It doesn’t end, does it? A woman cries rape or sexual abuse, and people pay attention to what she was wearing and not what was done to her. Case in point: Senator Tito Sotto’s recent victim-shaming remark on live television.
Although the MTRCB is already taking action and summoned the show’s execs to discuss the matter later this month, we also hope that they censor the hosts’ “humor” in the future. But what’s really concerning is the number of people who share the same thought.
As usual, we can blame it on how some people, knowingly or not, perpetuate rape culture. When will people finally stop blaming the victims, especially women, for getting harmed? Is it always a woman’s fault for getting raped because she was wearing shorts or something revealing while having drinks with male friends? Absolutely not.
For one, it’s nobody’s business what you wear―you can cover up, show off your legs, you can even walk around nude. It’s not, in any way, an invitation for any person to violate you. That’s like saying it’s your fault you got shot because you’re standing upright and breathing. Both are criminal offenses, but the difference is that people won’t blame the victim for getting murdered in a dark alley, but will point a finger if they’re raped there.
In fact, women still get sexually assaulted even while wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. This is proof that women don’t “ask for it.” It’s always about consent, people!
And of course, it doesn’t help that someone who appears on a hit noontime show viewed by people of all ages daily, and also has a seat in the Philippine Senate would take this in jest. This is also the same senator who plagiarized a speech and had a hand in defunding the RH Bulk. Talk about being influential for all the wrong reasons.
Not to mention, Tito was also likened by netizens to a concerned father merely reprimanding a daughter; insisting that there was nothing wrong with what he said. And we’re betting he’s going to say the same thing if asked to comment.
One: that is dismissing someone’s obvious wrongdoing. And two: If my parents found out I’ve been taken advantage of, they’d take me to a hospital to get checked or the police to file a blotter, and not nitpick on my clothing. I mean, that’s what any sensible person would do, right?
Instead of telling someone how to act and dress to avoid getting raped, how about we teach people to not commit the crime in the first place? It’s not that difficult to understand.
Now, with the MTRCB in the picture, we can all hope that appropriate action will be done for these tactless comments. No person, child or adult, should pick up this kind of mentality towards sexual assault, especially from a political figure. At the same time, a person’s horrible experience should never be ridiculed for the sake of comedy and so-called concern.
If Tito Sotto’s intention is to help women—as an entertainer and a politician, then he better start watching his words and actions very carefully if he doesn’t want to lose his credibility. (As if he’s credible at all.)
Art by Dorothy Guya