© 2014 Lindsay Cope

Gender Awareness

Maybe culture shock is just a subtle phenomenon and not something as jarring as its title sounds. Though, in all my experiences in the US and abroad, I cannot recall a notable experience of culture “shock.” Recently, I received a dose of shock treatment that provoked the feminist within.

Discussions of gender are compelling and necessary in all contexts. In the U.S., gender equality is a pervasive topic in contemporary political and social discourse. Just consider the gender harassment video that recently went viral or the video of young girls using expletives to shed light on gender inequity. Women do not receive the same opportunities and do not receive compensation commensurate to men. While I don’t want to use this post as my soapbox, it is important to say that gender impacts women’s security financially, physically, and psychologically. It is an issue at home, and it’s an issue here in the Philippines.

I attended a gender sensitivity training recently, and was impressed at the restraint among participants to acknowledge that the social and cultural construction of gender is flawed and to accept that women and men are equal.   Some participants even indicated that the seminar was biased toward women. Of course, in a context in which gender equity is the focus, one sex must be elevated and its always going to be women. Of course I felt that I was in a bit of a time warp, but the issues are the same, the conversation here is just a little more alarming. The greatest contrast is the willingness to accommodate and consider the progressive and fair status of women in the Philippine context.


For your viewing pleasure I’ve added photos unrelated to the content of this post from the past month here in the ‘Pines.



The Beach at Barangay Patria, Pandan


Temporary marker for proposed marine sanctuary


Marine Sanctuary at Barangay Patria, Pandan


The view from my hammock. That smal white spek is the moon


Early morning in Barangay Botbot, Pandan with Jens gathering GPS points for the proposed Marine Sanctuary


Posing with Nanay Judith before heading to the Coop Anniversary Party


Having fun at the Barangay Magaba Fiesta with my friends Gelly and AJ


Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.