It is dicey because you are likely to question my credentials, being that I am not a woman.
And I am not a Filipina.
But look, I've got the credentials. I've been a global student of women all my life. A recent girlfriend even declared me a "womanizer", given that I have had romantic liaisons with doctors and lawyers and a judge and accountants and corporate executives and a rock musician and a radio personality and secretaries and a comedienne and stewardesses and a commie union organizer. I've dated or romanced Chinese women, and Japanese and Thai and African American and Mexican and Czech and German and Cuban and even Blondes. Jews and Catholics and protestants and atheists and a Buddhist. Upper class, lower class, middle class and no class. Doctors of Philosophy and high school dropouts.
Man, I've been around. I know women. They've hauled me to court and to therapy, to the beach and the rock amphitheater, and even a real opera, though damn if I know what all that warbling was about.
I've dated old women and young women, fat and thin, tall and short, and even one who was crippled and another who was an acrobat specializing on the vertical pole, if you catch my drift. Married, unmarried, on the rocks.
Also, I've been through several eras, starting with the bigoted one prior to the great gender enlightenment that followed the great American racial enlightenment of the 1970's. About 80% of the women I've known are liberated. Half of them were making more money than I was, or had more prestigious jobs. And they were smarter, too, if you want to know the truth.
I know, because they kept telling me so.
I believe men and women are equal, and women are more equal than men in the verbal and perception arenas. Men have more muscle, but unfortunately it is negated by the obsession that hovers in the vicinity of their crotch.
I've had three daughters, so boy howdy, I understand women.
I'm married to a Filipina, so boy howdy, I understand Filipinas.
So here's the deal.
I went to wikipedia to look up Philippine Women's Activist Movement. If you link over there, you will see the section is blank. Zero. None listed. Empty.
What's with that? You mean Filipinas don't care? Or they can't get organized? Or they are lousy at marketing themselves?
Here's what I recommend. I recommend that some of you smart and influential women, the Riassas and Ellens and Noemis, gather up some of your more influential and creative acquaintances and draw up a Manifesto for the Liberated Filipina.
You'll fine tune this, but here's an idea of what it might say:
Manifesto for the Liberated Filipina
I am a liberated Filipina.
- No man or institution shall have the power to deny me my rights and personal choices. No man or institution shall assume the right to speak for me. My thoughts belong to me and me alone.
- The essential character of liberated woman is a willingness to accept responsibility for her choices. I do, and will. No man or institution is empowered to suggest otherwise, or to substitute his sense of responsibility for mine. I define my personal ethic. No man or institution does that for me.
- The laws of the land protect us all and I shall strive to live within those bounds. If a law is unreasonable, I shall seek to change it.
- The failure of the Philippine State to provide for termination of a failed marriage contract is unreasonable. A personal contract without a termination provision is bondage. Bondage is uncivilized and cruel.
- No man or institution is permitted to insert judgment over the decisions that I make for myself and my family. That is my realm, and mine alone.
- No man or institution is permitted to overlay a standard of behavior or lifestyle on me. Not on my religion or sexual preference or clothes or recreations. These are my choices, my freedoms.
- My body belongs to me. It does not belong to any governmental agency, any church, or any man or institution. I make the choices for my body. Only me.
- I have the right to decide if I wish to bear a child or not and I have the right to place my health and safety above that of an unborn child. No man or institution is empowered to interfere with my choices.
- No man or institution shall deny me the right to employment in any field as long as I have the physical strength to accomplish the job. No man or institution shall have the right to evaluate my work performance on any basis but capability and result.
- My choice of employment is mine to make and no man or institution is empowered to judge it as suitable or unsuitable. If I choose to be a housewife or a teacher, a street-sweeper or an attorney, a secretary or an executive, no other person is entitled to disparage this choice. Others are entitled to live their lives according to their standards, and I, as a liberated Filipina, am free to live mine.
After saying the oath, which might be something like "You damn right, I'm in!", then organize and litigate into submission any crusty old dinosaur men and institutions that wish to see you held in bondage to outdated values and unkind laws.
- "Women of the Philippines, unite! Throw off the heavy yoke of masculine suppression and oppression! Get thee unstuck from the mighty-bond of male imposition and limitation."
Like, rise up, eh?
Toss off the macho dweebs, creeps and crustaceans who are holding you back and strive for the high road of physical and intellectual empowerment.
A quick glimpse into a Philippines that is deep and rich in history:
María Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang (March 19, 1731 – September 20, 1763) was the wife of the Ilocano insurgent leader, Diego Silang. Following Diego's assassination in 1763, she led the group for four months before she was captured and executed.
Born in Barangay Caniogan, Santa, Ilocos Sur, Silang was a mestiza, of Spanish and Ilocano descent. The people of Abra do claim she was born in what is now Pidigan, Abra (those two places are not far from each other, and Abra was not incorporated as a province until early in the 20th century). She was adopted by a very wealthy businessman Tomás Millan, who later married her at the age of 20, but died after three years. In 1757, she re-married, this time to 27-year-old Ilocano insurgent leader, Diego Silang. The groups’ goal was to ensure an independent Ilocos. She became one of his closest advisors, whenever the troops battle, Gabriela always went with them to give support and help with the battle, a major figure in her husband's collaboration with the British and the brief expulsion of Spanish officials from Vigan, Ilocos Sur during the British occupation of the Philippines.
Together with Nicolas Cariño, Sebatian Andaya and Manuel Flores, there she regrouped her troops, and rallied the Tingguian community to fight. Gabriela’s troops of 2000 fighters attacked the Spanish in Vigan on September 10, 1763. With a larger number of the Spanish troops, the 6000 men strong Spanish garrison was ready, with amassing Spanish, Tagalog, and Kapampangan soldiers, and Ilocano collaborators recruited from other regions to ambush her and rout her forces. Many were killed. She escaped, alongside Cariño and seven others, but were caught on September 20, 1763. They were summarily hanged.
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriela_Silang>