Jennylyn Mercado, Gab Valenciano take stand against rape culture, victim blaming
MANILA, Philippines – Actress Jennylyn Mercado and singer-dancer Gab Valenciano are the latest celebrities to speak out against rape culture and victim-blaming in the country.
In a statement posted on her Facebook page Monday, June 15, Jennylyn, who stars in GMA 7's Descendants of the Sun, said it's "backwards" to think that rape is the victim's fault, usually because of the way he or she acts or dresses.
"Rape exists because of rapists. Paano ninyo mairarason ang mga biktima na mga bata at matanda na hindi naman nakasuot ng sinsabing 'sexy na pananamit?' Walang pamantayan ng pananamit ang rape at sexual harrassment." (Rape exists because of rapists. How do you explain the kids and elderly people who are victims and weren't wearing revealing "sexy" outfits? Clothes have nothing to do with rape and sexual harrassment.)
"There is no reason whatsoever that can justify a person getting sexually assaulted and no excuse for the assailant to commit the act. Blame the person who chose and chooses to rape her."
Gab, the son of Gary Valenciano, took to Instagram on Wednesday, June 17 to say that women should not be shamed for wanting to express themselves through the clothes they wear.
"The act of raping someone starts with a thought, regardless of what the person is wearing," Gab said.
"Ask yourself this simple and basic question: Does a woman in short shorts and a crop top, in any shape or form make you think about sexually assaulting that woman? If so, then you are, without a doubt, the problem. A menace to society."
He also said that kind of mindset is "empowering and enabling the wrong side." He also said that he won't stop speaking about the issue, saying protecting the women is important.
"I am all about the protection and security of women and I won't stay silent about this issue. Real men, we must speak out and defend our women be it partners, our friends, our families or our loved ones."
The issue of rape culture and victime blaming has been the subject of discussion on social media the past week after the Lucban Municipal Police Station said in a Facebook post that women should not wear revealing clothes to avoid sexual assault. Users online, including Kakie Pangilinan, called police out for the post.
Later, the hashtag #HijaAko trended after broadcast Ben Tulfo tried to lecture Kakie, insisting that the way one dressed still played a part in an incident of rape.
Kakie slammed Ben, pointing out that his way of thinking is why people continue to normalize rape culture and victim blaming in the country. – Rappler.com