On the viability of ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ as categories in Malaysia

The first thing that would be useful when thinking about genders and sexualities in Malaysia is that the categories of ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ are far from native and natural in the national language, Bahasa Malaysia. What is meant by ‘native’ and ‘natural’ refers to the fact that gender and sexuality are relatively recent loanwords. And… Continue reading On the viability of ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ as categories in Malaysia

Mainstreaming Islam in the Indonesian public sphere: Ummi Aminah as a case study

The film premiere of Aditya Gumay’s newest film, Ummi Aminah (Mother Aminah) in Jakarta last January 2012 was situated at the crossroads of events in Indonesian film industry. Prior to the screening of the film, the film director’s address to the audience expressed a plea to the public to consume locally-made films. As I write… Continue reading Mainstreaming Islam in the Indonesian public sphere: Ummi Aminah as a case study

Notes on power and the difficulties of theorising gender in Indonesian film-making

Talking about gender in Indonesian cinema is actually quite hard when you get down to establishing a sort of link between gender as an analytical construct and gender as understood in public discourse. What was always frustrating, was that when one began to talk about gender in film, the conversation turns into a discussion about… Continue reading Notes on power and the difficulties of theorising gender in Indonesian film-making

Orang Afrika di Malaysia: Antara stereotaip dengan kenyataan

First published on Merdeka Review, 13th May 2012. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Terdapat pelbagai teori media yang mengatakan bahawa saluran media mempunyai kuasa untuk mempengaruhi pendapat awam, terutamanya kuasa untuk mengeruhkan lagi sentimen perkauman terhadap pekerja dan penuntut asing yang sudah lama berakar umbi di minda dan jiwa rakyat kebanyakan. Sentimen… Continue reading Orang Afrika di Malaysia: Antara stereotaip dengan kenyataan

Lecture notes: Trans identities and queer acceptance in Indonesian cinema?

The following are notes from my final lecture for Sex and the City: Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asia on trans identities in Indonesian cinema. Disclaimer on the use of ‘definitions’ Since I am teaching this class in English, to students in a British institution with a largely unproblematised epistemological culture that privileges western ways… Continue reading Lecture notes: Trans identities and queer acceptance in Indonesian cinema?

Pentingkah paparan watak-watak LGBT di media?

Disiar di Merdeka Review, tanggal 17 April 2012. Kelewatan ini melihat desas-desus pengharaman paparan watak LGBT di kaca televisyen telahpun mendatangkan lagi persoalan tentang wajarkah individu-individu LGBT mempunyai tempat di siaran media. Bagi saya, jawabnya ya, tetapi saya juga mempunyai rasa ragu dengan pendirian saya. Pertama sekali, watak lesbian, gay, dan transgender terutamanya di filem-filem… Continue reading Pentingkah paparan watak-watak LGBT di media?

Kelompok anti-Hari Kekasih patut hentikan fikiran lucah mereka

Disiarkan di Merdeka Review, tanggal 14 Februari 2012. Pertembungan pandangan berbeza tentang sambutan Hari Kekasih telah lama wujud dan akan terus kekal sampai bila-bila. Yang membuatkan penulis hairan adalah perkara yang paling ditentang keras oleh PAS, badan keagamaan seperti JAKIM dan yang sewaktu dengannya jarang diutarakan sama sekali. Bahkan perkara itulah yang dilihat menembus jambakan… Continue reading Kelompok anti-Hari Kekasih patut hentikan fikiran lucah mereka

The transmen community is still overshadowed by phallocentric logic in Malaysia

First published on Engenderings, the LSE blog for gender and sexual diversity In several scenes from the recent but quickly forgotten Malaysian film, “Aku Bukan Tomboy” (I’m Not a Tomboy, 2011), masculine women and transmen alike were disparaged as not being ‘real’ men for lacking a bioglogical penis. The film makes clear that not only… Continue reading The transmen community is still overshadowed by phallocentric logic in Malaysia

Menilai semula sikap rakyat terhadap ahli politik wanita

First published on Merdeka Review, 27 January 2012. Sudah menjadi tabiat sesetengah orang Malaysia menghina perempuan dengan kekerasan yang berbaur seksual dan kelucahan; ancaman rogol dan dikecam sebagai pelacur atau perempuan murahan. Lelaki yang dikritik dan dimaki hamun tidak akan menerima kecaman yang sebegitu. Ini adalah kerana orang perempuan dianggap sasaran yang lemah layu dan… Continue reading Menilai semula sikap rakyat terhadap ahli politik wanita

Laki-laki feminis, sila tampil ke hadapan

Dalam kolum saya di Merdeka Review baru-baru ini, saya membincangkan tentang tanggungjawab kita sebagai sebuah masyarakat dalam menangani isu misogyni (atau pembencian wanita di bawah dan atas sedar) di Malaysia. Hari ini, saya ingin menjemput pembaca untuk memikirkan tentang peranan lelaki dalam menangani seksisme dan penyertaan mereka dalam gerakan feminisme. Boleh dikatakan bahawa tanggungjawab yang… Continue reading Laki-laki feminis, sila tampil ke hadapan