"Thank you for your bravery that is an example to the sisterhood, and for showing the rest of us that we can fight against the manifestations of toxic masculinity, particularly when they put us at risk."
Striking a blow against the patriarchy, a young woman roundly cussed out a pervert who whipped out his penis and flashed it at her while they were riding a packed bus.
The woman, showing courage and presence of mind, took a video of the man’s exposed privates and him zipping up after she began cursing him. “Put*ngina mo ha, ba’t mo nilalabas t*ti mo, ha!” [You son of a bitch, why are you taking out your penis] She appealed to fellow passengers in Filipino: “Look at this man with his dick out! Miss, you saw him zipping up, right?”
The man looked embarrassed, moved away, and stammered “Pasensiya na” [I beg your patience].
Twitter user Ushwa, who shared the video on Dec. 22, said, “I hope pag tapos mapanood to ng mga babae na nababastos mas naging matapang sila na kailangan nila gumawa ng aksyon kapag sakanila nangyare to” [I hope that after women who are being sexually harassed watch this, that they will become brave enough to act if something like this happens to them].
He added, “Salute to ate na gumawa ng paraan para mabisto yung nambabastos sa kanya” [I salute elder sister who found a way to call out the man who was being obscene to her].
The unidentified young woman was declared a heroine by many netizens who saw her action as one of women empowerment. Many bared their similar experiences of sexual harassment by strangers in public vehicles.
Jinhwan commented, “Got teary eyed watching this. Nagsasalsal yung nakatabi ko sa tricycle [A man beside me in a tricycle was masturbating] one time but I couldn’t say anything because he seemed drunk and I was afraid he’d hurt me. Wish I could get this same courage if I ever encounter another asshole during commute. Super bilib ako kay ate [I am very impressed by her].”
Shekinah said, “Ang tapang ni ate gurl hindi lahat nagkakaroon ng ganyan ka lakas ng loob katulad ni ate. [She was so brave. Not everyone has that kind of courage.] I almost got raped when I was 10yrs old I was the only one in that vehicle I didn’t know how to confront that asshole bc he’s got a freakin’ knife!I wish I had that same courage of you ate.”
Most of the male commenters were supportive like Ryl, who said, “The world needs more of you, ma’am.” However, there were also some who objected to the young woman’s vocal condemnation, saying that her cussing was extreme.
What these people don’t realize is that the woman felt unsafe and threatened in that situation, as many other women can attest they do, and she was doing what she thought best to protect herself.
Most women in similar circumstances ignore the obscene conduct and keep silent, because they fear that “making a scene” will provoke the man to retaliate and further escalate their offensive actions. Inaction on the victims’ part emboldens offenders and reinforces their behavior, causing them to repeat it until they are caught or get some sort of comeuppance.
Exhibitionism by men and harassment of women on public vehicles is not unusual. Exhibitionistic disorder is when a person “experiences recurrent and intense sexual arousal (manifested by fantasies, urges, or behaviors) related to exposing the genitals to a stranger” (Medscape.com). It is among the deviant behaviors that violate social norms and laws.
Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes “grave scandal,” which is “a crime consisting of the performance or doing any act which is highly scandalous as to offend against decency and good custom.”
The act must be “either a physical observable activity or audible noise, both of which scandalizes those who see or hear them,” done either in “a public place…[or] within public knowledge or public view.”
If that pervert is ever caught he can be charged with the above crime, because the video shows that all the required elements are present. The case serves as an example to women to stand up for themselves, but with discretion if they are being physically threatened with a weapon or other aggressive behavior.
It should also make men aware that there are laws against actions like these, and that women are becoming more aware of their rights and are more likely than before to take matters into their own hands to obtain relief from intimidation and threat, especially when it is easy now to obtain video evidence of the wrongdoing.
Ate gurl, whoever you are, I applaud you. Thank you for your bravery that is an example to the sisterhood, and for showing the rest of us that we can fight against the manifestations of toxic masculinity, particularly when they put us at risk.
No woman should live in fear, not when riding the bus, not anywhere, not anytime.
Dr. Ortuoste invites you to join her in dismantling the patriarchy, one jerk at a time. FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO