Tag Archives: ideology

I am more than just your alarm clock and sandwich maker

By Patty Sue

Note: This post can also be found in Patty Sue’s blog, thenyannyanadventures

Hi! The male who drew me is a jerk (Image via cSlacker)

As an anthropology student, I have been exposed to a rich amount of literature which deals with gender issues especially those concerned with women empowerment and equal rights in society. In a culture where patriarchal manifestations are greatly felt, it is but appropriate and empowering for me at the same time to identify even in brief discourse the various institutions in society which create or reinforce unjustified gender roles and stereotypes to women.

Family

The family is the most basic unit in society. In most cultures, just like ours, it is in the family where our deep socialization is deeply rooted. As the only daughter (and child) in my family, I have personally experienced situations wherein I am identified and defined because of my gender. My father who is quite the conservative one would often downplay my capacity to protect myself and would oftentimes reprimand me and confine me at home, even in school field trips. There are many underlying reasons as to why he does this and possibly one reason is because he wants to protect me. However, it is also in this context that I am degraded to nothing but someone who must be protected. My father would always say, “Babae ka. Hindi ko kaya proteksyonan sarili mo. Mahina ka.” These words would always have a great impact on me because I do not believe that I am merely defined by my biological characteristics.

Women- The Domesticated sphere of Economics

In a recent public presentation that my batch mates and I had in Naga, one interesting topic stood out in my classmate’s paper and it was the role of women as fisherman’s wives. I can’t but to reflect more on it because it has presented how women are clearly misconstrued and delegated to household chores and child rearing while the husband is the one who goes out and earn for the family through fishing. Being the Haligi ng tahanan would always undermine being theIlaw ng tahanan. It is in the connotations that most people attach to women as doing nothing but domesticated work or serving as alarm clocks for their husband and children that devalues women worth in the face of a capitalist society.

9GAG.com

Media and its new forms namely the Internet and Visual media have had a great influence in reinforcing ideologies on gender. The picture above which I got from 9GAG.com, an entertaining and fun site which is becoming an internet phenomenon, would often display pictures like this of the adventures of Derp and Derpina and how Derp, being the male and all, makes use of sexist jokes on her girlfriend, Derpina all the time. Although I find these picture posts funny, there is also that hidden fear as to how sexist jokes are taken to the extreme as posts like this, “Make me a sandwich” gain several likes on Facebook and other social networking sites. Truly, media has helped reinforcing gender stereotypes and sometimes it does so in its sneaky, magic tricks and lures people into sensationalizing and disguising gender stereotypes in humor or satire, which can be eye-opening but personally more and more normal for society especially in a generation of youth where internet is the primary means of information and entertainment.

So how do we resist? Run the world, girls!

I may be identified as a feminist (not the extreme one though) because of a fairly amount of papers that I made in my years as an anthropology student. For me, there is really an existing gender inequality, not only between male and female but also among gays and lesbians in society. It is in this light that I propose that the greatest resistance one could even do is change the perceptions of gender roles and assignments and society. In a society where patriarchy is dominant, woman resisting should be able to prove that staying in home and taking care of the children is empowering rather than degrading, a girl like me should be able to go beyond my biological identity and will be able to defend herself (I enrolled in Elorde boxing class, by the way, much to my father’s disapproval) and characters such as Derpina must be able to fight back against Derp and his sexist jokes (or even play jokes on him too as sweet revenge).

Women should because women can.

Kert’s Note: This is a reflection paper Patty Sue wrote for her Anthro 141 (Political Anthropology) class under Prof. E.M. Taqueban

 

The idiocy in Philippine mainstream TV

By Kert

Philippines has always been a country of festivities. Even our political system is modeled upon festivities. The one who gives the best show gets to become President. Case in point, Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III made use of the background of his family to create this drama that he holds the banner of democracy.

It is not then very surprising how the entire country is so enamored by noon-time TV shows and game shows. The Philippine TV is filled with them. Or should I say, infested with them. From Wil-Time Big Time (which used to be Wowowee), Face-to-face to Eat Bulaga. They’re all fundamentally the same. They’re all just one hour or so of nothing but dancing half-naked women, confused impoverished people who are hoping to have some cash or an entire crew putting up a carnival show at the expense of the poor. I’m not at all apologetic in saying I wish TV networks stop showing these things. These shows are wrong in many levels.

Does this guy look like he can be trusted to you? (Image via Underside)

1. Objectification of Women — Half-naked women gyrating their hips while screaming, “Yes yes awwww!” isn’t my idea of entertainment at all. I am not a conservative person but I am very much against the idea of objectifying and commodifying the female body. The show pretty much sells the bodies of these women so that they can be ogled at by bald men with beer bellies who have nothing to do but click on the remote control and leave all the work to their wives. And Willie Revillame can very much be indicted with several counts of sexual harassment. . Yes, dancing half-naked on TV can be seen as empowering for women and I’m all for that, but we are still at that stage in which women are treated as sexual toys. And men paying women to do just that feeds this cycle of the industry satisfying only the masculine needs of the society.

2. Exploitation of Human Emotions — Making people cry for ratings is just lowest of the low. I am vehemently against how TV shows make such a drama out of people’s lives for entertainment. It’s just despicable how they make the people cry or make them fight on TV. We are making emotions mundane, inauthentic and void of meaning just for money. What’s so good about that?

3. False hope — TV game shows give the people the false hopes that if they sing some songs, dance a little or join some games, they may hit jackpot. It gives the adults false hopes, and the children wrong values. TV shows exist in the liminal space and what happens inside it could not happen in our “reality”. We cannot just hit “jackpot” by a stroke of luck. It is a process that can only be achieved through hard work.

4. Faking a charity — Game and noon-time TV shows always claim that other than entertainment, they exist to help the people. But are they really helping? Out of the hundreds of thousands that pour in into the network’s account after one hour of show, how much of that actually goes to the poor? After one month of groceries, the winners of the shows go back to being hungry and impoverished. Then they return to their false hopes and gamble again in the TV shows. I see the broken down tricycles given away by Wowowee in the streets and ask “how much did this thing really help alleviating poverty?”.  What they got doesn’t even compare to the tax exemptions and profits the network gained.

It’s easy to say, “Go blame the poor people, why blame TV networks?”. I would, if only this people know any better and if they have actually a choice. But then again, it’s cheap entertainment. It’s easy to chew, easy to digest but has zero nutritional value. Serve them on a cold platter daily and the people would just gobble it up eventually. As my mother said when we went to my grandparents’, “TV has become a necessity of the people. Look at them. Without TV, what can they do?”

We are breeding a country composed of many people without proper education. Something should be done about this. And Philippine mainstream TV isn’t helping in any way.

Note: Last night (16/11/2012), I encountered the term imagology (Kundera 1991) for the first time. Milan Kundera first used imagology in his work Immortality. See actual quote here. He tells us that ideology is now replaced by imagology, in which we passively consume various bombardments of images through TV and radio. Daniele Conversi (2010) says that this imagology has rendered us complacent with critical thinking removed in the process of consuming forms of culture. In relation to nationalism, Conversi states:

In the passage from ideology to imagology, forms of banal nationalism have rapidly spread without the mediation of intellectuals and without soliciting critical thought.

Continuing,

…the reign of image belongs to a ‘hyperreality’ which merges reality with fantasy (Baudrillard 1994:1-42) as well as to a generalised ideology which is no longer mediated by individuals.

Reference:

Conversi, D. 2010. Ideology and Nationalism.In Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict (Cordell, K. and Stefan Wolff, eds.). New York: Routledge