"We Women Aren't Free to Die"

Author: Chitra Sankaran; Chng Huang Hoon


Using feminist pedagogy and postcolonial theory, the authors of this article focus on the (re)presentation of Asian sexualities in an Asian classroom through a feminist reading of the short prose fiction “Bandong,” by Suchen Christine Lim. Constantly aware that representations of sexualities are closely linked to power, the authors question how academic knowledge can seek to (re)present Asian sexualities when that knowledge itself is deeply imbricated in power structures that empower global concepts of sexualities. The argument advanced in this article draws attention to essentialistic gender representations that continue to this day of Asian femininities and masculinities. For instance, the authors challenge the ways in which the trope of the subjugated Asian woman and man works in predictable ways to disempower Asian women and men far removed from such stereotypical locations. Critiquing dominant representations of Asian sexualities in the classroom involves teaching students to take ownership of their own reading and re-reading of texts. In addition, the article delves into how the authors attempt to make the academic package relevant to their students situated in the local Singaporean context.
Topics: Women

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© 2005 ILO/Falise T.