see you in the gutter

Okay, okay. Duterte was a complete ass making that “joke“. My blood boils just thinking of it. I was molested as a child and though that doesn’t come near the experience of rape, that leaves lasting emotional and mental scars that can be healed only through a lot of counseling, reflection, and love. I will maim or kill anyone who attempts to do that or hurt any of my children, or any of the kids we have here in our school—anyone I care for or can help, for that matter.

But since Duterte’s faux pas (and that’s being mild), dozens—maybe hundreds—of stories about regular joes and janes have emerged. Not all about rape and sex crimes, but the behavior leading to that: leering at women in jeepneys, complaining about not being able to “admire” women openly anymore (at least in QC) kasi makukulong sila, defending the word “rapable” as a compliment. One Twitter user even said he would be “honored” for his daughter to be raped by Duterte. WHAT? (The tweet has been deleted.)

Maybe his joke had to be said, because it might get us to think.

What has happened to us, people? How damaged and depraved have we become? When and where did we lose our moral compass, that smidgeon of conscience that tells us, “oy, medyo low blow na yan a. Di na nakakatuwa yan.”

I’m not talking to just the men here. When did our girls start thinking that it’s okay to post photos of themselves butt naked on Tinder? To go to prom dressed in a sheet of fabric that shows underboob, sideboob, and with a slit running up the hip? When did we start telling ourselves, “this is okay”?

I’m not conservative. I’ve had my share of wild days. We all have. But now, there is a certain kind of wanton-ness and carelessness that is far from amusing and cute. It is dangerous and irresponsible.

We make jokes about issues that are the root of lifetime trauma and pain—not just for the survivors, but for their families and friends. We tell people to lighten up and that they have no sense of humor when they get shocked and stay grim and silent. We egg on our sons and brothers and kabarkada to try their luck with this chick and that because, “mukha naman bibigay e.” And us girls—we try to out-slut each other by wearing the most revealing dress, behave in the most “cool” and daring way, just to get guys’ attentions.

This is not an anti-Duterte post. I feel just as sick and outraged at how Mar and PNoy (non-)handled Kidapawan (and the Luneta hostage-taking, and Yolanda, and SAF 44). And Binay—well if his corruption doesn’t make you ill, then you need an exorcist.

This is just a mother wondering: where did it all go wrong? When did we as a people start this decline? When did we stop being so vigilant?  How did we become so lazy, so selfish, so facetious? This is beyond politics. If we, as parents or caregivers to children, cannot direct them towards a life where being kind is better than being right, staying noble is is more valuable than being popular, thinking big and working hard (and later, working smart) is more admirable than “likes”, and communicating meaningfully is much more important than just making people laugh—then for sure, down in the ditches we shall go. Even a Filipino Trudeau can’t help with that.

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