The understanding of male sexual labor commodification in Philippine realist film has often been linked exclusively to economic and political determinations associated with authoritarianism and migrant labor from the 1980s to the 1990s. Little discussion has been focused on cultural and socio-sexual relations among gendered and sexed publics in the Philippines, and how this is configured in a political economy that privileges Filipino masculinity as a “stabilizing term” in relation to a tripartite relation between “bisexual” men, heterosexual women, and homosexual men. This study focuses on the films Macho Dancer (1987) by Lino Brocka and Sibak (1993) and Burlesk King (1998) by Mel Chionglo to foreground the specific categories by which these tripartite sexual relations occur within a common delineated space: the filmic space of cinema, and the territory of male commodification in the sexual economy from which this documentation of Filipino homoerotica is taken, the gay bar. As a productive space for maleness and its consumption, the lives of these machos interact with the specific material conditions of a neoliberal sexual economy reemerging in the Philippines since 1986, but one that continues the class and gendered divisions underwriting the consumption of male bodies.
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Reuben Ramas Cañete; The Macho Machine: Male Sexual Commodification in Philippine Realist Film. positions 1 May 2011; 19 (2): 347–364. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-1331751
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