“Kung ayaw mo mabastos, wag ka magsususot ng maiksing short”
I was scrolling thru my fb account when I saw this comment on a post.
When I suddenly remembered a particular event that happened to me when I was in 3rd year high school.
I was standing outside our school, Antipolo National High School, together with my younger sister and my classmate waiting for a tricycle to pass by for our ride way home.
That was a very fulfilling day at school, I remembered us laughing as we share stories with each other when suddenly a man riding a green motorcycle, wearing a red cap, white sando, faded brown shorts, and black slippers stopped in front of us.
“Barayan ka?” He asked me.
“Po?” I thought I misheard him. “Ano daw?” I asked my classmate. The three of us we’re puzzled.
“Bayaran ka?” He repeated.
“Bayan po?” I tried to clarify. “Hindi po kami sa bayan.”
I answered even though I was wondering why he was asking. He seemed angry when he asked me the third time.
“Bayaran ka ba?” He asked loud and clear.
“Bayaran?” I was confused. “Hindi po.”
Then he went away hiding to bigger vehicles as he noticed we are trying to look at his plate number.
“Grabe naman yun!” My classmate said.
I already forgot how we went home that time all I could remember is that we went home upset, afraid, and bewildered.
In my mind I was thinking, mukha ba kong bayaran? I was wearing school uniform, our skirt is two inches below the knee. I was holding two big bags, one for my school supplies the other is for my books. I was standing between my sister and my classmate but he asked only me.
Such experience made me realize that women’s taste for fashion is not the culprit for lack of respect.
Kahit anong suot mo kung manyak, manyak.
Don’t put the blame on the person who was harassed or molested, they are going through enough mind torture.
Guys, someday you will be the head of your family. You will have dependents who will trust your capabilities especially your decision-making skills. You will have daughters who will need your protection. So before you get there, change the world for them.
You can teach your daughters to wear what ‘you think’ is ‘appropriate’ but never forget to ‘show’ your sons what the word ‘respect’ means.
Don’t tell us na wala kayong choice, na you are weak to temptation. Na pag nagsuot ng shorts ang babae ibig sabihin ‘she’s calling for it’. I see a lot of guys playing basketball wearing boxer shorts, nararape ba?
Remember, the earth did not force your feet to approach a person nor did it make your hands touched someone without approval.
It’s your decision.
Nobody forced you to molest or rape.
So instead of blaming a person for an ill-fated experience, help them. Empower them. Remind them that they are not less of a person.
I guess it’s time for us to change our mindset. We women, deserve to live in a place where we can walk on streets alone with no judgment and fear.