HomeIAMURE International Journal of Literature, Philosophy and Religionvol. 5 no. 1 (2014)

Allusion and Broken VAW: The Hermeneutics in Cebuano-Visayan Feminist Poetry

Kathleen B. Solon-villaneza

Discipline: Literature, Languages



Violence against women (VAW) is a global stigma. Two conditions stirred the global community: Malala Yousafzai who took a bullet in 2012 and who advocates girl’s education to date, and the 2014 reported kidnap of 300 Nigerian girls by Boko Haram. There are oppressive stereotypes of women. Violence can come in different forms. These can come as verbal abuse, intimate partners violence, non-intimate partner violence, trafficking, forced prostitution, exploitation of labor, debt bondage, physical and sexual violence, sex selective abortion, female infanticide and femicide, deliberate neglect and girl’s education, rape in war, dowry murder, (child) pornography, dating violence, female genital mutilation/ circumcision, and acid attack. With the aid of Gadamer’s Hermeneutics, the elements of poetry, allusion exhume the elements of VAW in Cora Almerino’s poetry. The four poems illustrate allusions to women in literature, allusions to biblical/popular sayings, and other allusions. They bring to surface at least five different types of VAW. In different measures, the poems seem to convince women, loudly and softly, to reclaim femininity, regain self-worth, challenge patriarchy, and defy social prescriptions and conventions for women’s behavior. Further studies on VAW in Cebuano-Visayan poetry are recommended.