[REVIEW] “A STUDY OF WHERE SEXUALITY IS PRODUCED: REVIEWING MAID TO QUEER” BY NOAH ARTHUR WEBER


Book Review
Cha Journal Blog
March 14, 2021

It’s a Sunday afternoon in Kowloon Park or Victoria Park, Hong Kong, and Francisca Yuenki Lai is going dancing. She will join thousands of others playing games, socialising, and relaxing under the shade of camphor and banyan trees. That most of those she joins are domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia should surprise no one who has visited either park on a Sunday or who is otherwise familiar with labour affairs in the city. For the nearly 160,000 Indonesian migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong (according to Lai’s 2017 statistics) and the hundreds of thousands more from the Philippines and other countries, Sunday is the main day off. And on that day, the park is the place to be. . . .

[S]he finds participants organised into two “genders”—tomboi (which Lai does not gloss but suggests is akin to the English “tomboy”) and cewek (which Lai glosses “girls”) (Lai, 13). These genders, the relationships between the group’s members, and individual profiles of women attracted to other women in the migrant domestic worker community form the subject of Lai’s welcome late-2020 release—Maid to Queer: Asian Labor Migration and Female Same-Sex Desires. . . .

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Featured book: Maid to Queer: Asian Labor Migration and Female Same-Sex Desires