Not Maria Clara

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Perez - The Freeman

The month of March is designated as Women's Month to celebrate the different victories of the female gender. It highlights what it has done in the past year to recognize their efforts in the different fields. In the past, women were only relegated to the homes and asked to take care of their families. They were not allowed to take part in any decision-making outside the home.

Although we have slowly adapted to being inclusive, there is still a great number of individuals who do not understand equality. There are still those who are stuck with the patriarchal mindset. For instance, our choice for our nation's president is a male. Although there are other factors that affected his win, a big chunk of it is because of his masculinity according to some communication experts. They saw how the public wanted to patronize a strong and stern image, similar to our previous leader. When asked, they said that the female competitor is incapable of leading or that her "motherly" image was just too overwhelming. In some offices, the men dominate the boardroom. Most business tycoons think that the male gender can make good decisions better than females who are labeled as being indecisive.

There is a need to strengthen the public's knowledge on gender development. It is not just about the male and female today. Our society has opened our eyes to different gender preferences beyond the norm. We are now lobbying for other sectors to embrace the fact that there is more than the usual two. It is no longer about the male and the female.

While I do recognize the stories of other genders as well, especially the LGBTQIA+, it is equally important to highlight the stories of women who have gone through a lot. In a typical Filipino household, the female has multiple functions. On one day she is a daughter, a mother, a sister, a worker, a caretaker, and many more. These many roles make up her unique identity given her difficult feat.

On another hand, Women's Month may be a marketing campaign for big stores. It is an opportunity to be able to sell more women's products than usual. However, for those who know that they have great stories behind their smiles, it is proper to set aside a day for them. Women always go beyond their call, often getting out of their comfort zone for others.

I still do roll my eyes at those who discriminate against women in today’s time; despite all that they have done. We are heading towards a society where even the most difficult tasks are not just done by men alone. There is a visible transition to be liberal about being a woman. Females can do more than how they look. Women today are not Maria Claras; we are fighters who believe that we have a stake in society.

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