I was wandering the streets, with companions, during ungodly hours and I saw this chick alone by the sidewalk. As for me, I was out for art, exploration, a starry night and a therapeutic walk. As for her, I don’t know. My Mama told me not to talk to strangers, so I didn’t ask. But here’s a thing I know: late night or daytime, alone or not, in skirts or skinny jeans, none of us are asking for it. And by it I hope you know what I mean.
I know, I knowww it is a lame ideal since attackers don’t care about that when they assault you. That is why rape (aka it) has its own degree of morbidness and wickedness. That is why it is actually a serious matter that needs to be addressed in an equally serious manner. Now, with that said, do you know what is really dangerous? Being flippant about it– especially in a vast public-reach.
It is bad enough that people are raped (this goes out to both genders. Hashtag equal rights). It is unimaginable how they have to deal with the nightmares afterward that never turn off. It is pathetic to see them cower as the blame finger is pointed at them (although we all need to act responsibly for the sake of our own safety, of course). But being lighthearted about rape is simply way below the line of both humor and morality. The impact of one frivolous statement could lead to a domino principle that results to more crimes committed, more victims tarnished and to creating a society with a calloused heart and a twisted sense of perception.
But you know what is deadly? Being a careless, flippant and an unapologetic public figure/servant. David Archuleta once said, “Fame brings with it the power to influence people.”As a public figure/servant, people look to you as an exemplar. Yes, you speak your mind without filter. Yes, freedom of expression and all that. Fine, fine. But remember, there’s a line between freedom of speech and harrassment. There has always been, so please stop making justifications for unexcusable behaviors. It is a public servant’s moral responsibility to be someone worth emulating by the society. You aren’t called a leader if people would not look to you as a beacon to follow.
So, never underestimate the power of words. Truly, words can harm a lot than a sword can. Our tongues are sharper than polished knives. Our country, the Philippines, should know its impact more than anyone. Remember how we gained liberty from our oppressors? Remember why we are know enjoying the freedom of expression (which we hopefully would not abuse)?
Now, back to the intensely-debated question of whether or not our choice of wardrobe and style determine if we are asking for it (reminder again for responsibe actions). Ask that lady in a short dress if she wants to be raped. Ask that nerdy, conservative teenage girl if she wants to be raped. No, just ask anyone, if they want to get raped. Then ask yourself if you want it to happen to you.
It is not a matter of whether or not a person is asking for it, but more about why it is happening and what could we do to address the problem.
Hopefully you will end up asking yourself why you’re even asking such a question. Hopefully you will end up asking yourself why you are not asking questions which answers will be key to saving someone’s life in a dark alley somewhere.