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Risa Hontiveros to Duterte: Stop normalizing rape, sexual abuse


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Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to stop using rape and sexual abuse as materials for humor lest the public get used to them.

“Mr. President, stop normalizing and trivializing rape," Hontiveros said in a press statement.

"There is nothing normal about the culture of rape. It is one of the worst kinds of abuses to which a person can be subjected,” she added.

She said while rape and other forms of sexual abuse are gruesome realities faced by a lot of women, especially overseas Filipino workers, saying that rape "comes with the territory" and is "part of the culture" of working abroad, Duterte just admitted that he is powerless to protect the OFWs.

“So much for 'tapang at malasakit.' It is both a surrender to and state promotion of the rape culture,” she said.

"Tapang at malasakit", or courage and concern, was one of the catch phrases of the Duterte presidential campaign.

The senator said the President’s apologists should not brush off the state leader’s remarks.

“(Rape jokes) are not creative attempts at word play. They are conscious efforts to weaponize language as a medium in which sexism, gender discrimination and violence against women are committed and replicated,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said she refused to get used to such remarks and so should the public or else they become an accomplice to such unacceptable act.

“Sabi nila dapat masanay na tayo sa pananalita ng Pangulo. Sorry, but I refuse to get used to it. So should the public. We should continue to push back,” Hontiveros said.

"The moment we trivialize violence against women and misogyny is the time we become not only fence-sitters to these vile evils but also complicit in their horrific culture,” she added. —NB, GMA News

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