Sexy media dissidents: State regulation, dissidence, pornography and gay men in Malaysia

Joseph N. Goh, Ghislaine L. Lewis, Pauline P.Y. Leong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper considers the effects of media censorship and dissidence in Malaysia within the context of gay men and pornography, and how these oft-considered taboo subjects intersect within the society. Malaysia’s media landscape has revealed many flaws in the country’s political and social environment. The place of gay men and pornography within this media landscape is examined through interviews with gay Malaysian men. It frames the intersection of politics and private lives through the lenses of sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas, feminist Carol Hanisch, psychologist Todd G. Morrison and sociologist Jeffrey Weeks. An analysis of selected interviews reveals that within the Malaysian media landscape, pornography surpasses the realm of pleasure, and is a form of dissent and discreet protest against the regulation of sexual lives. The stigmatisation of pornography and pervasive homophobic rhetoric has allowed these sexy media dissidents to perform new connections, foster self-awareness and move toward increasing political and sexual freedom and subjectivity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)192-208
    Number of pages17
    JournalSexuality and Culture
    Volume23
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

    Keywords

    • Freedom of expression
    • Gay men
    • Malaysia
    • Media dissidence
    • Pornography

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