May 10, 2011

Very Well Said, My Good Sir

The power of the internet to bridge distances and allow people with opposing ideas to converge and debate on certain issues never ceases to amaze me. Somebody for instance forwarded me a link to an article about a mini-documentary titled "The Filipina on Top: Deconstructing Maria Clara". The comments section of the post is alive with people from all corners of the globe putting in their thoughts about "the empowerment of Filipinas to overcome concerns such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and unwanted pregnancies".

This is the internet after all so there were comments crashing and fighting each other. Of course, there's the occasional troll as well.

Someone with the username "Gerald" posted a comment that caught my attention the most. I reposted such comment in full below. I think he covered a lot of ground with his very interesting and straightforward comment.

Take it from Gerald:

"As a foreigner, I wouldn’t know where you keep your prostitutes, and I don’t care. I have enough problems being polite to the aggressive sexual advancements of women and girls who see me as a ticket out of the Philippines.

I understand that poverty in the PI is bad, and that’s why I volunteer to go there every year to help build schools and improvements in the provinces. I fund raise and get donations with my church all year, I pay for my own round trip ticket, and I do as much physical labor I am physically capable. I’m not young, I’m in my 40s.

I resent that you try to link me with prostitutes just because I speak out against the aggressive Filipina sexual advances I’m subjected to while in the Philippines; however, I do regret saying “most” Filipinas use sex to their advantage. That was unfair. The point I poorly alluded to is that women are not universally innocent victims as Western feminist marketing wants the world to believe – PI women included.

I understand women in many parts of the world become prostitutes and I’m sure feminist would be the first to argue that it’s never the woman’s fault – always the man’s fault, and I’m sick of hearing this! At what point do women take responsibility for their own actions?

In the two years I’ve volunteered to the PI, I raised a lot of money. I donated over $40,000/P1,720,000 of my own money. I helped many families by helping them help themselves by buying landless farmers a hectare common rice fields to work and own for profit and food, I personally started several families with small goats, chickens, and pig farms. I bought school supplies for an entire elementary school (book, pens, pencils, and crayons), I’m paying for four kids to go to college – this is all me. I don’t have to help the PI, I’m not from the PI, I’m half Japanese, and Japan needs help. Many churches have refocused their attention away from the PI to help Japan.

I work overtime thinking about the people in the PI who can’t work because there are no jobs. What have you done? I see how hard they work, and I felt guilty that I live in a big house and buy a new car every odd year, so I spend my gluttony on helping the provinces of Luzon – Urdaneta, Laoac, Asingan, Aguilar, Manaoag, etc…

I don’t participate with your prostitution and I resent you implying it simply because I pointed out the not only Filipinas need empowerment, all the poor who are struggling need empowerment, why are you sexist about it? I help to empower PI men and boys as equally as I empower PI women and girls."

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