In defense of JeaneBy Chad Patrick Osorio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
I start with a question: Why can’t Jeane Napoles take pictures of the stuff she owns? Just because some people are offended that they can’t afford it? It’s not her fault that poor people are poor. It may have been done in bad taste, but it’s not a crime to be proud of what you have.
Social media networks are specifically designed for people to connect, and, yes, “sell” themselves to others so that their social value increases. And how do we do that? By asserting the social influence, high level of attractiveness, and material wealth that we have. That way, people will either love us, respect us, or fear us. It’s a tool for attaining social power, and Jeane did precisely that.
I initially address the issue of her social networking audience. The readers of Jeane’s blog are her friends in the A community. I’ve never heard of her and her luxurious ways (and I’m pretty sure neither have you) until this scandal blew up. I doubt that she intended poor people to read it, in the first place. They don’t even know who Lacroix or St. Laurent is, and do not understand the social value of a $3,000 designer bag one uses for everyday wear. These posts were specifically targeted toward her own clique, which she intends to rule over as Queen Bee. It’s not an in-your-face, I-have-this-you-don’t statement to the rest of the Filipinos.
I agree with the point that it would have been all right for her to do what she did had the Napoleses not stolen government money, as they are accused of. My question would then be: Has their guilt been proven by the courts?
If yes, then by all means take away all their money and their privileges. Put the responsible party in jail. The shame would be enough to kill them all. I know it would my family and me. But until then, we should stop judging them just because they’re proud of what they have.
If we continue doing so, then why don’t we just save time, money and effort for the judicial system and stone them to death ourselves? We’ve already labeled them as guilty. Why not go the extra mile and punish them as well?
We have a judicial system, however slow and flawed it is, for a reason. Let’s leave our judiciary to do the judging.
Dear everyone, let’s not get into the hype of hate. Let’s understand where both sides are coming from. We have to be critical, but being critical doesn’t always mean thinking negatively. The media give information, and yes, some opinions, but that doesn’t mean we’re not free to form our own.
Let’s do so with a fair and open mind.
Chad Patrick Osorio, 22, is on academic leave from the University of the Philippines College of Law. A former United Nations legal intern in Cambodia, he is now honing his skills as a fashion photographer.
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