A Stereotype

As a little innocent girl, did you encounter an elder reprimanding you when you are just absentmindedly swinging your leg while you are sitting? Or when you are sitting with your legs wide apart from each other? Their rebuking about this will worsen as a girl turns to more of a teenager. Why is this so? What cause them to react that way towards girls and women?

Another instance wherein women are being criticized in the Philippine society is when a girl makes the first move in a relationship with a guy. The man should be the one who is initiating the courting. He should be the one who should be more open and transparent to what he is feeling towards a woman. While the woman is likely to just keep her feelings inside and not talk about it

Since the Philippines is colonized by the Spaniards for three hundred thirty-three years, the Philippines is vastly influenced by the said country. The religion of Catholicism is what they mainly spread in the Philippines so; the values, principles and the morals of being a Catholic were picked up by the Filipinos. Pre-marital sex is completely against the teachings of the Church. This is another taboo in the Philippine society. As a result of this, a virgin dalagang Pilipina became a stereotype in the society at that time. If one is not a virgin before marriage, she will have a hard time getting a man who will want to marry her but is it still the same now in the Philippines? In a way, no because pre-marital sex is becoming less of an issue to the people today. A friend can tell her friend that she had sex without the other friend being in shock. One can hear that her classmate before conceived a child already. One can say that indeed, change has occurred already, way before.

Let us go back to the question why do the elders scold women when they swing their legs while sitting or also when they are sitting with their legs wide apart from each other. It is because there is this picture created of an ideal Filipina woman wherein the Philippine society accepts. But as the time strays away from the Spanish era, this ideal Filipina is beginning to change into another form. Yes, it is inevitable to encounter new kind of Filipina because our time is changing, everything is changing so, one cannot just stick to the norm they came to know.

-Mantes, Angela

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5 thoughts on “A Stereotype

  1. Hello! 🙂 Yes, I do agree that times and norms have been changing quite fast. Maybe it’s a consequence of rapid urbanization and globalization. Cultures have been mixing in very dense spaces, so people get to interact with more and more people who have different beliefs. As a consequence, people are starting to be more accepting of one another, regardless of the “morality” of their actions. Another explanation being advanced is that people are becoming “enlightened” and less judgmental because of the education that they receive. Education has become an equalizer of values because people realize, through the lessons they learn and the values they instill, that people are born equal and deserve to live the way they want to.

    Of course, to say that values are becoming “neutral” does not imply that they have no negative consequences. In the same way that it can free people’s minds, it can also shackle people into thinking that ONLY their unique perspective on life is true and morally acceptable.

    – Danilo Lorenzo Atanacio (2012-57960)

    • I completely agree with everything you’ve said about rapid globalization, changing cultures, re-evaluation of traditional values regarding notions of “purity” as well as the possible factors that contributed to the onset of these phenomena.

      Apart from education, I think that technology also played a crucial role in bringing forth change in society. The easy access to media, which in the recent past has always been pushing boundaries in terms of prevailing societal norms, is one aspect of this. This is effective in shifting paradigms in issues like the role and image that women have maintain in order to be accepted especially among the younger generation. Another side to this stems from innovations in contraception and DNA analysis. According my Pan Pil 19 professor, the concept of “prizing virginity” in most societies fundamentally arose from the need of men to ensure that any and all offspring of their wives are biologically theirs. This was It was only after that “purity” was romanticized and the concept was raised into a pedestal. Therefore, we are not necessarily more “enlightened” or “have a higher mindset” that peoples of the past regarding the view of the ideal female. Our grasp of science and access to education, like you said, frees us from shackles borne from ignorance.

  2. We must acknowledge that “right and moral” are relative. Mere definitive actions of a person should not be the conclusion of his/her whole personality. In the midst of the “generational gap” that is occurring, we must still uphold the distinct identity into which we are acculturated. Although on a side note, I still believe that there should be a concrete idea of wholesomeness in viewing actions.

  3. Yes, I think that you’re right. The period of the “Maria Clara” women, I think, has probably come to an end with the past few generations. With the increasing interconnections with other cultures through rapid globalization, we begin to get exposed to other cultures as well, and when the clash of culture begins, the less restricted cultures, like the liberal west, tend to be the more preferable ones. With this attempts of cultural transformation, comes “moral relativism” which I believe is one of the reasons why this transformation takes place in the first place. By believing that morality is relative to ones culture, we embrace the value of tolerance; and it is this tolerance which allowed for this changes to spread even more. (I’m not saying that there’s something inherently wrong with globalization and moral relativism though.)

  4. I agree. These stereotypes are all societies conventions or what they think is “normal”. Why must we limit ourselves to these conventions? It doesn’t stop with the stereotypes between male and female but also with the LGBT as well. Philippines is said to be one of the top gay friendly countries in the world but if you ask the LGBT, they don’t really feel it. Our society isn’t the same as before, and because of this, we must change our perspective on these things as well.

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