Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in by Aihwa Ong, Michæl G Peletz

By Aihwa Ong, Michæl G Peletz

This notable array of essays considers the contingent and moving meanings of gender and the physique in modern Southeast Asia. through studying femininity and masculinity as fluid procedures instead of social or organic givens, the authors offer new methods of figuring out how gender intersects with neighborhood, nationwide, and transnational varieties of wisdom and power.

Contributors lower throughout disciplinary limitations and draw on clean fieldwork and textual research, together with newspaper debts, radio studies, and feminist writing. Their topics variety largely: the writings of feminist Filipinas; Thai tales of widow ghosts; eye-witness money owed of a beheading; narratives of bewitching genitals, recalcitrant husbands, and industry girls as femmes fatales. Geographically, the essays disguise Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The essays deliver to this quarter the theoretical insights of gender idea, political financial system, and cultural studies.

Gender and different kinds of inequality and distinction become altering platforms of symbols and meanings. our bodies are explored as websites of political, financial, and cultural transformation. the problems raised in those pages make very important connections among habit, our bodies, domination, and resistance during this dynamic and colourful region.

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Additional resources for Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia

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BRENNER have a simplicity and even elegance to them that is difficult to resist. These dominant representations have a way of taking over studies of gender even when the writer is fully aware that they do not exhaust the full range of cultural discourses or social practices. As a result, the ethnographic record presents a somewhat uneven picture of gender in Java-a topic that has been treated quite shallowly to date. It emphasizes certain prevalent, generally male-focused gender ideologies, while paying scant attention to less systematically articulated conceptions of gender, especially those that are voiced more often by women.

Men also dominate the political order, from the community level up to the national level, and tend to serve as the representatives of their households in matters concerning the local and state bureaucracies. It is hardly surprising, then, to find gender stereotypes that associate women with low-status behavior-capriciousness, lack of control, emotionality-and men with the positive, high-status qualities of behavioral stability and self-discipline. A CONTRARY VIEW: THE DANGER OF MEN'S DESIRE I stress the ideological nature of these constructs, however, because in many situations, one finds an entirely different conceptualization of human nature in Java.

Keeler 1987, 199o;j. Errington 1988). Although this is also true for women, the latter are not expected to control their language and conduct to the same degree as men. 12 Ward Keeler (1990) remarks that 'Women can disaggregate status and style more than men can in part because ... women's status is defined in considerable measure by that of their husbands" (Keeler 1990:144; cf. Hatley 1990:184). As he also observes, to the extent that women's behavior and speech styles are accorded less weight than men's, women have the freedom to engage with relative impunity in behavior that 28 SUZANNE A.

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