‘Challenge male predominance in Philippine literature,’ Thomasians told

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(Photo by Arianne Maye D.G. Viri/ The Varsitarian)

THOMASIAN students were urged to re-evaluate male-dominant traits in Philippine literature, which might pose harm to both men and women.

De La Salle University professor Ronald Baytan said masculinity in itself is not bad but may become “oppressive” if it becomes normative and considers women treacherous.

He explained that masculinity is often defined in terms of being physically strong and less emotional while women are often depicted as either weak or seductive.

“We use [masculinity] as a guideline to identify weakness, which is femininity,” Baytan, director of the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing at La Salle, said during the forum titled “Danas: The Macho Man in Philippine Literature,” last Jan 22.

John Iremil Teodoro, a scholar of Hiligaynon literature and graduate program coordinator of DLSU’s literature department, discussed works written by Ilonggos during pre-Hispanic era, which showed more openness towards women.

“Women have to write themselves dahil iyon lang ang way para mabawi nila ang kanilang body and soul,” Teodoro said.

Danas was organized by the UST Literary Society and was held at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex auditorium.

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