Of menstruation and breasts
You’d think ACTS OFW Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III has been bashed enough for his boorish behavior at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) when he belligerently refused to take off his shoes for inspection and was overbearing toward an airport security personnel. But when he attempted to apologize, he set off a bomb (apologies for using the word in an airport context) of a different nature that blew up in his face.
That was when he said his abusive behavior at the airport was not unlike the mental instabilities that women experience when menstruating, or something to that effect. Bertiz represents, through the party-list system, overseas Filipino workers. That should make him a frequent flyer and a regular at airports.
Bertiz’s apology: “For the past three years that I’ve been a member of Congress, once a year na medyo nadadapuan po tayo ng monthly period… ’Di ko na rin po maiaalis na tao lang po, na marupok at umiinit ang ulo. Naii-stress din sa trabaho. (For the past three years that I’ve been a member of Congress, once a year I get something that is like a monthly period… I can’t deny that I’m only human, weak and I get hotheaded. I also get stressed because of work.)”
For his stupendously insulting (an understatement) and antiwomen remark made to sound like an apology, here’s myself imagining throwing a blood-soaked thing his way and a statement from Every Woman:
“#EveryWoman finds the excuse of Rep. Aniceto ‘John’ Bertiz III — that his abusive behavior at Naia is because, like a woman, he has menstrual instabilities once a year — ludicrous.
“The congressman does not seem to have read a single book on biology. He also seems to have been asleep during the last 50 years. Science has shown that this lie about women’s irrationality is just a fantasy made up by men like Bertiz to cover up that they cannot compete with most men and women.
“Science has also shown that sexism is the refuge of the abusive and domineering.
“The only thing normal about Bertiz is that he has become the norm of how a public official should behave under a regime that thrives on misogyny, precisely because hatred of the poor, of women, of the disabled—of all those considered weak—
is the only thing left for it to feed its supporters.
“Bertiz is a result of this government’s empowerment of the mean and ignorant.
“Who will impose a code of conduct now, when this is merely more of the same of what we have come to expect of the President?”
From #BantayBastos: “Hindi pa kuntento na binastos yung security sa Naia, dinagdagan pa ng pambabastos sa kababaihan. (Not content with insulting Naia security, he also insults women.) Listen, Bertiz. Most abusers are men. In fact, most
women are far more stable throughout their cycles than you. Abuse has no excuse.” (There, cracking and crisp.)
How much can women with sense and sensibility take? Only recently, an assistant secretary and her sidekick tried to sell President Duterte’s all-consuming fetish for federalism by airing a video that was as stupid as it was bastos—using a woman’s breasts and genitalia to drive home their point and using body language at that.
As if that was not enough, they tried another trick—using faux sign language to call attention to their vulgar selves. This time, the deaf community would not take the insult sitting down and went to the Ombudsman to file a case.
On the subject of breasts, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women who have fought bravely till the end or survived breast cancer have their “breast friends” to thank for, especially those from ICanServe Foundation and The Carewell Community. Check out their websites.
ICanServe is an advocacy group for early breast cancer detection. Through high-impact information campaigns and community-based breast screening, it empowers women with information so they can have a voice in their own health care. It also provides access to health services. Visit ICanServe’s pop-up booth at Power Plant Mall, Saturdays to Mondays of October.
Carewell is a support group helping people with cancer and their loved ones so that they do not feel alone while facing the challenges in dealing with the disease.
Watch “I Touch Myself Project 2018” video featuring topless tennis great Serena Williams: https://youtu.be/WnI_kelIB98.
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