The Philippine Commission on Women on Wednesday scored television host and Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto for “victim blaming and shaming” women, who stereotyped a female contestant who had suffered abuses.
Saying that such acts promote the culture of misogyny that justifiy abuses against women, the PCW said that Sotto “should also be cautious and ensure that they are not exposing the victim to further harm and vulnerability.”
“These are clear examples of victim blaming and shaming which can be likened to fault-finding against rape and sexual harassment victims who were blamed for wearing sexy outfits, getting drunk or walking alone in dark streets,” the PCW said in a statement.
“Women should never carry the guilt and blame and likewise restrict their freedom and desires. Women should live equally with men,” the government agency added.
In one of its segments on July 9, Katrina Conde, a solo parent of four children and recipient of the “Sugod Bahay” contest, was asked by the hosts to share her life story, highlighting the reasons behind her separation from her estranged husband.
As Conde recounted her story and admitted her occasional drinking sessions with friends, not to mention her way of wearing clothes and being friendly to other colleagues, the hosts began pressing, berating, accusing her guilty, if not held her responsible for her misfortunes. Sotto even commented that “Ka-bababeng tao mo pa naman, pa-shot-shot ka.”
The PCW lamented that Sotto and the hosts of GMA7’s Eat Bulaga may have crossed the line “when they weren’t content with the line of questioning towards Conde and even asked her to re-enact the way she pleaded to win her husband back, in a way reliving her pains.”
“The PCW appeals to all media employees, producers, talents and writers, especially those of “Eat Bulaga” to uphold its Code of Ethics and likewise observe gender sensitivity at all times, as mandated by the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Section 16 which calls for the non-derogatory and discriminatory portrayal of media.”
“The program hosts should realize that their language and actions will have an effect on how their viewers think and act. Hence, they should be more conscientious in what they say and do, so as not to reinforce gender biases in our society.”