The root of this "parody" is the old stereotype of Filipina women as sluts and prostitutes that GIs brought back with them. That is the "sociology" of this "joke" skit which was mainly a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton, who, as Jon Stewart declares, "does not shave her chest, DODD!"
Well I've never liked Jon Stewart with his too smart alecky take on things and now he proves that he is not only glib and dumb, he is mighty glib and stupid too. The insult to Cory Aquino was not only personal, it was also baseless, considering her personal demeanor as a widow, mother and globally revered President and leader of her people. Her reaction was naturally annoyance, but Ms. Aquino had the grace to say on Philippine television yesterday that she was actually praying for the people on Jon Stewart's Daily Show. (Don't bother, Ma'm!) She bears no resemblance or affinity to anything that ought to become a joke on sluts. Unless of course it is meant to call all Filipino women sluts. I bet even real sluts would agree though, Cory Aquino is not one of them! I was very curious though that the dyed in the wool liberal moon bats on that Jon Stewart Show picked on Cory Aquino as the woman leader of the Philippines and not Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who is the real...(censored by Bloggers' Privilege). I guess Political Correctness extends even to insults and an appearance with Bill Clinton recently may have saved President Arroyo from the fate of German Prima Angela Merkel, also lampooned on the Jon Stewart skit. Amazingly, conservative blogger La Shawn Barber makes a cameo appearance just before Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel and Cory Aquino. [update: please see corrections to actual participants in the Comment Thread. hat tip to John]
There is nice Message Board up at Comedy Central on this incident where people are reacting.
The cheap shot on Cory Aquino follows the already humongous and still growing controversy over the season premiere of the hit show Desperate Wives (talking about sluts!), for which ABC TV's top honchos have already apologized and over which the Fil-Am community and its many allies are going to town. GMA TV News has a round up of bloggers.
Now this one is a lil different than Jon Stewart's totally gratuitous slur on President Aquino. It is the penalty all Filipinos are paying for that wholly scandalous Nursing Exam Leak last year, for which I don't believe the guilty have really been punished. The script writer at Desperate Housewives could not have utilized such a line if the scandal last year had not happened. While it is unfair and nasty to attack medical schools of the Philippines when those at fault were actually commercial review centers and government regulators, the damage to the reputation of all Filipino health care workers was really done by the exam leakers.
ABC-TV is reaping a whirlwind of indignation and even demands for restitution, even after the apology. I also think this is how waves of immigrants "melted" into Main Stream America (think of the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, the Chinese, the Mexicans)--under a hail of racial and national slurs. Hehe, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease in America. I'm pretty sure that Filipino American doctors, nurses and health care givers will all do just fine with Teri Hatcher and the Desperate Housewives. I am sure we'll even see Filipino characters in other television shows. With four million of them in the United States, and most of them of above average intelligence and good looks, success and prosperity will be the best revenge.
On the wackier side of this thing is of course Miriam Defensor Santiago, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who castigates the show Desperate Housewives for their racial slur, even as she just got done calling China the inventor of corruption for all of human civilization. Just a reminder that we Filipinos do live in glass houses too, and ought to see the log in our own eye whilst raising Cain about other people's hit-and-run tactics.
On a different note, check out Filipina Soul's post on Britney Spears and the lyrics of her new song which mentions the Philippines as a place to run away to.
Downloadable MP3But we also do our own satire and parody here at Philippine Commentary! So we ought to be able to take what we dish out.