Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Culture Clash

Last Sunday, a Philippine woman was confronted about her newly born baby she left in an airport trash can. The woman was returning home to Manila and was having labor pains on the plane. She gave birth to the baby at the airport as the plane was landing. She left the baby because she was afraid of what her parents would think of her when she got to their house.

The woman was allegedly raped by her employer, for whom she was working as a maid in Qatar. When she became pregnant her employer's wife forced her to return home. She managed to hide her pregnancy and board a flight. She was unaware that she was going to have the baby on the plane but once she did have it, in her eyes it was the perfect opportunity to leave the baby behind. She was in excessive need for a solution seeing as though she was raped, unemployed, and didn’t know how to tell her parents.

However, the fact does remain that she did leave her baby who was announced alive when found in a trash bag from the plane restroom. The baby was blue and a few minutes away from dying. She was fearful of the way her family would treat her and to what extent would she be affected by their decisions. The family had not seen her for since last June when she had gone to work in Qatar for the next three years, so when she did arrive they were surprised. The real reasoning behind her not wanting to bring the baby home was because she already had a husband and two children back home.

What would you have done if you were in her shoes? She is now facing child abandonment charges, lawsuits and DNA testing to see if she is the child’s biological mother. Child custody issues are also now in effect just incase she is not granted access to have custody. She was willing to leave her baby behind due to family views and her personal beliefs. Was she wrong for what she had done, did she make the right choice, and now that her baby was found alive should she be allowed to have him back? This woman was scared and pushed to the limit emotionally, and financially. Is she going to be able to afford another baby? Would it be in the child’s best interest to be adopted? Would her giving the baby away change the damage done and the views of her parents?

The woman was forced out after her employers wife realized she had been pregnant, even though her husband had been neglecting her and using her as a sex plaything for his personal pleasure, the survivor was punished. Their relationship was not consensual and the woman was afraid to say anything because she would be out of work. Then she was forced to face the fact that her parents may not accept her and the baby seeing that she went against their religious beliefs. How does this culture clash between her parents’ beliefs and her personal desire to keep her baby effect her decision? I believe she was wrong for abandoning her baby but was she pressured to make that decision? Many would agree that she was but will the courts realize that? She wants her baby and wants to be there so she should be granted that role, but at the same time if her family was going to be upset regardless was it worth doing? This is a phenomenal story I advise you all to read up about it.

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