Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fucked up priorities/Desperate Housewives?

So over the past few days, there's been a brouhaha among the Filipino cybercommunity about a racist remark that was said by Teri Hatcher's remark on Desperate Housewives talking shit about Filipino doctors and how they're not up to snuff.

Racist? Yes.

But on a grander scale of things, is it really worth it?

I'd rather much focus on real issues of Filipino doctors in the US, rather than some random off-the-cuff comment on a dying soap opera done by a writer, instead of placing the blame on an actress who is just trained to speak her lines.

If these people were really serious about the offensiveness of these remarks, maybe they should push for Filipino writers on their shows. Or support Filipino artists, actors, singers, etc. Or demand a show that stars a Filipino American (oops, Tia Carrere doesn't count, does she? :P)

One of the prime issues affecting Filipino doctors who are trained in the Philippines are having an extremely difficult time being certified to practice in the United States, and how many (my cousin's wife being a prime example) are forced to go from being a medical doctor to becoming a registered nurse since it's much easier to gain certification as an RN rather than an MD. If I remember correctly, Filipinos comprised the largest segment of immigrant physicians in the United States until recently.

What about real issues affecting the Filipino American community, like the WW2 veteranos getting their due pensions? Or the saving of Filipino historical landmarks in the US?

As my girl Rona said, "Think big, dream big. Think small, dream small."

If the Filipino community but as much effort into actually having real representation in mainstream American media than get worked up over a minor comment, we'd probably get so much farther...


Rona Fernandez said...

I couldn't agree with you more. It's sad that this is all our community can really rally around. i felt the same way about the black eyed peas 'bebot' video. It was like, 'Okaaay...' is it really THAT important to protest girls wearing skimpy clothing in the name of Pin@y Power? How about teaching our girls how to value themselves as more than wanna-be light-skinned sex objects? I might have to blog on this now too. Thanks for injecting your POV into the debate.

Efren said...

Thanks, Rona. I really value your opinion because it seems that there's so few of us out there that are wondering WTF is happening with our community.

The one thing that annoyed the shit out of me in this is that this is basically an easy win for the FilAm community...but it also means that it gives a LOT of unexpected publicity to Desperate Housewives, a show that was essentially dying, and might give people an excuse to watch it and see what the hell this is all about, and boost their ratings. Did peole not learn the lessons from POC trying to fight Abercrombie and Fitch and only asking for cosmetic changes and not for deeper changes to change the system within that company?

If anything, this frickin' smacks of hypocrisy by our own community and a lack of history that there already HAS been a Fil-Am in Desperate Housewives, Alec Mapa. Or does he not count because he's gay?

Anyway, this is part of the reason why I get so pissed off at our community--getting away from real tangible issues that affect our community, and going after small fish that makes us look incredibly stupid.

Rona Fernandez said...

Hm, I hadn't even thought about how the Fil-Am 'civil rights activists' who were so quick to decry the 'negative stereotypes' implied in the DH episode hadn't even pointed out the fact that Alec Mapa is a regular on the show. you're absolutely right, they are totally hypocrites. I wonder if they even had backdoor conversations about specifically NOT pointing out Alec Mapa because his character (a gay fashionista, no?) is not a 'positive' portrayal of Fil-Ams. Fuck that! I'll take hanging out with Alec Mapa over Jasmine Trias or Rodel Rodis ANYday! ;)