It was bound to happen: the minute Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista made it against the law to catcall women, you knew, you just knew, people would crawl out of the woodwork and complain that this was a stupid law.
Unfortunately, it’s not actually as stupid as it seems: Quezon City isn’t exactly perceived as the safest city in Metro Manila, let alone the Philippines. There is a need for a law like this and it falls upon the more sensible among us to explain slowly and patiently why this isn’t just first-world Social Justice Warrior frivolity.
Here are 8 of the common arguments you might hear against this ordinance, and the appropriate response why these arguments are completely off-base.
8. “It’s too hard to implement.”
Logical Fallacy Invoked: Red herring
The RH Law is “too hard to implement.” Any given number of laws will always be given the same argument, yet at no point does this mean we shouldn’t have the law. The matter of implementation, while indeed a valid question, does not eliminate the need for the law.
7. “It could be used to harass certain men a woman doesn’t like.”
Logical Fallacy Invoked: Slippery slope, appeal to fear
This is the same argument used against rape, yet nobody is going to argue that we shouldn’t have laws against rape. The fact of the matter is, proper implementation of the law simply means that the people who harass women in public are discouraged or deterred from doing so, which is exactly the objective of making a law against it, right?
It takes an incredible leap of logic to assume women will suddenly use this new “weapon” against men in QC to emasculate them. Because apparently, they just need to tell that lady walking by the street “hi, Ms. Byutipul! Pwede bang makipagkilala?”
Besides, if you get accused of a crime, due process still exists.
6. “I was paying her a compliment!”
Logical Fallacy Invoked: Relativist fallacy
What may just be a compliment to you may be harassment to her. When you call someone “sexy,” or talk about her body, you need to understand that they are people who do not necessarily like how you’re talking to them. Let’s look at it this way: all things being equal, how often do men get ogled for their looks? Not that often, unless they’re Lucky Manzano or something. Yet any woman with a C cup? Ohhhh, boy.
Women do not exist to affirm you, nor do they need your affirmation to justify their existence. It’s really that simple, so keep your “compliments” to yourself. It’s not that hard (That’s what he said – ED).
5. “If she didn’t want to be catcalled, she shouldn’t have worn that dress!”
Logical Fallacy Invoked: Just-world hypothesis
Here, we venture into blaming the victim, instead of blaming the asshole who decided to not treat a woman with respect. Sorry, but it isn’t exactly the case that all women dress up exclusively to attract men. More often than not, a low-cut dress is just a low-cut dress, not an open invitation to be harassed.
There’s this disingenuous saying that goes “if you want to be treated with respect, you should also treat yourself with respect,” as if dressing up in attractive clothing is an open invitation to be harassed. It doesn’t work that way, especially in the case of so many women who don’t even dress in what could be remotely called “sexy,” yet still get catcalled, anyways.
Or kids. Let’s not forget how often minors get catcalled, and how dangerous that can be for them.