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This Woman Is Tearing Down Her Country's Rules About Sex
Catherine V. Harry is only 23, but she's already famous for tackling topics, from female virginity to menstruation, that most people in Cambodia won't touch.
Catherine Harry knew right away that doing a video on female virginity was going to get a reaction — she just didn't expect it would get 2 million views.
Harry, who built a loyal following in her native Cambodia over four years through her popular blog, has only been posting vlogs since February. But her Khmer-language videos have totally blown up this year.
Harry adopted social media early — she opened a Facebook account when she was 12 to follow her then-crush Jesse McCartney. Back then hardly anyone in Cambodia was on Facebook, and nobody thought of it as a platform for news.
Traditional gender roles are still very much a part of the culture in Cambodia, where schools teach a code of conduct for women called the Chbab Srey, which puts women at the center of domestic life and deemphasizes their roles as leaders.
"No Cambodian person has ever done this before in Khmer," she said. "People see the reaction I get and people are scared by that. It's not very pleasant to get all the harassment and all the negativity."
But in the end, Harry says that people follow her because she isn't afraid to speak about taboo subjects — everything from abortion to victim-blaming.