Monday, August 09, 2010

One Nation Indivisible

The wind had become a cool river flowing through the neighborhood sun-tortured streets when the house ewok Guapo demanded a walk – meaning he skipped and hopped six, seven times on his hind legs, chased his tail four, five times and then dug forepaw nails into my knee, So I brushed back his forelocks, tied it into a topknot with a green ribbon and we sauntered out to join the Congregation of Small Dogs on the sidewalk for a brief orgy of sniffing, yelping and pouncing.

Judge Vaughn Walker had just ruled against Proposition 8 in California; even as, the Center for Reproductive Rights released its study on abortion in the Philippines and Engender Rights demanded the legalization of abortion.

The latter inspired the lawyer-counsel of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to compare women seeking abortions to dope addicts even as Judge Walker was being outed and his ruling questioned, never mind that no one questioned the presumably heterosexual orientation of a court that previously upheld Proposition 8.

The CRR report tabulated more than half a million back-alley abortions per year in the Philippines, with 90,000 women suffering complications and a thousand dying.

I am of course in favor and in support of the entire range of women’s rights – from the right to equitably end unsatisfactory marriages, to the right to marry whomever one wanted who’s of the age of consent, to sex education in schools (which the bishops contend will cause “developmental harm”, unlike pedophilia which many priests consider as NOT breaking their vow of chastity), to reproductive safety and health, to full and equal representation in power institutions, organizations and agencies of whatever tendency.

Pwew! That was a long sentence. This range is indivisible.

The argument in California is that majority want marriage to be defined as between male and female only; the argument of the bishops is that the Philippines is a Catholic country by majority.  Both argue that the "will of the majority" should be respected, even as such a will rests, not on democratic logic, but on mutable social/religious norms. 

But the actual democratic principle is that no majority can impose its will upon a minority in such a manner that the rights, freedoms and privileges of the minority are restricted and eroded.

This is the same principle that protects the rights of ethnic groups (to speak their own language, for instance), of indigenous peoples and others recognized to have a different lifestyle from that of the majority.

In the Philippine case, the bishops/priest minority is actually suppressing the rights of a majority (women).

All these were running through my head as Guapo and I took a walk this early morning. The Congregation of Small Dogs was absent; there was only this white, middle-aged man with one of Guapo’s cousins and he was happy to see my dog. “A girl, ha? A girl?” No, I said, he’s male. “But the ribbon, his hair, why is it like that…” I said I didn’t know what to do with his hair, just to keep it off his eyes, never mind it was a gender-bender… “He’ll fit right in,” the man said. Say what? “Oh, you haven’t hcard, this is the new neighborhood for HOMOSEXUALS.” I thought my eyeballs would drop to the sidewalk, I was that shocked. “Yup, you haven’t seen them – the HOMOSEXUALS! This is their new area.”

I scooped Guapo up and ran. -- ##


Realchecker said...

Good Day!

I am Ely, a literature student of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan. I am having a literary research about your short story "Generations". The story is great: it's full of reality, issues that need to be addressed to. I am writing about the societal issues that contribute to the development of the story's theme. Unfortunately, I am currently having hard time looking for its related literature (by the way, i am writing a thesis).

I just want to ask if you know somebody or any article who's/about writing about topics related to mine.

Thank you and God bless you!

Unknown said...

Several masteral and doctoral theses have been done on my work but I can't recall offhand who did what... I don't know if anyone has done something on just one short story. You might ask your professors or those at Ateneo or La Salle. Or Google.

jade worldwide said...

Joi Barrios did her masteral thesis comparing "Bitter Stories" and "Monsoon Collection" at UP.