#HijaAko: Netizens Fire Back at Ben Tulfo’s Problematic Victim-Blaming Statements
Jun 15, 2020   •   Kyzia Maramara
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Jun 15, 2020   •   Kyzia Maramara
[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE]
We are living in the 21st century and yet it’s as if some people remain uneducated, stuck in victim-blaming mindsets that help no one (and hurt many). One such fellow stuck in his primitive way of thinking is TV host Ben Tulfo who took to Twitter last Saturday night to try and ‘mansplain’ why rape happens to women:
Hija @kakiep83 , a rapist or a juvenile sex offender’s desire to commit a crime will always be there. All they need is an opportunity, when to commit the crime. Sexy ladies, careful with the way you dress up! You are inviting the beast.
— Ben Tulfo (@bitagbentulfo) June 13, 2020
This post is his response to a tweet by Frankie Pangilinan, Senator Kiko Pangilinan and Megastar Sharon Cuneta’s daughter, captioned, “STOP TEACHING GIRLS HOW TO DRESS?? TEACH PEOPLE NOT TO RAPE.”
Tulfo might think he was giving the ladies sage advice with his “You are inviting the beast” statement (who’s the beast here, really?) but he was met with heavy criticism online. People who agree with him should ponder a few things: rape doesn’t happen because of what a woman is wearing, but because of rapists.
– rape culture is real and a product of this precise line of thinking, where the behavior is normalized, particularly by men.
– the way anyone dresses should not be deemed as ‘opportunity’ to sexually assault them. ever.
– calling me hija will not belittle my point. https://t.co/bLbtEDVGBn
— hija (@kakiep83) June 14, 2020
Pangilinan countered Tulfo’s tweet with strong statements of her own. Towards the end, she wrote “Calling me hija will not belittle my point.” Pangilinan used this to start the hashtag #HijaAko, making “hija” the new label for “girls who fight for their rights as human beings.”
The hashtag trended nationwide on Sunday where women and girls of all ages used to share their experiences with sexual harassment.
Good night! Except to those who make excuses for rapists.
And you know what, I’m not gonna wear a bra in public and you know why? Not because I’m a horny girl asking for it but because my boobs can’t breathe and its uncomfortable, you idiot. #HijaAko
— Lauren Young (@loyoung) June 14, 2020
Klaro? Klaro. pic.twitter.com/507M35By4E
— Malaya Macaraeg (@haymalaya) June 13, 2020
The way a woman (or anyone for that matter) dresses should never be seen as an open invitation from anyone to sexually harass them. Why is it that from a young age, girls were taught to guard themselves against rapists when everything would have been easier if boys were taught not to objectify women?
ANG RAPE AY DAHIL SA RAPIST at ang consent ay hindi kailanman nasusukat sa suot o kilos ng isang tao… mahirap ba talaga ‘tong intindihin??? ;/
— syd hartha (@sydhartha) June 14, 2020
The problem in society is we have some influential people who amplify and justify morally wrong mindsets from some people on ground. For instance, in the context of ‘rape,’ is it right to blame the ‘victim’ just because they are wearing clothes that show some skin?
— jules guiang 🇵🇭 (@JULESguiang) June 14, 2020
The #HijaAko hashtag is full of sexual assault victims sharing their stories with the world. It’s heartbreaking to read through but at the same time empowering to know that these brave women and men are speaking up to educate others. These survivors were wearing jeans, sweaters, modest school uniforms, t-shirts, jackets, and yet they were still assaulted. No, they were not “inviting the beast,” they were assaulted because there are predators. They were raped because there are rapists.
Erwin: Frustrated kang prosti dahil walang gustong tumutnak sa ‘yo!
Mon: Kulang ka siguro sa sex. Ipahiram ka ng mister mo sa akin.
Ben: Manamit nang tama. Huwag pukawin ang pagnanasa ng reypist.
Among these sexist bigots/Tulfos, who is the most repulsive? It’s a 3-way tie. pic.twitter.com/E0iDaRTgJh
— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) June 14, 2020
We are done with the Tulfo brothers, honestly.
if you think she was raped BECAUSE she was dressed like this 👇, pls remove yourself from this corner pic.twitter.com/Mo9czHmtKh
— Gab Pangilinan (@gabpangilinan) June 14, 2020
how many times do we have to say that even when we’re fully covered up, we still get sexually harassed?
— gwai (@gwyomi) June 14, 2020
Gab Pangilinan who starred in the hit musical Ang Huling El Bimbo also spoke up about sexual assault. Her character, Joy Manawari, was a victim of rape. Wattpad author Gwy Saludes also backed up the countless women and men who spoke up against harassment.
This onesie was worn by a four-month old infant when she was raped in a coconut field.
Are you going to blame the baby for wearing onesie? pic.twitter.com/UOnxHRInrR
— rebolusyon 🌈 🇵🇭 (@lemeuxxST) June 14, 2020
In late 2019, the University of San Carlos in Cebu had an exhibit entitled “Don’t Tell Me How to Dress.” It featured clothes of sexual assault survivors. There was a onesie for a baby, a school uniform, military fatigue, and even a casual shirt and jeans combination. If that doesn’t ingrain in anyone’s head that the way a woman dresses should never be blamed, explain how animals are being raped or how even grandmothers are being raped.
Rape is about violence and control. It is not about what a woman is wearing or how she looks. Rape is a criminal act against a person’s will. There is no justification for rape.
— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) June 14, 2020
men: may mga needs ang mga lalaki kaya dapat ayusin niyo pananamit niyo dahil boys will be boys 😜💪🏼👊🏻
also men: NOT ALL MEN ARE TRASH GRABE KAYO WAG NIYO I-GENERALIZE 😣😣😣😣🤬🤬🤬🤬
mga putangina niyo pala
— wary (@warysanchhh) June 14, 2020
We have to get it through everyone’s heads: there is no justification for rape. Women should not be held accountable or even responsible for the actions of men who don’t know the meaning of the word “consent.”
Kung nagbibigay ka ng excuse para sa mga manyak, manyak ka rin.
— Jai Cabajar (@jaicabajar) June 14, 2020
This is all there is to it, at the end of everything. If someone you know excuses a rapist or a predator’s behavior, chances are, manyak rin sila.
Frankie Pangilinan commends the brave souls who spoke out about their experiences with sexual assault and rape. “You are bigger than your abuse and much stronger than your abusers don’t let ANYBODY tell you different,” she writes.
for those of you still finding the strength to speak out, i believe in you. i love you. there is so much power in your silent bravery.
— hija (@kakiep83) June 14, 2020
What are your thoughts on this issue?
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
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