Masculinity in the Philippines

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philippine studies Ateneo de Manila University • Loyola Heights, Quezon City • 1108 Philippines Philippine Commonwealth and Cult of Masculinity Alfred W. Mccoy Philippine Studies vol. 48, no. 3 (2000): 315–346 Copyright © Ateneo de Manila University Philippine Studies is published by the Ateneo de Manila University. Contents may not be copied or sent via email or other means to multiple sites and posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s written permission. Users may download and print articles for individual, noncommercial use only. However, unless prior permission has been obtained, you may not download an entire issue of a journal, or download multiple copies of articles. Please contact the publisher for any further use of…show more content…
If we accept what one historian has called "the emancipated status of Filipino women in the 19th century," then the prewar nationalist movement, with its rhetoric of militarism and male empowerment, may have skewed the gender balance within the Philippine polity. In a Malay society with a legacy of gender equality-bilateral kinship, matrilocal marriage, and gender-neutral pronouns-this aspect of nationalism seems socially retrogressive.' Understandably, postwar historians have overlooked this glorification of masculinity and military valor in their sympathetic studies of prewar Filipino nationalism. Nonetheless, mass conscription shaped gender roles in the first half of the 20th century and fostered a rhetoric that pervaded Philippine politics in its second half. In deploying Europe's cult of masculinity to support mass conscription, the Commonwealth introduced a new element into the country's political culture. Indeed, this engendered social order-propagated through conscription, education, and mass media-fostered imagery that would shape Philippine politics at key transitional moments in the latter decades of the 20th century. For well over half the fifty plus years since independence, the Philippines has been ruled by presidents who won office with claims of martial valor and then governed in a military manner. COMMONWEALTH A N D MASCULINITY The Philippine acceptance of this Euro-American model of masculinity provides strong evidence of the paradigm's
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