MUST READ: This Girl Got Catcalled & This Was Her Reaction

When In Manila, the culture of catcalling women is still very much alive and is something that we’re constantly trying to raise awareness about. It may seem like a harmless comment, or even a compliment to some but for women who do get catcalled, this is not the case. One girl decided to call out her catcaller and this is what happened:

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Source: Katrina Isabel Trillana’s Facebook Page
Full text reads:

On my walk to the jeepney stop tonight, a middle-aged man whispered to me, “Hi, sexy.”

Did I walk away, as what a girl alone should do? No.

I pressed the On button to the taser I was holding and held the electric current near his face, telling him, “Putangina mo, ano sabi mo? Ano sabi mo ulit?” and he took a step back, surprised.

People near us were already looking and he just stared at me aghast BUT unapologetic. I gave him the finger and walked towards the jeepney stop. I just kept on staring at him as I was waiting for my ride and yet not once did he look at me straight in the eye like he did when he was harassing me. Minutes passed until he decided to walk away to the farther end of the street.

Was what I did dangerous? Probably.
Was I satisfied? Yes.
Was my anger dissipated? No.

I am angered at how I need a weapon just so I can walk safely at night. Even more so, I am more angered at the fact that I know I could have tasered him straight to his neck yet I cannot because nobody else heard him nor was there physical assault — and as I know, according to our laws, without those two premises, there are no charges to the attacker and the victim might even be the one pressed charges against. Add victim-blaming to me too for wearing a dress today, because if our own President harasses women all he wants, why can’t they, right?

I’ve been told numerous times how the equality I want for women is too much, that they think I am inconsiderate of men already. Is demanding respect too much? Is defending yourself inconsiderate? Will calling out harassment and oppression strike unequal rights between men and women? I do not think so.

It’s a hundred shades of f*d-up how all the blame goes to the woman when she finds herself in a similar or even a worse plight I often find myself in. So many times this has happened to me and so many times I talked back, yet not one had the balls to apologize or even, yes, go challenge me. We live in a culture where a man gets away with his shortcomings by playing deadma or putting the blame on something else. Often a woman gets killed just for fighting back, and often a man gets away just by pleading based on his “nature as a man.”

To the men reading this, I challenge you to have the balls to own up to your mistakes ans respect women the way you want to be respected. If you will continue to oppress, then suck it up, because you will get oppression too — the way you deserve it. If you think it’s the woman’s clothes or “Come on, just take a compliment,” then I hope you die early so you can stop propagating that mindset and we can educate more kids not to be just like you. A woman doesn’t have to be your relative or someone’s someone just to be respected.

To the women, stop walking away. Stop being silenced because the moment we shut up about things that matter is the moment we are silenced into submission. Say all you want about me for wanting so much for us women, why would I not want to when we are given so little?

Push back, I push back.

I say well done, Katrina! Catcalling makes women feel unsafe and have, in some cities, been penalized. What do you think about this?

Katrina Isabel Trillana is an advertising account manager at MRM//McCann, a social researcher, and a student-activist who graduated with honors and on top of her class from NCPAG, UP Diliman where she learned how to stand up for herself and rallied the struggles of a modern Filipina. She has studied community development, global studies and social sciences with a focus on gender and development. Katy believes that courage is never instant, rather, courage is something we all learn along the way.

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