By William M. Esposo (The Philippine Star)
The Catholic Church in our country is so messed up that it cannot...
By Ron de Vera
I love Arnold Clavio. I love how he handled his interview with Miriam Qiuambao and Naomi Fontanos (Chairwoman of Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines) on the topic of transgender women being allowed to compete in the Ms. Universe pageant. Clavio kept the mood light, he did not show any bias or transphobia, and he asked the right questions.
I also love Naomi for not letting Miriam get away with her attempt to impose her version of the truth on Naomi. I love Naomi for standing up for transwomen and LGBT people.
But most of all, I love Miriam for embodying what a beauty queen should be. Sure, she does not completely understand the difference between sex and gender. Sure, by saying that womanhood is determined by chromosomes, she has effectively misinformed her more than 250,000 Twitter followers. But I don’t take this against her. It is irresponsible, definitely! But she is a beauty queen, not a gender and sexuality expert. So chill out!
By Ron de Vera
Warm greetings to a lovely woman! I have been a big fan ever since you placed first runner up in the 1999 Ms. Universe. Yes, even before major major mistakes and tsunami walks came into existence, you already captured the global audience (and me) with your signature statuesque pose. And who could forget how gracefully you picked yourself up when you fell on stage? Indeed, you have become an inspiration to other women. As for me, my admiration went beyond that pageant. I consider you one of the few women in show business who actually have real skill and talent plus a humanitarian heart to boot.
But today, I am writing you about this deep pang of disappointment that stabbed me from the inside when I read your tweets. The first that caught my attention was this:
I immediately called this out and sent you a direct tweet:
after which, you replaced your tweet with this (the version that others picked up and retweeted)…
by Ron de Vera
Logical debate is a necessary part of every activist’s life. But before engaging in a debate, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I know the subject? – For seasoned activists, this should be a given. But for newbies, it is normal to romanticize passion and equate it with victory. If you don’t think you can pull it off, leave it to the experts. If you think you can, make sure you have information handy.
2. Are my objectives realistic? – If you are about to argue with a religious fundamentalist with the intent of convincing the person to turn against faith, you might as well argue with a 10-foot tall slab of concrete. As a personal policy, I never engage in debate to win. I engage to educate and to learn.
3. Are we both clear on the parameters? – At the onset, make sure both of you know the rules. I generally do not engage if I know that Bible verses will be used against me. It defeats the purpose of a logical debate. But for some people, that is perfectly fine. So know what parameters work best for you.
4. Can I document the whole discussion? – If you can’t document the discussion, then be prepared for a lot of moving goalposts (discussed later). Documenting the discussion ensures that both of you have a way of getting back on track. It’s also a nifty way of catching contradictions.
5. Will this do more good than harm? – Sometimes, winning an argument will actually put you in a worse position or result in more damage to your cause. Be selective. Choose your battles.
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then I present to you ten commonly used fallacies and what to do when they are used against you in logical debate (actual quotes from actual debates are found here).
What is “Moving the Goalpost”? A “Red Herring”? —> Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.
by Ron de Vera
The sexuality of Supreme Court Spokesperson Midas Marquez has become the topic of debates when a video of him addressing the press went viral yesterday.
In the video, Marquez is seen reacting to a microphone falling off the podium. In less than 24 hours, the video has been shared more than 11,000 times on Facebook and has had more than 12,000 views and more than 100 comments on YouTube.
Here is an overview of how YouTube users have reacted to the video as of writing:
1. Yes, he is definitely gay – 28% (38/136)
2. I don’t care, this is funny – 27% (37/136)
3. Flagged as spam/removed – 18% (24/136)
4. No, this does not make him gay – 7% (9/136)
5. It doesn’t matter, he’s doing his job well – 5% (7/136)
6. Please think about the welfare of his children – 4% (6/136)
7. Yes, he is gay, and that is a pity because he is handsome – 4% (5/136)
8. Yes, he is gay, but it’s okay, he’s doing his job well – 4% (5/136)
9. I don’t care, he’s hot – 3% (4/136)
10. So what if he’s gay? – 1% (1/136)
(Data based on a total of 136 comments. Unrelated comments were not included)
What is worth mentioning is that some of the homophobic comments (both on YouTube and Facebook) were actually made by some people who self-identify as LGBT activists. Granted that LGBT activism in the Philippines has come a long way, such homophobic remarks are indicative of the level of maturity of this movement.
by Ron de Vera
On October 27, the Statement of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) on “Non-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression” was made public on PAP’s website.
According to the website, PAP’s non-discrimination statement aims to “eliminate stigma, prejudice, discrimination and violence against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender)” people by supporting efforts to:
• oppose all public and private discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and expression;
• repeal discriminatory laws and policies, and support the passage of legislation at the local and national levels that protect the rights and promote the welfare of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions;
• eliminate all forms of prejudice and discrimination against LGBTs in teaching, research, psychological interventions, assessment and other psychological programs;
• encourage psychological research that addresses the needs and concerns of LGBT Filipinos and their families and communities;
• disseminate and apply accurate and evidence-based information about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to design interventions that foster mental health and wellbeing of LGBT Filipinos.
By releasing this statement, the PAP joins the ranks of other mental health professional organizations around the world in affirming that “lesbian, gay and bisexual orientations are normal variants of human sexuality.” These organizations include the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, British Psychological Society, the Colombian Society of Psychology, Psychological Society of South Africa, the Australian Psychological Society, and the International Network on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology, among others.
The statement includes a general list of how LGBT Filipinos still experience stigma, prejudice and discrimination in Philippine society such as “bullying, teasing and harassment of LGBT children and adolescents in families, schools and communities; media portrayal of LGBTs as frivolous, untrustworthy and even dangerous or predatory; denying transgender Filipinos entry into commercial establishments; pigeonholing LGBT Filipinos into particularly limited roles and occupations; or curtailing their rights to participate in the political sphere.”