Responses: The Gist (RAAAAAAGE)

Catholic Church equates Pro-RH as Pro-Death, and says it out loud


The gist: The Diocese of Bacolod has come up with a 6 feet tarpaulin featuring the names of running candidates and their stance on the RH bill. Quite clearly, those who are pro-RH bill were labelled TEAM PATAY (Team Death), while those against the bill were pitched as TEAM BUHAY (Team Life). Showing no remorse whatsover, the Catholic Church continued to actively sway its members against certain candidates and politicians under the very small-print guise of being against the RH bill.

The tarp reads: Conscience Vote. (Anti-RH) Team Buhay: Estrada, Honasan, Magsaysay, Pimentel, Trillanes, Villar. Party List: Buhay, Ang Pamilya. (Pro-RH) Team Patay: Angara, Casino, Cayetano, Enrile, Escudero, Hontiveros, Legarda). Party List: Gabriela, Akbayan, Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis.

Development: The COMELEC found something wrong with the posters (but it wasn’t the content). Late last week the Catholic Church was told to put down the posters because it didn’t meet the 2 feet by 3 feet provision. Last Feb 26 they put it up again, this time slashing it in half in order to comply with the rules. It looked pretty much the same.

The Diocese of Bacolod, its defenders and also some election officials have reiterated that as a private body, the Church can endorse whomever and however they want. Well, no. That’s not the exact line they’re spouting. The diocese’ legal counsel maintains that the “campaign of the diocese against the RH law [are] independent of any occasion, election” and that, quite amazingly, the listing of Team Patay and Team Buhay senators was “merely incidental”.

In continuation of this line of thought, propaganda and conscience and faith manipulation, the Catholic Church has moved to put up more posters today and the following for the good of Negros.

My take: Who are they kidding with their excuse? “It’s just part of our campaign against RH” my ass. This is a clear case of politicking, something the Catholic Church should know better not to do. Not a single word is put in to actually inform the people about the RH bill, or even about the more comprehensive platforms of the people and party lists given. This is misinforming the people; the Diocese is knowingly giving their members a very nicely designed tarpaulin with a huge check on the names of certain people and a similarly angry and large X on some others.

Comments in the various articles I’ve linked said that as there is no “vote” written on the tarp, clearly it’s really on the RH issue. I am amazed at the depths to which anyone could be willingly duped by such propaganda. While the tarp doesn’t actively say VOTE and DON’T VOTE, the same message still comes across clearly. Readers and passers-by are motivated to think on their own stance and to specifically reflect on their “conscience”, preferably with the outcome that Team Buhay gets voted in.

The whole guilt as a Catholic will kick in; for less stronger minds, this is already a clear sign that God clearly wants something and someone, so these names should be taken down and committed to memory in time for the elections.

Related: Related issue –how about the entire manipulative history of the Catholic Church in the Philippines? I can’t stress enough how religion has so often come hand-in-hand with corruption, poverty and demoralization. It’s such a large and pervasive body, and not rightly so. It’s so easy for them to entice members with promises of heaven and reassurances on their faith. Another issue –the RH bill and the Church with it. Once again, my blood boils at the whole campaign of ignorance, because this is exactly what this is.

*On a side note, reading Freakonomics had given me some more insight on the significance of birth control. In it, the teenage crime rate drastically lowered at some point before the turn of the century. The reason wasn’t better laws, enforcement or education (though those might have helped). It was the fact that a generation earlier, abortion was legalized in most states, and so the amount of children born into hostile and stifling environments lessened. Ergo, crime lessened.

And so it continues: Don’t Get Raped versus Don’t Rape

The gist: Rape is one of those most grossly misunderstood and undervalued issues in court. In acts that make me renew my faith in humanity, more and more people are campaigning for men to not rape, instead of campaigning for women to not get raped.

Scenario 1: Don’t Get Raped.

The idea here is that being forced, penetrated and violated against your will is entirely your fault. For many centuries, this has always been the case. In some oriental countries, being even inappropriately touched is already a cause of shame, even though it has never been in a woman’s power to evade forceful contact. The campaign of the last few decades have always urged women to dress up properly, without any hint of skin at all, under the idea that men being perverts about exposed shoulders is, in fact, a woman’s responsibility.

Connected to this are the preposterous defenses and accusations in court and in sessions. Women who were raped find themselves powerless for another reason: the judicial process is slow and slightly biased for the attackers. How, you say? I can’t fathom why some people would choose to defend anyone who has raped with clear evidence, but people do. It has been repeatedly asked of victims if “they were sure they didn’t ask for it“, as if bleeding from your vagina is something anyone asks. Rape victims are also asked if “they didn’t enjoy it at all” or if “they didn’t consent eventually”. Well, then.

(Don’t even get me started on the men who are raped. They tend not to come out at all, for reasons related to their ‘masculinity’. There goes the justice system.)

And so it has always been a campaign of “if you don’t want to be raped, then don’t get raped.” And while I am happy that society assigns us some credit of power, in this case it is entirely insulting and misaligned. There is no universe where we can control this. Women are overpowered. And that’s it.

Scenario 2: Don’t Rape.

A much more logical solution to the crime that is rape has finally been gaining traction in society. The campaign slogan is DON’T RAPE, and it’s that simple. The choice in this whole ugly system doesn’t lie with the women (or men) who are raped. It lies with the men. And controlling an impulse should be easier than shrugging off an attacking man.

There have been many ways this has gone on. I’ve recently read essays and opinions expounding on the culture of violence in society, where it is okay to show affection by pulling pigtails, bullying and harassing. Targeting this system through education of manners should help.

Naming and shaming has always been one of my favorite tactics. You’ve raped, yes. Therefore, you are a rapist and will be named as such. It’s a passable deterrent for would-be rapists. What’s better is that rapists would find it more difficult to integrate themselves into society after. Sadistic? Mean of me? No. This kind of sympathetic thinking lets violent people get away with more than anything. It’s less of a punishment I could have conceived for destroying another person’s life and dignity.

Development: Basically I’ll list down things about rape that I have read. Just last January, an Indonesian Supreme Court candidate said the women enjoyed rape. His name is Daming Sanusi, and he said,

“Consideration needs to be taken thoroughly for the imposition of death penalty for a rapist because in a rape case both the rapist and the victim enjoy it.”

At the very least Indonesia is acting intelligently about it, with a call for Sanusi’s removal as candidate. One, he claimed he was joking and nervous. And so in this way he found the subject of death penalty of rape absolutely devoid of humour and sought to rectify it. Two, even if it was some kind of cultural-verbal mishap, that still meant he was incompetent.

On to another country –No surprises here, but an anti-rape campaign in Canada directed at men cut off sexual assaults by 10 percent in 2011. Just because she’s not saying no doesn’t mean it’s consent, indeed.

Tumblr is a trove of rape-related finds, as well. Very enlightening and alternatively very enraging. Here’s a tumblr user’s take on rape culture for men, which I found to be interesting. It illustrates how rape victims really are helpless in that situation; it says: put yourself in a woman’s shoes and cringe in the injustice you’re swimming in.

Here is an absolutely inflaming account of the opposite of rape-shaming. While I don’t have much energy left to find legitimate news sources –though I have read from those, I simply did not bookmark them, still. Please read this live tweeted rape case. Students and townspeople in a party watched as a girl was potentially raped, and those accused went on to take pictures and tweet about it. And forget about it by the time the next week came around. Nevermind, I looked for more credible sources –here is a New York Times’ report on the highschool football rape case and (more irrelevantly) its effect on the town. I have never watched this video on it, but it looks informative, mysterious and stimulative. A call for more organized justice appears in an opinion in Time. It’s not informative, but it did remind me to hold my horses.

My take: This whole thing has my rage written all over it, so I shan’t say anymore except–

There’s nothing wrong with telling women to be cautious. I take precautions against rape myself, as much as I can. The only problem is that rape isn’t treated with as much gravity as, say, murder, or physical assault. Both victims in either scenarios are helpless. Both lose a measure of their life.

But it is only in rape when the victim is questioned, doubted and insulted within an inch of their life. It is only in rape where a recently traumatized person is once again invaded by a rape kit for evidence. It is only in rape when issues of privilege is brought in behalf of the rapists and not the victims.

Related: (1) Another thing is that some states in other countries are pushing to allow RAPISTS THE RIGHT TO THEIR CHILDREN. I have to capitalize that for emphasis, because it is just ridiculous and maddening. Alternatively, some WOMEN STILL CANNOT ABORT CHILDREN CONCEIVED FROM RAPE, which is a big problem in the Philippines, but probably unheard from and unexposed.

(2) Friendzone. I really dislike this word, which has recently been added to a version of the Oxford Dictionary (informal noun). This propagates that a person is entitled to another, simply because they acted as a friend. This sense of entitlement is a symptom of much greater problems. Such as rape. 

(3) I’ve already given more words than I should on insulting ideas about rape from people in American politics. There’s a blog post by me about it somewhere.

(4) I suppose I will take this note to talk about the more-irritating wave of MASCULISM, as opposed to feminism, and the defenses AGAINST MISOGYNY. Thankfully a bunch of twitter users spoke out against it, under the #INeedMasculismBecause hashtag. Ahhh male privilege.



Say something back.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s