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Monday, August 24, 2015

Femininity Part 5: Filipina Mystique: Maria Clara

When I was growing up, I was told to do that which is 'feminine, good and moral'.

I did not realize that unknowingly saying 'yes' to this - because of fear of being labeled a 'rebel' - will be me giving up my freedom to be and do that which I decided to be an unselfish creative expression of myself as a female.

I reacted in my mind to what I saw was an authoritative 'reprimand' from my elders. But since they were my caretakers, I cannot go against them. So, I ended up suppressing my innate creative expression and in an effort to obey them, I embraced the reprimand and incorporated it as if it was my own believing that it will be easier to follow that way. Then, in a somewhat manipulative way, I created another personality and made it appear as if I have more value - where the secret part of me (that which I suppressed - the secret inferior me) was seen as an added value that made me appear having more value specially to the opposite sex.

That part of me that cannot speak out openly became the 'soft, feminine side of me' that eventually evolved to having the 'mystic power' to draw the males toward me to want to get to know me more. I made use of this 'hidden inferior identity' to get the opposite sex to believe I was different than the rest (the softer, more feminine me), that there is something more to me than what meets the eye - an illusion that I transcended the suppressed me.

I created that 'special' feminine personality based from the illusion that my 'hidden feminine personality' needs to be conquered because it is 'unique'. The media called it the 'Maria Clara' personality. Translated in English, I call it the 'Filipina Mystique'. This was also a personality or character I created  to make myself 'special' in the eyes of the opposite sex. I used this illusion of softness to get them to want to rescue or assist me whenever I need help - and within that, believed they were stronger than me. It then evolved as my 'soft feminine' personality.

I used this to enhance the courtship games I used to play with the males. In my mind, I have this computation or opinion that, if I covered myself with a shroud of mystery, they would come and try to unravel that mystery. This was what I called the 'mysterious feminine personality' .I spoke indirectly to males who were courting me. I was always evasive. When asked whether I like them, I would say 'no' or 'maybe' even if I would like to know them more . I also did this to please my dad who did not approve of me having a boyfriend in high school.

My real identity was buried under the multiple characters that became my alternate persona without even being aware of what I was doing and why I was doing it, plus the consequence of all that.

 This feminine personality was enhanced more through the way I dress.

When we have school events or whenever our school had a beauty contest where I participated in, where I dressed up in a gown or Filipino dress, I can feel some form of enjoyment which I believed was the feminine in me.

I believed the texture of the soft cloth that brushed on my skin and harmonized with the way I walked as a feminine was providing me with added value.

I believed the beads sewn on the cloth were glitters that shined because I was 'special'. I associated it with the gowns worn by female actresses that I believed were 'more special'.  

I believed the shape of the sleeves were unique to the country where I came from - adding on to the value of the character, I am portraying. The matching high-heeled shoes, although hidden, I believed contributed to the overall portrayal of my feminine character. All the ornaments I wore were there to enhance my worth - as a feminine character that is evolving in my mind. 

Thee necklace I wore enhanced my neck that is part of my feminine rendition of a personality that was standing tall and proud of being feminine. The bracelets matched my necklace which I believed enhanced my arms that swayed with my hips and neck as I walk - that was a representation of softness and grace in my mind.

I had the impression that I was more fluid in my gestures, more expressive in my smile, and more sympathetic and kind in my speech. 

Was this a pure feminine expression? 
Although it felt like it, this was not my pure feminine expression. It was part of a feminine personality that I learned from the females in my family. I  watched them and copied their behaviors, attitudes, characteristics, and roles that they performed. Then, I labeled them feminine. Through this, I enhanced my view of myself - within inferiority.

In contrast, I saw masculinity as reserved and direct, tough and unyielding. 


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