First of two parts
ONE can’t believe it sometimes, the way the patriarchy is so pervasive in this country, the way men get away with being pa-cute and being pa-witty when asked about something they can’t quite wrap their heads around.
And no, I’m not talking about the every man on the street. I’m talking senators of the land, making a joke out of the question of divorce.
Welcome to the Philippines. Where it doesn’t matter that the latest SWS Survey on Divorce reveals that 60% of Filipinos are actually now for it. (Inquirer.net, 23 Mar)
Where when asked if they are for divorce, our male senators have different versions of the same answer: No, because my wife will get mad at me.
Yes, these are our senators, ladies and gentlemen. The men we’ve elected into office. I’m looking at you, Bongbong Marcos, Serge Osmeña, and Tito Sotto. And I’m demanding that you stop joking about my freedom(s).
Ah but the senators have it easy, they’ve got the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on their side.
That is, of course, no surprise. The Pinoy Church has consistently been against divorce, no matter that annulment and legal separation already exist in the country. “Why would one want divorce if legal separation, annulment and declarations of nullity are juridical options already available?” asked CBCP President Socrates Villegas. “Divorce allows an already married person to have another go at it, despite failing at the first.” (CBCP Website, 25 Mar)
But that is also already what legal separation and annulment allow, yes? Except that these two options allow it only for those who are wealthy enough to afford it. That is, START BOLDonly the richEND BOLD are allowed the freedom to have another go at falling in love and finding a partner, START BOLDonly the richEND BOLD are given the right to their freedom and independence.
Oh but the CBCP President ain’t finished defending their stand against divorce. “Marriage is and ought to be a work in progress. When the expedient of divorce is readily available, a couple will be less likely to work on differences, dialogue and reasonably work out solutions because there is a quick fix to incompatibilities.”
And so it becomes clear that it is the ease with which marriages can be nullified, the ease with which separations might be made legal, that worries the Pinoy Church. It is because they don’t trust that the Catholics they are marrying are actually mature enough to work on their marriages and survive its difficulties. It’s because they imagine that it will make Catholics think: let me just marry this person, since if it doesn’t work out I can always divorce her.
To be concluded on Thursday