The gender-fluid history of the Philippines | France Villarta

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2020-04-03・ 4547    548


Visit http://TED.com to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. In much of the world, gender is viewed as binary: man or woman, each assigned characteristics and traits designated by biological sex. But that's not the case everywhere, says France Villarta. In a talk that's part cultural love letter, part history lesson, he details the legacy of gender fluidity and inclusivity in his native Philippines -- and emphasizes the universal beauty of all people, regardless of society's labels. The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You're welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know. For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), submit a Media Request here: http://media-requests.TED.com Follow TED on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TEDTalks Like TED on Facebook: http://facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://youtube.com/TED

Instruction

Double-click on the English captions to play the video from there.

Translator: Noelia Collazo Boullosa Reviewer: Xosé María Moreno
00:13
I was an eight-year-old kid in the mid-1990s.
Eu era un neno de 8 anos a mediados dos anos 90
00:15
I grew up in southern Philippines.
que creceu no sur das Filipinas.
00:18
At that age, you're young enough to be oblivious
A esa idade, non tes anos abondo como para saber
00:20
about what society expects from each of us
que é o que a sociedade espera de ti,
00:22
but old enough to be aware of what's going on around you.
pero si tes anos abondo para decatarte do que acontece ao teu redor.
00:26
We lived in a one-bedroom house,
Viviamos nunha casa dun só cuarto,
00:28
all five of us.
e eramos cinco persoas.
00:29
Our house was amongst clusters of houses
A nosa casa estaba como moitas outras
00:32
made mostly of wood and corrugated metal sheets.
feita principalmente de madeira e planchas de uralita.
00:36
These houses were built very close to each other
Estaban construídas unhas moi preto das outras
00:39
along unpaved roads.
ao longo de rúas sen pavimentar.
00:41
There was little to no expectation of privacy.
A expectativa de ter privacidade era nula ou mínima.
00:44
Whenever an argument broke out next door,
Se alguén discutía na casa do lado
00:47
you heard it all.
escoitábase todo.
00:49
Or, if there was a little ... something something going on --
Ou, se estaban a facer outras cousiñas...
00:53
(Laughter)
(Risas)
00:55
you would probably hear that, too.
probablemente se escoitase tamén.
00:58
(Laughter)
(Risas)
00:59
Like any other kid, I learned what a family looked like.
Como calquera outro neno, aprendín como funcionaban as familias.
01:03
It was a man, a woman, plus a child or children.
Había un home, unha muller, un fillo ou varios fillos.
01:07
But I also learned it wasn't always that way.
Pero tamén aprendín que non sempre era así.
01:09
There were other combinations that worked just as well.
Había outras combinacións igual de boas.
01:12
There was this family of three who lived down the street.
Había unha familia de tres que vivían ao final da rúa.
01:15
The lady of the house was called Lenie.
A muller da casa chamábase Lenie.
01:18
Lenie had long black hair, often in a ponytail,
Tiña o pelo longo e negro, normalmente atado nunha coleta,
01:21
and manicured nails.
e levaba as uñas perfectas.
01:23
She always went out with a little makeup on
Sempre saía cunha pouca de maquillaxe
01:25
and her signature red lipstick.
e o seu típico pintalabios vermello.
01:28
Lenie's other half, I don't remember much about him
Do que estaba con ela, non lembro demasiado,
01:30
except that he had a thing for white sleeveless shirts
agás que sempre ía con camisas sen mangas
01:33
and gold chains around his neck.
e cadeas de ouro arredor do pescozo.
01:36
Their daughter was a couple years younger than me.
A súa filla tiña un par de anos menos ca min.
01:39
Now, everybody in the village knew Lenie.
Todos na vila coñecían a Lenie.
01:42
She owned and ran what was the most popular beauty salon
Era a dona e dirixía o salón de beleza máis famoso
01:45
in our side of town.
do noso lado da vila.
01:46
Every time their family would walk down the roads,
Cada vez que a súa familia camiñaba polas rúas,
01:49
they would always be greeted with smiles
todo o mundo a saudaba sorrindo
01:51
and occasionally stopped for a little chitchat.
e ás veces parábanse a parolar un anaco.
01:56
Now, the interesting thing about Lenie
O máis interesante de Lenie
01:58
is that she also happened to be a transgender woman.
é que resultaba ser unha muller transxénero.
02:03
She exemplified one of the Philippines' long-standing stories
Ela representaba unha das antigas historias das Filipinas
02:07
about gender diversity.
sobre a diversidade de xénero.
02:10
Lenie was proof that oftentimes we think of something as strange
Lenie era a proba de que a miúdo consideramos que algo é estraño
02:16
only because we're not familiar with it,
tan só porque non estamos familiarizados con el
02:18
or we haven't taken enough time to try and understand.
ou porque nin sequera nos paramos a intentar entendelo.
02:23
In most cultures around the world,
Na maioría das culturas arredor do mundo
02:26
gender is this man-woman dichotomy.
o xénero é a típica dicotomía home-muller.
02:29
It's this immovable, nonnegotiable, distinct classes of individuals.
É unha distinción entre individuos inamovible e innegociable.
02:35
We assign characteristics and expectations
Asignamos características e expectativas
02:38
the moment a person's biological sex is determined.
no momento en que se determina o sexo biolóxico dunha persoa.
02:42
But not all cultures are like that.
Pero non todas as culturas son así.
02:45
Not all cultures are as rigid.
Non todas as culturas son tan ríxidas.
02:47
Many cultures don't look at genitalia primarily
Moitas culturas non consideran os xenitais
02:50
as basis for gender construction,
como unha base para a construción do xénero,
02:52
and some communities in North America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent
e certas comunidades de América do Norte, África, o subcontinente indio
02:58
and the Pacific Islands, including the Philippines,
e as illas do Pacífico, incluídas as Filipinas,
03:01
have a long history of cultural permissiveness
posúen unha longa historia de tolerancia cultural
03:05
and accommodation of gender variances.
e aceptación das diferentes identidades de xénero.
03:08
As you may know,
Como xa saberedes,
03:09
the people of the Philippines were under Spanish rule for over 300 years.
a xente das Filipinas estivo gobernada por España durante máis de 300 anos.
03:14
That's from 1565 to 1898.
Dende 1565 ata 1898.
03:17
This explains why everyday Filipino conversations
Isto explica o porqué de que as conversas filipinas
03:20
are peppered with Spanish words
estean cheas de palabras españolas
03:22
and why so many of our last names, including mine, sound very Spanish.
e tamén que moitos dos nosos apelidos, coma o meu, soen moi españois.
03:28
This also explains the firmly entrenched influence of Catholicism.
Isto tamén explica a firmemente arraigada influencia do catolicismo.
03:34
But precolonial Philippine societies,
Pero as sociedades filipinas precoloniais
03:36
they were mostly animists.
eran principalmente animistas.
03:39
They believed all things had a distinct spiritual essence:
Crían que todas as cousas tiñan unha esencia espiritual distintiva:
03:45
plants, animals, rocks, rivers, places.
as plantas, os animais, as pedras, os ríos e os lugares.
03:50
Power resided in the spirit.
O poder residía no espírito.
03:53
Whoever was able to harness that spiritual power was highly revered.
Calquera que puidese empregar ese poder espiritual era altamente venerado.
03:59
Now, scholars who have studied the Spanish colonial archives
Os académicos que estudaron os arquivos das colonias españolas
04:02
also tell us that these early societies were largely egalitarian.
tamén nos din que esas sociedades antigas eran, en gran parte, igualitarias.
04:08
Men did not necessarily have an advantage over women.
Os homes non sempre tiñan máis privilexios ca as mulleres.
04:12
Wives were treated as companions, not slaves.
Trataban ás esposas como compañeiras, non como escravas.
04:15
And family contracts were not done without their presence and approval.
E os contratos familiares non se asinaban sen a súa presenza e aprobación.
04:20
In some ways, women had the upper hand.
Dalgún xeito, as mulleres tiñan o control.
04:23
A woman could divorce her husband and own property under her own name,
Unha muller podía divorciarse do seu marido ou ter propiedades ao seu nome,
04:28
which she kept even after marriage.
que podía manter despois de casar.
04:30
She had the prerogative to have a baby or not
Tiña dereito a decidir se quería ser nai ou non
04:33
and then decide the baby's name.
e decidir o nome do seu fillo ou filla.
04:36
But the real key to the power of the precolonial Filipino woman
Pero o verdadeiro segredo do poder da muller precolonial filipina
04:41
was in her role as "babaylan,"
residía no seu papel como "babaylán",
04:45
a collective term for shamans of various ethnic groups.
un termo colectivo para as xamás de varios grupos étnicos.
04:49
They were the community healers,
Eran as curandeiras comunitarias,
04:52
specialists in herbal and divine lore.
especialistas en herbas e tradicións divinas.
04:56
They delivered babies
Asistían partos
04:57
and communicated with the spirit world.
e comunicábanse co mundo espiritual.
05:00
They performed exorcisms
Levaban a cabo exorcismos
05:03
and occasionally, and in defense of their community,
e, ás veces, para defender a súa comunidade,
05:07
they kicked some ass.
daban algunhas malleiras.
05:09
(Laughter)
(Risas)
05:11
And while the babaylan was a female role,
E a pesar de que as babayláns eran maiormente mulleres,
05:14
there were also, in fact, male practitioners in the spiritual realm.
había tamén homes practicantes no reino espiritual.
05:18
Reports from early Spanish chroniclers contain several references
Os informes dos antigos historiadores españois conteñen varias referencias
05:23
to male shamans who did not conform to normative Western masculine standards.
a homes xamáns que non se axustaban aos estándares masculinos occidentais.
05:29
They cross-dressed
Travestíanse
05:30
and appeared effeminate
e parecían efeminados
05:33
or sexually ambiguous.
ou sexualmente ambiguos.
05:35
A Jesuit missionary named Francisco Alcina
Un misioneiro xesuíta chamado Francisco Alcina
05:37
said that one man he believed to be a shaman
dixo que "un home que se considerara xamán
05:40
was "so effeminate
era tan efeminado
05:42
that in every way he was more a woman than a man.
que en tódolos sentidos era máis muller ca home.
05:47
All the things the women did
Todo o que facían as mulleres
05:49
he performed,
el tamén o levaba a cabo,
05:51
such as weaving blankets,
como tecer sabas,
05:53
sewing clothes and making pots.
coser roupa ou facer potas.
05:57
He danced also like they did,
Tamén bailaba coma elas,
06:00
never like a man,
nunca coma os homes,
06:02
whose dance is different.
cuxo baile é diferente.
06:04
In all, he appeared more a woman than a man."
En definitiva, parecía máis unha muller ca un home."
06:10
Well, any other juicy details in the colonial archives?
Algún outro detalle suculento nos arquivos coloniais?
06:16
Thought you'd never ask.
Esperaba esa pregunta.
06:17
(Laughter)
(Risas)
06:19
As you may have deduced by now,
Como xa deduciriades a estas alturas,
06:21
the manner in which these precolonial societies conducted themselves
a maneira da que estas sociedades precoloniais eran xestionadas
06:25
didn't go over so well.
non foi moi ben recibida.
06:27
All the free-loving, gender-variant-permitting,
Todo este amor libre, a permisividade das variables de xénero
06:30
gender equality wokeness
e a conciencia da igualdade de xénero
06:32
clashed viciously with the European sensibilities at the time,
chocou agresivamente coas sensibilidades europeas da época,
06:36
so much so that the Spanish missionaries spent the next 300 years
tanto que os misioneiros españois pasaron os seguintes 300 anos
06:41
trying to enforce their two-sex, two-gender model.
intentando impoñer o seu modelo de dous sexos e dous xéneros.
06:44
Many Spanish friars also thought that the cross-dressing babaylan
Incluso moitos freires españois crían que os babayláns travestidos
06:49
were either celibates like themselves
eran ou célibes, coma eles,
06:53
or had deficient or malformed genitals.
ou tiñan unha deficiencia ou malformación xenital.
06:56
But this was pure speculation.
Pero isto era pura especulación.
06:58
Documents compiled between 1679 and 1685, called "The Bolinao Manuscript,"
Documentos recompilados entre 1679 e 1685
chamados "O manuscrito de Bolinao",
07:04
mentions male shamans marrying women.
fala de homes xamáns que casaban con mulleres.
07:08
The Boxer Codex, circa 1590,
O Códice Boxer, cara o 1590,
07:11
provide clues on the nature of the male babaylan sexuality.
proporciona pistas sobre a natureza da sexualidade dos homes babayláns.
07:16
It says, "Ordinarily they dress as women,
Di que "habitualmente vístense como mulleres,
07:21
act like prudes
actúan como puritanos
07:23
and are so effeminate
e son tan efeminados
07:25
that one who does not know them would believe they are women.
que calquera que os coñeza podería crer que son mulleres.
07:29
Almost all are impotent for the reproductive act,
Case todos son impotentes no que se refere á reprodución,
07:33
and thus they marry other males and sleep with them as man and wife
así que casan con outros homes e déitanse con eles como marido e muller
07:39
and have carnal knowledge."
e teñen un coñecemento carnal."
07:42
Carnal knowledge, of course, meaning sex.
Por suposto, con coñecemento carnal queren dicir sexo.
07:47
Now, there's an ongoing debate in contemporary society
Agora hai un debate en curso na sociedade contemporánea
07:50
about what constitutes gender and how it should be defined.
sobre que constitúe o xénero e como debe definirse este.
07:53
My country is no exception.
O meu país non é unha excepción.
07:55
Some countries like Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal and Canada
Algúns países como Australia, Nova Zelandia, Pakistán, Nepal ou Canadá
08:00
have begun introducing nonbinary options in their legal documents,
comenzaron a introducir a opción "xénero non binario" nalgúns documentos legais,
08:04
such as their passports and their permanent resident cards.
como os pasaportes e as tarxetas de residentes permanentes.
08:08
In all these discussions about gender,
En todos estes debates sobre o xénero,
08:10
I think it's important to keep in mind
creo que é importante ter presente
08:12
that the prevailing notions of man and woman as static genders
que as nocións actuais de homes e mulleres entendidos como xéneros estáticos,
08:16
anchored strictly on biological sex
ancorados estritamente ao sexo biolóxico
08:19
are social constructs.
son construcións sociais.
08:22
In my people's case, this social construct is an imposition.
No caso do meu pobo, esta construción social é una imposición.
08:28
It was hammered into their heads over hundreds of years
Foilles inculcado durante centos e centos de anos
08:33
until they were convinced that their way of thinking was erroneous.
ata que os convenceron de que a súa forma de pensar era errónea.
08:38
But the good thing about social constructs
Pero o bo das construcións sociais
08:42
is they can be reconstructed
é que se poden reconstruír
08:44
to fit a time and age.
para que encaixen nun momento ou época.
08:47
They can be reconstructed
Poden reconstruírse
08:49
to respond to communities that are becoming more diverse.
para responder ante comunidades que se están volvendo máis diversas.
08:53
And they can be reconstructed
E poden reconstruírse
08:55
for a world that's starting to realize
para un mundo que empeza a decatarse
08:58
we have so much to gain from learning and working through our differences.
de que temos moito que gañar aprendendo das nosas diferenzas e resolvéndoas.
09:04
When I think about this subject,
Cando penso neste tema,
09:06
I think about the Filipino people
penso na xente filipina
09:08
and an almost forgotten but important legacy
e no case esquecido, pero importante legado
09:12
of gender equality and inclusivity.
da igualdade e inclusividade de xénero.
09:15
I think about lovers who were some of the gentlest souls I had known
Penso nalgúns amantes,
que eran das mellores persoas que nunca coñecín,
09:21
but could not be fully open.
pero que non se podían abrir libremente.
09:23
I think about people who have made an impact in my life,
Penso nas persoas que causaron un impacto na miña vida
09:28
who showed me that integrity, kindness and strength of character
e me ensinaron que a integridade, a bondade e a fortaleza do carácter
09:32
are far better measures of judgment,
son aspectos que xulgar moito mellores
09:35
far better than things that are beyond a person's control
que calquera cousa que estea fóra do control dunha persoa
09:38
such as their skin color, their age
como a cor da súa pel, a súa idade
09:42
or their gender.
ou o seu xénero.
09:44
As I stand here today, on the shoulders of people like Lenie,
Estar hoxe aquí presente, mirando a través de persoas coma Lenie,
09:49
I feel incredibly grateful for all who have come before me,
faime sentir incriblemente agradecido por aqueles que viñeron antes ca min,
09:54
the ones courageous enough to put themselves out there,
aqueles valentes abondo para lanzarse
09:59
who lived a life that was theirs
a vivir a vida que lles pertencía
10:02
and in the process, made it a little easier for us to live our lives now.
e no proceso, fixeron que as nosas vidas fosen máis sinxelas hoxe en día.
10:07
Because being yourself is revolutionary.
Porque ser ti mesmo é revolucionario.
10:12
And to anyone reeling from forces trying to knock you down
E para todos aqueles que cambaleades ante as forzas que intentan abatervos
10:16
and cram you into these neat little boxes people have decided for you:
e embutirvos nesas pequenas e pulcras caixas que a xente deseñou para vós:
10:22
don't break.
Non vos derrubedes.
10:24
I see you.
Eu compréndovos.
10:26
My ancestors see you.
Os meus antepasados tamén.
10:28
Their blood runs through me as they run through so many of us.
O seu sangue corre polas miñas veas e polas de moitos de nós.
10:33
You are valid, and you deserve rights and recognition
Sodes válidos e merecedes dereitos e recoñecemento
10:40
just like everyone else.
tanto como calquera outra persoa.
10:44
Thank you.
Grazas.
10:45
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
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