PCW condemns clothing line objectifying women, calls for measures against it

The Philippine Commission on Women denounces the acts of clothing line, Kain Pepe (KNPP Clothing) and calls for appropriate measures to be taken against it.

We condemn the explicit and obscene brand name and shirt designs that objectify and commodify women’s bodies.

While the owners of KNPP would like us to believe that the brand name advocates for proper nutrition for the young ones (Pepe, supposedly, meaning young boys), we are not convinced as the designs depict the true intent of the message sought to be conveyed by KNPP.

Their products scream of sexism, machismo, and a flawed conception that women are pure sex objects, all a reflection of a feudal-patriarchal system that denigrates women. Objectification of women in any aspect, through whatever means, is unforgivable. The injury committed against women is aggravated when it is used for profit by the perpetrators. Making a sexual act a selling point for a brand is downright commodification of women, which violates the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). Women are not commodities and are not mere objects for sexual pleasure.

While we support entrepreneurship, this should be undertaken without putting women’s rights at its expense. Even the Department of Trade and Industry, in its Revised Implementing Rules And Regulations Of Act 3883, made it clear that a business name must not be “a term or word or group of words that connote activities or norms that are unlawful, immoral, scandalous or contrary to propriety.”

Thus, we appeal to business owners to recognize and draw the line between art and obscenity, between marketing strategy and objectification, between humor and harassment.

Owners say, “people must stop forcing on women your idea of what makes them respectable.” But we insist that feminism is also bound by principles and must not be used as a disguise for a different agenda. To criticize such clothing line is not tantamount to boxing women into societal stereotypes. It is but a reminder that women have the control over how they would want to explore and convey their sexuality, and this choice must not be made for or imposed upon them by opportunists.

Appalled netizens have called out the owners, and some have reached out to us on our official Facebook account. We call on our netizens to remain cautious and never patronize products that degrades women.

Lastly, we call on the appropriate government agencies to investigate KNPP Clothing and take action to make the company accountable for its violation.