim feminism during a time of cruelty and despair

I’ve written a commissioned article for The G-Blog on the present challenges of Muslim feminism in Malaysia and globally, linking it to wider structures of war, (post)-neoliberal economics, and the rise of alt-right political narratives. Excerpt: Situating Muslim feminism in the bigger picture Let’s face it, times are bad. Full-time and secure paid work are… Continue reading Post-liberal jihad: Muslim feminism during a time of cruelty and despair

Ambivalent Malay-Muslim Women: Why They Reject the Hijab

I’ve been asked to write a blog post for The G-Blog on women who do not wear the hijab as a ‘counter’ opinion to other pieces on women who wear it. During the editorial process of the blog post, I was reminded again how sensitive the topic of the hijab is and that ‘strong’ views… Continue reading Ambivalent Malay-Muslim Women: Why They Reject the Hijab

The emotional labour of dealing with sexual harassment

Since 1st June, I had been implicated as a complainant in a sexual harassment allegation in the local progressive activist scene, details of which I will provide soon here. But in the subsequent days after making allegations on social media about a serial harasser of women, my corroborator of the allegations who had gone semi-public… Continue reading The emotional labour of dealing with sexual harassment

New journal article publication – the female gaze in Malaysian horror film

I have a new journal article published in the latest issue of Asian Cinema, Vol. 26 Issue 2. Abstract: Female ghosts and other supernatural entities, including the pontianak, in Malaysian horror cinema are excessive psychosocial articulations of traditional Malay femininity gone awry. In Malay ghost stories, the pontianak is a vengeful spirit. She is the… Continue reading New journal article publication – the female gaze in Malaysian horror film

What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society

This is an edited version of a conference and seminar paper presented at the National University of Singapore in March 2016 and Australian National University in April 2016: Women who decide to remain un-veiled or ‘free hair’ (colloquial, noun) are a significant minority within predominantly Muslim societies. Their sartorial decisions are often couched in a… Continue reading What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society