The Complex Role of the Filipino Maid

It is difficult to imagine living in a foreign world where you are basically forced to act a certain way, both sexually and emotionally, based on your occupation and stereotype.  This is exactly what Filipina maids in Lebanon must do.  These live-in maids face double standards, narrow stereotypes, and racial hierarchies that mold many of their personalities and sexualities in ways that appease Lebanese society.  Hayeon Lee addresses this unique phenomenon in her article, “The Public and Hidden Sexualities of Filipina Women in Lebanon.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Race: Filipina Women, Asian Men, and Racism around the Globe

Racial hierarchies around the world consistently rank “whiteness” as more valuable and other races as less valuable. Being able to “pass” for white, which is a fluid commodity rather than a set racial identity, oftentimes opens up spaces of privilege while being perceived as “not white” in conjunction with being an immigrant, can be very limiting and harmful. For immigrant women particularly, racial hierarchies, in which whiteness is often valued and being “other” is restrictive, greatly influence their social experiences in the countries to which they immigrate. This racial phenomenon looks very different in different regions. In the United States for instance, Asian males, who in some parts of the world, are seen as white, are not viewed as “white enough”. As a consequence of being viewed as lower ranking in the hierarchy of male bodies, according to Kong, their bodies are desexualized, making it difficult for them to thrive and express their sexuality in this culture.

Continue reading