The myth of the ‘soft woman’

A few days before Christmas, I was on the road, courtesy of a ride-hailing app. My driver struck up a conversation that turned eventually to who we’d vote for in 2022. I said I’d vote for Leni Robredo. He agreed, but with a long, slow drawl that sounded uneasy.

“I want to vote for her,” he said in Filipino, “But she’s a woman.”

My brain kicked into research mode. “Why do you say, ‘But she’s a woman’?” I asked.

“A woman is soft.”

“Why is that wrong?”

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