“When a true Filipina speaks of reproductive health, she means family, marriage, responsible parenthood, nurturing and rearing her children.”Such domineering hypocrisy, paired with the political pull of Christian groups, also explains why the Philippines is the last country, aside from the Vatican, where divorce is prohibited.
Many wives remain stuck with husbands who hold power and purse strings.
Patronage politics ensures their immunity from their own offending words — and from much worse.
Congressman Romeo Jalosjos, for example, received a double life sentence for raping an 11-year-old girl. And the president commuted his sentence in 2009 — after only 13 years in jail.
While the Philippines officially aspires to egalitarianism, being a woman can still be a liability and misogyny is still an effective weapon in politics.
That happens around the world, but in the Philippines that hypocrisy is worsened by our endemic inequality.
Similarly, President Joseph Estrada, in office from 1998 to 2001, celebrated having many mistresses.
His 2007 life imprisonment for corruption resulted partly from investigations into the mansions he provided them. Our new president, Rodrigo Duterte, seems to understand well how machismo and chauvinism can be spun as populist proof of shared veniality.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, most famous for his boxing, has declared that “if we approve male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animal.” Other leaders readily disparage gay people to suit their agendas.
Teddy Locsin Jr., the Philippines’ new ambassador to the United Nations, once derided those seeking to refurbish Manila’s decrepit airport as “homeless gays” bemoaning the lack of “kneepads in restrooms.”How do our leaders get away with all this?
He established laws against harassment and discrimination, distributed contraceptives and is said to have spent his own money on lawyers for battered women. de Lima, and the video was debunked as showing a look-alike.
Yet, he, too, has no problem playing on gender biases for political ends. de Lima as “immoral” and an “adulterer.” He said that he had seen a video of the senator having sex with her driver, who, he alleged, was her link to drug lords. Yet the tactic was the dirtiest of many that succeeded in discrediting her opposition to the president.
This year Filipinos even elected our first transgender congresswoman — a milestone anywhere.