Friday, May 07, 2010

Feminism and Legends

Why are some of our legends wrapped around the female mysteries-- from a male point of view, of course-- of pregnancy and giving birth?

At the start of Natsuhiko Kyogoku's The Summer of Ubume, there are some introductory definitions on the legend of the ubume. In this case, the Japanese legend states of a ghost of a pregnant woman who has died after giving birth.

In Filipino legends, pregnant women of yore faced the darker side of myths with beasties like the manananggal and the aswang out to eat their unborn fetuses via long, thread-like tongues that can slip in and out their wombs like some inhuman mosquitoes.

Accordingly, miscarriages and other pregnancy maladies were blamed on these legends. However, though science and modern medicine has soothed away most of these worries in today's modern age, some of these fears are still prevalent especially in the provinces.

My other question is: do the same intertwining of legends and the female pregnancy also apply to other countries?

On a side note, I keep forgetting to promote Rocket Kapre's upcoming e-anthology called Alternative Alamat. In this case, Paolo wants to promote a review and updating of Filipino myths and he's raising a call-out for stories in this vein.

You can check out his compiled The Myth(ing) List of what possible myths you can write about. It's also interesting reading of what you can expect when the dark falls 'round these parts. *wink*

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