Monday, October 10, 2011

Called ignorant for saying NO to RH Bill (HB4244)? You are not alone.

"Stupid to f**k and expect the government to buy your condom (contraceptive)."

It feels like the 2009/2010 Presidential Elections all over again but this time around the heated arguments are not whether Noynoy Aquino is or isn't a good choice for President.  This time around, people are calling each other names over their views on the Reproductive Health Bill (currently also known as House Bill 4244).

I've actually seen at least one blogger whom I respect and will continue to respect refer to a valid question regarding RH as ignorant.  Or at least I am taking it that way, otherwise I could take offense and think that that blogger actually meant I was ignorant.

Tsk! And from someone who advises that people should be respectful and tolerant of others' views.

To be fair, I think the blogger probably got razzed by another blogger hidden behind an alternick and perhaps I've been hit by stray fire.

The Anti Pinoy Strikes Again

Most might find this blogger's views extreme and abrasive but I do tend to take their points into consideration because it forces you to confront certain realities of Filipino culture.  And if you are to advocate for a point of view, it's best to be circumspect

In any case, I think it is ignorant to go on looking at things from just one point of view and ignore all others, even when other points of view have merits.

There have been a number of times that I've wanted to stop reading the Anti-Pinoy or stop participating in their Facebook group.  Some times these guys can really give you a tough time and some of the things they say can be down right painful.

They can be abrasive, uncouth, shocking... They can rile you up and they can give you sleepless nights.  But, there is value in what these guys do.

As one member of the AP GRP said it, though not specifically about AP, "Even dead shrimp can go with the flow."

These guys won't let you sleep in the comfortable arms of complacency.

There is greater value in people who test your ideas, values, and beliefs than people who just go along with everything you say.

Good ole Dick Gordon told me once, "In my life, I've had a lot of stern teachers.  Teachers who really don't give a shit about how you feel and get to the business of teaching you by all means possible.  I thank those teachers because they trained me to be mentally and emotionally tough.  Even if the world is your oyster, it won't open up willingly and yield its bounty to you.  It takes some effort to shuck an oyster, you got to have hands that can grip the jagged shell and the skill to wield a knife to loosen its hinge."

(I think we were eating oysters that night when he went into this monologue.)

Pro RH Negativity: He who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

I've seen a lot of Pro-RH Bill arguments on Twitter and the more current ones seem extremely negative even  going to the point of attacking at least one religion in particular for opposing the RH Bill consistently.  

Perhaps it's because that one religion has the numbers which the other religion doesn't.  And if you actually looked into the holy books of the other one, you'd be a bit concerned that their religion prohibits any form of mutilation and allows marriage to multiple partners.  

Prohibition against the excision of any part of the human will prevent hysterectomies, tubal ligation, and other surgical procedures which could save the life of the woman.  

Allowing marriage to multiple partners actually encourages more births and is actually a more efficient way of increasing population, than say, just having one partner.

Misunderstanding "Secularism"

I just don't see the point in responding to assertions made by leaders of any religious organization especially if it is not grounded on scientific facts and scientific analysis.  Neither am I impressed by supposedly "secular" rhetoric but are actually just promoting a misunderstanding of secularism.

Secularism is NOT atheism and is NOT anti-religion or advocates the attack of any religion.

Really, there's no point in responding to religion based arguments against the RH Bill.  For one, it actually acknowledges that these religious based arguments actually has weight or that it matters.  If you are really aiming for a secular discussion of RH, why even include or respond to such views?  

It's pretty much a basic rule in formal discussions to exclude arguments that are irrelevant to the thing being discussed. Why would people insist on being so IGNORANT about this basic rule?

Perhaps, it's not really ignorance.

Generating Buzz

The thing is, in any online campaign, one of the tricks in starting a conversation is to create controversy.  Some times this involves scanning the environment for established positions and then luring them into a discussion.  This has an enormous potential for getting people to generate content on the topic and it doesn't really matter what position they take as long as the keywords are there.  I don't really know if the people who are hired to do this make money from the number of people who carry their keywords or hash tags.  


Some Pro-RH "advocates" who are now wearing different shades of purple might as well start looking at their new found fanaticism (oh, they're fans of anything that will give them visibility and internet traffic) and consider that perhaps the Pro-RH advocacy may have become a religion in itself.

Really, they're beginning to sound like the kind of zealots who go house to house asking people to have a personal relationship with the RH Bill or face eternal damnation.  

Some pitch their Pro-RH with a heavy dose of scare tactics (very much like what they accuse one religion of doing): "Without RH, the Philippines will be like Soylent Green!", "We're already overpopulated!!"... 

Pro-RH advocated doesn't understand the dynamics of population growth

And there's this one Doctor on Twitter who tried to make a case that Baguio is overpopulated because people there are not getting contraceptives and are therefore breeding like crazy, therefore making Baguio overpopulated.

Oh! My! Religion!

Doc, I'm sorry to tell you this, but you are IGNORANT about the real reasons why Baguio is overpopulated -- you have to distinguish between the resident population and the people who live in Baguio temporarily.

There are a number of reasons why people go and stay in Baguio... One reason is that it is a tourist spot and in the summer time, you can see the population of Baguio balloon enormously.  Another reason is that people pass through Baguio on their way to other parts of Benguet and nearby provinces.  Another reason is that this is where agricultural produce, minerals, and other things are traded. Yet another reason is that there are many Universities and colleges in Baguio.

Binay to the rescue

The reason why Baguio is overpopulated is not because people are breeding like rabbits but because it is a poorly managed urban center and Benguet probably has to enforce urban planning policies that seem to have become forgotten.

In this case, what would help is NOT RH, but the consistent implementation of a Land Use Plan and this is something that is already contained in several laws.  This is an area where Vice President Jejomar Binay, being the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairman, will be relevant.

A woman of her age resorting to grade school taunting.

Yeah, make fun of my name.

There are less than 500 people that I know of that have the last name Farol.  Most of my relatives lived in Quiapo and the house that we have there is over a hundred years old.  The land where it stands has been in my clan's name for longer than a hundred years.

My grandparents were, at one time, prosperous.  They were one of the largest suppliers of fruits in Manila from the 1920's to the 1950's.  My Eldest Uncle fought under the USAFFE, another uncle was the first in the clan to become a Doctor and practice in the US, and another uncle was quite a popular Tenor.  An aunt was world famous as an opera singer.

I didn't choose my last name, but I did choose my friends.  In grade school, my best friend's last name was Anchorman. When I got to college, my best buddy's name was Martillo.

Recently, I met the mother of a very popular official in Laguna. Her last name is Palacol.

Cheapshot... Really.

So, really, when you make fun of someone's name, you're making fun over everyone else with a funny name.

A lesson in Tagalog idioms, "What does nagmumurang kamias mean?"

A gay friend looking at the tweets and Facebook pictures of this woman blogger remarked that perhaps green would be a better color for her since she's nagmumurang kamias.  

And I don't really agree with that friend's penchant for sniping at people's fashion statements because I am hardly fashionable myself.  The last time I bought fashionable clothes was in the 1980's and they were acid wash jeans -- these days I'm pretty much stuck to classic denims, t-shirts, and GEOX shoes, which I buy because I admire the one who invented breathable soles.

It's always better to dress in a way that is appropriate for your age or at least dress in a way that reflects who you really are.  If some people insist on looking like Barney the Dinosaur, they're free to do so. (I'll try my best not to laugh.)

Look! This dinosaur is pro-RH!

Wait till the credit grabbing starts

There are actually two women that I know of in the online world that is actively advocating RH.  One has been doing it for years and is actually connected to an organization that has been working on women's issues.  

The other is an advocate of many things and according to other circles has been branded as a "credit grabber".

I just wonder if it'll come to a point when the other one begins self-proclaiming that she was both the fulcrum and lever of turning public opinion to favor RH.

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