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June 6, 2018

Tasteless Theatrics

I saw the photo of the kiss on my feed. I agreed with a friend of mine who said, “It’s like your lolo kissing your friend on the lips for gimmick.” That’s exactly how it looked as I saw the pic being reposted again and again. It isn’t something a president would do. It was inappropriate.

I looked for the video because I wanted to know the context. To cut the long story short, he gave away a book (not your usual book), for a kiss. Not one but TWO women went up the stage to get the book to be kissed. One gave a kiss on the president’s cheek but didn’t get the book. The other one got the book and gave a kiss. It was a ‘kilig’ moment for her.  The president then added 2 minutes after, “it is a gimmick”. Not to be taken seriously. Hence, it is what it is.


To summarize the reactions on my feed, the reasons why most people were disgusted were because; 1. He’s ugly, 2. He’s evil incarnate (dictator, killer, China-ass-kisser), 3. He didn’t act presidential. Imagine if it was a woman-president who did it – would she be called a chauvinist, man-hater, and power abuser? She would’ve been called a slut. That’s how different things will go. Unless you’re Sen. de Lima, you can hide it under the guise of  “frailties of a woman”.

The woman, Bea Kim, didn’t feel she was abused, nor did she feel that the president abused his authority. It was ‘nothing’ to her, no malice at all. She didn’t even feel that she was a victim because she gave consent to the kiss. Perhaps that triggered some women’s groups and people to portray her as brainless and clueless. Then there was the crowd, wildly cheering them on.

The psychology behind it is deep and reflects the society we grew in and encourage. Where men with 8 wives and 80 grandkids are in politics, revered and respected.

Misogyny exists in our society and the president is a reflection of that society. A society wherein there are men who still believe that there are 2 kinds of women, the Virgin Mother and Mary Magdalene kind. We have a culture that nurtures and enables such beliefs. It shows in our jokes, our literature, and our choice of religion.

Hashtags and angry campaigns won’t help eradicate it. Awareness helps. Education helps. Informed media exposure helps.

It also helps to look at oneself in front of the mirror and ask how we encourage the problem. Then change our perspectives accordingly.

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