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Neak Sophal

Cambodia   www.sophalneak.com

Flower, in a subtle way, challenges the well-established notions of feminine identity in Cambodian society. Neak Sophal, takes as a starting point, local expressions and romantic songs of the 60s that compare women to a flower or white paper – implying purity, beauty and fragility. Trudy Jacobson, author and expert on gender roles in Cambodia1, explains “Cambodian proverbs such as broh jee-a daw dail meas, srei jee-a daw dail kotong saw (‘men are like gold, women are like white cloth’), the implication being that gold can be washed clean of dirt whereas white cloth will always bear a stain, are ingrained in the collective consciousness of Cambodians today further perpetuate the stereotype of Cambodian women as passive and Cambodian society as unequal

Lost Goddesses: The Denial of Female Power in Cambodian History, Trudy Jacobson NIAS Press, 2008