A housemate in Pinoy Big Brother was recently evicted over sexually inappropriate behavior. He was called out for making a rape joke over breakfast, which was apparently not the first lewd remark he had made. Some female housemates also accused him of improper actions like smelling their hair.
While the situation was quickly dealt with to show zero tolerance for rape jokes and any insensitivity towards rape, it triggered the memories of audiences who remembered another confrontation about rape culture which took place on the reality show. Back in 2015, housemates Dawn Chang and Tommy Esguerra had it out over what constitutes “proper” behavior and clothing for women.
For those who can’t recall what exactly was happening, Tommy had decided to confront Dawn for allegedly leading Zeus Collins, another housemate, on. The two were ‘affectionate’ at the time and Tommy was concerned since they had their respective partners. But when Dawn tried to clarify that she and Zeus understood that there was nothing between them, Tommy protested and forced his logic.
He infamously accused: “You could tell me, ‘I don’t like you, Tommy.’ But if you’re putting your leg out, my brain’s not gonna work. I’m a guy! Especially Zeus, because he’s a young man.” Dawn doesn’t hesitate to respond: “Well, that’s your problem and not mine. I can wear whatever I want to wear.”
Tommy tries to twist it by saying “So you know how a guy thinks, and you abuse it.” To which Dawn fights back and replies: “I beg to disagree. Your actions…you should take responsibility [for] your actions. If you think I’m sexy, thank you very much. If you feel tempted because of what I wear, that’s your problem and not mine. I can wear whatever I want to wear.”
Even after all these years, Dawn continues to make her defense against rape culture and the belief that men can tell women what to do. When asked on her Twitter account what her reaction to the old scene going viral was she quipped: “People are getting smarter.” Another tweet made more direct mention of her advocacy:
I don’t mind not being famous. I just want people to be more aware of our rights and limitations. ☺️ https://t.co/BFM6b0mOre
— DAWN CHANG (@thedawnchang) June 5, 2019
She also appeared on the online series “PBB Bring8on” just last June 4, where she spoke out against rape jokes and rape in general. Dawn was able to make it clear by saying:
For me, that’s sexual harrassment. If there is no consent, it’s not right. Kasi, kumbaga, ang pagkain, just because nasa harapan mo, pero hindi sa ‘yo, hindi ibig sabihin puwede mo kainin. [If you compare it to food, just because it’s in front of you, and it’s not yours, doesn’t mean you can just eat it.]
Hindi rin po sa kasuotan ‘yun. [And it has nothing to do with what she’s wearing.] No, it’s all here [points to head]. It’s how you control, it’s how you see it, it’s how you think it is.
— Jadie ? (@jademahilaga) June 4, 2019
Do you agree with Dawn? Tell us why or why not in the comments!