Sojourner truth-A A +A
Bahin sang Bubay
Saturday, July 14, 2012
HER real name was Isabella, a former slave among black Americans during her time who fought not only for emancipation not only for herself but also for countless women under the yoke of oppression and discrimination during her time. Although the authors who wrote about her were uncertain about her birth year in the 1700s, accounts have it that she was one of those great women during the early awakening of the women’s movement in the early 19th century who inspired and sparked the fervor that is feminism today.
Actively joining anti-slavery movements in America during her time, Isabella later changed her name to Sojourner Truth, a very apt name for a woman who chose to be the voice of her community simply by being herself by speaking up about her own beliefs. “Ain’t I a Woman” the speech she delivered in one of those activities in her congregation was later known to have sparked not only interest in anti-slavery sentiments but also a strong message that expressed every woman’s angst and situations during the dark ages.
Thus, even if she delivered it with a kind of slang and unschooled nuances, still Sojourner Truth was able to stir “the hornet’s nest” and propelled the women’s rights’ movements to the mainstream, albeit without intentionally doing so for a purpose. She was only expressing her thoughts and experiences, her ideas and opinions on matters concerning her own existence and the injustices and discrimination the blacks had to deal with.
In today’s world, centuries apart from the time of Sojourner Truth such situations still exist, even among people of the same race. Even among us Filipinos, discrimination is still a harsh reality especially among the Indigenous Peoples and among women. While we can say that Filipino women have gone a long way in pursuing women’s rights and emancipation, a lot of women’s issues have yet to be addressed.
It is a fact that we are still under the stranglehold of patriarchy, which is something already systemic in our culture and overall socio-political, cultural systems. Everything that concerns us, nay the very core of our being, every little fiber of our consciousness is still so much rooted and influenced by that age-old belief in the patriarchal system.
But we, women, are known for being pliant, being able to bounce back after a fall. It could be just the very purpose of our being, that perseverance and patience to continue surviving in dire situations, because we are meant to be, to bear humankind and ensure that humanity continues.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 14, 2012.