Alexandra Bichara is studying a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She received an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and an MA in Literature, Landscape, and Environment from Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom. Her academic interests lie in human-animal studies, critical animal studies, ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities. E-mail: aabichara@up.edu.ph


Entangled Invisibilities: Nature in Tingle: Anthology of Pinay Lesbian Writing

Abstract: In the introduction to Tingle: Anthology of Pinay Lesbian Writing (2021), its editor, Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz, points out the absence of lesbian literature and the marginalization of lesbian writers in mainstream narratives in the Philippines, as well as the lack of critics interested in the works of lesbians, thus contributing to their “invisibility.” She writes that “they do not enter the literary discourse, thus rendering them mute.” It is interesting, then, to examine the voices of others who have also typically been rendered mute. This paper aims to present an ecofeminist reading of the forty-nine works (both prose and poetry) in Tingle to identify the connection, if any, between women and nature as represented in the anthology. Studying the interconnection of women and nature means acknowledging the existence of various races, classes, and all categories in between. In other words, women share the same perspectives, advantages, and disadvantages of their respective groups as well as what they share with other women. This study aims to listen to the environment in the text and answer the question of how the concepts of gender and nature are represented in the writings of Pinay lesbians. How do these non-heteronormative perspectives perpetuate or deconstruct ecological beliefs in the Philippines? The study will accomplish this using the lens of “emancipatory strategies,” as coined by ecofeminist Patrick Murphy and explored by Gretchen T. Legler. Thus, it will categorize encounters between women and nature as cases of “remything,” the erasure of boundaries between inner and outer landscapes, and re-eroticizing.
Keywords: Philippines, environment, lesbian literature, ecocriticism, ecofeminism