Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Please don't be a Tito

When I read about Tito Sotto's dialogue with a rape victim on live television where he decided to blame her for what happened, I felt furious. The fact that he uttered those insensitive remarks for the entire nation to hear means he believed he is absolutely right with his thinking. It brought me back to that time, not long ago, when the country was divided about our dear President catcalling a news reporter. My Facebook feed turned into a court room. It was messy. There were things said by women to her fellow women that I couldn't stomach. My fingers were itching to write and weigh in on the issue. But it was politically tainted. I don't have the energy to defend my opinion and see no need for it, honestly. I did not want to join the circus. So what I did, instead, was open my phone's notes and wrote what I wanted to say. 

I wrote this:

To Our Children 

To every girl who is still figuring it out: It's wrong. If someone does that to you, when you are alone, minding your own business on the streets, I hope you do not look down and try to find the fault within yourself. It's not there. It will never be because of any of your doing.

And to every boy who didn't get it so clearly: it's wrong. When your friends encourage you to do it, say NO. When society expects you to behave like that because you are a boy, be insulted. You are not like that. We are not raising you to be like that.

When a woman was catcalled on a stage as big as live television, I am sorry we weren't very clear as to whether it was right or wrong. But kids, we'll try to get it right the next time around. I promise. For the meantime, I'm so, so sorry.

As long as there are Tito Sotto's in this country, I promise to not stop feeling furious. Utang na loob. Let's stand up against this.   

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