When You Google Pinay, What Do You See?| Pinay.com
- Jennifer Bichara
That’s right! When you google Pinay, these labels pop up: sexy hot Pinays, yummy hot Pinays, nice Pinay striptease, Pinay scandals, sensual Pinays, and so on. In Pinay.com’s site stats, the ugliness just keeps coming with Pinay porn, Pinay xx, bisexual Pinays, hot Pinays, naughty American Pinay.com, Pinay actress sex drugs and you porn Pinay.
Unfortunately, it is nothing new. Since the 90s, Filipinas battled the stereotype. Pinay.com publisher Perla Daly has been in the forefront of changing the negative images. (You can read about our site’s history here.) But she is not alone in this crusade. Here are the voices of three Filipina Feministas. We asked them: When You Google Pinay, What Do You See? Below are their thoughts:
VIDDA CHAN (SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA)
I was expecting to see a lot of photos of Pinays in seductive poses, selling themselves off as potential wives and/or companions (prostitutes). This time, I see ad listings on the right hand column, while the main listings were of blogs, websites, articles, of and by Filipinas in various walks of life and endeavors, including professionals, cooking and facebook pages.
How does one battle an entire culture to upgrade and bring dignity and grace back to our women? Survival appears to be the biggest impetus here and that’s hard to argue with. While I refuse to judge the women who choose prostitution, no woman or child should ever be forced into it against their will. I suggest a couple of things: a facebook page for the sole purpose of addressing this issue and a forum/blog/event for the sole purpose of addressing this issue. This would be an ongoing effort that I would be happy to be a part of.
GINNY GUANCO (MANILA, PHILIPPINES)
It saddens one to find out that the name Pinay, has been so tainted and biased over the last recent years that one can’t help but want to do something to change that image. While we may always put the blame on foreign media of how a Pinay is perceived in the eyes and thoughts of many, we, as a nation are really partly to blame. We send our girls to Japan to become dancers and bar girls, calling them Japayukis. We send our women, mothers and sisters to Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia to become domestic helpers. We have our mail-order brides. And we still wonder why foreigners think of our women in a certain way?
Many Pinays excel in different industries of endeavor. We have women inventors who are unknown because their stories are most likely not publicized. No one can question our musical talents and skills, our expertise in the arts. But are these positive images being focused? No. Media would rather emphasize on the negative.
I believe that legitimate, decent women groups should band together for the cause of women empowerment, uplifting the character and spirit of the real Filipina. And in this day and age of social media, many of these goals that we may have found difficult in the past to attain can now be made possible because of its fast medium and wide reach.
JANA LYNNE UMIPIG (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK)
I have been working in women’s empowerment since my undergraduate study when I began to consciously and intentionally piece together my existence in this world. That was almost 10 years ago now and I recognized for myself that any experience I have in my life will be reflective, in some capacity, of my identity as a Filipina.
After learning about Pinay.com and what Perla Peredes Daly has been cultivating in order to counter this constructed societal representation of our sisters, I felt the urgency to share with everyone I meet that this is something that needs to change. I tell them to type in Filipina or Pinay in Google, Yahoo or Bing to see what comes up. Then I tell them to go to Pinay.com and see how it is not just about wiping away these sites, but about actively and intentionally creating another presence that can overcome the other. It is up to us to determine how our representation will be established, and it begins by coming to understand this responsibility. If we do not work to take ownership of our identity on the cyber web and in all types of media it will continue to be owned by others.
I have explored my identity in a choreo-poetic theatre work entitled: “The Journey of a Brown Girl.” It depicts a young Pinay who is searching the web for Filipina/Pinay for the first time and how she is moved to look inward towards herself, to feel the connection with her Pinay sisters who are subject to exploitation on the web. You can read the segment here.
Jennifer Bichara is a free spirit. She is now a full-time art blogger, painter, sales agent for art pieces and a dealer of native products - one of her biggest passion besides art. Her work revolves around managing websites, writing, web content, web editing, coding, and working around WordPress themes for clients around the world. She is a champion of women's causes especially that of Filipinas and the love for art and art sake. Aside from being the Publishing Assistant of online magazine Pinay.com, Jenny is currently a member of United Women Artists Association of the Philippines (UWAAP), happy helping artists gain exposure through her blog. Here in jennysserendipity.com, her world revolves around ART and Pinay Artists of different genres.
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