The #SpeakUp notice in the Inquirer last March 13 is apparently patterned after the #MeToo movement in the United States, which gained velocity when various women made a big noise to rail against the likes of film mogul Harvey Weinstein and other males in power.
That American movement became such that Time magazine called its 2017 Person of the Year “the silence breakers.” Even French women coined their own movement, “Balance ton porc,” meaning expose your pig. India and some Middle Eastern countries have their own antimale harassment versions.
The nine Filipino women in the #SpeakUp notice call for an end to male abuse and violence against women, as well as a call to breaking the silence of some abused women. It’s a good start because Filipino women have long been victims of the powerful patriarchy in this country composed of politicians, businessmen, show-biz men and ordinary males.
One of those ordinary males, ironically, was reported on the opposite page about a man in Quezon City dismembering his wife (“Man kills wife, calls her ‘Satan,’” Metro, 3/13/18). A further irony was the report saying the killer “will undergo a psychological and psychiatric examination … (to determine) the state of his mental condition.” This is like firemen arriving at the scene of a fire after everything has been turned to ashes.
Mental problems among too many local citizens unfortunately go undetected and untreated because of the country’s poor social services. The result is that many more women will continue to become victims of unbalanced men.
ISABEL ESCODA, Cebu City
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