Manila Quezon City, a new anti-sexual harassment ordinance has been passed. The ordinance punishes, among other things, catcalling and wolf-whistling. The internet has been abuzz with mixed reactions on the matter. Facebook user Ally Munda shares her experience and asks:
“How do you not know the difference between voicing your opinion and making a person feel harassed and vulnerable? How do you justify objectification so casually?”
On the fx right now. Sitting next to two guys who’re talking about the new ordinance in Quezon City against street harassment. They’re calling it dumb and they’re upset kasi bawal na magreact. They’re saying they should just wait till the girl gets to welcome circle then start yelling there when she steps out of the city’s limits. They’re talking about how unfair it is to guys who can’t express their opinions now.
You late twenties men sitting next to me, do you realize what you’re saying? You are grown people who should know that women, other people, are not here for your entertainment, amusement or approval. I am not your mother it is not my job to tell you that when you see a girl walking in the skimpiest skirt, she is and will always be a human being. My dignity does not decrease as my hemline heightens. I am not an ornament for your field of vision. How do you not know the difference between voicing your opinion and making a person feel harassed and vulnerable? How do you justify objectification so casually?
I would have told you all of this. I would have spoken up and interrupted your conversation. I would have stormed and screamed and scolded. But I kept it in, I’m keeping it in, I’m typing it down instead. Why? Because I fear violence. I fear the many men who, when I call out their catcalling and show them that goddamnit I am a person not an object, turn to insults and threats in the middle of the street, in broad daylight. I am afraid to stand up against your casual, ordinary, socially accepted abuses because I am aware of how little you value me.
Do you agree with her?