The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) strongly denounces all forms of victim blaming and shaming as such act promotes the culture of misogyny that justifies and normalizes abuses against women.
The PCW expresses its concern over the actions of the hosts of noontime show “Eat Bulaga” who hastily indicted and stereotyped a female contestant who previously went through various kinds of abuses.
In one of its segments on July 9, Katrina Conde, a solo parent of four children and recipient of the "Sugod Bahay" contest, was asked by the hosts to share her life story, highlighting the reasons behind her separation from her estranged husband.
As Conde recounted her story and admitted her occasional drinking sessions with friends, not to mention her way of wearing clothes and being friendly to other colleagues, the hosts began pressing, berating, accusing her guilty, if not held her responsible for her misfortunes. One even commented that “Ka-bababeng tao mo pa naman, pa-shot-shot ka."
The hosts also crossed the line when they weren’t content with the line of questioning towards Conde and even asked her to re-enact the way she pleaded to win her husband back, in a way reliving her pains.
These are clear examples of victim blaming and shaming which can be likened to fault-finding against rape and sexual harassment victims who were blamed for wearing sexy outfits, getting drunk or walking alone in dark streets.
Women should never carry the guilt and blame and likewise restrict their freedom and desires. Women should live equally with men.
Media as partners, not violators
While they may have good intentions in giving advice, the program should also be cautious and ensure that they are not exposing the victim to further harm and vulnerability.
The PCW appeals to all media employees, producers, talents and writers, especially those of “Eat Bulaga” to uphold its Code of Ethics and likewise observe gender sensitivity at all times, as mandated by the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Section 16 which calls for the non-derogatory and discriminatory portrayal of media.
“Eat Bulaga” is the longest-running noontime television program in the country and has a wide reach and following of audience of all ages, race, religion and sex. The program hosts should realize that their language and actions will have an effect on how their viewers think and act. Hence, they should be more conscientious in what they say and do, so as not to reinforce gender biases in our society.
The PCW trusts that the Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), the lead agency mandated to promote a value-based media and entertainment culture, will ensure that the issue will be resolved in a manner that upholds the dignity of women.
Last week, the MTRCB summoned the officials of “Eat Bulaga” for a dialogue over the issue which was set on July 21.
The MTRCB is a member of the Media and Gender Equality Committee (MGEC), in Inter-Agency body created under the Magna Carta of Women tasked to lead in ensuring the non-derogatory and non-discriminatory portrayal of women in media and film.