Tuesday, February 27, 2007
A Deeper Scent of the Purple Rose Campaign.
More facts and information can be found at gabnet.org.
When I type in the term 'Pinay' into a Google search engine, I'm given hundreds of sites that portray Pinays (Filipina womyn) as sexual objects, exotic models, or overseas workers. The latter usually isn't the case.
With so many pornographic and exploitative websites on the Internet in regards to Filipinas, I can see how they have paradoxically become synonymous with hypersexualization and invisibility. The bodies of these womyn are very present and visible, yet their realities and voices are kept silent. Images like the ones commonly found on internet search engines perpetuate superficial constructions of what composes the Filipina/Pinay identity. These images won't show hundreds of years of colonization or ongoing patriarchy and U.S. militarism or a flatlining Philippine economy (if it wasn't for millions of dollars in remittances) that indirectly forces Filipin@s to work overseas. These images won't show that womyn are tricked into the global sex trade.
Womyn and children have become an item of export as a result of economic competition. In the 1980s, then-President Ferdinand Marcos developed the sex-tourist industry as a short-term strategy to bring in international currency and minimize the nation's deficit. This "strategy" comes at the expense of womyns' lives and their families. Marcos capitalized on the portrayals of his countrywomyn and maintained strong relations with the United States and their military.
This issue, by itself, reveals a greater power structure that creates room for injustice, labor export, and the reinforcement of sex trafficking. General misconceptions place blame on individual womyn, view sex trafficking as a significant contributor to the Philippine economy or attribute this sense of hypersexuality to Filipinas' nature. Individual womyn are pinpointed as victims of their own mistakes yet they are tricked into leaving their homes to work overseas or in "factories" but end up in brothels, as mail-order brides or personal prostitutes to U.S. army men who frequent brothels conveniently located near U.S. bases in the Philippines. Sex trafficking as a "get-out-of-debt-quick" method is made taboo and validated for its financial prosperity. Costs are put on lives and sexual transactions are cheapened for cheap thrills. Because of such prevalence, sexual and human violations have become common activities.
The Purple Rose Campaign and what it stands for can be dissected in many different ways, and this is just one point of view that I choose to take. Go ahead and pull off other petals. =)
Labels: Pinay Power
Sunday, February 25, 2007
"Because resist is a beautiful word." - Emily Chang
I've decided to take a new route with this blog. I'm attempting to have more focus and have more direction. I'm re-evaluating what this blog is, what it stands for, and what I'm trying to say/do/evoke with my words and thoughts. I want to deliver an alternative way to look at our world and have readers understand that I am constantly questioning, thinking, growing, changing and learning and every verb in between to inevitably figure out how to be a better person and find this in my community. Everything we do or absorb is rich with social meaning and I would like this blog to serve as a form of resistance against hegemonic ideals and perspectives. I've thought about this for a while now and here's what I'm come up with as far as what this blog's goals will be for the next few weeks (and yes, I do plan to update frequently):
- point out, deconstruct and perhaps reconstruct images conjured up by current events, pop culture, media bias, history and historiography, my own personal experiences, language, music, social situations, etc.
- write entries commenting on books/short stories/articles I've read and (don't) recommend
- post other forms of media that are examples of resistance for the Asian American community and other communities of color (videos, spoken word, poetry, paintings, etc.)
- continue to question, complicate, confuse and distort discourse on what "is" Asian American or Filipin@ American or American
- always consider aspects of identity and socialized oppressions
- write about a particular issue's relevance to youth today
- offer deeper analyses to contribute and (hopefully) further already existing knowledge on notions of Asian America and its intersection with ... life!
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