Letter to the Editor [Sun.Star Baguio]
03 August 2011
Letter to the Editor
We are Innabuyog-Gabriela, an alliance of indigenous women’s organizations in the Cordillera whose main task is to build the capacity of women in their assertion to land, food and rights. We are writing to you as a reaction to your advertisement, “INVITATION to indigent or Smart single woman (without child/boyfriend) to become the legal spouse of a retired U.S. Senior Citizen Balikbayan”, that has been running for the past three weeks now.
This advertisement is a clear promotion of “commodification” of women, the view that women are [sex] objects that can be bought or sold. Looking at the current situation of the Filipino society, we understand that the economic recession is at its all time low and that there is a need for survival amidst poverty, but we must keep in mind that we should not degrade the personal dignity of other people, of any gender, of any race or of any economic status, instead we should advance or at least maintain it.
A woman’s economic demand should not entail subjecting herself into situations as the one you have advertised in your paper. This modus operandi of men who are searching for “indigent” women as partners is exploiting the vulnerability of women who are striving for a better life.
We understand the business aspect of your publication but this advertisement is really in bad taste as it does not promote the advancement of women. The said advertisement also induces a harmful environment for women, being vulnerable to abuse, harassment and exploitation.
As part of our duty to end the commercialization and commodification of women, we urge you to stop publishing such advertisements. What the Filipino women need is respect and recognition of her capabilities and not to be limited by the stereotypes our history has entrapped Filipino women in. Moreover, the answer to the economic problems should be looked at a wider scale. Employment and just remuneration is what the Filipino women need for their welfare.
We hope for a positive response from you. Thank you.
#16 Loro St., Dizon Subdivision,
Baguio City, 2600