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【BBC】为奴五十年,做菲律宾女人好难


一位普利策获奖作家生前最后一篇报道透露,家里有一个菲律宾女奴,长达几十年,引发强烈争议。这种现象虽然看起来不可思议,但在菲律宾十分常见,由来已久。现在情况有所改善,但是在包括费菲律宾在内的很多国家,女性权力尚未完全获得保证,并且还得身兼数职。


为奴五十年,做菲律宾女人好难

  译者:杨   阳  

校对:刘   蕊

 策划:倪凌晖


Women’s servitude blights Philippine society


为奴五十年,做菲律宾女人好难


本文选自 BBC | 取经号原创翻译

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The final article by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Alex Tizon was controversial when it was published shortly after his death – because it revealed that his family had kept a Filipina slave in the US.

普利策奖获得者阿列克斯·提臧(Alex Tizon)过世之后发表的一篇文章透漏,作为美国人,他家还有着一个菲律宾奴隶,这篇文章引起了争议

controversial  /ˌkɒntrəˈvɜ:ʃl/ adj. causing a lot of angry public discussion and disagreement 引起争论的;有争议的


Some readers were appalled, while others leapt to the author’s defence. But the core of the story is one that Filipinos relate to – a power dynamic that is deeply rooted in society.

一些读者极为震惊,有的读者则为提臧辩护。但其实这件事的核心在于,菲律宾人仍生活在一个权力至上的社会当中,这一思想根深蒂固。

appal  /əˈpɔ:l/ verb. to shock sb very much 使大为震惊;使惊骇


Alex Tizon’s A Slave in the Family generated a maelstrom. A confessional-memoir, it remembers Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who had been a gift from his grandfather to his mother and who served the family for 56 years – without pay.

阿列克斯·提臧所写的《家中的奴隶》引起了巨大的反响。他的这篇回忆录坦白地写出了优多西亚·托马斯·普礼多(Eudocia Tomas Pulido)曾被提臧的祖父送给他的母亲当礼物,普礼多在他家为奴56年,没有一分钱的报酬。

maelstrom  /ˈmeɪlstrɒm/ noun [usually sing.] (literary) a situation full of strong emotions or confusing events, that is hard to control and makes you feel frightened (思想、感情、事态)混乱,骚乱,动乱


Mr Tizon did not evade the issue, naming her a “slave” – though he also called her Lola.

提臧没有回避这个问题,直接用了“奴隶”这样的字眼,尽管他也称她为“洛拉”。


The word was a trigger. It named the essence of a servitude familiar to Filipinos, both at home and overseas.

奴隶这个词正是引发争议的导火线,它反应出菲律宾人在国内和国外为奴为佣的现状。


Few have childhood memories without the presence of the caretaker, the yaya, the utusan (the one commanded), katulong (helpmate), kasambahay (home companion) – and now, the industrialized domestic worker.

在绝大多数人的童年记忆中都有这样的角色:保姆、yaya和utusan(看护),katulong(帮佣)和kasambahay(家庭伴侣)……还有现在已经形成行业的家庭佣工。


The name keeps morphing – but the essence of servitude remains the same: a life held hostage.

称呼一直在,但为奴的核心没有变,他们一生受人支配

morph  /mɔ:f/ verbto change, or make sb/ sth change into sth different (使)变化;(使)改变


Americans reacted with a range of emotions to the alien concept

对于这个陌生的概念,美国人百感丛生


I once referred a Filipina American – who was having cash-flow problems – to house cleaning work for another friend. After a week, she quit. The pay was good, the employer was fine, but she “couldn’t stand the power dynamics”.

我曾经引荐一个财务状况出问题的菲律宾裔美国人到另一个朋友家打扫卫生,一个月后她就不干了。虽然工资不错,雇主人也很好,但她忍受不了的是那种权力结构。


One had to be groomed – by culture, by tradition, by authority – into servitude.

受文化、传统、权威影响,人们被培养为奴隶。

groom  ~ sb (for/ as sth) to prepare or train sb for an important job or position 使作好准备;培养;训练


Life in service

终生为奴


Life-long servants are not a rarity in the Philippines. In the multitude of household help in my family, there was always one who stayed.

在菲律宾,终身为奴的现象并不少见。很多来过我家服务的佣人总有能留下来的。


In 2007, Emma, who had cared for my mother in her final years, said she had been with our family for 40 years. Recruited as a teenager, she had grown up in my younger sister’s family, had become a live-out help, married, had children and funnelled nieces and nephews into service with various branches of my clan.

2007年的时候,艾玛(Emma)在我母亲临终前一直照顾她,她说自己为我的家族服务有四十年了。她十几岁被雇佣,在我妹妹的家中长大,她不跟她们住在一起,她结了婚,侄儿侄女经她介绍也去我的亲戚家帮佣。


“My family has orbited your family for four decades,” she said.

“我们家族的人为你们家族的人服务已经有几十年了,”她说。


That was the first time I learned her last name.

那是我第一次知道她姓什么。


A full identity is not given those at the periphery. We learn early enough that there is always a woman poorer and more vulnerable who can take on the relentless burden of housekeeping.

这些无足轻重的人没有全名。从我们懂事开始就知道,总会有这么一个贫穷又脆弱的女性来承担我们繁重的家务。

periphery  /pəˈrɪfəri/ noun [usually sing.] the less important part of sth, for example of a particular activity or of a social or political group 次要部份;次要活动;边缘


I can see a procession of women whose last names I never knew but who served my family: from the reflection in the mirror of myself carried by a yaya (baby caregiver) to the young woman who finally graduated from college and left my employ.

我发现家族里有很多我不知道姓氏的女佣,有些佣人从小就照顾我,有些佣人大学毕业了就离开了我们家。


They were invariably browner and from the rural areas, recruited by friends and relations who were landowners. Browner because class and colour do correlate in the Philippines, though this is blithely ignored.

他们都是棕色肤色,来自乡村,受雇于我那些地主朋友和亲戚们。在菲律宾,肤色与阶级息息相关,即使人们已忽略了这个事实,这也是为什么佣人都是棕色肤色的。

correlate  /ˈkɒrəleɪt/ verb  if two or more facts, figures, etc. correlate or if a fact, figure, etc. correlates with another, the facts are closely connected and affect or depend on each other 相互关联影响;相互依赖


The Spanish-created feudal patriarchal family which persists to this day was a major historical education toward servitude and self-sacrifice. Mr Tizon’s grandfather, a landowner, gave Ms Pulido to his daughter as a gift; it was he who administered 12 lashes on Ms Pulido, as punishment for his own daughter’s transgression, sealing thereby in the girl’s mind the conviction that those who serve must also endure undeserved punishment.

西班牙创建的封建父权家庭一直延续到了今天,这种家庭可被当作为奴与自我牺牲的历史教育。提臧的祖父是个地主,他将普礼多作为礼物送给了女儿。因为女儿的逾越行为,祖父鞭笞了普礼多12下,这让这个女孩知道了即使她没做错什么,也要因为主人做错事而受到惩罚。


Ms Pulido’s enslavement, in the context of millions of Filipinas in domestic work in some 200 countries, hits hard.

数百万的菲律宾妇女在约200个国家里做着家政服务,在这种背景下,普礼多的奴役对他们来说像是当头一棒。


‘Grooming toward servitude’

生而为奴


The common reason for Filipinas entering servitude is the same siren song used by Mr Tizon’s parents to convince Ms Pulido to leave with them: she would be able to build a better house for her parents. The same seductive hope fuels the condominium and subdivision boom in the Philippines.

菲律宾妇女为奴的原因与提臧父母诱惑普礼多与他们一同搬走的理由相同:她可以为父母建更好的房子。正是这种具有诱惑力的希望使得菲律宾的公寓与建房土地激增。


By April of this year, remittances to the Philippines had reached a record $2.6bn – enough to offset the balance of trade deficit of $2.3bn. According to the Walk Free Foundation, one of two Filipinas working overseas is “unskilled” and “employed as a domestic worker, cleaner or in the service sector”.

截止到今年四月份,汇入菲律宾的资金高达26亿美元,足以抵消其23亿美元的贸易逆差。自由行动基金会的数据显示,每两个境外工作的菲律宾人中,就有一个“没有技能”,并“从事家务、清洁或帮佣等工作”。


This persistent devaluing of women’s work is a key element in the grooming toward servitude.

长期对女性工作价值的轻视,是导致奴役状况的一大关键因素。


Filipinos are still highly visible in the service industry of many countries

在很多国家中,菲律宾籍佣人仍旧十分常见。


Poverty is, of course, a key to the creation of a category of women whose lives can be held hostage. In China, where the poor make up 8% of the population, women are still associated with marriage, children, family and homemaking. In the same way, a woman with a career in the Philippines still remains responsible for the household, and is the principal nurturer.

当然,贫穷是导致这部分女性的生活遭到胁迫的主要原因。在中国,贫穷人口占总人口8%,与女性身份紧密相连的依旧是结婚、生子、家庭和家务。与此同时,在菲律宾有体面工作的女性,需要同时承担挣钱养家和家务两方面的重担。


While today’s options for Filipinas may not be as limited as Ms Pulido’s was, her story echoes the irony of fate for millions of Filipinas.

虽然今天菲律宾人的处境并不像普礼多那样别无选择,但她的故事确实映照了数百万菲律宾人的命运。


To build a home at home, she has to leave home. She must be indentured to a stranger family, for her own family and the national home to survive.

为了能在自己的国家成家,她不得不远离家乡。只有在他人屋檐下屈伸为奴,才能让自己的家庭和国家得以存续。

indenture  /ɪnˈden.tʃəʳ/ verb. to officially agree that someone, often a young person, will work for someone else, especially in order to learn a job以契约约束:按契约的规定为另一方服务


How to disrupt this relentless demand for self-sacrifice is the question we wrestle with, considering how amply the world rewards selfishness.

这个世界对无私的回馈太过贫瘠,因而如何斩断对于个人奉献的无情需求便成了我们所面临的问题。

wrestle   /ˈresl/ verb~ (with sth) to struggle to deal with sth that is difficult 奋力对付;努力处理;全力解决


Ninotchka Rosca was born and raised in the Philippines, and lives in New York City. She is the author of two novels, and co-founded the women’s organization AF3IRM in the United States. She returns to the Philippines regularly.

Ninotchka Rosca生长于菲律宾,现居于纽约,定期回菲律宾探访。出版小说两部,是美国女性组织AF3IRM的创办者之一。


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<原文链接:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39986215>



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