When Sunshine Cruz snapped at sexual predators who were leaving lewd comments on her and her daughters’ pictures, I thought that people would get the message—women will wear what they want and men don’t have a say in that. But recent tweets from Sunshine’s daughters proved me wrong.
Sam Cruz’ tweet reminded everyone that she and her younger sister, Chesca, are still minors and the memes posted on Facebook that sexualize them are gross and disturbing. She also included a warning: “To all the men posting about us, please watch your words.” She also tweeted a picture of men posting about Chesca on a “dibs” page from two years ago. She reiterates that at that time, Chesca, who was only 12 years old, was unable to do anything about the comments sexualizing her.
Sunshine herself also posted the photos of the comments about Chesca on Twitter, calling out her children’s schoolmates. She lists their names and says, ” I hope you’ll have the courage to face us and say these things straight to our faces.”
Schoolmates ng mga anak ko pa pala itong tatlo.
I hope you’ll have the courage to face us and say these things straight to our faces.
Joshua De Jesus pic.twitter.com/rSj8fqm9q6
Angelina, the eldest, also defended her younger sisters against those who continue to sexualize them, saying that she’s tired and “it’s not funny and it’s not amusing, it’s disgusting.”
Angelina continued the Twitter thread by saying that putting the blame on what women wear is the reason why rape culture exists. She called on people to educate themselves and their friends and to call out these kinds of posts.
Last week, Sunshine Cruz defended her daughters against online sexual harassment after posting a photo of the four of them swimming in an inflatable pool. Sunshine let out her frustrations in her personal Facebook account, saying, “Do not blame women for the choice of clothes they wear. Believe me kahit nakabalot o gown pa kami sa beach may mga bastos pa din. Never blame women rather blame yourself dahil kahit pinagaral kayo ng mga magulang mo, lumaki parin kayong bastos at manyak.”
At the onset of the lockdown brought by the coronavirus, global and local statistics projected increased cases of online child sexual abuse. Studies have confirmed that the Philippines is a global hotspot of sexual exploitation of children. UNICEF also reported that around 80% of Filipino children are at high risk of online sexual abuse mainly because of the unsupervised social media behaviors.
Last May, the Department of Justice said that reports of online sexual exploitation of children increased by 264 percent. Facebook groups have also been found to peddle pornographic materials that feature minors.