In recent weeks, social media have been abuzz with people calling out individuals and organizations that tend to put the blame on rape victims’ clothes. The hashtag #HijaAko became the number one trending topic on Twitter. This comes after Frankie Pangilinan, daughter of Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Senator Kiko Pangilinan, spoke up against the much older Ben Tulfo on why rape should not be blamed on the victims’ choice of dress but on rapists’ mindset.
Joining the calls is Benedictine Sr. Mary John Mananzan who also challenged the view that female rape victims are responsible for being assaulted.
“Don’t blame the victim,” Sr. Mananzan said. She made the statement after a police station in Lucban, Quezon told women not to wear skimpy clothes to not be victimized. The post has since been deleted.
Sr. Mananzan countered victim-blaming and added that some rape victims are even the elderly and simple women. “The blame is totally on the rapist, the predator,” the nun said. (Read: Heart Evangelista on her depression, anxiety: ‘I battled for quite some time’)
In a series of social media posts that sent the social media sphere on fire, Frankie Pangilinan, 19, shuts down Ben Tulfo, 65. Replying to Pangilinan’s tweet about rape culture, Tulfo patronizingly calls her “hija” as he tries to warn her that men are always waiting for an opportunity to commit sexual assault. Pangilinan claps back at him, reclaiming “hija” with the hashtag #HijaAko.
Following Pangilinan’s clapback, a series of women including local celebrities Janina Vela and Lauren Young shared their views and opened up about their sexual assault and harassment experiences. The stories of women who came forward dispute and disprove the belief that women’s clothes are to be blamed for their sexual assault. (READ: Fake news endangers lives more than COVID-19, and each of us can fix it)
Ang istilo o pamamaraan ng pananamit ng isang indibidwal ay hindi imbitasyon o excuse para gumawa ng krimen. Isang paalala mula kay #AlengPulisPosted by PNP Women and Children Protection Center on Monday, June 22, 2020
Backing up these ladies, the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center uploaded a now viral picture that says: “Ang istilo o pamamaraan ng pananamit ng isang indibidwal ay hindi imbitasyon o excuse para gumawa ng krimen. Isang paalala mula kay #AlengPulis.“
In the photo are the words “Ito ay dress. Hindi ito yes” which speak about how one’s clothing does not equal consent to anything.