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May 21, 2017

Comments

nick

There's so much I could say about that. There are still so many women in servitude of some kind, treated as servants and second-class citizens. And so many men who think this is totally normal, that women are there to do their bidding. The remarkable aspect of your story is that Eudocia had a strong enough spirit to endure her life without going crazy.

Tabor

A life. A whole life, used up for another. I read the article and felt so hollow.

dkzody

I read this piece last week and was so saddened by it. As Nick wrote, this is happening all around us and we just aren't aware of it.

Musings

I just read the entire article and was totally blown away. I'm so glad that at least the final years of her life were more peaceful and happy. It's amazing what can be hidden in plain sight right here in America.

Z

So much debate on this piece. Here is one of the more subtle responses: http://crosscut.com/2017/05/my-familys-slave-can-alex-tizon-be-forgiven-for-his-sins/

Marianna

Filipinos/Filipinas are now the largest ethnic/racial group in Hawaii. A lot of them are women married to much older white men. They work hard and attend to the needs of their old fellows and have a very high reputation for personal integrity and dependability. No one looks down on them!
A neighbor of ours, Lorraine Inouye, a Filipina-American, was born here and grew up in the "camps," (sugar plantation towns); she is our state rep. and a very capable one, dynamic and focused.She illustrates how far Filipinas can go if they get some breaks. Her husband is Japanese American. He dropped by just this afternoon to give us a bag of lychee fruit from his ranch. He told me that he had kidney cancer that was detected at an early stage and cured. Lucky man!
Island people are special people. I am privileged to live here.

Mage Bailey

I am terribly moved by this. As Tabor puts it, "hollow." Cushioned by our whitebread lives, few of us remember to look outside. This article should do that.

Sabine

This was quite a read, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Years ago, I researched somewhat similar stories of dependency and exploitation in Irish households, middle class, catholic, city dwellers, hiring country girls for 24/7 housework and childcare etc. No pay, free board, one day off early Sunday morning for mass. This went on well into the 1970s at least.
I interviewed one family who without a thought would continuously refer to their 'country bumpkin'.
There was the entire range from almost loving family connections to physical and sexual abuse.

Joared

Sad story. I know of several stories involving lovely caring Filipino women with some emerging into their own in the U.S. One that has not to date but may before long, involves a young American male, now middle-aged, who routinely goes to their nation to stay a bit as prefers women in that country over American women because, he says, they treat him so much better. Years ago he wed there, returned to the U.S., they had a couple children but eventually divorced and he kept the children. He returned to the country, married another woman there, and they're back here now. I noted on the few occasions I was in their company and learned of other situations that his wife was very subservient, catered to his every move and did the same with his other relatives. I couldn't help wondering if, when she's been here longer, become more aware of women's rights -- become emancipated, so to speak -- if she, too, as his first wife did, will seek her freedom. If he hasn't learned, or maybe doesn't care, I suppose he'll return to that country to seek another bride. So, we do, indeed, have much still going on today and attitudes from some desirous of their women to be slaves in one way or another it seems.

Brandon

Off-topic, but Sherri's asking about you at Nancy's blog: http://nancynall.com/2017/05/21/not-interested/#comment-780750

janinsanfran

One of my Filipina friends has signed off Facebook for awhile because she feels her progressive Filipino friends are unwilling to engage with this story as seriously as they ought. They all can find bits of it in their own history ...

My grandmother broke a hip at age 70, never walked again, became utterly deaf and finally nearly blind, acquired a colostomy .. and had the misfortune to survive another 20 years. The family coped by moving in a woman we called Mary B who because my grandmother's only real relationship and a fixture in the household. I remember being confused about "who is Mary B?" as a child. Most of the family treated her pretty badly, though she was certainly paid. After my grandmother died, she sank into alcoholism which eventually killed her. My mother was only one of the siblings who tried to relate to her in those last years -- not very effectually. I would describe her as working class Irish in a WASP household.

As a small child, I loved her, because she actually seemed to like children.

There was more of this in more settings than we realize.

Marianna

I imagine most Filipinas these days have dreams and aspirations and would not want to identify with Eudocia. A story like hers might tend to frighten them or make them feel looked down upon. The women I know, certainly, are some of them very successful. There are some who have failed, of course. Illness is a bad fate for them, since they are expected to be useful, givers rather than receivers of care.
We had an exchange student from Milan living with us in the early 90s. Her mother was a microbiologist with a full on career. The student and her sister were brought up by a Filipina who lived in, an intelligent and highly skilled person who could learn just about anything, including cooking fabulous Italian meals in the North Italian style. I had the chance to meet her on an Italian vacation later on. And eat some of that food! By that time she had moved out, had her own place and had married her long-time partner. She still cleaned and cooked for the family, but she had her own life, too.
There are many many Filipino-Americans here, including the oncology nurse who has done so much for me. She takes on the docs who don't always look at things from the point of view of the patient. She is observant. She listens. She has made life so much easier for me than it might be otherwise.

Z

My money says many are in E.'s situation.

Marianna

After all, how does a woman justify her existence except through her willingness to be of service to others? The catch is that if so many women did not make these sacrifices things would totally fall apart.

Marianna

Jan: I have experienced that class barrier, which my mother in law put up with respect to her caregiver, whom she definitely regarded as a subordinate. It was impossible for me to work around that and have a real friendship with D. She is "local," meaning, in her case, of German, Filipino and Japanese ancestry. That woman went back to college and got her teaching certificate and is now teaching in a public elementary school. And her eldest is now a college student. Yes, too many kids, four, but this happens to loving but unaware women, and she's not having any more.

Z

Things would fall apart if they/we did not make these sacrifices: yes. It is said you should just let them fall apart, and someone will step in to fill the gap but in my experience they don't, and the person/people who pay the price end up being, one way and another, those whose assigned role it is to overfunction and sacrifice.

Marianna

Z: Yes.

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