The burdens and responsibilities of women:
- Children: Bear children and nurture them through youth in good health, with good values, and with good education.
- Kitchen: Cook and manage the kitchen. Keep the food stocks in good supply.
- Cleaning: Clean up after the slob husband or messy kids end their thoughtless marauding about the house.
- Clothing: Make sure the clothes are clean and in good order.
- Values: Make sure the family has high moral values, like those taught and preached at church.
- Recreation: Be fun in bed for the hubby and make sure social engagements, picnics, beach visits and other recreational activities bring entertainment and laughter to the family.
- Health: Keep medicines available, whether prescription or herbal, and make sure everyone gets needed love and encouragement when sick. Haul sick or injured family members to the doctor whether they want to go or not.
- Presentment: Abide by the fashion standards of the time to represent the family as modern and stylish.
Did I miss anything material?
How do burdens in the Philippines differ from those in America ? I'll use the American grading mechanism and assign grades as follows to try to draw a distinction, where a high grade means that overall "delivery" on the attribute is good based on what we see around us:
- Excellent: A
- Good: B
- Fair or average: C
- Substandard: D
- Failing or really, really rotten: F
- Children: Health care in the Philippines in outlying provinces is very weak, so kids are more susceptible to diseases, loss of teeth, and injuries. Education is not free, so is harder for the poor to get a good education. American schools are free, rigorous and attendance is mandatory. A high school degree in the Philippines is is not equivalent to a high school degree in the US. Philippine kids don't compete well globally unless they get into private schools. Philippine values are conservative but laws are routinely ignored. Grades: America A, Philippines D
- Kitchen: American kitchen work is often outsourced to fast food outlets, and obesity is a problem. In the Philippines, fatty foods are a problem. America has many foodstocks available, with much of it in boxes or cans or frozen, and cleanliness is closely monitored. The Philippines relies more on fresh food products because refrigeration is not a given. I personally find that I eat healthier in the Philippines than I did in America, and the flavors are more elegant and robust in the Philippines. Grades: America C, Philippines B
- Cleaning: I discern little difference in the quality of cleaning, one nation to the other, except that waste disposal and sewerage is a problem in the Philippines. Bathrooms can be quite atrocious. Structures in the Philippines may be more rustic in outlying areas, but there is water water everywhere, so things get washed fine. Grades: America A, Philippines C
- Clothing: Poor Filipinos wear hand-me-downs and cheap clothing until they grow so tattered they fall off, so the condition is sometimes poor. But clothes are generally cleaned regularly. Indeed, there is a pride taken in wearing clean clothes after a freshening shower or bath in the morning. Americans are consuming addicts and clothes are a part of the addiction; washing and drying is usually done by machine. Grades: America A, Philippines B
- Values: The Philippines is anchored on Catholic, Christian or Muslim values with a strong cross-current of superstition. Americans believe in Christian values and hold to them with less widespread corruption and rule-breaking than is the case in the Philippines. A large cut of the American population is not engaged actively in church activities. Alas, it is deeds that count, not visits to church. Grades: America B, Philippines C
- Recreation: Americans live for their games, watching in the stadiums or on TV and participating in the backyard or neighborhood park. Women participate, too. And they are mad about music. Filipino men play basketball and follow boxing, but women aren't into physical sports. Entertainment is their passion. Singers and actors rule. Karaoke is a sport in the Philippines, along with dancing. And of course, no matter where you are in the Philippines, the beach is right over there. Grades: America A, Philippines A
- Presentment: American women got knocked a little off the fashion stride by the women's movement of the late 20th century. It became uncool to watch beauty contests because they peddled women like packaged meat. Fashion lost its frills. Filipinas are very much into the starlet look, with the whitening creams and shampoos touted on television. Americans in public tend to dress sloppily. Filipinos are neat and tend toward a conservative look. Grades: America B, Philippines A.
So if you look at the sum of the grades, you see that women in the Philippines carry particularly heavy burdens in the raising of children and development of values. The social infrastructure and educational platform work against their kids. Sanitation is also a challenge, particularly in poor areas. So health is troublesome.
Face it, unless you are middle class or above, the Philippine infrastructure supporting the family is weak. The married woman's job is much harder in the Philippines than in America. Heath care, weak. Public education with 45 kids to a classroom, weak. Social acceptance of subsistence crime and rule-breaking, high. Sanitary infrastructure, weak.
As for single women, again the opportunities are limited unless you are connected, or can get a slot at an Americanized firm like a call center that has a career track. The horizon for the underclass woman is a lifetime of hard work for precious little pay. Making babies looks good in that light, married or not . . .
Where am I going with this?
I read a comment on a Rappler article that was very profound. The article pertains to the level of foreign direct investment in the Philippines. Here's the comment and a link to the article:
- trevor.evans62The Current Constitution states that the Filipino family is the foundation of the Nation, so how does it justify breaking up the families of OFWs by sending the breadwinners abroad for jobs?ARTICLE XV THE FAMILY Section 1. The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.
It is a very good insight. And it applies as well to the INFRASTRUCTURE supporting families: health, education, good values, sanitation.
It is hospitals and doctors and schools and values (leading by example in the Philippines seems very weak to these Western-trained eyes) and utilities.
RH is infrastructure for the family. Investment in schools, new ways of teaching (internet) and new curriculums is infrastructure for the family. Sanitation is infrastructure for the family. Upgrading medical care is infrastructure for the family. These elements provide the platform that make a woman's burdens lighter, and achievement of good results more likely.
The Constitution is fundamentally a good document.
Implementing it is the challenge.
I can only offer my admiration for Filipinas who work with determination to overcome the challenges set before them, those who tend to the many needs of the family in good cheer and raise kids who are healthy, happy, bright and well-directed. These women are clearly very determined, strong and iron-willed of heart.
They are heroes in my book.
They are heroes in my book.