Letters to the Editor

I am Woman

The Philippine Star

I guess it dates me but, as we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s Month, I remember Helen Reddy’s 1971 hit “I Am Woman,” an anthem for the feminist movement of that era. “Hear me roar,” “watch me grow,” “come back even stronger” are some of the affirmations in the song, but I think the most significant – and perhaps the most accurate – is the phrase, “If I have to, I can do anything.”

For indeed, women – then and now, since time immemorial – have always answered any call and met any challenge they were confronted with. Whether it is providing food for the family, working the land, even protecting her family against human or natural threats, women have never shirked or run away from responsibility.

Another catchphrase from that era (by cigarette brand Virginia Slims, which targeted women smokers) – You’ve come a long way, baby – seems applicable, except perhaps for the “baby” part. These days you can find women in practically any profession, even the previously “men only” or “pang lalaki” jobs like pilots, soldiers on active duty (not office workers or support staff), masons, welders, engineers…

Most often women are forced to go out of the home and work because of financial need. They must therefore be further empowered, to scale up their abilities through training and education.

While yes, we’ve come a long way, the true success of the so-called “Women’s Movement” will be when there is no longer any need to celebrate International Women’s Day or Women’s Month, no need to have a special day marked for those who, truly, hold up half the sky. Yes, I am Woman, and if I have to, I can do anything. — Maria Lynda Cruz, Makati City

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March 18, 2024 - 12:00am
March 18, 2024 - 12:00am
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