Sunday, March 25, 2012

Facing our fears





Your story reminds me of how people can actually face their fears and not run away from them.

I think about how women and girls are facing very real fears and various modes of violence against them everyday: the threat of sexual harassment and sexual, physical, and psychological abuse; the insecurities brought about by contractualization, unemployment, and underemployment; the high cost of basic goods and services, healthcare, and education; the discrimination at the workplace and under the law; the objectification and pervasive gender stereotyping in the mass media and elsewhere; and the never-ending demolitions of poor communities, militarization, and forced displacement.

Throughout history and into present times, women have fought these and many other injustices -- not alone but with allied men by their side. Fighting these injustices does not, of course, become an excuse to stereotype all men and all "others" as oppressors (as if there are no women who also oppress other women and men). Instead, facing these fears should mean bravely and consciously resisting injustices of all kinds.


*Photos taken at the March 8, 2012 International Women's Day rally in Manila and at the March 15, 2012 protest in front of the urban poor community of North Triangle, Quezon City during a nationwide-coordinated mass action against a series of oil price hikes, the reported overpricing of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the oil industry.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

night runs

girl with Halloween-horns

When I was a kid, my family stayed in a house that had a gravel walkway separating it from the nearest place of civilization: the neighborhood billiard hall. This area in the morning was just a transition, a distance you had to trudge from point A (the billiard hall) to point B (our house). Nothing to it, the sun had my back.

At night though, this area was darkness, of the unknown, of childhood fears separating me from point A to point B. I would always run to get to either point, with my imagination running behind me with images of aswangs and witches. Suffice to say, I always had to face my fears whenever I went out at night.

And in facing my fears, I mean running as fast as I could.


*Girl with Halloween devil horns in Quezon City