Women and Gender
It is the perception of many people that same sex relationships are unethical and are unacceptable.It is in response to this that Feng-Mei Heberer chooses to respond to the matter in the article Migrating intimacies. Most focus in this article is on the female Southeast Asian migrant domestic workerswho are based in Hong Kong and who chose same sex relationships as part of their lives.
In the article, Heberer discusses the manner in which the female workers have long working hours thus working for very little amount of money at the end of the month[footnoteRef:2]. Most of the agents ensure that the workers meet all the expectations including their dress code which is supposed to be nice but not so attracting as to outdo the women in the country. This kind of dressing made most of the female workers end up being attracted to other women from their home countries and thus same sex relationships being on a high level. These female workers do not hide it as they always have time for photographs with their partners when they are off duty.Heberer choose to research on thematter and examine how intimacy has changed from being between a woman-to-a-man to a woman-to-a-woman.
In this context, he proves that through the working in other countries, same-sex relationships have been enhanced. There are some women who engage in same sex relationships in Hong Kong but hide it when they are at their homecountry. This means that there is little or no understanding on the matter to the home countries and thus the denial of the sexuality. In such countries, as stated by Foucault sex is repressed but not prohibited. This means that sex outside the normal confines is unthinkable and unspeakable. In the article, Heberershows how the female workers use photography and dress code to express their sexuality and how they do not hide it from the others. [2: Heberer, Feng-Mei. ""Migrating intimacies: Media representations of same-sex love among migrant women in East Asia.""? Sexualities? 20, no. 4 (2017): 428-445.] [3: Foucault, Michel. ""The history of sexuality. Volume one: An introduction."" (1980).
Long term migration is a key factor enhancing same sex relationships. For instance in the short documentary Effort for Love,the 30 year old lady describes how her love for women begun when she moved out of her country to another one and settled for long time. She was married and had a daughter in her home country but when she travelled away from home, she realized that she loved women. If she had not travelled, she might never have been engaged in same sex relationship since in her country it is repressed. She states that she and her partner could continue with their relationship in Hong Kong but they would pretend to be friends when they are at home. The main reason for this as stated by her is that their parents would beashamedof them.
Therefore, this means that the act is not forbidden but repressed and the people in the country do not want to talk about it or to have their family members involved in it. She stated that it would be okay if they did it in Hong Kong since it not seen as a big issue as long as they conduct their duties at their work places as expected. Since it is accepted in Hong Kong, this paves a way for them to continue with their relationship in the country and thus they can also show it to anyone. The excitements described in the article show how free they are and how they feel happy that they can show their sexuality to anyone and also interactwith one another openly.
As stated by Foucault, it is essential to have a revolutionary importance to a discourse on sexuality. This is due to the fact that there are some people who cannot express their sexuality and who find it hard to get out of the closet due to the fear of negative judgment from the society. As seen in the article Migrating intimacies, the South Asian Women would not talk about their sexualities in the home countries and thus there were some who made some mistakes in terms of choosing partners. For instance, in the short documentary Effort for Love, the protagonist chose to be married but due to her sexuality, the marriage would not work. After she got a chance to show it in Hong Kong, she chose a female partner.
Same sex relationships are a fact and peopleshould get a chance to speak about it rather than living in societies that seem to have a negative attitude about it.The issue is repressed in many societies and most people choose not to talk about the issue. This is why at the slightest chance people choose to explore their sexualities. As seen in the article, most of the female workers in HongKong turn to same sex relationships since they are not allowed to be in one back in their counties. This is why they choose to do it away from home where no one would ask them. This means that there is need to have discourse and talk about the issue to depth and understand the sexuality better.