The L Words – Lesbian and Labor: Physical and Social Health Impacts of Call Center Work on Lesbian Women in Quezon City, Philippines
Mylene De Guzman
The impacts of call center work have been the subject of several studies, but currently, there is paucity of research about lesbian women in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. Call center work poses several physical and social health concerns and the worker’s lesbian identity poses yet another challenge in navigating this work environment. This descriptive study used a qualitative approach. Ten (10) lesbian call center workers gave their narratives through semi-structured in-depth interviews in more than a year of doing fieldwork in Eastwood, Quezon City, Philippines. Working in call centers has multiple detrimental effects to health. The participants of the study experienced physical health issues that include voice problems, sleeping problems, unhealthy eating habits, and unhealthy vices such as smoking. Call center work has also affected their social health due to the inflexible and highly variable shifting work schedule, and lesbian call center agents were subject to subtle forms of discrimination in the office. There is a need to look into the effects of call center work on lesbians, as they are inevitably subject to physical and social health impacts, and these impacts are compounded by different forms of discrimination in the workplace.
Keywords: lesbian health, call center work, occupational health, discrimination, Philippines
Pushing the Boundaries of Motherhood and Pagkadalaga: Sexuality and Reproductive Freedom of Urban Poor Women and Volunteers of the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health
Sabrina Laya S. Gacad
Through the conduct of feminist research in urban poor communities, this study reveals pathways to reproductive freedom anchored on women expanding the meaning and performance of moral motherhood and pagkadalaga, supported by free and stigma-free reproductive health service delivery and education. The study elaborates on the multiple meanings of paglalandi, the only space in mainstream Filipino society that allows the open discussion of sexuality. The study makes the argument that women’s knowledge, life experiences, and aspirations around paglalandi, motherhood, and pagkadalaga, even as they are defined by patriarchy and limited by material conditions, are potent sites for eroding patriarchal and capitalist control of peoples’ bodies, identities, and desires.
Keywords: sexuality, reproductive freedom, motherhood, pagkadalaga, paglalandi
The President’s Monologues: Duterte’s Rhetoric and Toxic Masculinities
This study provides a preliminary analysis of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s displays and projections of masculinity by collating and analyzing his public remarks during his electoral campaign and the first three years of his presidency with the use of textual analysis. Given his position in Philippine politics and his prominence in mass media, Duterte’s narratives, particularly towards gender and masculinity, call for thorough analysis. By examining Duterte’s remarks through the lens of masculinity studies and framing it in theorizing on “precarious manhood,” this study offers new insight and a fresh approach to decoding and understanding the context and underlying causes of his behavior – the results of which can, in turn, serve as a starting point for addressing its deeper origins and countering its harmful effects. Texts of Duterte’s speeches and remarks were collected from official archives, supplemented by news reports. These texts were then read and interpreted along three key areas in masculinity studies: heteronormativity and gender and sexual scripts; homophobia and gender policing; and toxic masculinity. From this preliminary textual analysis, what emerges is a brand of masculinity that hews close to orthodox, traditional, or macho masculinity, marked by regular descents into toxic masculinity – one that calls for further study not just because of the volume of Duterte’s remarks and the breadth of concepts in masculinity studies that can help decode them, but also because of this subject’s considerable implications on politics and culture in the Philippines, now and in the years to come.
Keywords: Duterte, textual analysis, masculinity studies
Problematizing Privatization: How Private Takeover of Local Water Districts Impacts Gender Mainstreaming
Atty. Allen L. Espino
Since the mid-2010s, more and more local water districts have been entering joint venture agreements as a means to pay off debts, and fund facilities upgrade and service expansion. Water security and sanitation is a development issue recognized in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The implication of gender in water and sanitation has also been widely written about. As far as the SDGs are concerned, gender equality, while being a goal in itself, also permeates and informs the rest of the goals. Water and sanitation is also largely recognized as a promising entry point for increased women’s meaningful participation in decision-making bodies, economic activities, and opportunities for children beneficiaries, especially girls. In the Philippines, local water districts are required to allot at least 5% of their annual corporate operating budget to gender mainstreaming. This GAD budget should finance efforts to provide equitable water and sanitation access to women and men. However, privatization brings with it substantial changes in a local water district’s operations, organizational composition, and financial position. This paper attempts to answer the questions: 1) “How does privatization–particularly the JVA model–affect the implementation of the GAD budget policy by local water districts?”; and, 2) “Can the revitalized operations promised by privatization be expected to boost local water districts’ capacity to contribute to women’s empowerment and gender equality in the context of their mandate?” Looking into publicly available data and documents (GAD Plans and Budgets, GAD Accomplishment Reports, COA Audit Reports), this paper finds that the benefits of privatization have not extended to local water districts’ gender mainstreaming efforts. On the contrary, the post-JVA structure (downsized plantilla, lower income, and restricted functions) has made it more difficult for privatized water districts to build gender mainstreaming capacity, much more to offer gender-responsive services to their concessionaires.
Keywords: local water district, gender mainstreaming, privatization, joint venture agreement, GAD plan and budget, GAD budget policy, water, water security, water and sanitation, SDGs
Mapping the Terrain of Feminist Organizing among Selected Organizations in Luzon and the Visayas
Teresita Villamor Barrameda, PhD
Using in-depth interviews, documents review, and focus group discussions, this article examines the organizing experiences of 15 organizations led and dominated by women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + (LGBTQIA+) individuals to determine how they provide conditions for growth and empowerment of women members and other marginalized groups, particularly LGBTQIA+ members. At the same time, it provides an analysis of their organizing processes and practices that could inform theorizing in feminist organizing. This qualitative study was conducted in selected areas in Luzon and the Visayas. It highlights the following findings: 1) these organizations can be located in a continuum: from bureaucratic to democratic structures; from an accommodating political orientation to transforming the existing social structures, and; from service-oriented, alternative to progressive entities; 2) their common features include: a vision of an egalitarian society; democratic and participatory organizational processes, and; recognition of women’s leadership and significant roles in organizations; 3) their organizational processes and practices reflect some principles and values of feminist organizing such as respect for diversity; the personal is political; an egalitarian vision of society; a de/reconstructed notion of power; and consensual and democratic organizational processes. In addition, their organizing processes and practices reflect, in some ways, feminist organizing principles such as how organizing women and LGBTQIA+ individuals leads to actions promoting women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights or addressing gender issues; enables women and LGBTQIA+ individuals to make informed choices; promotes an awareness of the need to change the existing patriarchal culture and practices in organizations and communities; promotes non-sexist values; and most importantly, contributes towards an egalitarian vision of development and society. In conclusion, the following points are put forward: 1) the organizing processes and practices of these organizations reflect some similarities to feminist principles; 2) feminist organizing could complement the current practices and processes of these organizations; 3) since the processes and practices of these organizations, though in varying degrees, reflect feminist organizing, mainstreaming gender concerns in these organizations as well as coalition-building with them is feasible.
Keywords: feminist organizing, gender mainstreaming, women, LGBTQIA+, organizing processes
Notes on Contributors
Philippine Copyright ©2020
All rights reserved.
University of the Philippines Diliman
Issue Editors Nathalie Lourdes Africa-Verceles, DSD
Managing Editors Rose Angelie M. Hernandez and Celeste F. Vallejos
Technical Editor Ariana Luna Isabel C. Santoalla
Published by College of Social Work and Community Development University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City
Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in this journal are solely the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the College of Social Work and Community Development.