In praise of PCW’s prowomen campaign
A few days ago, I heard on an FM radio station a Filipino jingle advocating anticatcalling at women, released by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).
It was a familiar local folk song that’s been cleverly reworded with lyrics that send the clear message that catcalling is disrespectful toward women, and therefore unacceptable.
I later tried searching for the song online so I could listen again. My search was in vain, but I discovered on the PCW Facebook page that it is one of three versions (to the tunes of “Sitsiritsit,” “Paa, Tuhod, Balikat, Ulo” and “Tong, Tong, Tong”) under PCW’s 18-day “Macho Choir” campaign to End Violence Against Women, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12.
While I was online, I also came across the article “Jinggoy Estrada on Duterte’s jokes: ‘That’s his style’” (Inquirer.net, 12/6/18).
Reacting to President Duterte’s comment about using “marijuana to stay awake amid a hectic schedule during the 33rd Asean Summit in Singapore last month,” he offhandedly said, “Basta ako, I believe sometimes ’yung mga jokes ni President Duterte that is his style… Kaya siya nanalo, that is his style and we would have to understand.”
Surely, many realize that this is now the country we’re living in — where public leaders are pandering and sucking up to the President, together with his many ardent supporters, continue to defend everything he says and does, claiming that his gutter
language, crass and insensitive jokes, and misogynistic statements are exactly what make him “humorous,” “authentic,” “charming,” “natural,” “one of a kind,” “amusing,” “folksy,” “so human,” “unpretentious,” etc.
I do not want this to be the norm, so I write this letter to express my appreciation of PCW’s radio campaign, as it helps counter the misogyny spewing from the President’s mouth.
I can only wish that, even though the campaign ends on Dec. 12, its positive effect on those who have heard it will remain with them, because respect for women should be enduring.
CLAUDE LUCAS C. DESPABILADERAS, email@example.com
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