Photo taken from:
ABS-CBN News. (2020). “Nagpupuyat kami para makatulong”: Robredo hits back at Duterte’s “misogynistic” rant | ABS-CBN News. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/18/20/nagpupuyat-kami-para-makatulong-robredo-hits-back-at-dutertes-misogynistic-rant
Misogyny & Seats of Power
For centuries, women have always been thought of as weaker, less intelligent, and not deserving the same rights as men. Even President Duterte said that the Presidency is no job for a woman, or that they are useless and are only for men’s comfort.
Women were once treated as men’s equals before the Philippines was colonized by Spain since they could be leaders, own land, and conduct businesses. But of course, as a country once occupied by a European country for three centuries, their culture, tradition, customs, and behavior did not take long to anchor into Filipino society. Of course, this also includes the mentality of misogyny.
Unsurprisingly, these characteristics are still prevalent in modern times. Such as the handful of Filipinos who are still taught and raised with the old, pseudo-religious, and conservative mindset, which states that everything should be defined by the Bible or any of the crude mindsets that were developed back then. Sadly, people still blame the victim for being raped, such as when a victim was apparently wearing skimpy clothes or drunk.
However, no matter the victim’s condition, whether drunk or sober, fully-clothed or not, it is the rapist who is accountable for the crime of violating the rights of the victim. It doesn’t help either that the age of consent in the Philippines is 12 years old, one of the lowest in the entire world. The very government of the Philippines is doing nothing to help address the intense problem of child rape and incest, which have exceptionally risen since the pandemic, which further endangers the lives of children.
Another disappointing example is the very President himself, who lacks a sense of statesmanship and is known for his brash and crude personality and sense of superiority towards women whom he believes to be weak and intellectually inferior to men. Throughout his presidency, he displayed inappropriate behavior towards women, such as when he attempted to grope his female household helper during his 76th birthday celebration. He also regularly makes derogatory remarks towards women and occasionally targets Vice President Leni Robredo.
Nonetheless, when we put the two together, Leni seems to have done more and is willing to do more for the sake of the people. Meanwhile, the President continues to use his influence to spread vulgarity and defamation towards communist groups, opposing political parties, and staunch critics, rather than listening to their critiques and doing what he can to actualize the changes he promised during the 2016 campaigns.
For every day that passes, the Philippine National Elections draw near. Everybody is talking and educating one another about their preferred candidates; however, like many other scenarios, these talks and debates have a tendency to be filled with mockery and denigration instead of sensible arguments based on irrefutable facts.
For instance, because of the still-occurring intergenerational cycle of misogyny, many fail to realize the capabilities of female candidates, and the presence of misogyny appears more apparent than it ever has been at the social and political scale. It could be implied that because of the government and the very President himself, their acts of misogyny and self-entitlement have allowed a sexist mindset to foster among the people and cloud their judgment to make sensible decisions.
People must realize that we cannot expect change to happen if we are reluctant to change. As we live on with our lives, many things will change the same way the fashion sense in the next few months will be different from today.
Women are just as capable as men, and they can be strong, brave, and steadfast in their beliefs because they deserve to be open to different opportunities just as men do. The duality of society through which we experience is a testament to the fact that even if women and men are equals on paper if society still adheres to the medieval mindset and is not open to new ideas, nothing would change and would leave the nation in a state of stagnation.
We must remove the factor of sex or gender from the equation and instead compare the capabilities of the government officials and the candidates. The presidency is not a man’s job. It is a job of utmost significance, assigned to the person whom the people deem as someone who has the knowledge and can lead with honor, respect, and passion to lead the Filipino people to a better future with the values our people once had.