Women as Superheroes: Feminist Journeys in Philosophy of Myth and Popular Culture (late post)

Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist and writer who coined the term monomyth, which is another term for a hero’s journey. The hero’s journey comprises of three main parts: Departure, Initiation and Return. The Great Myth was taken from a male point of view. The story tellers and chroniclers are all males. The focus of the Great Myth is the Masculine Journey. To bring female heroes in, Campbell turned to fairytales. Here, Story tellers are women as told to children. However, the famous ones are still men. In contemporary story telling, there came the comic superheroes. “superheroes” were trademarked and co-owned by DC Comics and Marvel Comics. A superhero must have extraordinary powers, skills, and equipment, he must have a secret identity and definately a strong moral code. From 12% Female writers, now there is only a little morethan 1%. In a female counter part of superheroes, there are three life stages. One is a maiden, a young and inexperienced. Her virtue is beauty and youth, she’s passive and patient and endures waiting. Second is a mother. Her virtue is nuturing. The last is a crone- an old woman. A Warrior woman, is strong and courageous. Another argument presented is having a super hero and being one. It is defining female identity as having a (men) her in our/her life (romantic interest). Heroes like Darna, Isis and Wonder Woman, all beautiful and passive and trying to save the world. Hetero-breeding superheroes: Scarlet witch. Moral code: the female superhero in relation to self autonomy is connectedness. Diversity of Images- Tokenism gives us an example of like that of Batwoman as a lesbian. In my own opinion, the points are well taken. The role of men in mythology are great but women are that of equals too. Beauty and power is not lesser than that of men. However, there is some part that depicts women very diversified. Like that of Bat Woman as a lesbian. It doesn’t really make sense why women have to be represented in comics like that. In any case, the role of women in being a hero is not of weaker or less valuable that that of representation. In terms of gender issues, there is streotyping when it comes to gender roles in society since our ancestor’s times but right now, the continuing development in global scale doesn’t anymore hinder the women or deprive them of equal rights to that of men’s. In fact, women’s role today in families especially in single parenthood is that they are represented as heroes as they can work and build their families on their own. It is proven by facts.

Cultural Diversity in Media

Cultural diversity is certainly a largely shared value. But it is understood in various ways and it does not have the same meaning in Canada, Europe, Brazil, the Middle East or China. Global culture is following the path opened by economic globalisation. It usually evokes superficial consumer products, and is often perceived as a threat to national and local cultures. The acceptance of universal individual and collective rights could be seen as a positive outcome of the globalisation process. If the universalisation of human rights is to be promoted, it appears to most experts that cultural diversity is a collective heritage that must also be protected. However, it has to be recognised, at the same time, that cultural vitality also depends on contacts with other cultures. Interchanges should be encouraged to maintain the dynamism of different cultures. In this respect, to ensure cultural development, openness is as much needed as protection.

Fostering cultural diversity in and through the media can go a long way toward bringing a civic discourse which favors tolerance and facilitates co-existence. It can contribute to the breaking down of cultural barriers, the initiation of cultural dialogues, the empowerment of marginalized groups, and the practice of good governance. The celebration of difference does not preclude the valuation of a common cultural core or a common humanity which brings people together in spite of their differences.

Cultural diversity has become a major concern also for journalism. News media are increasingly expected to recognize multiple ethnic constituencies and to take measures to represent these constituencies more strongly in the news agenda, the newsroom‘s workforce, and the audience. Common among these measures are initiatives to recruit more minority media professionals; to train reporters to be more sensitive to cultural differences; and to produce special programs or publications targeting minority audiences.

Whereas calls to bring cultural diversity into the news media can be heard across national contexts, they are not always justified and implemented in the same way.

We have access to the media almost every day by surfing the net, reading newspapers and magazines, watching television and by listening to the radio.

In today’s era of information technology, media has a deep impact on how we think and react. The mainstream or commercial media often portray multicultural issues in a less prominent manner. Or often these issues are completely ignored. Often their stance seems to be ‘If you are different, you don’t exist’. But worse still is when people from certain races are stereotyped. Every young Asian is turned into a gangster or a drug dealer, every young lady wearing a scarf over her head is ‘a damsel in distress’ suppressed and harassed by a chauvinist Islamic husband. And of course, every Muslim on the street is a potential terrorist!

In conclusion, media’s role in modern society is unchallenged. What we need however is socially responsible media. We need media that can, and I quote from the SBS mission statement, “contribute to a more cohesive, equitable and harmonious global society.”

Reflection: Babaeng-Babae (Docu-Film)

Since the documentary was filmed sometime in the 90’s, we could see how women’s status has changed in our society after 2 decades. While watching the film, I was moved by some scenes like when they did a “man on the street” kind of segment asking mostly men on how they perceive women and their roles in the society. Some of the men said that women are like men, only weaker. Since this is shot in the 90’s I pretty much understand because at that stage, women are still fighting for their equal rights in terms of employment opportunities and treatment. This one segment where in they interviewed women who are Overseas Contract Workers (now called OFW’s) is the one that touched me the most because as a traveler, I’ve lived my life all over the place and no, I’ve not encountered or experienced maltreatment or stereotype from locals of those countries I’ve been to. Although I’ve experienced being molested by a foreigner when I was studying in the Middle East, I understood why they do that because I’ve somehow studied the culture in that country. Women are very much protected in Middle East. Why does a country much like ours can’t do that too? Why are more and more women still suffering in the hands of men? We must give that issue some focus and importance too.

More and more women get to study and literacy rates for women go up because of the Millennium Development Goal which is a project of the United Nations development Programme. There are projects which get government to act upon women empowerment and I do think there are already a lot of improvements in terms of women welfare in health, poverty, education and opportunities for women. There are also significant improvements in women’s political and economical participation. More women get to run for office in the government and given the chance to prove themselves worthy of office alongside the men. More women are sent out abroad to be able to work for their families. Though this can be something to worry about at times because it can cause another problem which is brain drain if and when women sent out are really good professionals which are a waste of talents because they tend to get jobs which are lower than their standards but has a higher pay. One of which are doctors who becomes nurses because they cannot practice their specialization because of foreign policies. Women are also increasingly seen in corporate workplaces and some has their own businesses to handle as well. Though they still have fewer benefits, the MDG is still working for gender equality in workplaces, especially in terms of worker benefits and job opportunities.

What my resolution is being the empowered woman that my school wants me to be? Well I’d say being the best of who I am and using what God has given me to prove the world that women can do what men can do. I can’t change the world as a woman but I know I can contribute a lot in helping rebuild society by using my talents and capabilities for community development. Because I believe that when we start small, we grow and grow to succeed. There will be bumps and rough roads along the way but I know as a woman, nothing can stop me, not even men.

A Holocaust: “Pesteng Balang” in Pampanga

The author, Ma. Florina Y. Orillos-Juan is a history professor who also teaches in De La Salle University-Manila. Even though I studied history there I haven’t encountered her. Anyway, she is a historian and a number of her articles, as I have researched are about the epidemics of insects in the lands. She can write well about history, science and environment, connecting the three broad subjects beautifully.

As much as it has been said, the holocaust have been there as part of nature since way back when. It was also mentioned in the bible although the one in the bible has something to do with God’s wrath upon the people. In this article, the holocaust was mentioned to have been back and have destroyed co many crops it its wake.

This article is an article about “Kasaysayang Pampook” or about the history of a certain place at a certain timeframe and a certain event. In this case, it’s about Pampanga in the year 1800s during the epidemic holocaust that wiped out the entire land for harvest.

Basically the first part focuses on the composition, the study of the insect “Balang” and how does it really affect the crops. It is really important to study the life of a “pest” to formulate a better solution for the complete elimination of it. In every life stages of the pest, there is a corresponding devastation it brings to the crops. Since the pest comes and goes in seasonal behavior, it is better for the places affected to be vigilant and alert in order to successfully drive out or eradicate the pending attacks.

The 2nd part of the article talks about the focus of the paper, which is Pampanga in the year of the Spaniard’s colonialism and how it came to be. It is said that Pampanga is the “economic heartland”. How is that so? Pampanga has a vast land covering the provinces that are now part of the other provinces like Bulacan and some towns in Bataan. Because the land of Pampanga has rich harvest of crops, it supplies Manila as well. The article has rich history and facts about the composition and coverage of the province of Pampanga which has been hit badly by the holocaust. The information relayed on this article has indeed credible facts and figures although of course as I’ve not read much from other sources, I could not properly confirm the facts. What’s interesting about this article is that there is a table that consists of all the towns covered by the Province of Pampanga and it showcased the tally of the town, the gravity of the destruction every time the pests invade the crops, counts of roughly how many sacks of “balang” and “locton” was captured, the methods used by each town to eradicated the pests and the feedback.

The holocaust that happened wasn’t just a simple tragedy to the Kapampangans. It also affected the supply in the nearby provinces and Manila as it is dependent on the crops sent from Pampanga. So the topic is very sophisticated and broad to be able to talk about in just a simple short article. However, in this article, the author was able to briefly describe the parameters and simplify the complexity of the topic in layman’s language.

Movie Review: El Presidente on MMFF

On December 25, 2012, the annual 38th Metro Manila Film Festival was officially opened. Among the entries were the 14th annual segment of Shake, Rattle and Roll, One More Try, Sisterakas, El Presidente, etc. I have watched the historical based film El Presidente directed by Mark Meilly.

Considering the visual effects, musical score, the roster of actors and actresses, and the technical aspects of the movie, it was classy and above average. The cinematography was as I expected for a classic historical film but pretty much plain at some parts and overrated on other parts but the rest of the movie was enjoyable. The roster of actors and actresses were star-studded, some are known as politicians and others, known in the field of theater arts. Some of the settings in the movie were fictitious and far from the real deal like their battle position on the Tirad Pas and the shooting locations in Cavite but that’s not an issue worth prying into. It’s just that, for some reason, it’s misleading. The costumes and transformation of the set into the historical event period is quite correct but some little details that I’ve encountered like during and after the fights, it’s as if the actors haven’t even fought yet. The actors have no sweat or even the facial expressions are quite bland. The fight scenes are non realistic, quite slow motioned and boring.

One of the most intriguing scenes for me is when Emilio Aguinaldo was a Cabeza De Barangay when he was in his teen years and they’ve come across an old woman in the far and isolated parts of the province of Cavite. Did it really happen? And I still don’t get the symbolism of the item he was given. How was he protected by the said cloth? How has that helped him win his battles? Did he even wear it once? Moving on, the movie was too political. In reality, as we’ve known the real Emilio Aguinaldo was not really that interested in politics but in the movie, he concentrated pretty much on politics. His whole life as shown in the movie was geared towards politics.

The movie, as expected was commercialized and product placement is very obvious. Yes, sponsors are very much important in producing such expensive film and advertising via frame rate per second in a movie is one of the reasons there is product placement. And the movie is a very big political advertisement. I’ve noticed that the movie, almost the 2-hour period was focused on the face of Ejercito. It’s such a big factor for the Estrada family being the limelight of this movie because actors are not only involved in showbiz but in politics as well. They will be the benefactor of this because they can use this to lure more people into falling for their endeavors for the coming election. In short, the movie is one heck of political paraphernalia.

This House Oppose the Passing of the Divorce Bill: A Stand on Debate

House Bill No. 1799, Divorce Bill- a bill that has long been an issue not only involving Philippine politics but also directly affecting the citizens, married or not, as well as children and adults alike. It’s a bill introducing divorce in the Philippines. As we all know that the Philippines is, right now, one of the two countries in the world, alongside with the Vatican, left not in favor of divorce. It traces back to our culture where we value family ties and the idea of staying together until ‘death do us part’. The idea of freedom to remarry is the heart of this bill but it also encourages the idea that marriage is a temporary “bondage” and therefore, the passage of the bill will encourage ‘petty love’ and breaks family apart.

The Opposition argues that this bill must have religiously unbiased provisions. It should be regulated, if not completely disregarded.

The arguments there of is as follows,

  1. The Sanctity of Marriage will be disrespected
  2. Compromises has to be made with both parties.
  3. Being the only country that has no divorce law is an honor that every Filipino should be proud of.

According to Jesus is Lord Church as support to our definition, Prevalent arguments of the opponents of the bill, revolve around the moral, spiritual and social grounds – citing divorce as a mechanism that would ultimately weaken personal values on the institution of marriage and that would usher in a society of men and women oriented to the freedom of conditional marriage. Opponents of the bill infer that, with divorce being presented as a liberating instrument to intolerable unions, such presentation, in effect, would be culpable to the formation of an entire society of individuals who view marriage as a loss of freedom, and so, would find marriage as either a temporary union that can be dissolved the moment either party is unhappy or as a non-essential in society that can be replaced by such unions as cohabitation.

The right perspective:

In as much as marriage is not as simple as the legal union between two individuals, divorce too, is not as unelaborated as the termination of a lawful union. In the issue of whether or not divorce ought to be introduced to our society, perspective plays a crucial role in the evaluation of the validity of the proposed bill. Hence, it is absurd to even ask whether or not the safety and well-being of emotionally and physically battered women and children carry weight because they most assuredly do. In the same vein, it would also be pointless to debate whether the moral, spiritual and social implications of divorce are significant because they are very undisputable. Which is a heavier burden for society to carry: failed marriages or a changed orientation about the nature of marriage? Which has bigger ramifications to present and future unions: the great good that the second chance given to victims of disastrous marriages brings or the immense wrong it does to the very perception, conditioning and orientation of marriage as an institution? Which has greater implications: the moral and spiritual difficulties that troubled marriages bring or the moral and spiritual complications that the introduction of divorce brings?

Nowhere in the Bible is remarriage by reason of divorce legitimized except only after the death of a spouse. Acknowledging the reality that the disbanding of a marriage, in certain circumstances, is inevitable [even necessary], provisions for divorce found in the Bible only discuss when separation is permissible. In contrast, emphasis on the sanctity of marriage and the so-called one-flesh relationship is underscored numerous times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Such emphasis is best embodied in the following verses:

  • Genesis 2: 24: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
  • Mark 10: 6-9: 6 But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 7 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 and the two shall become one flesh; consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:10-11: To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)— and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:39: A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

In line with this 1st argument, Archbishop Oscar Cruz told the press on an interview that “love for the family is at the core of cultural identity of Filipinos and should not be destroyed through divorce.” Similarly, CBCP’s legal counsel Jo Imbong said that the consequences of divorce seen on families in western countries reveal its “disastrous effects.” “It was a disaster. [It] destroyed family, destroyed children, destroyed stepchild-parent relationships, everything is in havoc. Now do you want that to happen in this country?” she commented, adding that the Philippine Constitution mandates the protection of the family as a social institution. “It recognizes the sanctity of life and [of] marriage as a sacred union,” she said.

This merely says that passing this bill will greatly affect the real “meaning of marriage”. The marriage of people under the grace and blessing of a religious union or of the blessings of the Law that in the end will just be useless and irrelevant is destroying the sanctity and sacredness of marriage.

As for the 2nd argument, the marriage, in order to be dissolves takes a lot of process, time, money, effort and compromises.

Contrary to how society has been conditioned to believe, divorce does not begin and end with the severing of legal ties between husband and wife but so much more; it involves:

  • Emotional separation – divorce necessitates an abandoning of an individual’s feelings about the marriage – disenchantment, disappointment, dissatisfaction, bitterness and anger, among others, for the former spouses and feelings of rejection, confusion, fear, anger and dejection, among others, for the children.
  • Co-parental separation – even while contending with post-marital conflicts as well as economic and time restructuring, divorce demands that parents still share legal and physical custody of children despite the dissolution of the marriage.
  • Economic separation – more so for the less-earning or non-earning spouse, it is imperative to acquire new financial skills which include but are not limited to gaining employment and skills in reallocating funds and assets.
  • Community separation – the same support, comfort and warmth from shared family, friends and acquaintances in the community, at work and at church should no longer be expected.
  • Legal separation – professional mediation may be necessary in the resolution of such issues as reputation, privacy, division of assets and custody raised in the legal proceedings – especially in the part of the innocent or less capable party.

The above elements underline the reality that divorce as the solution to marital abuse is merely a liberating illusion. Far from relieving suffering brought about by tragic marriages, its very nature creates further possible suffering in that it does not assure that any resulting subsequent marriage will be a happy and permanent one. Having weakened the very structure of marriage, the establishment of divorce creates more problems than it solves since the elements that essentially contributed to the breakdown of the marriage such as immaturity in terms of financial skills, communication, psychological readiness and emotional stability were most likely not really addressed but merely recognized long enough for the present marriage to be dissolved. Furthermore, it also causes separations that go beyond legal dissolution to occur which damages the emotional, economic and psychological well-being of not just the spouses but the children, the community and the society as a whole.

In the end, even while acknowledging the abhorrent condition of the marriages that prompted the endorsement of the divorce bill we, the Opposition, upholds that the preservation of the nature, sanctity and structure of marriage as an institution far outweighs the supposed advantages of divorce. As it is, we see that a three-fold solution to problematic marriages may be considered: (1) prevention in terms of strengthening the preparation process prior to marriage, (2) relief in terms of a revisiting of the provisions and implementing guidelines that make up annulment and legal separation and (3) support in terms of addressing the physical, emotional, economic, social and spiritual needs of those who are victims of intolerable marriages [particularly women and children].

Here’s a latin phrase to cap off my arguments: Si vis pacem, para bellum [If you wish for peace, prepare for war – peace through strength]. A strong society is less likely to be attacked by enemies, that is, a society with a strong institution of marriage is less likely to suffer from tragic marriages. We have to prepare to battle for the preservation of the nature, sanctity and structure of marriage for there to be peace in our marriages.

Critique: Guerilla Movement in Morong, Rizal

The author, Analyn B. Muñoz, is a UP Professor and a historian. I’ve heard nothing much about her but when I tried to research about her background, I’ve come across sites which showed that she’s also written articles about the Morongueño particularly the women’s roles in the guerilla movement. So I guess with that being said, she had much basis to say something about the article which involves the Guerillas in Morong, Rizal. The article involves an aspect in the Philippine history where in Filipinos engaged to battle to defend our land from the colonizers particularly, the guerilla way. The scope of the article however, focuses only on one particular location, Morong, Rizal at the time of the World War II. On a more detailed perspective, the scope also limited the time to when the Japanese Forces tried to invade the Philippines. At this time, the Guerilla Movement was born.

What is “Guerilaismo”? It is a borrowed term for the Spanish language “Guerrilla” which means “small battle”. It is not the usual battle that involves complete battle gears and what not. It involves wit, strategy and stealth in order to out brain the enemy (definitely the one who has more power). Basically, the Guerrilla movement was established because of the ideology of the Filipinos who suffered from the brutal hands of the Japanese colonizers. The people wanted to break free of the cruel fate that awaits them if nothing is to be done. Though the idea of it is kind of avenging their lost dignity and the suffering from the hands of the Japanese, the organization grew stronger because the underlying agenda is to achieve freedom from the colonizers, and the individual became collective. The members don’t just think of their own good but willingly sacrifices their lives for the good of the people.

The land of Morong is a part of the province of Rizal. In this article, the author describes the land area that it covered from the time of the Spaniards to the present era. The land of Morong was really big and therefore, it is an ideal hide out for a movement which later on became big in number. It is also ideal because it has a lot of resources like food a perfect place to build a camp—since it’s secluded from the central control area of the colonizers. From a really big land area (at the time of the Spanish era), the Morong lost control of some “bayan” in the coming of years as some of them like Binangonan and Cardona became a separate entity. People there also make a living as farmers, domesticators and fishermen. Thus, it makes perfect sense. They are unsuspecting because of their simple lifestyle.

Morong became the last place to surrender to the Spanish colonizers way back then even during the time of the Katipunan—before the founding of Guerrilla movement. Because of the undying love and passion of the Morongueños, they have fought once again for the country. The Guerrillas became part of the forces of the Filipino who fought the Japanese invaders at the same time being alert and vigilant on their territorial boundaries to protect their own people. This shows that the Filipinos are passionate and unselfish. They think of the collective good and willingly sacrifices for it. When the Japanese came in contact with the Morongueños, they introduced themselves as friends to their people. However, the Morongueños did not bite especially when they have heard of the story of the Bataan Death March. Those incidents of maltreatment and inhumane acts of the Japanese made the Filipinos rise and fight them more than they want to ally with them.

In the middle parts of the article, the author talked about the founding of the Guerrilla Movement. Marking’s Guerrilla was led by Marcos “Marking” Villa Agustin. He wasn’t a Morongueño but he was part of the USAFFE as a driver. He was just doing his job when the Japanese captures the convoys and he suffered a great deal at the hands of the Japanese. He was able to escape. During his escape, he met other people who had suffered the same thing and thus it gave birth to the group “Marking’s Guerrillas”.

The fact that the Morongueños opened their homes and helped the Marking’s Guerrillas made me think that the Filipinos still value our cultures and traditions from long ago. That even if the colonizers have invaded, changed our ways and stained our culture, we can still identify the cultures true to a Filipino. The selflessness, even in the face of danger, has made the Filipino stronger and bolder. Also, the youth also has something to contribute in the community. They are the most unsuspecting along with the women because they are viewed as incapable of harm to the colonizers. Perfect disguise indeed, however at such a young age, the youth have already been exposed to danger depending on their age and capacity, they work on what they could like doing house chores and helping the elders after a day at the mountains. That didn’t stop the Filipinos though. They still fight for the good of everyone. This also shows that the Filipinos are hard working and they don’t stop fighting until they meet their victory. Even at a young age, the youth are trained to be helpful and obedient. At a certain time, the youth also became observers and reports to the elders what is happening around them because as I’ve mentioned, they are unsuspecting because they look innocent with age.

Women have been equal with men too, in this organization. They have their own way of helping out. To prove they are as important, it is said in the article that the wife of Marking, Yay Panlilio has been by his side leading the women’s group. As mentioned, Yay became his ‘agimat’ because she’s lead well the organization and has been very efficient in terms of running the organization from the inside affairs. As Yay being a good example, the women are thought to be well respected and equal to the men in the organization. It shows how important the role of the women in the success of the group. That’s also one of the cultures of the Filipinos, the equality of both genders, unlike the practice of the Spaniards where the women were under the power of men. I think one of the highlights of this article besides the war and everything is the role and importance of women; Women empowerment and social responsibility in a sense that women can also do what men can do. They are the power behind men’s success. They also have the power at the democracy like in their organization, collectively as Filipinos as well.

When the Japanese found out about the organization, they ordered the putting up of a “bamboo army” in which it has not come to their knowledge that the people they have recruited are also the guerrillas they were hunting down. This show how cunning the Filipinos are even if they lack ammunitions and such. Before the Americans came back, the Guerrillas were given an order by Gen. McArthur to lie-low so that the tension between the Japanese and the Filipinos will cease. When the Americans saw that Morong was already at the hands of the Morongueños, the Americans fled the area. At this point, the Americans still respect the place as a Filipino territory and thus, they did not touch base.

So in the end, this article has talked about the intended scope and limitations specified above and it was well written and organized. There is no obvious bias in the article and it’s been validated with proper citing and facts relative to the version of history in some well known authors. It has also touched the importance of Guerrilla warfare in the Philippine history and the roles of the Morongueños—especially the focus on women and at some point, the youth—and the importance of their land in the establishment and the success of the organization.