gender

HIKI NŌ
Breaking Gender Norms and other stories

 

TOP STORY

 

“Breaking Gender Norms”
Students from McKinley High School on O‘ahu introduce us to their school’s quarterback, who happens to be a female. On August 19, 2017, McKinley sophomore Alexandria Buchanan became the first female varsity quarterback to start a game in Hawaiʻi. She recounts her progress from playing on the junior varsity team as a freshman to becoming the starting quarterback on the varsity team. “I’m proud I got this far,” says Buchanan, “I never expected to be on the varsity level, let alone starting as their quarterback. I take a lot of pride in it. I take a lot of pride in having my team and my coaches trust in me.” McKinley’s football coach and its athletic director also discuss how more and more females have been playing football in recent years, challenging the old perception that it is a sport strictly for men.

 

ALSO FEATURED

 

–Students from Maui Waena Intermediate School in Kahului, Maui, introduce us to a female intermediate school student who inspires younger students to embrace the wonders of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

 

–Students from Kapaʻa High School on Kauaʻi give us an inside look at their school’s building construction class.

 

–Students from Moanalua High School on Oʻahu shine a spotlight on a downtown-Honolulu arts organization: The Arts at Marks Garage.

 

–Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui High School introduce us to a young woman who has created a program that helps other young women build self-confidence and separate their sense of self-worth from social media.

 

–Students from Waimea High School on Kauaʻi present a profile in courage: a young girl who defeated cancer and gained strength and ambition from the experience.

 

 

 

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT
Leitis in Waiting | Cover Story

Pacific Heartbeat's Leitis in Waiting. The May Program Guide cover story by Emily Bodfish

May 2019 program guide cover story by Emily Bodfish, PBS Hawai‘i

 

Now in its eighth season, the anthology series PACIFIC HEARTBEAT brings the authentic Pacific – people, cultures, languages, music and contemporary issues – to your screen. This new season brings stories of determination and courage from Australia, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Tonga and the U.S. The series is a production of Pacific Islanders in Communications in partnership with PBS Hawaiʻi, and is distributed nationally by American Public Television.

 

Among the films premiering this month is Leitis in Waiting, which tells the story of the Kingdom of Tonga’s evolving approach to gender fluidity through character-driven portraits of leitis, or indigenous transgender women. The most prominent leiti, Joey Joleen Mataele, is a practicing Catholic of noble descent who, over the course of an eventful year, organizes a beauty pageant, and later a conference with fundamentalist Christians to discuss the rise of the rhetoric of intolerance toward leitis.

 

Filmmakers Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Dean HamerFilmmakers Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kale – the subject of Hamer and Wilson’s earlier film Kumu Hina, which was also a film about gender fluidity that aired nationally on PBS – spoke with us about the film:

 

Could you give us some insight into your intentions with the film, the meaning of it for you and your audience?

 

Hamer: At first, we thought we would create a short film about the [beauty] pageant itself, which Hina won one year, by the way. While pursuing that, we realized we needed to make a feature length film on the leitis search for equality and recognition in their own country.

 

Wilson: We wanted our film to have an effect everywhere, but especially in Tonga. Our approach to filmmaking is to show, not tell, and let the viewers decide for themselves. That approach lends itself to the Tongan talanoa method of conflict resolution. You sit down with your opposition and try to come to a mutual understanding. Joey, the protagonist of the film, is currently using the film in that way as part of her advocacy.

 

Hina, you were instrumental in making the film because of your insider knowledge of the culture. Could you give some insight into those cultural differences some viewers might not understand, including the concept of the “usefulness” of the leitis?

 

Wong-Kalu: In Tonga, the royal family is held in utmost regard. They are synonymous with the nation itself, the flag, and the national seal “God and Tonga are my inheritance.”

 

On “usefulness,” the understanding in Polynesian culture is that your worth is not measured by how much you acquire, but rather by how much you sacrifice of yourself. The Tongan understanding of the word “useful” as it applies to people is different from in the west. When you hear people in the film say that the leitis are “useful,” it is praise for their service to others.

 

Wilson: At the same time, the frustrations that we tried to capture on film is the leitis’ struggle with something that marginalized communities struggle with everywhere. Whenever leitis, or anyone that has been relegated to a certain place, says, “I deserve more,” a backlash occurs.

 

What do you think the U.S. and Tonga can learn from each other?

 

Wong-Kalu: I would like to beg the question – why does Tonga have to learn anything from the U.S.? Tongans had a great way of embracing everyone in society. I want Tonga to be more discerning about what they import.

 

Hamer: One thing the U.S. can learn is that gender diversity has been around for centuries, and widely accepted in many parts of the world. The vast majority hid because the forces against them were so strong, but they were still there. It isn’t going to kill society if those people don’t hide anymore.

 


Leitis in Waiting

Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 pm

Click here to see PACIFIC HEARTBEAT SEASON 8 programming lineup and schedule

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Kumu Hina

INDEPENDENT LENS Kumu Hina

 

Over the course of a momentous year, Kumu Hina, a native Hawaiian mahu (transgender) teacher, inspires a tomboyish young girl to claim her place as leader of an all-male hula troupe, as Kumu Hina herself searches for love and a fulfilling romantic relationship with an unpredictable young Tongan man.

 

Preview

 

 

 

POV
93Queen

 

Set in the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, 93Queen follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are smashing the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. With unprecedented—and insider—access, 93Queen offers up a unique portrayal of a group of religious women who are taking matters into their own hands to change their own community from within.

 

 

HIKI NŌ
Episode # 906 – 2017 HIKI NŌ Fall Challenge

 

This episode features stories from the 2017 HIKI NŌ Fall Challenge. In September of 2017, five high schools and nine middle schools participated in a challenge in which teams had exactly four days to conceptualize, shoot, write, and edit a HIKI NŌ story based on a specific theme. No work could be done on the stories prior to the production window because the theme was not revealed until the start of the four-day sprint. The theme of this challenge was “What it’s Like to Walk in Another Person’s Shoes.” No teachers, or adults of any kind, could provide hands-on assistance. It was all up to the students.

 

TOP STORIES
Included in this episode are the winners of the Middle School and High School Divisions of the 2017 HIKI NŌ Fall Challenge. The Middle School winners were from ‘Ewa Makai Middle School in the ‘Ewa district of O‘ahu. Their story “Lolita” features a drag queen in his early 20s who explains how taking on his drag persona of Lolita gives him confidence and helps him cope with a sometimes difficult life. The winning High School story, “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” was created by students at Kalaheo High School in Windward O‘ahu. It follows a group of volunteers who put themselves in the shoes of Houston’s Hurricane Harvey victims and helped to collect goods toward the relief effort.

 

ALSO FEATURED
–Students from Maui High School created a story about what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a teen transitioning to a new gender.

 

–Students from Kapa‘a High School on Kaua‘i featured the school band president who is successful at what he does because he tries to walk in the shoes of his fellow musicians.

 

–Students from Wai‘anae High School in West O‘ahu stress the importance of empathy in dealing with people who suffer from a very painful condition known as Fibromyalgia.

 

–Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle show us that walking in the shoes of someone who moved to Hawaiʻi for a better life helps us to better appreciate our island home.

 

–Students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i help us to consider what it’s like being a teenager who is prone to suicide.

 

–Students from Maui Waena Intermediate School in Kahului tell the story of a cobbler who creates custom shoes for people who can’t wear conventional footwear.

 

This program encores Saturday, Sept. 8, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, Sept. 9, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.

 

 

Her Gender:
Just One Way She’s a Different Kind of Chief

 

CEO Message


When the search began for a new top cop, Susan Ballard had already turned in her retirement papers after 32 years on the force. Now the former Major is marking her 33rd year at HPD – as Chief.

When the search began for a new top cop, Susan Ballard had already turned in her retirement papers after 32 years on the force. Now the former Major is marking her 33rd year at HPD – as Chief.

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOAll of Honolulu’s former Police Chiefs had something in common besides being male. They upheld a tradition of reticence in their public statements. Speaking broadly and briefly, they’d usually decline to elaborate, with the explanation that an investigation was ongoing; or that matters were undergoing review. And mostly, what they divulged about their personal lives was basic statistics.

 

Here comes the new Honolulu Police Chief, Susan Ballard. She thinks more transparency is necessary, as the Honolulu Police Department seeks to restore public trust. “Maybe I’m a little T.M.I. (too much information),” she laughs.

 

She has freely shared that she and others were “sidelined” for years during the administration of then-Chief Louis Kealoha for objecting to how the department was being run. Kealoha, with his deputy city prosecutor wife Katherine, is in the crosshairs of a sprawling federal corruption case.

 

In my two-part Long Story Short interview with her this month, Ballard opens up about her formative experiences – growing up “overweight and buck-toothed” in Virginia and North Carolina; being raised with the Southern hospitality principle and Emily Post manners; experiencing domestic violence by a boyfriend with whom she came to Hawai‘i decades ago; her accidental path to HPD; how she reacted during her long tenure to male police officers who didn’t appreciate women on the force; her unusual, short sleep schedule; why she loves Hawai‘i; her decision not to marry; her four “furry babies” – three dogs and a blind cat; and what the Police Department needs now.

 

What you’ll find is that she is an original. She has taken to heart good advice and she’s made good friends, but she didn’t follow anyone else’s footsteps in living her life or managing her career.

 

Get to know Honolulu’s new Police Chief, by joining us for two Long Story Short episodes on Tuesday, August 21, and Tuesday, August 28, at 7:30 pm on PBS Hawai‘i. The programs also will be viewable online, at www.pbshawaii.org/lss/

 

Aloha nui,

Leslie signature


 

 

HIKI NŌ
Episode # 916: Athlete Leihali‘a Panui and other stories

 

TOP STORY

 

Students from Wai‘anae Intermediate School in West O‘ahu tell the story of Leihali‘a Panui, a female place-kicker and senior at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama who played on the school’s men’s varsity football team during the 2017 season. At first Leihali‘a’s father was not sure he wanted his daughter playing football, but Lei’s mother said, “I told my husband, ‘Who are we to say whether Leihali‘a can or cannot play football? We’ll just leave it up to the coaches and let them decide if she’s good enough for the team.’” The coaches decided Leihali‘a was good enough and welcomed her onto the team. Once he saw his daughter playing, Dad was won over: “It’s an amazing feeling seeing my daughter on the field playing football and hearing the spectators cheering her on.” Says Leihali‘a, “If you love something and you’re passionate about it, I would definitely think you should go for it 110% with all your heart because you don’t want to look back ten years later and regret it. Life is too short to have any regrets.”

 

ALSO FEATURED

 

–Students from Mid-Pacific on O‘ahu tell the story of a street performer turned painter who finds an enthusiastic audience in Waikīkī.

 

–Students from James Campbell High School in Leeward O‘ahu tell the story of a child of divorce who finds solace and a new family in dance.

 

–Students from Kapa‘a High School on Kaua‘i explore the reasons why their town has the largest concentration of Mexican restaurants in the state.

 

–Students from Aiea High School on O‘ahu show us how to make a money lei (a very popular lei among graduates).

 

–Students from Kua O Ka Lā Miloli‘i Hipu‘u Virtual Academy on Hawai‘i Island tell us about the traditional Hawaiian practice of ‘ōpelu fishing.

 

–Students from Ka Waihona o Ka Na‘auao Public Charter School tell the story of the instrument that made Hawaiian music popular around the world: the steel guitar.

 

This episode of HIKI NŌ is hosted by students at Kaiser High School in East O‘ahu.

 

 

HIKI NŌ
Episode # 915: Girls Got Grit and other stories

 

TOP STORY

 

Students from Sacred Hearts Academy, an all-girl school in the Kaimuki district of O‘ahu, tell the story of their school’s professional mentoring program called Girls Got Grit. The program places Sacred Hearts students in professional work places where they are mentored by female staffers. The story follows Sacred Hearts junior Shelby Mattos, who is interning at Hawaii News Now through Girls Got Grit. “Being in Girls Got Grit allows students to enter a professional business environment, and doing that kind of sets a level of expectations for when we enter the workforce,” says Mattos. Other Girls Got Grit internships include Castle Medical Center and Alexander & Baldwin. The program’s director Shelly Kramer says, “I want these girls to come out strong, empowered and feeling that they have a network that they can touch.”

 

ALSO FEATURED

 

–Students from Hilo Intermediate School on Hawai‘i Island show us how to make a refreshing AND healthy snack: a yogurt parfait.

 

–Students from Mililani Middle School in Central O‘ahu feature Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit with a mission of addressing gender inequity in the film and media industry.

 

–Students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i tell the story of a young woman who designs and builds a wheelchair for her disabled dog.

 

–Students from Seabury Hall Middle School in upcountry Maui explore the integral role of mules at Haleakala National Park.

 

–Students from Kapa‘a Middle School on Kaua‘i feature a young woman in the traditionally male role of a Samoan fire knife dancer.

 

–Students from King Intermediate School in Windward O‘ahu tell the story of a female student who fell in love with DJ-ing.

 

This episode of HIKI NŌ is hosted by students at President William McKinley High School in Honolulu.

 

 

#METOO, Now What?

 

Join executive producer/host Zainab Salbi and a range of guests for open, authentic conversations about sexual harassment. Women and men discuss how we reached this point and how we can effect positive and lasting change.

 

 

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