The misogynistic undertone of how we teach our children

Social media has witnessed another face palm moment as Ben Tulfo and Frankie Pangilinan fought a twitter war about the very prevalent and corrupted concept of rape culture in the country — the former being a crystal-clear example of this corrupted mindset and face palm moment.

To this day, it is appalling how society views rape and perpetuates a heavy emphasis on victim blaming.

I have always thought the logic is very simple. As a matter of fact, the logic of those who victim blame are those whose brains I can never understand.

Blaming a rape victim for being raped is similar to blaming a murder victim for being murdered — yet we rarely hear a murdered person be blamed for getting killed. Because how absurd would that be?

The strong conservatism culture we have in the country perhaps is one to blame — a thinking stiffly guarded by outdated views and medieval thinking.

We tell our daughters to dress in the most modest way to prevent getting sexually assaulted, but we do not exactly teach our sons to be gentlemen and eradicate teachings of toxic masculinity.

For such a conservative country as ours, there is an enormous double standard on the way we approach sexual assault — the blame always falling on women.

The way we teach our daughters to dress modestly is an example of how we continue to put a pedestal on victim blaming and continue to put a pedestal on our sons instead.

We fail to see that women of all walks of life and age are being sexual assaulted regardless of what they wear — even babies. Therefore, the problem is and never will be the manner of how we dress. The only problem is the assaulter, nothing more and nothing less.

Meanwhile, we teach our sons to always act tough and mighty, that showing the tiniest of softness and emotions are met with ‘gay’ and ‘weak’ remarks.

This in turn creates a rippling effect in the way men view acts of toughness and strength, often leading to prejudicial perceptions such as women in the kitchen and men always in the lead.

The most baffling of this men-on-pedestal culture is the way we teach our sons to objectify women, often considered as a sign of masculinity, and a sign of weakness or being gay if not done.

We often teach our sons to view women as objects of sexual favors, always putting above views of the artificial before intellect and character.

We teach our sons to scan a woman by her appearance and use that perception as the value of a woman’s worth — and how a woman is considered a prize for a man.

On the other hand, we teach our daughters to be stewards of cooking, cleaning, and pleasure for their husbands. We teach them to be maids and servants that cultivates a mindset that women would always be under the mercy of men.

This in turn leads to all the problems women face — the catcalls, the uncomfortable sexual innuendos, the tolerance of inappropriate behavior, and of course, rape.

But sadly, the problems women face do not end with the catcalls or assault. What comes after is the mockery and the victim blaming. What comes after is the conservative Filipino culture which puts our women in a state of shame instead of a state of empowerment to fight for their rights.

The way to really end this at its core is to sever our primitive thinking, recalibrate the way we teach our sons, and empower women to always speak and fight. Although we have a long way to go, the continuous effort to take these steps lead to an enormous difference in how safe society would feel for women.

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