December 11, 2017

Fake News, Rape Jokes, and Victim Blaming Should Be Left in 2017

We know it’s still practically mid-December but we’re already thinking of how to prepare for the new year. The first on our to-do list: figuring out what to leave behind in 2017.

This doesn’t just apply to physical objects though—that’s for another story. We’re also talking about some of the expressions, situations, and even people that made us either mad or annoyed. We don’t want to bring bad stuff like that in 2018, and we know a lot of you feel the same way. “New year, new life,” right? (As cliché as that sounds.)

So before New Year’s Eve comes around, we’ve rounded up what should stay in 2017. Or at least the things that should be made better so we don’t relive them next year.

“Fake news”

This phrase has been used and abused all year, mostly pertaining to fabricated and misinformed articles. Other times, it’s also used as a scapegoat statement-slash-insult toward credible news sources. Just look at how US Pres. Donald Trump emphasizes “fake news” (with matching hand gestures) every time The New York Times or CNN release reports about him.

Why leave it behind: We should know by now to not believe anything we read before verifying facts. Didn’t we learn from the many false stories and propaganda posts that plagued our feeds? Another reason is that it’s become the default response when things don’t go someone’s way. Instead of thinking up a rational argument, people tend to just blurt out “FAKE NEWS” and think they’ve already won the discussion. [Facepalms]

People like Harvey Weinstein

Someone on Twitter said that 2017 is the year of exposing sexual abusers and rapists. This started with Harvey Weinstein, and later, we would find out other shocking stories against men in music, arts, etc.

Why leave them behind: Not saying that we should forget about them and move on because we know this battle won’t end soon, and more stories might come up. It’s great that both men and women are helping each other out to call out these inappropriate acts. But in 2018 and in the future, we hope people would FINALLY learn about the concept of consent and not become the next Weinstein.

Victim blaming

In relation to the previous point, victim blaming was also widespread. If we made a drinking game out of comments like “What did you wear?” and “Why do you post sexual stuff?” we’d probably have an awful hangover the next day.

Why leave it behind: Just like the concept of consent, not blaming the victim should be something that people should’ve gotten years ago. As long as it continues, the cycle of rape culture will continue. And if you’re one the people who’s always skeptical about victims’ stories, just remember that the number of false rape accusations are miniscule compared to actual ones.

Rape jokes

Just when we thought 2017 was safe from rape jokes, it wasn’t. And yes, we’re looking at you, Pres. Duterte, Salvador Panelo, and Ben Affleck.

Why leave them behind: They’re no funny and distasteful. Rape and any kind of sexual assault aren’t laughing matters. If someone is making jokes about them, they should really start thinking of better ones to tell.

That toxic significant other

Imagine this: You’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter and you come across a random page that shares a conversation between couples. Regardless of their authenticity, they would always depict a scenario wherein the boyfriend or girlfriend would be controlling and not let their SO go out just because they said so. The page would then say that it’s “#relationshipgoals.” Surprisingly, people would relate and agree to this as well. Barf.

Why leave them behind: The fact that people agree to this is a testament that their SOs act like this. News flash: This isn’t cute and healthy. If you think your SO is being controlling, either you talk to them and review your relationship, or just leave. Period.

Online trolls

Getting rid of online trolls isn’t easy. If it was, we wouldn’t be reminding you to leave them behind again. Even celebrities like Maine Mendoza, Nadine Lustre, and Anne Curtis are still dealing with them. But one shouldn’t lose hope just yet.

Why leave them behind: First of all, they’re annoying. Second, they make your social media experience scary. This is why the “Mute,” “Block,” and “Report” buttons were invented. Don’t be afraid to click them repeatedly when you spot a troll or two. Oh, and as much as possible, don’t engage with them. You’ll be troll-free or at least become an online troll fighter in no time.


Art by Lara Intong

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Related stories:
The Victim-Blaming Comments that Need to Be Thrown Out
Maine Mendoza Speaks Out on Her Relationship With Alden Richards and How Some Fans Treat Her
The Good, the Bad, and Basically Everything that Happened in 2016
Keep Your Social Media Troll-Free With These 6 Steps
Debunking False Sex Allegations Myth

Filed Under:

2018, culture, Donald Trump, fake news, Harvey Weinstein, New Year, Rape Jokes, relationships, roundups, victim blaming

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