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Filipino Women Fight Misogyny and Sexism

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on May 24, 2018 06:39

1 user

Fed up with all the president’s misogyny and sexism, Filipino women fight back.

If the #MeToo movement has encouraged women all over the world to speak out against sexual advances by men, the Philippines has responded to the call with its own campaign combating misogyny and sexism. #BabaeAko (I am a woman) fights the culture of prejudice against women but with a specific target: the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte has repeatedly mocked, insulted and belittled women since coming into the national spotlight.

In a 2016 campaign sortie, Duterte made a sick joke about the rape of an Australian missionary in his home city. He was not yet president at the time. The remark was out of taste, prompting the Australian embassy to issue a brief statement: “Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere.”

The next day, Duterte’s trolls and worshippers swarmed the embassy’s website.

A democratically elected president, thanks to the 16 million voters, Duterte continued harassing women who speak truth to power.

Before unjustly incarcerating Senator Leila Delima, he shamed the lady senator with intrigues, accusing her of sexual immorality and spreading a fake sex video. Delima has been a vocal critic of his human rights record and the brutality of his drug war. 

Duterte bragged about ogling Vice President Leni Robredo’s legs during a cabinet meeting. He insulted UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard with sexist remarks, “Son of a bitch, tell her … her mother’s a bitch. She is a fool.” He also mocked the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde. “You know Lagarde, I saw her … just pull her into a corner, kiss her, son of a bitch she will change her mind,” he said.

When Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno refused to be silent on the injustices committed by the government, Duterte vowed to remove her, and remove he did, unconstitutionally. Asked about Sereno’s replacement, Duterte said, “Definitely, not a woman.” A woman, he asserted, "cannot stand threats and intimidation."

Duterte threatened a journalist, catcalled a female reporter, disrespected an Australian nun, ordered the soldiers to shoot the women rebels in the vagina — the list goes on and on.

The world is changing, so it seems, but it has not yet. Male aggression and violence against women remain things of the present. It is only now that women speak in public against sexism and misogyny.

Filipino women are fed up with Duterte’s foul mouth, impunity and cowardice. Now they fight back against a president who quarrels with women but refuses to say a word to China or to the rich drug traffickers.

#BabaeAko is the voice of women asserting their gender and identity; it is a refusal to perpetuate insults and prejudice against women. It fights malicious advances, tasteless remarks and violence against women and girls everywhere, which must have no place in society.

I would not be surprised if a woman replaced Duterte. She should be a woman with courage, compassion and dignity befitting a president. Under the Philippine constitution, in case the president is dead, removed or impeached, the vice president should take his place.

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on May 24, 2018 06:39

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Source: Deadline

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