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#HijaAko dismisses "The way you dress up" and these other overused excuses for sex crimes

There’s no excuse for assault. 🙅‍♀️

#HijaAko has been the no. 1 trending topic on Twitter as women speak up against rape culture. Women shared their stories debunking the culture of thinking clothes are the reason for sexual assault. This is in response to Ben Tulfo’s tweet calling Frankie Pangilinan, “Hija” and stating how sexy ladies should be careful about the way they dress for they are inviting a beast.

Frankie Pangilinan, daughter of Sharon Cuneta and Senator Francis Pangilinan, was one of the many who called out Lucban Municipal Police Station’s post about telling women not to wear short clothes to prevent sex crimes. Ben Tulfo’s infamous reply was a response this—to Frankie’s stand on rape culture and gender-based violence.

Rape culture is normalizing, justifying, and trivializing rape. It’s defending rapists, making excuses for sexual violence, blaming the victim, and objectifying women. One small step in erasing this culture is to stop accepting excuses for sex crimes.

Aside from the infamous ‘Magdamit dapat ng tama para hindi ma-rape”, listed here are other common expressions that evoke rape culture which we should definitely stop believing:

“Boys will be boys.”
“Lalaki yan eh.”

Saying “Boys will be boys” is justifying how men can’t be taught, mindlessly following their urges. It fuels toxic masculinity, giving them an excuse not to be held responsible for their actions.

“It was just a joke!”
“Eto naman, nagbibiro lang masyadong affected.”

Saying something rude or perverted and then brushing it off as a joke does not make it okay. Making fun of rape or sexual violence is never okay as normalizes it and shows blatant disregard for victims.

“Huwag ka na mag pakipot.” “Pakipot ka lang eh.”

Thinking that women are just pretending not to want something is a huge red flag. It’s manipulating that she’ll be okay with it even with obvious discomfort. Remember, it’s always a NO unless explicitly said so.

“Hi, Sexy!”
“Lingon ka naman miss!”
“Ganda mo naman miss!”

Catcalling is not a compliment, it’s harassment. It makes women feel uncomfortable as these words thrown are demeaning and violating.

“Kababae mong tao,”

“Kababae mong tao tapos ganyan manamit”, “Kababae mong tao tapos nakikipaginuman”, and “Kababae mong tao tapos hating gabi na umuwi” are sexist comments that imply how women should only act a certain way in order to be respected. Doing otherwise makes any assault done, the woman’s responsibility. Women are not asking for it by dressing a certain way. Women don’t go out for drinks because they want to be groped. Women don’t go home late because they want to be raped.

As Frankie tweeted, rape culture is real. It is very much alive in our country. Dismissing toxic expressions helps put an end to toxic mindsets and behaviors.

If you’ve experienced being told any of these, you may feel free to share your stories with us below. Our ongoing campaign, #MayKwentoAko, features stories shared with us to encourage positive conversations.

May Kwento Ako

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