My Predominantly Catholic Country Perpetuates Rape Jokes and Rape Culture

Here are a few things you should know about the religions in the Philippines.

  1. We take pride in being the only Christian nation in Asia
  2. 86 percent of our population are Roman Catholics
  3. 6 percent are Christian
  4. 2 percent are Protestant
  5. 4 percent are Muslim, and
  6. 2 percent follow non-Western, indigenous beliefs and practices

Source: Center for Global Education, Asia Society

Here are some things you should know about the modern culture of the Filipino people:

  1. We are still pretty conservative: although more and more young couples live together before/without getting married, they are still subject to gossip, mostly in the province. Our parents still expect girls to be virgins until they are married, a bun in the oven before the wedding is still frowned upon. Young millennials, despite their more liberal outlook, still attach themselves to the culture of pretend chastity thrust upon them by their parents.
  2. We abhor anything religion adheres as wrong: We are the only country in the world that does not allow divorce, other than the Vatican. Domestic abuse cases be damned, you’re going to be married to an apparent abuser for life. Not really, there’s annulment, but annulment and divorce are two very different, very messy things.
  3. Our society is stricter than our “liberal” Pope: Earlier today, the Pope announced that he’s extending indefinitely the power of Catholic priests to forgive abortions (CNN) but here, never EVER admit to having one, even for a good reason. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines, too, the only excuse being if the pregnancy is a risk to the mother’s life. So yes, if you get raped, you can’t legally abort the child of your rapist.

Speaking of rape…

Long before Rodrigo Duterte became our president, and long before Donald Trump said that “grab the pussy” remark, the Philippines as a nation have been very candid about rape culture.

In fact, for a country that’s almost backwards in its Catholicism, we’re more than okay with making rape jokes and harassing women and LGBTIQ on the streets.

So no, non-Duterte folks can’t put that on him. Although I am not sure if it’s just gotten worse because of how he portrays himself in public. I’ve actually seen girls cry as of late because of men wolf-whistling them, or harassing them on the streets. And no, they are not really being subtle about it.

I even heard a man tell a girl once (probably a high-school or college kid) to sit on his lap, baby, because the jeep is already full. It was horrifying. The sad part? This is an everyday occurrence.

Have you ever been told by your own parents not to ignore the men who catcall you on the street and just be nice to them because offending them might lead to worse things for you? I have. And I still refused to smile at any men who whistles or catcalls to me or my friends.

For all the “friendliness” of the Filipinos to foreigners, they rarely extend it to their own. And I used to think this happens only because a vast number of our population are uneducated, but apparently, that is not the case.

The 2016 Political Turmoil

This year had been particularly noisy in its political aspect. As a non-partisan, I found that I was actually waiting for particular issues to hit for me to force to take my stand. Early this year, I found that I am the only one in my family voting for my president. She may have already gone on, but my respect for her remained unceasing.

Post-election, doubters remained doubters, a massive number of supporters became practically fanatics, while some lost their confidence in the president they voted for. (I tend to talk to taxi drivers especially when we get stuck in traffic, and a few of those who I spoke with actually used the term “regret”, but like I said, SOME.)

Then, there was the issue about former president Ferdinand Marcos being buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).

I applaud the projects done by the Marcoses under their regime, I do, but I also do not believe that he has to be buried at the LNMB because, well, first and foremost, he was a dictator who was ousted from office due to the thousands of human rights violations that was done during the time of the Martial Law, not to mention taking away the freedom of speech that most people enjoy today.

The fight between the pro- and anti-Marcos groups, however, elevated far too much and far too fast — and the heated argument has become quite violent online. While I won’t toss this off as the norm, there are a lot of them — online and off — that we can’t call them a “small” minority either.

Take a look at some of these misogynistic comments:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMadamClaudiaAko%2Fposts%2F1812454819009990&width=500https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMadamClaudiaAko%2Fposts%2F1811915879063884&width=500Okay, those are pretty vile, but what does religion have anything to do with it?This is where I bring back the statements regarding the religions in the Philippines. Remember the Ten Commandments?

In the Exodus 20:14, it was outlined as one of the commandments:

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

Remember that adultery applies to a person having sex with another while married. Besides, as explained in the gospels, Jesus Christ himself affirmed the statement, adding in Matthew 5:28 that:

“But I say to you, anyone who looks on a woman to lust after her
has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Maybe this new law, if passed, could be the answer to this problem:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCNNPhilippines%2Fposts%2F1818845428355348&width=500

Not a safe space

Again, not a generalization. I have friends and know so many people who have been raised right and are also fighting for the rights of women and the LGBTIQ community, but this is the Philippines that I see today:

I live in a country of misogynists, where harassment of women is tossed off as “boys will be boys” and that we have to be responsible for myself so as not to get raped.

I live in a country where parents teach girls to hide their bodies, and to not exert our beliefs, in order to keep “men” from sin.

I live in a country where attacking women and threatening us with rape when they cannot argue with their logic is perfectly logical.

Remember, we, women have more than enough on our plates without machismo privilege adding another notch of the things we have to burden ourselves with.

We are a country that cries Christianity without our sense of humanity.

There has to be something wrong with that.

PS in case the embeds don’t work here are the links as they appear:

Let’s Stand Against LGBTQ Oppression

When will this hatred stop?

In the early hours of June 12, 2016, a gunman killed at least 50 members of the LGBTQ community in a place that they should have felt safe.

Love was supposed to win. Love should always win. So why is there so much hatred for a community that only wanted to be themselves in this world? If straight people have the right to be themselves in a world that set standards of beauty, intelligence, and status, why can’t we afford the same for those who already found who they are and only wanted to live their lives as they know and accepted themselves to be?

You may not agree with the LGBTQ community, but does that give you a right to take these lives out of hatred? Let’s stand against this pointless hatred against our fellow human beings. We are more than that.

#LoveAlwaysWins

Same sex marriage?

So I read this article:

Now, I’m not a big fan of LGBTs. Before you turn away with disgust, hear me out: I’m not homophobic, everyone is entitled to their own lives. My problem with them is when gays are more girly than girls,that is, try to up them and be “aw, I’m prettier than that beeyowtch” and use language  that you just can’t understand; and lesbians tend to try so hard to act like guys, be tough and get into fights and all that. I don’t understand why they can’t just be themselves and just act natural. It’s not about proving that they can be the other sex, is it?

I mean, I have LGBT friends, and teachers even, and I respect their preferences. And I respect them because they are happy not being straight, yet they do not exaggerate their gender by being obnoxious about it. LGBT does not have to be scandalous, and I think that’s the problem here in the Philippines: because they’re gay, they go bury themselves in the scandalous details of it all.

That’s how people here see it, and I guess that’s why I think the country is not ready for same-sex marriage; because people do not get a grasp yet on what it is to be NOT straight, not all the crap they pointed as reasons.

I mean, look at Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons: They’re gay and they’re pure awesome. Which is more than I can say for other straight guys and girls.

Honestly, I have no idea what Manny Pacquiao had in mind when he made that remark about the US President’s support for same-sex marriage. If it’s because election is near, why should he care? Truth be told, Pacquiao need not be concerned in that because there are enough problems in the Philippines.

I don’t think they [Pacquiao and Suarez] have any say in the decisions of the US President. It’s his life, his career and his country. Lay off. And to be honest with Pacquiao, all anyone ever cares about is his career as a boxer, as for being a congressman, well, that’s basically a big joke, right?

Now let’s get back to that article.

“Did he (Manny) say they should be put to death? I just would like to have it clarified. Is it lethal injection or electric chair? Manny might be just joking because what he is saying is in the Bible,” said Suarez.

I do not understand why people keep on referencing the Bible for anything. I’m a Christian too, but come on, what the heck can they not understand about the separation of the church and the state? I remember from one of my classes: What is moral may not always be constitutional and what is constitutional may not always be moral.

He added: “I think we will have a problem with that. We cannot even tell who is the bride and who is the groom?”

In weddings:  is there anyoneat all who even cares about who the bride or the groom is? All that the audience can see are two people in love. Or gossip. Same sex persons getting married? Either two people in love, or gossip-worthy. The public can get what they want.

In a press conference, Suarez said the public should understand that Obama merely gave his support for same-sex marriage because he was running for reelection.

And he cares about this why? Would anything he say have an impact on Obama? Is he even important enough to grab Obama’s attention? Will Suarez even make a dent on Obama’s campaign? It’s up to the Americans to deal with that. He can’t even vote for or against the US President come election day. Suffice it is to say, his opinion is irrelevant.

Suarez said same-sex marriage would be detrimental to population growth…

Is he kidding? LBGs are still there, with or without same sex marriage. And they will still not mate with the opposite sex if they don’t want to, so there’s really no difference. And even if it really WILL be detrimental to population growth (let’s just go along the idiotic reasoning for this) a stunt in population may be the best thing to happen to the Philippines, considering how young and overpopulated it is.

…and would make the Philippines vulnerable to the rise of HIV-AIDS cases.

This one could have a point, but see, this is exactly what I pointed out earlier: what makes the country not ready for same-sex marriage is that they don’t get a full grasp on it yet and they just bunk it in with scandals and such.

“How can you have babies? We will surely have negative population growth if they will allow same sex marriage,” said Suarez, who cited the adverse impact on the country’s labor supply and workers’ dollar remittances from abroad.

*See previous paragraphs

“There’s nothing wrong in protecting their own kind, meaning, setting up medical assistance. Encouraging same sex will definitely be a fatal or negative effect on our HIV/AIDS-related ailments. I think that’s what happened to US right now, San Francisco, specifically,” said Suarez.

*Again, See previous paragraphs.

I am greatly astonished how close-minded people can be. And how close-minded people can raise such weak, invalid arguments. If they are fighting against same-sex marriage, they should find more valid grounds.

Keep your minds open, classy people can see the bigger pictures.

XoXo

PS: To Manny Pacquiao…For the “People’s champ”, not supporting LBGs isn’t too “People’s Champion” of you.