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Reyes, Raquel (2004) Love, passion and patriotism: Sexuality and the Philippine propaganda movement, 1882-1892. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study investigates the relationship between sexuality and the creation of a Filipino national identity. It focuses on the Filipino patriots Jose Rizal (1861-1896), Marcelo H. del Pilar (1850-1896), Graciano Lopez Jaena (1856-1896), Juan Luna (1857-1899) and Antonio Luna (1866-1899) - ilustrados or 'enlightened' men who were all prominent figures in the campaign for reform conducted in Europe. Through a reading of selected literary works and paintings, this study examines how the ilustrados' notions of masculinity and femininity were influenced by their academic training, their travels overseas and their personal relationships, especially with women. Ilustrado ideas about sex and gender were initially rooted in the emergent bourgeois society of late 19th century Manila, a society whose beliefs and customs adapted those of Catholic Spain. Masculinity was linked to notions of hidalguia, machismo and honour; femininity to notions of modesty, propriety and passivity. Elite society as a whole professed the ideals of courtesy, refinement, good taste and piety encoded in the precepts of urbanidad. In Europe the attitudes of the propagandistas towards issues of sexuality were coloured by their encounters with modem life in the cities where they studied, worked and campaigned - most especially Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and London. The manner in which they defined masculinity and femininity, moreover, became crucially implicated in their patriotic project. They sought to demonstrate the falsity of colonialist jibes about Filipino infantilism, effeminacy and effeteness by physically affirming urbanity and manliness in their dress, grooming and deportment, and courage and virility through duelling. Though the propagandistas were deeply committed to the pursuit of modernity and progress in economic, scientific and philosophical terms, and though generally progressive in their thinking about the social advancement of women, they found the relatively free, uninhibited 'Modem Woman' disturbing, at once alluring and sordid, at once tempting and contemptible. Their publicly professed feminine ideal, posited as the model for women in the emerging Philippine nation, remained essentially conservative. Filipinas were to be virtuous, demure and subordinate; their sexuality to be rigidly limited and confined.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09

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