I am a mother of two strong women , a blogger and a Filipino. I condemn Duterte and other people in government who issue sexist remarks and exhibit misogynistic behaviors.— Noemi L. Dado (@momblogger) May 25, 2018
My girls , our women and I deserve better. Watch me fight back ! #BabaeAko
It’s not news that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte targets women’s bodies with lewd comments.
The avid gun collector has made sexist comments several times. Just recently, he suggested he wanted to take the country’s tourism chief for something romantic. He also said keeping a second wife was like keeping a “spare tire” in the car.
To call out this derogatory behavior, women’s rights advocates have launched an online campaign against Duterte. The #BabaeAko (I am a woman) online campaign aims to fight Duterte’s misogyny.
“What is worrisome to me is that he is the president, and men are listening to him talk like that," said Noemi Dado, an advocate against domestic violence. She said that all the vulgar comments made by the president encourage a culture of domestic violence in the country.
"Without him setting a very good example, it sends a bad signal to everyone. That's why there is domestic abuse in our country," she added.
While giving a speech at the presidential palace, Duterte tried flirting with Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who was in the audience, telling her she was beautiful in the Filipino language. During the speech, Duterte dismissed his critics, claiming he wasn’t anti-women saying. "Don't believe those female critics of mine.”
However, soon after the speech, the misogynist president ordered palace camera operators to turn off the live television broadcast so that everyone could talk to women in private.
Days before the speech, the controversial leader made a nasty comment about keeping a second wife. He compared a second wife with a spare car tire. "If a vehicle, which is made of metal, would need a spare tire, how much more for us human beings?" he shamelessly said.
Apparently, Duterte is habitual when it comes to targeting female public figures.
Earlier this month, Duterte berated Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), claiming all it would take for the woman to change her outlook on Philippines economy is a kiss. "You know, that Lagarde, I once saw her…Just pull her into a corner, kiss her, son of a bitch, she will change her mind," he said.
Duterte is notorious for publicly kissing women and claiming they come to him with “pouted lips” and that kissing females is his “way to impress them, minus the sexual undertones.”
In February, he ordered his soldiers to commit sexually violent acts against rebel women fighters.
“Tell the soldiers, 'There's a new order coming from the mayor. We won't kill you. We will just shoot your vagina,'” the president said.
In March, the foul-mouthed leader came under fire after he called the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda "that black woman," and called the United Nations human rights rapporteur Agnes Callamard "skinny" and "malnourished.”
His palace employees, who are equally disgusting, often defend their boss terming his derogatory remarks as jokes. The misogynistic president tries imposing his desires on women, highlighting how much he disregards the opposite gender.
According to Journalist Inday Espina-Varona, Duterte is "definitely" intimidated by women, "who stress accountability and insist on taking up justice issues," such as the extra-judicial killings related to the drug war.
"He appears contemptuous but it's really fear. He feels women have thwarted his desires as president, resisted his autocratic ways."
"Whether its media, or the judiciary or the legislature, or the executive, [Duterte] he's found that women won't play his games, or engage in the backroom deals that seem to be the trademark of his government," she added.
"I am against the macho, fascist, patriarchal and feudal culture of this administration. I will fight," said Arlene Brosas, a sectoral representative in Congress, talking about the online campaign.
Not only women, men also supported the #BabaeAko campaign.
30 examples of Duterte's sexist remarks...The #BabaeAko social media campaign to fight the sexist remarks and misogynistic behavior of President Duterte is gaining so much ground. Tonyo Cruz... https://t.co/PwuW1aK4bU— Noemi L. Dado (@momblogger) May 30, 2018
Every self-respecting & decent man should stand against misogyny and sexism! this isn’t about politics or partisanship, but basic humanity. #BabaeAko— Richard J. Heydarian (@Richeydarian) May 26, 2018
Catcalling women is NOT OKAY— Lowi||#BabaeAko (@Lowiwashere) May 27, 2018
Sexually harassing women is NOT OKAY
Joking about rape is NOT OKAY
Disrespecting women is NOT OKAY
Just because you are president doesn't give you the right to do that. And hindi lang to para sa presidente but for all the people.#BabaeAko#LalabanAko
Encouraging women -- and I mean including those who identify as women -- and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.— Chai Fonacier (@rrrabidcat) May 25, 2018
In solidarity with #BabaeAko, here’s a compilation of President Duterte’s sexist remarks (some preceding his rise to power).— Gibby Gorres (@gibbygorres) May 26, 2018
This thread is to demonstrate that there is no doubt that that the President is a sleazy, dirty, old man whose character is always sexist and misogynist.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Ezra Acayan