The fifth module offered some very interesting readings that made the cogwheels in my brain more engaged. I was especially piqued by Paulo Freire’s Education for Critical Consciousness.
As per Freire, critical consciousness is one’s ability to interpret political, social as well as economic oppression and have the ability to act against such forms of oppression. He also had another book that discussed this same concept – Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Though I already know major parts of his arguments, reading pages 6-20 was still an eye opener. It cemented what I was already fighting for. Just to segue a bit, I have been keeping a blog on women entitled Women’s Nook; this blog has been in existence for 9 years now. On that blog, I feature women’s achievements, celebrity women, women in romance, and just about any topic pertaining to the most beautiful creature of creation.
More particularly, I am enthused to write about women’s rights; I fight anything and anyone that demeans women in any way.
Going back on Freire, I just wish that every Filipino woman would have access to his work. I believe I will be sharing our reading on Women’s Nook pretty soon so some of my subscribed female readers would be edified, too.
Though Freire had contact with educators, his concept of critical consciousness is not widely taught. Schools, in fact, focus on self-interest and how to earn money through careers.
Freire taught many third-world people in their battle against illiteracy. Yet illiteracy, in my own opinion, comes on so many levels. It is not just the inability to read or write. Illiteracy can also be one’s inability to stand up to societal abuse.
The abused need to recognize that they are the abused. Also, there must be a sense of solidarity among the oppressed so acting upon the oppressor becomes possible. Lastly, the oppressed must not be apathetic to their situation.
I happened to have a close relative who was being abused by her husband for so many years. I tried extending my help to her – many times – but she constantly refused. Then there came a time when her husband turned to their two kids and started beating them up, too.
This was that moment when I was ready to have him arrested but my female relative hid her husband. Yes, she hid him! Imagine my frustration and anger because I already contacted the police and even began to set up a meetup with a representative from GABRIELA.
While I do know that battered wives have a tendency to recant their testimonies, it never truly dawned upon me how disappointing it could get once you are already facing the oppressed and gritting your teeth to find the oppressor.
It is also shocking how the wife got accustomed to the constant abuse that she no longer has the capacity to think logically. Why would one stay in a relationship that gives you black-and-blue marks from time to time? Allow me to be blunt but, so what if make-up sex is much sweeter after a moment of battery?
Filipino women need to wake up to what is happening and should begin to take action to overcome any oppressive condition. After all, Freire said, “Who are better prepared than the oppressed to understand the terrible significance of an oppressive society?”
I stand by what Freire stated and I am here to help. If you know of anyone (she doesn’t have to be female) who is being physically abused, let me help. I have contacts from the police, GABRIELA and I was the niece of a former attorney (rest my uncle’s soul). I have helped a handful of abused women in the past so I have some experience to handle such issues.
Stop defeatism (attitude of self-defeat) now!