WOMEN AT WAR

strange bedladies
strange bedladies

There seems to be a war going on in the distaff side.

Remember what Chris Rock said?

Women HATE women. You get any two girlfriends in this room, been girlfriends for 25 years, you put a man in between them, “Fuck that bitch,” “Fuck that bitch.” Guys are not like that. Guys actually think that there are other fish in the sea, and if a guy introduces his boy to his new girlfriend, and when they walk away, his boy goes, “Aww man, shes nice, I gotta get me a girl LIKE that.” If a woman introduces her new man to her girlfriend, and they walk away, her girlfriend goes “I gotta get HIM, and I will slit that bitches throat to do it.” Every girl in here got a girlfriend they don’t trust around their man.”

And then he went on to ask aloud again: “You know why women don’t rule the world? Because they hate each other!

Cory contra Gloria

Cory Aquino, by all indications and despite her health condition, was beyond forgiveness by the lady in Malacanang. Remember the gall of the former president when she went directly to the palace, along with Frank Drilon, and asked the tenant to please quit amid the mounting pressure for the latter to do so? It looked like Cory was into some war of nerves at that time. Cory still nurtured her faith that she had that exclusive EDSA franchise. She was misled into believing that everybody that mattered had withdrawn support from the Lilliputian. GMA knew that she had the backing of FVR and went on toe to toe with the former lady president.

The rest is herstory.

In that confrontation it was GMA who went home with the cheerleaders, Gabby Claudio snickering all over the place and Alex Magno, who authoritatively declared that “once or twice, the rebellion is wise, but on the third try, its futile.” Whatever bad blood between FVR and Cory at that time, he proved that her magic no longer existed. In the middle of FVR’s term, along with the late Cardinal, Cory mustered a historic mammoth crowd in bamboozling FVR to backoff with his charter initiative.

In the ensuing SONAs, GMA was applauded by her minions who went with her in Congress to fill the rafters. Frank Drilon looked forlorn beside the groveling ex-ally, Speaker JDV, whose applause in every turn was never compensated by the ZTE contract.

She knew how to handle FVR. She can afford to make herself scarce in all EDSA celebrations to further spite Cory. With only less than a year before she bows out, GMA delivered her coup d’ grace on Cory. She released the remaining members of the squad who waylaid Ninoy Aquino with nary a confession of guilt. Does the president want to rush Cory to her demise? From the looks of it, that’s how she hates the ex-president.

Of course GMA has other minor antagonists. She boils instantly upon the mention of Jinky Soliman’s name. At one time, Jinky was GMA’s father confessor. Jinky is privy to some bedroom secrets of FG and her glory. GMA was at one time fascinated by the queer hairstyle of Jinky, straightening out the kinks in the latter’s golden highlight. GMA wonders then, and understands now, that Jinky, with that strange streak, is a loose cannon with wracked marbles.

It can’t be Ping Lacson. For all the faults of Ping, GMA harbors secret infatuation with the former police chief. FG, on the other hand, wants to contact Danton Remoto to consult the latter if something is amiss with the smell of Ping. Danton has that famous olfactory genius. He can smell a comrade a mile away. Once Danton confirms that Ping belongs to their federation, expect the wrath of scorned Gloria.

Miriam y Merci

Merci speaks like a lady Obet Pagdanganan. From the time of her appointment in 2005, she appears slow to anger. That was the reading of Miriam of FG’s favorite classmate.

FG the lawyer, of course, wanted some insurance. With the spate of FG’s links to gargantuan thievery, a peaceful enjoyment of retirement is more valuable than a piece of World Bank’s projects. He blindsided the Firm when they rooted for Victor Fernandez and the falling out began. With Merci at the helm, he knows that his nocturnal serenity is assured.

Miriam, on the other hand, wanted some attention from the FG. Why is it so, that we can only divine. After the subpoenas were sent to the Ombudsman’s direction, Miriam relented and gave the graft buster the podium to lambaste her critics. Merci, after all, was no Mary Magdalene. Miriam feared reprisal on her husband, Jun Santiago, who has some expenditures frowned by COA. General Ermita was heard saying, “baka mapasubo kayo kay Merci, walang sukuan, taga Bataan yan!” The Ombudsman is so successful in shielding her patrons. Even the Supreme Court was powerless against the constitutional agency.

Leila versus Persida

True to form, right from her appointment, Leila came charging in. Of course she has that sterling reputation as a feisty election lady lawyer, a rarity in the field with the likes of Pete Quadra and Mac Macalintal, among other whizzes. Election law is a tough area to get one’s feet wet. And Leila proved herself a cut above the rest. Knowing that all election jurisprudence has vaporized with the advent of automation, going to CHR is a wise career move. Plucked from lucrative election practice, she was appointed Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights. Her job is nonetheless a thankless one. Her predecessors were skewered for ineptness. Now with her hands full of military and police atrocities against civilians and crime suspects, the media turned against her for being judgmental. As a lawyer, a video grab or footage is the best evidence. By substituting an annotation on what actually happened in an encounter captured by the camera, is a third world zarzuela. A CCTV splice is enough to nail a suspect in one US court. But here, sorry, there’s another explanation why it was so, reminiscent of the UNTV stealth footage. No cop was ever indicted in that summary execution in public. How much more if only an eyewitness manages to get a glimpse of the encounter?

It was typical for Leila to thump her chest on army and police mayhem. But it is typically Persida’s, of the Public Attorneys Office, as well, to complain aloud against harassment of law enforcers. GMA’s stooge Raul Gonzales used her as Ninoy’s assassins’ advocate. On record, she bewailed the misery of the killer crew in prison spicing it up with some human rights infractions. When released on pardon, GMA threw in, among other meddlers, the pleadings of Persida’s.

But the brewing slug out between Persida and Leila is on the EDSA rub out captured for posterity by the ABS-CBN news team. Leila was seen agonizing upon being shown of the stark footage. Her commissioners were one in condemning the brutal execution. PNP was in shambles. Nobody wanted to act as spokesman to shed light on the incident. The noted forensic wizard, Dr.  Raquel Fortun, gave her two cents worth, and the executioners wriggled in discomfort.

In her report, Fortun found some “inconsistencies” in the shooting incident, including the presence of gunshot wounds on the rear parts of their body like the buttocks, the back of the head, and the back part of their thighs.

Fortun said that if the suspects had indeed engaged policemen in a shootout as claimed by the police, they would not have sustained injuries in such places.

The forensic expert also wondered why the clothing of the suspects had already gone missing.

The three suspects died last February 17 after allegedly shooting it out with members of the Quezon City Police District along EDSA corner NIA Road in Quezon City.

With calibrated approach, Persida took the cudgels for the cops who were caught in flagrante. She got a second opinion from a fledgling forensic doctor who opined that the wounds of the victims were not fatal after all and were inflicted merely to disable them! Paid hacks of the PNP (remember Ping Lacson’s response to the nit picks of Ramon Tulfo? Ping said Tulfo wanted his monthly retainer increased, and he turned it down. Hell hath no fury to a Tulfo scorned), and they are legions, ganged up on Leila for “shooting herself on the foot.” Now these two ladies are in collision course.

Incidentally these two ladies never smile on camera.

Of course we have the famous silent tiff between Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In the heat of the primaries last year, Barack’s campaign was labeled by Bill Clinton as a “fairy tale”. Even the latest Microsoft Word does not recognize the name of the 44th President, highlighted with, ironically, Osama as the preferred entry. Now that Obama is finally enthroned as President, his appointment of Hillary as US Secretary of State is the highest revenge. There was hushed gloating in the White House when Hillary was introduced by her counterpart in Armenia as “Madeleine Albright”. Albright openly campaigned for Hillary during the primaries.

Hillary had that famous quip, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

Or the fightingest, “I wasn’t born a first lady or a senator. I wasn’t born a Democrat. I wasn’t born a lawyer or an advocate for women’s rights and human rights. I wasn’t born a wife or a mother.”

Michelle, in large measure, is on the opposite aisle.

While the two ladies are seen too cordial in public, the eyes have it. Michelle delivers her initial lethal personal barb towards Hillary when she declared that first and foremost, she’s a Mom to Sasha and Malia, the hearts of her heart, declaring, “my first job in all honesty is going to continue to be mom-in-chief. Making sure that in this transition, which will be even more of a transition for the girls…that they are settled and that they know they will continue to be the center of our universe.”” Upon her assumption as US First Lady, Hillary, amid the sounds of Washington trumpets, she famously said, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.” Michelle didn’t let this pass with a pointed, “I come to this with a lot of interesting talents, but I think it would be unfair of me to say today what I would do in a couple of years. I need to be prepared to do what the country needs me to do at the time. Whether that’s baking cookies or serving as a wonderful hostess, that’s my job. I have to be prepared to do what’s necessary. And we won’t know what that’s going to be until we get there. I will be staunchly invested. It is a joint project.”

We expect more calculated exchanges between these two mega ladies. As Secretary of State and fourth in the line of succession, Hillary proves her tenacity to someday achieving her not too distant ambition.

One Reply to “WOMEN AT WAR”

  1. Politics is a veritable Petri dish for female insecurity. The confusion about what exactly a woman has to have to get elected as president of the United States came to a halt during last year’s presidential election. The flogging of Hillary Clinton exposed two astonishing schools of thought.

    During the primaries, her campaign swung wildly and mostly teetered precariously from side to side. One minute she espouses the traditional women-centered agenda like health care, education, and social services. The supposedly womanly, vulnerable version. Who could forget the well-placed tears and crack in the voice at a Maine press conference after her loss to Obama in the Iowa caucus?

    The next minute she’s shedding every symbol of femininity – adhering to the YSL certified pantsuit as a symbol of women’s empowerment – as if wearing lipstick and a skirt would cause an automatic drop in her IQ. Her advisers seemed to think that the macho stance a la Bush-Cheney-Rove would guarantee political gravitas that would put her in the oval office.

    This is the school of thought that believes that as long as you look like Janet Reno or Condi Rice, you too will get the respect and allow you to be taken seriously in politics.

    This didn’t sit well with women especially those who had to balance femininity with feminism everyday in order to survive and be taken seriously and not feel like they are selling out. The female vote did nothing to advance her agenda and we know how it all turned out.

    She didn’t lose because women hated her; she lost because of her confusing and flawed campaign, John Kerry style.

    Whatever happened to the old saying just be yourself?

    Which brings us to GMA. On December 08, 2007 I put my two cents in to MLQIII’s piece about her being more clear-eyed than her enemies. And this is what I said.

    “Arroyo fancies herself as the pied piper of political expediency and she has the pedigree to back it up. Say what you will about the excesses of her administration. This woman is running rings around her increasingly emotional male adversaries.”

    The woman has flummoxed her enemies by being herself. She is not a first-rate policy wonk by any standard and she doesn’t pretend to be one. She wears what she wants – lipstick, Jimmy Choo shoes and Chanel dresses. She looks adoringly at her husband and makes him feel like a million bucks, or at least publicly. She dotes on her children and grandchildren. She is not afraid to be vulnerable, make fun of herself or look like a hack. She never abandons her feminine side nor walk and talk like a man.

    But she can run with the best of them. Her arsenal of tricks confounds watchers. The basic tenets of politics she learned at the foot of her father. She’s a natural at using the same playbook that the good old boy network uses on her. Her Machiavellian tendencies so enrage and frustrated her political enemies that they have been reduced to whimpering children denied of their candy. The Teflon incumbent has survived countless coup attempts and impeachment efforts with barely a scratch. She is insufferably shameless but the last time I checked she is still running the show.

    As much as I have been a big fan of your blog, (still am) I take umbrage on this one because I’m baffled by your emblematic high-five to Chris Rock for that flippant dissertatation on women’s hatred for each other or simply the so-called catfights.

    Most of us don’t drive around on our proverbial broomsticks all day hating and competing with each other, as much as that tickles the fancy of most men. To suggest that the reason for women’s lack of presence in the policy-shaping arena is because we hate each other is unfair generalization.

    While I agree that there’s some competition within our gender, rivalry is not limited to women vs. women. Gosh, how about men vs. men and women vs. men? This is a little more complex and we can debate it until we’re blue in the face and still not arrive at any answer that will satisfy everybody.

    Furthermore, who says we have to hold public office to matter?

    You are probably in a better position to know that. Based on what I have read so far and on what I have personally seen during my years in Calauag, you are surrounded by strong, smart, gorgeous, and talented women – mother, sisters (gosh, your sister is a judge!), wife, and possibly daughters – who are perhaps more than good enough to make a difference in this planet without running for any type of public office.

    But most of all, you have the lineage of your Ina Favia who despite the gender socialization that’s rampant in those early years, had managed to challenge patriarchy when the rule of the day for women was subservience, silence, and apathy.

    She was tough. “Favia turned out to be an iron-willed partner of Tiburcio, to the consternation of the in-laws.”

    She was strong. “At age 40, Ina Fabia was a widow. The war produced widows and the culture of the day transformed families into matriarchal. Ours became one big matriarchal family ruled by the rock-solid Ina Fabia.”

    She was smart. “Ina owned the widest rice field in San Roque and manggagapas gravitated to her tubigans twice a year: September and March. Her house during those months was transformed into one enormous barn, home to wide-mouth bas-igs holding the season’s yield.”

    She was in control. “Local politicians knew that Ina had a following in the barrio and her suggestions sounded like commands. Ina would simply cut off the groveling official and change the subject. Ina didn’t suffer fools gladly; she simply went on with her business.”

    She was courageous. “Ina brushed off their fears. She said those communist rebels had the best of intentions and harming her was farthest from their minds.”

    She was compassionate. “All they need was something to fill their empty stomach and she had just enough for all of them until the last harvest.”

    She was focused. “The philosophy of the day was that Ina could support them all from the bountiful harvest of copra and rice from San Roque, San Rafael, Talingting and rest of the homesteads developed by the old man. Her wartime kids Felix, Teofilo, Ceferina and Sonia on the other hand were anxious for city life and were looking forward for college education. Felix finished a degree in engineering, Phil went on to become a certified public accountant, Ferin completed her medical degree, and Sonia hurdled over a teaching course.”

    She made a difference without losing her femininity and without compromising who she was – a young and beautiful woman. In a dress. “Ina was so handsome in her terno. But she was unbeatable in her signature quimona. She had a number of quimonas all made from the finest jusi, sinamay, and piña.”

    She was a feminist before people even know what feminism was. Not the ranting, flag-waving kind who had to strategically wear pants to be taken seriously but the kind who really made a difference.

    She was ahead of her time and she could have been president. Seriously.

    Marili M.R.

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