Soon after weightlifting fairy Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal, and after featherweight boxer Nesthy Petecio officially advanced to the Tokyo 2020 semifinals, Bianca Gonzalez took to Twitter to celebrate by writing: "Isa paaaa!!!! ABANTE BABAE!!!!"
A Twitter user ~felt the need~ to reply to Bianca's tweet with: "Abante Pilipinas...kaya dini-discriminate mga babae dahil puro kayo-kayo rin mismo ginagawa niyong issue pagiging babae..."
Yes, it's 2021, and this mindset apparently still exists.
"Hindi ibig sabihin na babae lamang ang dapat umabante."
Classy as always, Bianca posted a calm but firm reply, explaining how the term "Abante Babae" is about aiming for true gender equality. "Kapag sinabi naming ABANTE BABAE hindi ibig sabihin na babae lamang ang dapat umabante. Ilang daang taon na ang kalalakihan ang nabibigyan ng mga oportunidad kaya't kapag may babaeng nagtatagumpay, ipinagbubunyi natin para mas marami pang kababaihan ang mapagbigyan."
She added: "It's this narrative of 'kaya dini-discriminate ang mga babae dahil ginagawa ninyong issue ang pagiging babae' that keeps us from reaching true gender equality. We push for women's empowerment precisely because TOO MANY WOMEN feel like they have no voice and are put into this box."
"Men can be true allies by supporting, encouraging, and empowering the women in their lives to do what they want and dream big dreams. Hindi yung, 'eto ka lang kasi babae ka lang.' Hindi kami 'babae lang.' BABAE KAMI. ABANTE BABAE."
Well said, Bianca! Thank you for fighting the good fight.