Abuse of Power

Dear Editor,

Women friends asked me, why is Cristy Fermin even allowed to say the

following on air in defending Willie Revillame?:

1. “…dalawang lalaking personalidad lang ang parang pinapayagan ng

publiko na maging ‘matulis’. Si Rico J. Puno lang atsaka si Willie.

Pag sila ang nagdeliver para bang malaking karangalan mo pag mabastos

ka.”

2. “(Aiza) Seguerra should not talk about morality as she lives an immoral life.”

The first justifies sexual harassment when done by certain

individuals. Is there a worse way of humiliating women than by dignifying

harassers? The second maligns lesbians as immoral. Both are

appallingly, terribly sexist statements which condone abuse of women.

Media has long played a critical role in objectifying women, including

children (as shown by the now controversial episode of Willie

Revillame’s program), and this has led to the normalization of abuse

against us. Men have thought it acceptable to harass or buy women

(and children) as long as one is able to ‘deliver it well’ ala-Rico J.

or Willie R. Those who own media outfits as well as advertisers capitalize

on the sexual objectification of women and children. Homophobia and

stigmatization of lesbians is also a form of gender-based violence.

We have had enough. It is high time that we talk about the role of media

in stereotyping, sexualizing and justifying abuses and violence against women

and children. It is heartening that artists are speaking up against these forms of abuse.

Corporate media, stop profiting at our expense!

Civil society, let us join hands in shaping a more

responsible and gender-sensitive mass media.

Jean Enriquez
Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia
Pacific (CATW-AP)

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