Women in Philippine society tend to always be in a disadvantageous position regardless of social class or economic disposition because, as Jose Maria Sison pointed out, in addition to the 3 basic systems of authority that people in general suffer from – political, clan and religious – women suffer an additional authority known as the “male authority.” These can be seen as rooted to the feudal-patriarchal ideology and system that our society has. This is possibly the reason why women are largely prostituted and not men: regardless of class, men look to exercising authority be it as an escape from the other authorities or as a means of reinforcing one’s authority. Hence, the disparity in gender is abused to derive pleasure from dominance.
Karl Marx said that the system of politics and culture that a society has is dependent on its form of economy. While the urban Philippines wallows in liberal-bourgeois thought that demonstrates a cosmetic form of freedom for women, the pervading patriarchal culture still remains enshrined because of the fact that our economy also remains semi-feudal and semi-colonial in essence. Such an economy that retains its largely backward agrarian character and subservience to imperialist hegemony needs a polity and culture that will serve to maintain the status quo.
As such, to legalize prostitution as a means of providing even ground for prostituted women cannot altogether be considered as emancipation for women – it only further institutionalizes the male authority. Legalized prostitution as a legitimate career only serves to blur over and hence normalize the most basic problem from whence all of this comes from: the crisis of global monopoly capitalism. Prostitution as a compromise of women’s rights and welfare should be banned and the state should address the economic root problem that pushes women to prostitution and men to exercise their macho authority by providing respectable jobs and services regardless of gender.