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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Looking through Para Kay B and Articulo Mortis in the Feminist Eye

The more I tried to set my feet off the path of Feminist critique of the two plays―Para Kay B and Articulo Mortis―because I have heard from a number of classmates that they too will be doing a critique grounded on Feminism, the more I found myself wanting to accept the challenge to dwell on the same ground thus I become a participant in a competition of thoughts, notions, arguments, opinions, and critique, of course. So the goal is to make every point count.

I start with the fact that both plays had five (5) female main roles in their stories. Para Kay B was a story of five women whose experiences of love crushed them differently, save for one, as the title suggests: Irene, who had a photographic memory, could not forget the promise of love she was given when she was very young, only to find out years later that she was not even remembered by the man in her past; Sandra, who fell in reciprocated love with her own brother, only to cause his lifelong suffering in the end; Erica, who came from a community called Maldiaga where love was unheard of, left home wanting a taste of love, only to realize that she was not really capable of loving someone; Ester, a widow raising a sexually active gay son, finally admitted to herself that it was her female house helper and friend whom she really loved all her life; and finally, Bessie, the promiscuous lover who seduced Lucas, who was incidentally the writer of all these five tales.* On the other hand, Articulo Mortis was a story of five women who were ‘at the moment of death’, as the title is translated to: Sol, who committed suicide thinking that her life was pointless no matter what; Rita, a sweet, innocent child whose head was cut off while she was trying to save a tree from being cut by illegal loggers; Isabel, a young professional happily engaged to her boyfriend James, but died in a vehicular accident while James survived; Katha, a diligent university student whom her family’s future depends on before she was horribly raped and murdered one night; and finally, Vera, a cheerful but pretentious teacher who thinks of her family, friends, and loved ones first before herself, got leukemia and died. 

What great victims women are! Both plays clearly portrayed that whether dead or alive, life sucks for women. Excuse me for the word. Nonetheless it is true. Women are most likely to get hurt, both physically and emotionally; most likely to be a victim of social violence and injustice; most likely to contract a disease; most likely to be subjected to stereotypes and prejudices; in short, women are most likely to suffer.

Statistically, men have higher death rates than women. Men are more likely to commit suicide. They are also more likely to die from accidental deaths. They are more prone to heart diseases and diabetes, both are actually fatal.** Also, they have higher cancer death rates than women.*** Rape is not the only crime that murders but also gang wars, hazing, vehicular accidents, homicide, and others. What I’m trying to say is, men are also victims. But men don’t voice their suffering out, women do.

As I think about it, even though we think and say we have been empowered and are continuously empowering ourselves, women are still women. Beyonce gave us false hope when she said girls run the world for that could never be the case because that is just not the way how it is. Girls can only run the house. We were born to become mothers, nurses, teachers, secretaries and assistants, and maids because women are naturally nurturing while men were built to do the heavy lifting, the mathematics and sciences, the engineering, and the management. Some biological issues also need to be considered. Oftentimes, we tend to look past them. Women have hormonal issues, something we can do nothing about. We also tend to be vocal with our emotions than men. I quite honestly think that some of the stereotypes among women are true, we just won’t admit them to ourselves. I may be pathetic for saying these things but I am just being realistic. We simply cannot change the order of society because we feel lower, discriminated, or marginalized for it is not that simple either. The call of feminism is equality between men and women; well I frankly think that it is a ridiculous idea. Changing our status is like changing the word women into something else that doesn’t have men in it and such word does not even exist in the dictionary. That is why feminists are called idealists, they do not want to face reality but you and I both know that that is impossible. No one can escape from reality.

Don’t get me wrong for I am not saying that women should just let things be. Of course there are some things worth fighting for and we also should not just be contented with how things are in society. There is nothing wrong with being idealistic; there is nothing wrong with being realistic either. We have to look at both sides of the coin. And we definitely cannot have both. We cannot have it all.

My point is simple, equality will always be far beyond our reach; perhaps it is never meant to be reached at all, because if it is, life is pointless.

So because Irene, Sandra, Erica, Ester, Bessie, Sol, Rita, Isabel, Katha, and Rita were abused, got hurt, suffered, died, their writers were able to write bittersweet stories from which we can derive inspiration and meaning from. Only then will life make sense. 
* No name. (February 2, 2009) Ricky Lee. Para Kay B, O Kung Paano Dinevastate ng Pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa Atin (2008). Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://atisan.blogspot.com/2009/02/on-para-kay-b-o-kung-paano-dinevastate.html
** Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www.menshealth.org/code/death.html
*** Hendrick, Bill. (July 12, 2011). WebMD Health News. Men Have Higher Cancer Death Rates Than Women. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/746272

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