Woman power, right and wrong
She doesn’t get it. You don’t use women’s bodies to make arguments, sell products or win political points. When you do, you continue to encourage everyone to treat us as sex objects. Her move only confirms what we all know — that this move for Charter change is so deeply flawed and useless that she has to sell it as if it is an overpriced car.”
This is what “EveryWoman,” a group of women and their male adherents fighting misogyny in our political life, have to say about the flap over the online “game show” hosted by Assistant Secretary for Presidential Communications Mocha Uson to “explain” what federalism is all about.
There are now calls to fire Uson, not just for the “pe-pe-de-de” show, but also because of her use of her social media
account and her government office for less-than-edifying purposes.
Says EveryWoman: “This administration seems adept at attacking and firing women with high credentials and great competence while hiring and rewarding people like Uson who have shown their
incompetence over and over.”
The group is also expressing its opposition to the request of Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar for a budget increase, suggesting instead that this be reduced to zero. For that matter, why not fire Andanar at the same time, if only for his incompetence in hiring and tolerating (if not encouraging) Uson?
Since its inception, the EveryWoman statement notes, the group “has worked to fight misogyny in our political life. It has sought to return our national discourse to respect, civility and free expression, firm in the belief that this is the only way to finding truth and democratic consensus.
“Indeed many of us came together to decry the slut-shaming of Sen. Leila de Lima… merely because she disagreed with the drug war which has now made the Philippines an international
“Despite our differences with Mocha Uson, many of us in our individual public pronouncements have defended her from the slut-shaming which she too receives from people who disagree with her. We have tried to discipline even our allies.”
Uson’s response, though, says the group, is to betray “all our interests,” especially with her latest stunt.
“We have seen this time and again,” says EveryWoman. “Just because women come to power, it does not mean they work for women’s wellbeing. There is nothing gender advocates have found praiseworthy in Uson’s appointment to a government post.”
For that matter, there is no reason for women to celebrate the assumption of Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the first woman Speaker of the House. Or, for that matter, for Sara Duterte’s feat of founding a regional political party that threatens the power of bigger, older national parties.
We all know what GMA is all about — power and everything that comes with it, including, it is feared, a fast track back to, if not the presidency, then to the inner circle of power and pelf. Forget any pretenses to being a gender champion. Remember, it was her delaying tactics that slowed for more than a decade the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, showing her readiness to trade the rights and health of women and children for bargaining chips with the church and conservative forces.
As for Sara Duterte, who can forget the footage of her smacking a Davao sheriff for his alleged abuse of power in ordering the demolition of an urban poor community? Some cheered this show of fearlessness, not seeing the abuse of authority that
In other circumstances, we should be cheering on the rise to power of influential women like GMA, Sara and even Mocha. But we know their power stems not from their own merits, but from the patronage of the President, who “allows” them to run roughshod over our rights and sensibilities. This, even as he swats down other women—Sen. Leila de Lima, Vice President Leni Robredo, former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, among many — for the mere “crime” of daring to speak out and refusing to bend to his will.