On Oct. 14, Xyriel Manabat talked about the sexual harassment she faced over an Instagram photo on the morning talk show “Magandang Buhay.” The 16-year-old actress denounced the rude and sexual comments she received after she posted a photo of herself on Instagram on Sept. 19.
Karla Estrada, one of the hosts of the program, responded, “Wala namang may karapatan na magsabi ng ‘di maganda, but nandiyan talaga sila. Ang daming vultures na nakaabang sa social media so be very careful din…kasi kahit naman balot yan, basta’t kung gusto mambastos ng lalaki na yan diba? So sabi ko, kung gusto niyo magpost, just be responsible also doon sa post niyo parang huwag ka nang mag-initiate…” Her co-hosts Melai Cantiveros and Jolina Magdangal, then, commended Manabat for speaking up about the issue and taking legal action “in silence” against the lewd comments.
With UNICEF reporting that two out of 10 kids are vulnerable to online sexual exploitation in the Philippines, we understand Estrada’s concern over the dangers of sexual harassers going after minors on social media, but it’s never the survivor’s fault, regardless of what they’re wearing or what they want to post online. Netizens reacted to her statement and described it as victim-blaming Manabat.
xyriel’s pictures were decent, fyi. so stop victim blaming, karla. it’s not about how we wear clothes, it’s about the fucked up mindset of some men. https://t.co/jlHCzVhttv
how many times are we gonna have this discussion? TEACH MEN NOT TO SEXUALIZE WOMEN. it’s that fucking simple. i’m so tired of this conversation. shame on you for having this mind set, karla estrada. https://t.co/k7L9DJrAFC
Manabat did not have to justify the amount of skin she was showing in her photo to explain that the comments she received were not OK. It’s high time we change the mindset of telling women to be “responsible” with what they post when it comes to stopping people from harassing and sexualizing women and minors.
Sunshine Cruz and her daughters faced a similar situation back in July when men posted disturbing memes of their photos online. While her daughters called them out for sexualizing minors, the actress wrote on her Facebook account, “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 pinag-aral kayo ng mga magulang mo, lumaki parin kayong bastos at manyak.”
The Preen Team has reached out to both Estrada and Manabat for their statements on this. As of Oct. 15, both have yet to reply.