Valle: Woman’s worth is beyond measure

“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet” – MohadesaNajumi.

NOT a few women especially among organized and progressives have raised a howl after President Duterte was quoted to have told his troops to maim the women combatants among revolutionaries by shooting their vaginas such that “kung wala na sila’y bisong, wala na sila’y silbi.”

Initially my reaction was contained, perhaps because most of my women friends have expressed their strong emotions and condemnation of such utterances from the highest official of the land and I thought I could not afford to upset myself.

I had to hold myself back and reflect on this backward thought about the woman’s worth which still persist at this digital age. I thought it’s no use getting worked up and in so doing, instead of making myself understood, I would just be writing about my anger and frustrations.

Most of those expressed by my women friends that I need not repeat here are, in a sense, accurate manifestations of how the world should consider a woman. If we just take a second to think about our humanity, the woman’s role as a vital carrier of humankind is itself a truth that should always be kept in the hearts of men and the rest of society.

And yet, through the development of civilization since humans started to use sticks and stones to start a fire, there seems to be a systematic devaluation of the so-called “opposite sex”, especially when through the centuries, capitalism progressed and developed to take the place of traditional communal economic practices among tribes.

It been documented through time that our ancestors in our past upheld women’s leadership roles in and all aspects of community life. But then the idea to amass more capital and wealth was introduced by colonizers from foreign lands in the early centuries, and this situation had created a wedge that eventually divided our people and muddled our culture.

As was recognized by "Mayor" Rodrigo Duterte earlier during the campaign period, there is a need to correct the “historical injustices” that has been suffered by our people for ages. It could have been this statement that had given our people some "hope" that his administration would be fair and just.

Most people have held on to that sweeping statement including many among women from all walks of life, especially those who are on the fringes of society; the very poor women in the countryside whose aspirations for a better life for their children must have taken on a ‘promise’ of fulfillment during those times.

Imagine their disappointment when the turn of events became so that that little “ray of hope” was slowly extinguish in the dead of night.

It must have been so painful for these poor women whose lives have been nothing but endless toil and grinding poverty. And now, hearing their once revered ‘leader’ say things that demean and belittle their sisters, mothers, children and relatives who have long suffered and have decided to take up arms with the revolutionaries in the hinterlands, it could have been double-jeopardy for them.

I am a woman, a mother and a worker. I too, lived for my family and my hopes and dreams are all for this basic unit of community that makes up a society. Like these women who have to work hard so that their children would have a better life, I know how it feels to be insulted and degraded to the point that one feels worthless to the core.

But we know our worth and we believe that there is no humanity or society to speak of without women.
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