Why it's not safe for girls

By Teresa Gueco - June 25, 2018




I always say this and I’ll say it again, I grow up as an independent woman, and I’m friends with great women as well. I celebrate individuality and I advocate for women. Through the years I was surrounded by great and fierce females, starting from my very lovable (and sometimes strict) Lola and always strict and fierce Mama.

Growing up, I never experienced disadvantage being a woman. Maybe it’s because we’re most girls in the family (Lola, Mama, 5 girl siblings, and Papa) and so there are no issue of inequality in terms of gender inside our home. Aside from my Grade 1 crying experience because of my male classmate who often kicks my chair (just to annoy me, it’s just subtle tho), which got him a spank because I tattled out, I can’t remember having similar issues that’s worth noting of.

You see, woman discrimination is a common and serious issue that we face but I never felt the weight of it firsthand because of my upbringing and the people I’m surrounded with. I hope this sounds not too braggy but when you are surrounded with fierce and confident women who knows their worth and gives you strength to believe, you started to feed it too inside you. You absorb it until it becomes part of you, and then you are one of them already.

When someone catcalled you the first thing you would want to do (if you can’t help your outburst) is to punch them in the face and kick their guts while muttering words I-shall-not-put-into-words-in-here and not being like a scared kitten (I know this is not applicable to all cases but if it’s applicable then it is right to hope to expect this kind of reaction).

I remember a colleague hang for her dear life on me right after a party we attended that ends at 8:30PM. I was about to go to SM that time and she asked me what path I’m going to take, I said I’ll take the overpass, she then asked me whom I am with and I said just me.

I don’t know but I am shocked by her reaction and on what she said.

‘Hindi ka ba natatakot? Anong oras na atska mag-isa ka. Ako kasi natatakot, diba yung sa Manila…’
I don’t know where I’ll be more concerned. The fact that she is some years older than me and yet she’s scared or the fact that I personally find it weird to be scared in that early hour.

I don’t know about you but I think you don’t get to scare people easily who are accustomed in going home past midnight and sometimes walk some blocks after a tiring school project and school activity to their home since there are no available tricycle because everyone is already sleeping.

On the same day, I happen to have watched a social experiment online of a girl waiting for someone along the streets of Manila. On the experiment she got hit by 4 out of 5 drivers who urged her to come with them and even offered her some money in exchange for her ‘service’, only one driver asks her if she’s okay and told her to keep safe and just book a taxi instead.

This social experiment reminded me of the line HER BODY, HER CHOICE. Today, most people think that it’s all about how the woman dress up or act. And I find it unfair, because in the video the lady was well dress and covered and yet she got unwanted male attention just by what, standing beside the street?

And just as we thought that we had it all, people then start saying things that degrades people who bears ovaries and fallopian tubes. What’s worse is that people with authority whom we expect to neutralize the issue just added salt to the wound.

Man are tougher. Women are built for home. Women can’t fight a war because they are not built for it
.
Oh man, I wish all our unsung Filipina warriors visit you in your sleep and fight you. Yes, warriors. In plural form.

The main problem and the key to solve this all is to educate people. Tell women that they can be whoever they want to be and tell men that women are not their enemies!

Not built for wars? Then train them, educate them, mold them. They were not train because you keep on worshipping this patriarchal system that has been outdated by newer systems.

When a man cheat you’ll often hear that they have needs that must be satisfied, never mind the needs and feelings of his partner. They don’t take it as their mistake but rather an incompetence of the woman they are with.

It’s all about being macho for guys- most guys. But it’s a very different issue when it comes to woman.

A known personality was degraded because she had an affair with her driver. The issue was used to criticize and destroy her image. She was called names and her capability to lead was tainted with the fact that she had an affair with her driver. Of all the things they threw at her the most damaging is her being called a homewrecker.

If it’s a man it will not have gotten the same intensity she had because, surprise, man are macho and they have needs.

Don’t hinder girls who wants to dress rather teach people to respect them. If we can just live and teach people how to respect one another without the bias of gender, nationality, race, and religion then this issue will be over.

To the boys, I know (and really hope) that there are still someone out there who are good and who respect woman and I know reading this might hate me but we can’t deny that this is happening. Discrimination and gender-bias moments still happen. I don’t say all man are like this, that’s why I use most, and you have the power to eliminate this kind of issues for your future daughters and female loved ones.

For the ladies out there, just a reminder that people will not spoon feed the empowerment we have been asking for too long. It’s us who will have to get and demand it from them so that when the next time two man eyed you while warming up just before your jogging routine you can also just stare straight at them back and trust me, because I did it, it’s funny how liberating it feels to make them feel squeamish just by doing that little thing.

Until people are uneducated of their rights and their worth nobody can be safe from the power of the people they think higher than them.















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