Saturday, March 20, 2010

This women's month, I had a run-in with some macho-shit. It made me think how

women STILL suffer from gender bias and sterotypes no matter what the government

says about women equality, the Magna Carta and all. These laws, after all, serve no

purpose if not followed up with concrete laws, stricter implementation and

widespread education for both men and women to address the cultural roots of

discrimination against women.

I am no hardline feminist. I have not done my reading on prominent feminists. Rather

I am only vaguely familiar about them until a certain period inmy life. But I did try

to be a feminist.

When I graduated from highschool and got accepted in a very prestigious university

known for its activism, I saw that as my ticket to freedom. Raised conservatively and

sheltered all my life, I was eager to spread out my wings and explore the world. So

first I did is rid myself of one of the most oppressive instruments in my wardrobe,

my bra. I thought bras are oppressive to women because they are worn so their

nipples won't show when they're cold --- or aroused. I was in my first year then and I

enjoyed the freedom of my breasts to wiggle any which way. It was liberating and


But I have come a long way since then. I am wearing bras again but had not given up

on my feminist ideas. (I had to wear bras again because free breasts make running

very difficult and painful.)

In celebrating women's month and the continuing struggle to emancipate women, I

would like to share this song that makes the struggle bearable. It is from Tambisan

ng Sining, a progressive group.

ang pagiging babae
sa lipunang malupit
ay puno ng hirap at sakit

ang pagsasalita ay
pag-aanyaya sa dahas
na laging nakaamba
himagsik ay di maipakita

ang babae at bayan ay laging nagdurusa
sa bangis ng pagsasamantala
sa malalim na sugat ng pandarahas
ay buhay ang katarungang hangad
na ang maapi ay hindi na muli

ang paghuhulagpos ay mayroong panahon
ang panahon na iyo ay ngayon
kasama ng bayan sa pagpupunyagi
ang babae sa paglayang mithi

ang pagiging babae
ay pagiging mulat
sa hindi pantay na pagtingin
ang hindi pagkibo ay pag-aanyaya
sa higit pang dahas at banta
lakas natin ay ipakita

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