Ng Lay Sion, featuring photography by Jaime Forson
Ng Lay Sion is a Chinese-Malaysian who is working as an English Lecturer at Reitaku University, Japan. Her academic interests include feminism, gender and sexuality, ecocriticism, among others. Her publications include “Gender and Environmental Utopia/Dystopia in Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things” (2017) and “Never Ending Gender/Sexual Cannibalism? Transformation of Female Idolization in Japan” (2018). Her upcoming publication includes “The Elephant’s Eye and the Maji-Maji War: A Non-Anthropocentric Reading of David’s African Story in The Garden of Eden” (2020). She was a contributor of a feminist site called Slutty Girls Problem and TERSE. Journal. She has a personal blog named Issues Under Tissues.
Jaime Forson is an Australian photographer and techno DJ based in Tokyo. She is also a yoga-loving, nature-seeking, food and wine enthusiast. In 2011, She began to travel oversea and took street style photography in cities such as Rome, New Delhi, and Saigon. During her travel she worked in studio in Manchester doing still life and product photography where she gained invaluable lighting and editing skills. In London, she started to document music festivals and met various artists and musicians. Currently, she is focusing on travel photography for tourists visiting Japan. You can reach her via http://jaimeforsonphoto.com/.
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Beauty and the Bitch
i am worrying about you, Beauty.
Why, Bitch? I am doing so well.
Yes. On the surface.
You should care more about me, your inside.
Well, you can’t blame me.
You are the inside and I am the outside.
And people won’t care about you unless I am shining and beautiful.
On some levels, you are right.
But you can’t forget about me, ignoring the fact that
i am a big part of you. Together we are I.
Can’t you just stay inside and remain quiet?
I am busy doing my nails. I have a date tonight and I need to look perfect and stunning.
Oh god you don't know how hard it is to be a pretty woman in this particular land.
Really? You think that
doing your nails are more important than listening to me?
What do you need those fake long plastic nails for?
You think men really care about them?
You think they really make you look more beautiful?
I feel more confident when I have my nails done.
Everybody is doing it anyway.
It’s a way to be more beautiful and attractive in Japan!
So shut up and let me do my nails.
You don't know what you’re doing.
Those fake plastic shells that you are putting on me,
they make me blind and suffocate me.
It’s like you’re being thrown into the sea
with your eyes and mouth covered by a thick layer of plastic shell,
neither can you scream nor running away.
The only time that i can take a deep breath and look toward the sky is
when you are exchanging those fake nails!
To be honest,
i am dying inside because of what you think is important on the outside:
the criteria of beauty.
Bitch I am sorry, but I cannot change the criteria of beauty.
It’s the way people think of what is kawaii in our modern society.
I’m just one of the followers.
Oh yes, you follow everything that
all other women do in cities like Tokyo and Osaka.
You spend more money on—
fake eyelashes that make you look like the mannequins in OIOI mall;
high heels that hurt your feet, making you walk no better than a 3-year-old girl;
cosmetic products that are harmful to your skin and make you believe that
you are not or will not be kawaii without them
—than on buying books and traveling.
i can list more, but only if you were willing to process my thought.
Your instinct,the Bitch inside you.
* * *
Why can’t I care about my just like I do to my outside?
Because I wasn’t taught that
inside is more beautiful and powerful than outside;
because social media and beauty advertisement taught me that
Beauty is far more important than Bitch;
because patriarchal culture teaches Japanese men and women that
selfless obedience, a lack of self-sufficiency and non-ability
are what make a woman
a qualified bitch.
But our Bitch inside us tells us that
this not what/who a woman is/should be.
We’re not made for entertaining or decorating purposes.
We are not a thing. We are human.
And it takes both the outside-I and the inside-i to construct what we call a human, a wo-man.
It’s time to stop being a selfless bitch,
be a real Bitch instead.
Create your own criterion. Reconnect your inside with your outside.
Through letting the inside you out,
you can the phallocentric boundary
the boundary, Bitch!
Eros is Power
What is eroticism?
For me, words are extremely erotic.
Eros eROsu È luò sī Sexual deSire
Erotic EroCikku Sè Qíng Sex
Eroticisism eRoTiishizumu Sè qíng zhǔ Yì seXuality
Words like E, エ, O, ロ, S, 色, Q, 情 are colorful, energetic, and sensual.
Like images, words transport me into another dimensional world.
At there, I become O.
All powerful and free from restriction, just like the wild birds that fly over the pink sky or the fearless turtles that swim through
the dark green sea.
O own an erotic mandala.
On the contrary,
in this mechanical world, where feelings are often excluded, I am no longer the O that I wanted to be. I am turned into an image shaped like 8.
breast and then ass; oral accompanied with anal.
This is what our patriarchal and mechanistic culture demands women to become.
Otherness; earthy ground for men.
you don't count that number. It’s invisible and infinitive,
like nature on the surface of this earth.
They were all born to be exploited, controlled, and dominated.
But who taught you that?
Social structure. Culture of estrangement. Science. Family.
As Starhawk suggests, “in patriarchal culture, the family itself becomes
another arena of authority, a hierarchal structure of dominance.
The family mirrors the culture; the culture mirrors the family.
And children, growing within a family, reflects its structure in the formation of their innermost selves.
So our psyches grow in patterns of authority and domination.
And the families we create, the relationships we establish,
become corrupted by our struggles for
power-over each other” (144).
As a result, we have:
pornography, prostitution, gender hierarchy and sexual
But this is not the end of the story.
There is hope. Resistance:
feminist pornography, eroticism, sadomasochism, vagina monologues, polyamory, magic and Goddess.
These forms of resistance indicate that
“Sex is energy.
What gives the physical exchange its excitement, its intensity, is the movement of
an energy not limited to human beings, but present
in earth, air, water, fire, in plants and animals,
in all living things.
We can love nature, not just aesthetically, but carnally, with our meat, our bones. That sort of love
threatens all the proprieties of estranged culture” (Starhawk 143).
Eroticism is energy.
that is not based on exploitation, hierarchy and alienation.
It could be a model for all connections in
F R E E D O M
Starhawk. Dreaming The Dark: Magic, Sex, and Politics. Beacon Press, 1982.