Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stereotypically Speaking...

Hail to thee, modern civilization, for fostering the role of the stereotype in an age of open communication.

Few non-Filipinos are familiar with the presence of the word "Filipina", which refers to the female half of the Philippine population. As for those non-Filipinos who are familiar with the word, chances are that you don't see it in a good light.

Do a Google search on the word "Filipina", for instance. That's right, do it now. You can always hit the "Back" button later.

Better yet, do a Google Images search. That should put things more in perspective.

Don't like Google? You can always try Yahoo. Or MSN. Or Lycos - Lycos has some pretty nasty results. Or the Open Directory Project, although the problem isn't quite as bad there.

Isn't it strange that the majority of the world seems to think of the Filipina merely as a mail-order bride, or as a sex worker, or as an exotic model? One would think that we've progressed significantly past the age of the Neanderthals.

Check that: One would think that, even though there are still a lot of Neanderthals out there, they shouldn't really be having the run of the Internet, should they?

But then, that's what the Internet's about for most people in this modern age. The Internet is for misdirected views. The Internet is for mysogynist perceptions. The Internet is for porn.

Yep, I suppose we're all guilty of it in one way or another.

But that doesn't mean we can't try to make it right.

When I type "Philippines" into a search engine, I should really be getting information I can soak up on the country's natural landmarks, its history, and its cultural legacy. When I type "Filipina" into a search engine, I should really be getting something about the struggle of the Philippine woman to reach beyond herself, and the standing that the rest of the world has so unfairly foisted on her.

Read them. Refer to them. Recommend them. Link to them.

I'm sure you don't want to be the stereotypical Internet user that we all make you out to be.


Roy said...

Linking to the Gabriela website wouldn't be very effective, given that it's a static website which wouldn't generate much google juice. A better choice would be a blog that focuses on women's issues in the Philippines...

Sean said...

Better than nothing at the moment. I'll change the link if I can find something more dynamic. That said, though, Gabriela is usually the first thing one thinks of when referring to Filipina issues...

vonjobi said...

new developments:

linking to each others' sites would probably be better because we bloggers update all the time.

btw gabnet is not gabriela in the philippines. better link to purple rose. or link to all =)

Sean said...

Edit: Changed link to the Purple Rose Campaign website. I have a few doubts on it, though, seeing that its News section hasn't been updated since 2003...

Anonymous said...

From an article I've heard thinking labeling a biscuit "Filipino"... but I digress.

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