Sexist, misogynist jokes are never ever right!

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

The best or worst in people are evident during emergencies.

Remember the heroic rescuers who lost their lives trying to save others during calamities and those who readily, generously shared their time, talent, and resources with disaster victims?

Sadly, there are those insecure about their noticeable absence and observed slow inaction and response for victims in recent calamity areas who have, by their insensitive, sexist jokes, not only made light of the sorry plight of the victims and the disasters but of women as well.

In response, VP Leni Robredo stressed the importance of “giving utmost urgency on things that are really urgent."

Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas strongly criticized the inappropriate, insensitive sexist remarks made “when people literally drowned and died due to the series of calamities." Instead, she called for effective leadership and concrete plans for speedier government action and assistance during emergency.

CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit aptly noted that “trivialization and normalization of sex jokes about women should not be tolerated nor excused” and that “sexist and misogynistic remarks are never right and should never be tolerated."

In a statement for the Online Rally Against Gender-Based Violence and the Launch of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women, she stressed:

“November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW). (This day) marks the start of 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence (GBV) ending in December 10, Human Rights Day, extended in the Philippines till December 12, the International Day Against Trafficking.

“This year, as the world continues to battle with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as the country suffers from devastations of consecutive typhoons, the CHR calls for the need to eliminate all forms of GBV during a period of acute crisis and want, the need to demand for accountability from duty bearers, not only in ensuring effective, prompt, and survivor centered response, but a commitment to desist from and prevent all forms of GBV.

“We also call for the end to misogyny and impunity, and to stress the importance of mainstreaming GBV response in crisis and disaster response.

“Additionally, while we agree that a VAW and GBV free community starts with individuals, we also stress that a GBV and VAW free community needs and demands more—it demands justice and accountability for all forms of GBV, it fights impunity, it resists and calls out misogyny, it addresses economic justice and various forms of social exclusion, it addresses hunger and poverty, it sees the clear links of crisis and disasters with GBV, and so much more.

“We see here, that the violence we need to address is not only physical or sexual violence against women, girls and persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), we also need to address psychological and emotional violence, and institutional and structural violence—resulting in poverty, hunger, injustice, exclusion, and denial of access to resources.

“We also need to address the roots of violence—the persistence of gender inequality and gender stereotypes; and we need to work with men and with different institutions towards gender equality and the elimination of VAW.

“Together with our partners (World March of Women, CATW-AP, Lilak Purple Action for Women, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Women’s Health, Center for Migrant’s Advocacy, Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, Sarilaya, Lilak Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights, Ganda Filipinas, Outright International, Power in Her Story, Partido ng Manggagawa, and Sentro) we continue making the call and the fight for the elimination of all forms of violence and for a VAW free community. One that fights impunity, seeks accountability, and resists misogyny.”


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