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13 April 2014

Manny Pacquiao and that "Gay" Thing (Editorial)

Can a man stand tall without
putting anything resembling
“the feminine” down?
Do people still believe that
masculinity equals strength
and victory, and anything
“feminine” equals weakness
and surrender.
Manny Pacquiao has won his fight against Timothy Bradley and we Filipinos should be proud.  In a way, Manny’s victory is a vindication and a testament to the greatness of Manny as a boxer.  Unfortunately, as expected (almost clockwork), along with the triumph of Filipino masculinity, the usual slew of “gay,” “bakla” and “feminine” adjectives and terms now litter all comments sections of every news site, blog and social site such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. It may seem that a triumph of masculinity, at least the Filipino concept of masculinity, will never be complete without emphasizing the weakness of anything feminine.

Can a man stand tall without putting anything resembling “the feminine” down? Do people still believe that masculinity equals strength and victory, and anything “feminine” equals weakness and surrender.

Even more unfortunate, some of the slurs against gays and women came from gays and women themselves. Can it be that certain women and gay individuals have internalized sexism, that they become auto-oppressors of their own gender? The word “bakla” to mean weak, malleable or somebody that does not have a firm principle (a flip-flopper) has been used many times, even by respectable broadcasters such as Arnold Flavio in “Unang Hirit,” Anthony Taverna in “Umagang Kay Ganda,” and Winnie Monsod on her commentary about the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Hacienda Luisita case. (“SC’s downslide and verdict on Hacienda Luisita” bySolita Collas-Monsod, Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 25, 2011)

You do not even need to be a woman or an LGBT to speak up against discrimination. Nevertheless, some of us choose to be quiet when we hear other people say bad things about women and members of the LGBT community. "Keeping quiet is the polite thing to do and the best way to avoid conflict," others say.  One must just hope that most people will eventually change; however, as Harvey Milk said, “Hope will never be silent.” Therefore, here I am babbling, whether you like it or not!

Here are some of the publishable comments on the net after Manny’s win:
  • “Bradley has become a gay, he keeps hugging Manny.”
  • “Pacquiao gave more power shots than Bradley! Nabakla na, Bradley hugs Manny 3 times. Mukhang crush niya si Manny! Pak!”
  • “8 rounds for Manny, 4 rounds for Bradley. Bring on Marquez, then throw Gayweather out into the ring, Manny will finish this chapter for the world boxing fans.”
  • “Bradley is no match for Manny, he’s not even a match for old mommy Dionisia”
  • “Si Henares, nag-aabang na sa airport, maniningil. Buwisit talaga iyang babaeng iyan!"
For more examples of "gay slurs," read "Miss Gayweather, Gay Chimpanzee Pretty Girl" Sino ang Talo, si Floyd ba o Tayong Pilipino?"

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