Should We Blame Our Ancestor?

“Boys, what is your opinion on girls receiving keep getting these sports opportunities and you don’t,” asked Dominic Sharp the country director of the Liger Leadership Academy when he visited the gender equity exploration. No one answered. The question then changed to, “Why do you think these opportunities are only available for girls?” Then one of us said, “That’s because back in the old days these opportunities were only for boys, so for gender equity, these kinds of opportunities are […]

Taboos in Tattoos

“Why?” “Why?” “Why?” A question that always formulates in Cambodian minds when they see a tattooed Cambodian woman. Some people view it as art, while others strongly condemn this practice against her. In our culture, tattooed Cambodian women are “not common as wearing jewelry.” There are so many perspectives and assumptions of her before they​ even interact with each other. The majority of Cambodians have developed countless taboos when she embroiders her skin with permanent ink. They label her as […]


“You must be my first gay client,” the barber said to me, when I told him I wanted a hair_____a “boy’s haircut.” Already, I was labeled, before my appearance had even changed. I thought Cambodians had learned to accept the idea of  “breaking gender norm.” They praise the people who have done it, like Sorn Seavmey, the Cambodian female athlete who does Taekwondo and wins gold medals. They even praise women who join the military force, which is considered a […]

Voice of Elders

“When girls hangout at night, we called them boys,” said Sophal Thoung. The love parents have for their children has no constraint. Sometimes teenagers feel that they are under the manipulation of their parents or think that they are strict. However, the only reason behind it is that parents always caring, frantic, and worried, especially when knowing that their kids are hanging out late at night. In countries such as Cambodia, there is a strong belief against girls hanging out […]

Woman of Cambodia

Women are often the leaders of families and make up a majority of the teachers in Cambodia. It is easy to assume the kingdom has always thought this way, but if we take a closer look at the past, there are plenty of great women that have contributed to Cambodian success. We always think this kingdom think this way, but if we look closer to the past, there plenty of great women giving birth to Cambodia success, the value of […]


“What have you been doing during your three-week-break? You couldn’t find a time to cut your hair?” I was asked before I returned to my boarding school. Stereotypes and perceptions about hair are deeply-rooted in Khmer’s mindsets as well as many other people around the world. This idea dates back all the way to at least the Romans and the Ancient Greeks. Archaeologist Elizabeth Bartman states that besides the “bearded, long-haired philosopher,” females, in general, had longer hair than males. […]

The Leftover Women

Ladies, do you know that you come with an expiration date? In our contemporary society, many women are encouraged to pursue their dreams, higher education, and STEM related careers. Slowly, but surely, women have conquered more and more executive positions. However, these opportunities often affect women’s decisions about motherhood and marriage. In China, women are 48.6% of the nation’s population. A study from 2017 shows that 40.1% of Chinese  women are hesitant to have children, while the 63.4% are worried […]

A Human Being or A Robot?

You are not alone. Be who you are. Inspire people with your great single story. Most importantly, love and believe in your own skin. I am talking to all of you; but specifically, to those of you who are effeminate. “Be a real boy,” my father has said to me almost my entire life. “You have to be bold, educated, and able to support your family.” What does it mean to be a “real boy?” Does “real” even mean anything? […]

Behind the Music: A Look at Female Musicians

“We take female musicians just seriously enough not to notice that we don’t actually take them seriously enough. They matter in the present,” Wesley Morris wrote in “Should Women Make Their Own Pop Music Canon?” in the New York Times, “but posterity is another matter. Posterity is keeping them down in the basement…” While reading the article, this quote sparked an idea in my brain that currently, most of the “popping” musicians are men. I am a heavy Hip-Hop/Rap listener, […]

How People “Act Like a Man” or “Act Like a Lady”

WikiHow teaches us “how to be a lady” and “how to act like a man” with explicit steps. By the look of it, this is CLEARLY the only way. Man is “an adult male with masculine characteristics that involve action.” Ladies are those who contain “ladylike behavior that is undying: elegance, courteousness, and sense of respect for oneself and others,” WikiHow continued on saying. Society has influenced so many people to act and think a certain way, setting boundaries and […]