The Lucban Municipal Police Station has recently been called out for a social media post which tells “gherlsz” which clothes they should not wear to avoid sexual assault.
Part of the now taken down post read “Kayo naman mga gherlsz, huwag kay magsusuot ng pagkaikli-ikling damit na pag naman nabastos ay magsumbong din sa amin. Isipin niyo rin!” [“Girls, don’t wear short clothing and then run to us when you’re harassed. Think about it.”]
On June 13, broadcaster Ben Tulfo tagged on Twitter singer-songwriter and women’s rights advocate Kakie Pangilinan, who had eariler said, "Stop teaching girls how to dress? Teach people not to rape."
He said, “Hija…a rapist or a juvenile sex offender's desire to commit a crime will always be there. All they need is an opportunity, when to commit the crime. Sexy ladies, careful with the way you dress up! You are inviting the beast.”
Kakie replied on June 14, with the following points:
“Rape culture is real and a product of this precise line of thinking, where the behavior is normalized, particularly by men.
“The way anyone dresses should not be deemed as ‘opportunity’ to sexually assault them. ever.
“Calling me hija will not belittle my point.”
Time and time again, we have written about how the victim blaming culture needs to be canceled, and how clothes are never the issue. We’ve also talked about consent and why boundaries are important multiple times. We understand that it can be very tiring to speak with those who can’t seem to understand that the only person at fault when one is raped is the rapist, which is why we’ve listed points for discussion (or simply just ask them to read this article).
You can get harassed or raped whatever you’re wearing.
Tulfo’s comment about "sexy girls" having to be “careful” with what they wear falls flat when faced by the fact that people of all ages and genders are abused no matter what they are wearing. There have been exhibits around the world showing the clothes that survivors had on, and these ranged from slacks and loose shirts, to school uniforms and even baby onesies.
Clothing does not equal consent, and if there’s still confusion about consent, here’s a video that explains it clearly:
Rape is not just about libog.
Short skirts do not cause rape, and libog or lust is just the tip of the iceberg. The psyche of a rapist is complicated, and some experts attest that rape is in fact about power and domination. As Jill Filipovic of The Guardian wrote: “Rapists don't rape because they can't ‘get’ sex elsewhere. Rapists don't rape because they're uncontrollably turned on by the sight of some cleavage, or a midriff, or red lipstick, or an ankle. They rape because they're misogynist sadists, and they flourish in places where misogyny is justified as tradition and maleness comes with a presumption of violence.”
A person’s actions are his or her responsibility alone.
The fact that the law says that rapists should be jailed attests to the fact that they are the ones at fault, not the victim, but unfortunately, many still subscribe to the thinking that the victim could have prevented the crime if she had done a number of things.
Instead of policing women’s clothes, it’s best to educate everyone that harassment and rape are bad and no one is ever "asking for it." The good news is that many people of all genders are supporting this, and given time, this mindset can change.
Bottom line: Leave people alone.
It’s actually pretty easy. A woman is showing a bit of cleavage? Leave her alone. A woman is dressed up to the nines? Leave her alone. Whether or not you know the person, do not touch her without consent. Really, it’s as simple as that.