This column may contain strong language, sexual content, adult humor, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.
I should really be writing about a presidential wannabe with a flimsy platform who fancies himself some kind of revolutionary provocateur, who spews invective-laced statements that demean and dishonor women and the very people he claims to represent, trivializing the monstrous rape of an Australian missionary by recalling that his first reaction upon seeing her violated corpse was to remark at her Hollywood-standard beauty, and how, son of a b*tch, he was mayor, he should have had a go at her first.
I really should be writing about how the tale becomes one of this still-in-kindergarten cop’s standard party tricks, a tale [apparently embellished] of his valor, tale that was obviously intended to amuse his rapt audience and reinforce the legend he believed himself to be.
I really should be writing about how his audience laughed along, genuinely impressed and genuinely amused, little Pavlov’s dogs guffawing as if on cue because the mayor was oh so brave, oh so fearless, and oh so funny, too, oh so gifted with the common touch, so able to reach the very soul of the masses, and so dedicated to fighting crime, too.
I should be writing about how spectacularly this same rapt audience and the rest of his rabid band of followers failed to be offended by his crass and deeply offensive remarks, how cavalierly they shrugged off his frankly horrifying statements, insisting that his actions spoke louder than his words, frighteningly oblivious to the fact that the utterance of words in itself constitutes an act, and that if they were indeed spoken in an unfiltered rage, as the unrepentant future messiah of the Philippines claimed, then they reveal far more about how he regards women as merely objects and trophies and dismisses the seriousness of rape as a crime, seeing as he scoffed at his own daughter’s belated admission that she had been raped, minimizing her suffering and calling her a “drama queen.”
I should be writing about how we should all be aghast and alarmed at how such glib remarks contribute to enforcing a culture wherein rape becomes normalized, wherein the victims’ very real pain and trauma are dismissed as hysterical accusations by women who were “asking for it,” wherein the word “rape-able,” which the mayor has been recorded as using, is accepted as an adjective to describe someone’s level of attractiveness to the point of driving a perpetrator to violating him or her. AndI say “him” because he had also commented in an interview that his presidential rival, Mar Roxas, was not “rape-able.”
I should be writing about how very stupidly this same self-styled savior of the people refuses to accept that worldwide condemnation that his remarks provoked, and quite rightly so, starting from the outraged family of the Australian missionary who was brutally gang-raped and murdered by her hostage-takers. And really, who the f*ck sees a dead person so horribly violated and killed, and instantly thinks, damn I should have f*cked her first, if not a f*cking puerile, misogynistic, delusional, entitled, gun-toting, and due-process-ignoring provincial fief disguised as a mayor overcompensatingthrough juvenile but misplaced displays of bravado?
I should be writing about how, again, in an overflow of expletive-infused verbiage, as if he had Tourette’s syndrome, except that this would be an insult to genuine Tourette’s sufferers everywhere, this same presidential frontrunner tells international and strategic allies such as Australia and the United States to go ahead and sever ties with the Philippines if he becomes elected. Just like a playground bully who never evolved, shrugging off the very real consequences of, once more, his unfiltered, yet hardly carefully considered words, which once more, exposes a mind that is hardly reflexive, hardly complex, and hardly truly tolerant and expansive in its range of understanding not just how the world works, but human nature, too. Althoughjudging from the ferociousness of his supporters, he’s got their natures pretty down pat, that they belong to a nation of dreamers but not doers, of people who insist they want discipline at the expense of democracy without understanding that they are not mutually exclusive concepts.
I should be writing about how our own damaged, repressed culture with its infantile notions of sex and love laced with the pernicious influence of the Catholic Church has contributed to creating the joke—and a very dangerous joke at that—that is a current leading presidential contender, our culture where things that should be normal are considered “bastos,” where there is a sick fascination and glee with someone like the mayor’s accounts of violating the maid, shrugging off the offence with yet another cavalier dismissal of the poor woman, “Maid lang naman siya,” while confessing that he himself had been molested by a priest yet becoming curiously coy about the details.
I should be writing about all of this but I can’t. Instead I am listening to a stellar playlist of incredible songs over and over again, gutted as I am by the death of a true revolutionary and a true provocateur who happened to also be the one of the world’s greatest recording artist. The breadth of his talents was truly extraordinary, and although his persona was constructed, he used artifice—and his music—to convey, with intelligence, openness, and compassion, very real truths about human sexuality without objectification, without trivialization, without judgment. And he was a man so comfortable with his sexuality, that he mocked and teased and challenged us all to confront our own with acceptance and love.
B. Wiser is the author of Making Love in Spanish, a novel published earlier this year by Anvil Publishing and available in National Book Store and Powerbooks, as well as online. When not assuming her Sasha Fierce alter-ego, she takes on the role of serious journalist and media consultant.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.