A Surf Colloquy: An Ethnographic Research of the Coastal Community in Cherating, Pahang of Women, Surf Spaces and Intersectionality

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

Abstract

Cherating, a rural village in Malaysia, provides a setting for diverse water and land-based opportunities related to surfing, fostering a deep sense of identity, belonging and stewardship. Though this perspective may be mutual, blurring the lines between distinct groups of people, the women surfers of Cherating are affected by their intersectionality in navigating masculinised spaces of the surfscape. In the mid-1900s, the practice peaked, affecting music, fashion, literature, film, art and youth jargon through popular culture. However, critical surf studies state the surfscape and spaces become a representation of the heteronormative male and female whilst marginalising alternative histories and certain groups through its exploitation. These post- and patrio-colonial implications still affect the surfscape today, including the women's experience of navigating through the post-and patrio-colonial praxis of layers of gender politics. The dynamics experienced by the women surfers of Cherating imply systems of inequality based on their intersectionality of gender, race and religion, causing unease, discomfort and fear. Forms of micro-aggression in these spaces affect the mobility of emotional expression, suffering from power play and symbolic domination. Although surfscapes are no longer a ‘male preserve’ practice, they remain male-dominated regarding values, conceptualisations, expectations, participation, representation and organisation. This leaves the women surfers mediating already-established systems of complex spaces of power and prestige in various ways. Women surfers are forced to negotiate and resist, while coming to terms with their experience of intersectionalities in the surfscape and space. The research will explore a post-structuralist perspective that offers a frame of reference for their spaces outside of resistance while understanding the complexity of the surfscape and space in alternative ways creating new establishments for the women surfers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLocal Cultures - Global Spaces
PublisherAmps
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Publication series

Name
PublisherAMPS
ISSN (Electronic)2398-9467

Keywords

  • Intersectionality
  • Women Surfers
  • Post-Colonial
  • Post-Structuralist
  • Gender Dynamics
  • Gender Inequality

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