Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dead Woman Walking

Seven years ago, Ian Fermin Casocot wrote in very plain, simple words what took me years to figure out and too much beating around the bush to put on paper: “Only a dead woman is a happy woman,” he began his essay on women in Contemporary Drama, which made up our final exams in Prof. Philip Van Peele’s graduate class at Silliman University. “Everything in this world works to make woman very unhappy."
Then, he proceeded to name the women characters---all tragic and sad---in Contemporary Drama by numerous playwrights from Ibsen down to Brecht and others to illustrate his point. It’s only now, seven years later, that looking through myself as the closest flesh and blood woman I happen to know, I felt the full impact of Ian’s words. “Why hadn’t I written that?” I had said the first time I heard it read in class seven years ago. “Why hadn’t I seriously thought of that?” I am thinking now, as I---standing in a doorway after slicing tomatoes, grimly realized the truth I am forced to swallow. I wish I could take a glance at that piece of paper again where he had written that essay but I have taken a close look at my life and finally gotten its message: Only a dead woman is a happy woman. A woman who seeks her own happiness will not likely attain it in this life so that a woman who truly and seriously wants to find her happiness has to take solace in Death as her only means to attain it. How true!

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