Male voices that profess efforts to undermine patriarchy are very hard to come by. This research aims to: describe the creation and expression of male sexualities among
self-ascribed Filipino men in online chatrooms; describe the virtual environments wherein cyber male sexualities are constructed; discuss the extent to which virtual male sexualities reflect contemporary physical world male sexualities and implicate gender relations; and document my own experiences and reflections in doing online research.
The results of this research were derived from cyberethnographic descriptions of chatroom environments, textual analysis of conversations and webcam screenshots and discourse analysis of masculinities in chatrooms. For over two years, I went to chatrooms in the Yahoo chat system as participant observer. I chatted with chatroom goers who spoke Filipino or Bisaya and who self-identified themselves as males.
Cyberethnography is a relatively new approach to knowledge production within a relatively new research space. The chatroom provides a generous, lenient and non-judgmental context for chatroom goers. It sanctions a whole range of behaviors that afford meaningfully lived freedom. This research eventually reminds us that we play multiple roles in life; life requires more than one fixed self. It also teaches us a potentially powerful and empowering practice of determining for ourselves the sexual identities that we want to project in particular situations, without the fear of being rejected, denigrated or silenced.
In conclusion, I argue that under social conditions similar to those of online chatrooms, the practice of masculinities can potentially become non- oppressive, egalitarian and liberating for the self and for others.RESEARCH JOURNAL: GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES