Sugaring, Capitalism, and Commodifying Women’s Bodies

When I was 21 years old, I was in between jobs and struggling to finish my bachelor’s degree. I didn’t have much direction on what I wanted to do in life and seemed to be taking classes and working jobs merely to pass time. All I knew was that I felt behind in life. Around this time, some friends were graduating from college and moving on to the next phase of their lives, and others were like me, trying to make sense of what their purpose was. This was during a time when jobs were few and money scarce, all while trying to figure out how I’d maintain a roof over my head without having to revert back to moving in with my parents.

Then, I found an ad for a hostess job at a gentlemen’s club.

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Pioneers, Playing Dress-Up, And Katy Perry

When I was in the third grade, our school hosted a Famous Pioneer Day. I’m guessing on the name; I actually don’t remember the name of that costume-themed day, but nonetheless it was a day to recognize the early American (white) pioneers. I was extremely motivated in dressing up because of the costume contest. I’m not sure what convinced her (either my begging or crying or a combination of both), but my mom actually went to a novelty costume store and rented out a costume that looked like it came out of 1700s-era America. The costume was a literal adaptation of what you would see on those American Girl book series. Read More Pioneers, Playing Dress-Up, And Katy Perry

The Crybaby Syndrome

This past year and a half I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable, which, if you know me, it has been quite a difficult task. I’ve been successful in building an impenetrable wall all these years making it a laborious endeavor to puncture through. As I began to tear down that wall, a lot of goodness and positive energy seeped through, and I finally understood how it feels to unconditionally love and trust people. But with those feelings of happiness, also came a new level of anxiety and fear.

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Persephone Pioneers: Eisa Jocson

I had the pleasure of chatting with performance artist from the Philippines, Eisa Jocson, who is a featured artist at this year’s Time-Based Art Festival presented by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. As a Filipina myself and as person who is aspiring for a career in researching gender and sexuality (in the academe or outside), Eisa’s work completely fascinates me. Her two pieces that she is performing at this year’s TBA Fest are titled “Death of the Pole Dancer” and “Macho Dancer.” Both pieces are loaded with questions and thoughts around gender presentation, body politics, and space. Read More Persephone Pioneers: Eisa Jocson

Persephone Pioneers: Lynn Casper

This week’s Persephone Pioneer is multimedia artist and activist Lynn Casper.

Lynn is a multimedia artist, strategist, and activist. Her two active projects consist of feminist playing cards and a music podcast show, Homoground. I’m fascinated by her work on so many different levels, but above all, I am inspired by her willingness to share parts of herself in her work. Read More Persephone Pioneers: Lynn Casper

Racism And White Feminists: 3 Ways To Be An Ally

[Original publication date: Dec. 19, 2013]

I’ve been a teaching assistant for about a year and a half now, and a mentor through the women’s studies major a year prior to that. I have interacted with several students ranging from different backgrounds, cultures, experiences and opinions. But none have been quite as special as my white female feminist students. Read More Racism And White Feminists: 3 Ways To Be An Ally

The Politics of API Women Sisterhood Building

I am all too familiar with the sense of competition that can arise among Asian women. One of my favorite Filipina studies/feminist theorists, Dr. Allyson Goce Tintiangco-Cubales, describes this competition between Asian women (Filipinas specifically within her writing) as the “Mall of Downness,” a belief that Asian women have an inherent sense of competition against one another due to the fact that we have not established a structure of sisterhood that brings us together. Read More The Politics of API Women Sisterhood Building