Archive for the ‘idiots’ Category

In A Male-Bashing Culture, The "idiots" And "numskulls" Are Still Worth Saving

June 23, 2008

In New York Post, on June 8, 2008, an article by Christine B. Whelan, a University of Iowa sociology assistant professor caught my attention. She wrote about the weakening of the male’s traditional role in American society, partly as an offshoot of the female liberation movement. Whelan touched on Kathleen Parker’s book: “Save the males: why men matter, why women should care.”

Two weeks later, I saw Parker talked about her witty insights in O’Reilly Factor at Fox News. Her social critique on the American male-bashing culture which deludes us into thinking that men are dull and short-witted was convincing. She said society’s put down on the male gender which has influenced our media and school, is part of the feminism’s collateral damage. This leads us to undervalue the role of fathers and mislead us to believe they’re unnecessary.

Far beyond the days when oppressed mothers fought hard to gain their right to vote, the feminist movement seeks to redefine the role of women in terms of gender equality. It covers issues like employment, reproductive rights, abortion, domestic violence, discrimination, same-sex marriage, divorce, maternity leave, and sexual harassment.

Though majority of the feminist movement’s agenda has led to the betterment of society, there are unintended adverse consequences. The goal of equality in some places has been exceeded, and men find themselves gradually waylaid in the curb, feeling less equal and less appreciated than before.

In America, feminism has resulted to some marginalization of the male. The normal rambunctious boys who have been stereotyped as loud and unfocused are taught to assume girlish roles which efface and deride the differences of the sexes.

With women’s success in the workplace, men’s role has been trivialized. The belief that the “father knows best,” is becoming a thing of the past. Seeing the male role as dispensable, women enter into same-sex marriages; they conceive children using sperm donors and raise families as single parents. These make men appear less important.

In the Philippines, the same male-bashing culture exists. We have a clever woman president in the person of Gloria M. Arroyo. We have a sluggish senate and ineffectual congress dominated by men whom Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago disparagingly calls “idiots and numskulls.”

Like Santiago, more of our women with higher education compete for positions high in the job ladder. Asserting their independence, Filipino women have bolted out of the house in huge numbers to seek jobs locally and abroad, leaving their husbands at home to care for the children.

How many times do we see Filipinas become the family breadwinners, their husbands assuming the roles of house-fathers? What could be the consequence of men not taking their responsibility at heart—acting like perpetual “little boys” who refuse to grow? When did we notice the emasculation of men in doing kitchen-work and laundry while our women read, think, and assume complex decision-making tasks? In rising numbers, why are the men, content to act as drivers, errand boys, and companions, ready to follow the female “commander” of the house?

Parker doesn’t only blame feminism for this attitudinal change and “role reversal.” She thinks there are adult males out there who remain immature, preferring to hang around with friends, refusing to work. Averse to take responsibility, these men indulge in idle talk, do leisurely text messaging, play cards, videos, or watch TV.

Yet Parker cautions this should not be. For without the strong male figure, the traditional provider and society’s pillar, our families are bound to suffer. There is a chasm in not having fathers in the household. That’s why she (as most of us do) believes men, the bulwark of the nation, are certainly worth saving. =0=

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago’s flight to reality & her bid in the International Court of Justice

May 29, 2008

Miriam Defensor Santiago, the Philippine Senator and Condolezza Rice, the US Secretary of State have something in common. High-powered and articulate, both women are apparently very intelligent. But their similarity quickly ends there.

A prodigy of Czech émigré Josef Korbel who inspired her to study Soviet affairs and world relations, Condi Rice, the astute black international peace broker from Birmingham, Alabama, has been earnestly diplomatic in pushing US policies in the world stage. On the other hand, Miriam Santiago, a self-made Visayan legislator, has been blunt and caustic in dealing with her colleagues, to an extent that baffles the public.

No wonder when Santiago complained that the Lopezes, owners of the ABS-CBN news outfit and stake-holders of Meralco were out to sabotage her candidacy as a jurist in the International Court of Justice (ICJ,) some people didn’t take her seriously. Filipinos assumed she had enough hyperbole, humor, and hubris that made her allegation seemed like another post-climacteric tantrum.

Santiago asserted ABS-CBN’s article on her candidacy was a form of blackmail— “a diabolic attempt to ensure that foreign countries will be influenced to vote against me, as the Philippine national candidate to the ICJ.” Daily Tribune (05/27/08, Rosales,A)

This brand of piquant accusation by Santiago made Filipinos laugh over her foes’ long-standing apprehension over her labile mental state. Claiming that her intelligence was superior, the UP-educated lawyer from Iloilo challenged President Joseph Estrada for an IQ competition. She claimed she would “jump from a plane” if the move to depose Estrada prospered, but only to say later with a giggle that her preposterous statement was a lie.

She called fellow senators and congressmen “idiots” who’d been intimidated to lock horns with her, whether in a swanky debate to thresh out legislative issues or in a plain collegial wrangle. When she talked, many senators listened. Probably, there were stunned by her self-patronizing erudition and blabbertalk.

That’s why restraint and decorum was far from her when she recklessly declared (to the embarrassment of the country,) that China “invented corruption” for which she later apologized.

In this backdrop of Santiago’s bipolar display of gutsy “brilliance” and bizarre thinking process, President Gloria M. Arroyo nominated her to the ICJ in July 30, 2007—a move actively promoted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which believes she’ll be a fine addition to the august body of international jurists.

But of course, Filipinos who know her better are skeptical.

Critical of Sen. Miriam Santiago’s solipsistic approach to reality, an internet blog by Jemy Gatdula, a Manila-based university mentor who specializes on the law of international economics and World Trade Organization asserted,

If, heaven forbid, she does get to be part of the ICJ, she will have her views, writings, and opinions dissected, analyzed, and critiqued as minutely and as unforgiving as possible. That is part of international law practice. What will she do when that happens? Call the international law scholars, international lawyers, government officials, and international tribunal members as “worms” or “idiots” in her usual raving manner?Blurry Brain (05/28/08 Gatdula J.)

The Supreme Court, the country’s highest judicial body whose opinion counts on such nominations as the ICJ, has given her no endorsement. ==0==