As I said, I wanted to write some more about this after having been triggered by Snooky Serna‘s
shocking disturbing revelation made me have one of those rare me-times. I remember a few friends—girl friends. In one way or another, they experienced the worst physical and sexual assault any woman could ever get—they got raped. And much as I hate to think of it this way, I think I did too.
One of the reasons why I was a huge fan of the late Raul Roco way before he became too “mainstream”, was his gender advocacy, and his landmark bills that later on became laws remain very helpful to every woman in the land. Well, at least on paper. He was the main man behind the amendment of the rape law in the Philippines—by making the definition of rape broader and ultimately changing it into a crime against persons from being just a crime of chastity. The amendment to the provisions of the law already included marital rape, and both wife and husband may now be charged with rape.
I’m not a lawyer. I am not an expert on laws, implementing rules and regulations and any other legalese. But I know one thing. In this country, sexuality is governed by a lot of factors—social institutions like the Church, chauvinism, and most especially the culture of silence. And because of that, violence against women is kept behind closed doors and bit lips.
Back in UP, I hung out with a few girls who were really fun. And fearless–or so I thought. One of them once went out with a guy who still figures in the Philippine primetime TV. This happened sometime in the late 90s. After dinner, the guy drove the car around and parked in a dark secluded area. They then started to make out. After a few minutes, the girl stopped and asked him to stop as well. Baffled, the guy looked at the girl and raised one of his eyebrows. He told her to stop playing games and get on with it because he has another appointment in an hour. The girl struggled and attempted to get out of the locked car (um, power locks were not really super common then, well, at least, not in our school!) but she couldn’t. Not only was the place as black as the guy’s perineum, she didn’t know where they were and no one was in sight. And so, she let him feast on her unwilling body. The guy drove her home after that and they never saw each other again. The girl kept it to herself until it became too hard to contain so she told us. But made everybody swear never to say anything to anybody.
1) Though sexually “emancipated” we never knew that we should go to the hospital right away to get a rape kit. And much as I was awed when Catherine made an improvised rape kit in one of CSI‘s episodes, that’s not really admissible in the court of law in the real world.
2) The Anti-Rape Law was not yet a law.
3) Telling people that you are raped means your reputation is torn into pieces. In this part of the world, the victim is the one at fault for giving the suspect a MOTIVE!
4) People would not believe her because she didn’t have any tangible evidence. She didn’t have witnesses. And she willingly went out with him to the point of even making out with him.
Date rape is what it’s called but do people come out and sue their assailants? Or even their boyfriends? No. Some tried to. The Subic Rape Case is perhaps one of those but I can only speculate.
Another incident flashed in my mind, well, at least the story as told by my friend to me. It was so graphic that I can’t help but get mental pix. Influenced by the Kama Sutra and porn, her boyfriend told her to take him from behind. While it’s not something really new, the girl wasn’t really into it and so she refused. She tried to guide him, errr, lower (her back was to him). But her boyfriend forcibly went into his preferred slot without any lube! Not only was it extremely painful, it was against her will and she couldn’t do anything because she was in a position where she couldn’t just run away and she was butt-naked in the guy’s bathroom. The guy had his fill and took a shower. She went out and dressed up. It’s not at all like a movie scene where the girl cries in the shower after a rape sequence. The guy apologized afterwards and as one’s youth can sometimes be one’s personal nemesis, my friend forgave the guy and although they never did it again, she found it so hard to forget the pain. A few months later, she caught the guy cheating on her with one of their blockmates. The nerve!
My ex-boyfriend and I used to tell each other that we should “rape” each other every now and then, for the kicks and well, the kinks. And we used to, every now and then. But it’s different when you “want” to be “raped” from being raped or even forced to do something that you can’t regardless of whether or not it’s sexual in nature.
The best part of the Anti-Rape Law in the Philippines is that people in power who use that “power” to make you do the things that you don’t want to do can be sued and possibly get jailtime. The worst part of the whole experience is when you can’t even do anything to stop it, and even when it has stopped, you can’t even talk about it…
Not even blog about it.