De La Salle University (DLSU) is holding a part-time faculty member accountable for making a lewd and sexist comment against Senator Risa Hontiveros. The faculty member insinuated in a Facebook post published on June 14 that Sen. Risa Hontiveros should be harassed by inmates of the New Bilibid Prison. The LaSallian, DLSU’s official student publication, reported in a now-deleted article that the post, which circulated on social media over the weekend, was a reaction to an earlier statement by Sen. Hontiveros on victim-blaming and rape culture.
The senator said in a tweet that men should be taught not to rape instead of teaching women not to dress in response to a story on a Quezon Province police department advising women not to wear short clothes if they don’t want to be a victim of sexual abuse. According to the publication’s article, the faculty member’s post read, “I recommend she (Hontiveros) teach the Bilibid Prison not to rape. Closed-door session.”
It reached the DLSU Community Forum on Facebook and drew public outrage from the student body. A Change.org petition, an initiative by concerned students and alumni, was launched to implore the university’s administration to hold the man responsible. DLSU marketing and advertising department chair Mary Julie Balabar said in a statement that they will not be renewing his contract.
In a statement released on Facebook, The DLSU University Student Government said, “We call on members of the Lasallian community to never be complicit or silent when such discriminatory and misogynistic acts happen. Your USG will continue lobbying for our Safe Spaces Initiative to ensure that we are all protected from harassment, misogyny, and discrimination.” USG president Lance Dela Cruz told The LaSallian that they filed a formal complaint that called for “proper actions against the post.”
Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business (RVRCOB) Student Government also released a statement that reads in part, “A culture of patriarchy has long plagued our country, and your BCG (Business College Government) is hell-bent in addressing this within our college.” RVRCOB student government president Nates Driz said in the interview with the school publication that he was disgusted and disturbed by the post that perpetuated rape culture. “There is no room for misogyny in DLSU,” he adds.
Although we have a long way to go when it comes to ending gender discrimination and the fight for equal rights, stories of communities rallying to enact swift justice prove that our efforts are not in vain.