Lesbianism among Indonesian Women Migrants in Hong Kong<sup>1</sup>

Amy Sim

in As Normal as Possible

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099876
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206625 | DOI:
Lesbianism among Indonesian Women Migrants in Hong Kong1

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This chapter deals with lesbianism among Indonesian migrant women in Hong Kong. It explores the nexus of sexuality shaped through practices and ideologies embedded in nationalistic and patriarchal constructions of women, and the opportunities and constraints presented by labour migration within which migrant women move. It then reports the issues and conditions in migrant women's lives, linking the micro-politics of individual lives to the impact of existing powers on individuals' social lives, and explores the repercussions of the cultural regime in Indonesia that affect women migrant workers, with regard to their sexuality, in terms of materiality, processes, strategies, and embedded ideologies. Next, it looks beyond the fragmented differences among individual women to examine the sources of power that pervade their lives in and beyond labour migration. Despite massive efforts by the State, religion, and cultural mores, there are still cracks in heteronormativity that allow the light through and it is interesting that it is in the processes of labour migration that young Indonesian women are able to lift the lid on the gendered exploitation of women through cultural and political ideologies, and better still, to give voice to it and act on it.

Keywords: lesbianism; migrant women; Hong Kong; labour migration; micro-politics; Indonesia; State; religion; heteronormativity

Chapter.  6072 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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