Madness in morality

Madness in morality

By Reyshimar Arguelles

What is the function of morality in a modern democracy such as ours? For some, it includes general expectations for how citizens should behave in relation to others. Some would maintain the idea of an established set of values that champion “how things should be”.

But in light of recent assertions blaming rape victims for their predicament, the concept of morality has been reduced into a senseless defense for a tasteless and ignorant system.

To put it simply, there are actually decent human beings who unknowingly accept immorality as second nature, a claim that has only allowed macho sensibilities to thrive like giddy butterflies in a garden.

Following online backlash for his statement instructing women how to dress lest they wake the “beast” in men, broadcast personality Ben Tulfo called out the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler for reports that supposedly pilloried him for victim blaming in his online exchange on the issue with 19-year-old Frankie Pangilinan.

But it is already obvious how the veteran broadcaster treats the issue by saying that sexual offenders can look for an opportunity to satisfy their urges and that the only way for women to protect themselves is to wear appropriate clothing. Such observations are nothing more than an attempt to justify misogynistic tendencies and make light of the experiences of actual victims

It is wrong on a million levels to say that what you wear is an invitation for the beast. As a matter of fact, it neither affirms a higher sense of morality nor denies the very root of the problem. It only trivializes sexual violence and makes it okay for people to possess uncontrollable urges and release these urges at an opportune time. If that is not enough to make you cringe, I don’t know what will.

There is nothing right in saying that the clothes you wear give molesters a free pass, or asking young victims every detail of their encounter with a demonic uncle, or making rape jokes over the corpse of an Australian missionary who was killed in the 1989 Davao hostage crisis.

But perhaps the worst thing we can do is to treat all this in passing and just accept the kind of culture that we have where people can absolve themselves for whatever perverted act they do. Added to this is the horrible insinuation that there is a right time for sexual violence, that there is really nothing we can do to change the hearts and minds of molesters and rapists, and that we can only deprive them of every opportunity to release their urges.

The beast does exist, and it feasts on anyone regardless of their choice of apparel, their gender, and their age. So, following the logic of enablers who keep on saying we shouldn’t give potential rapists an invitation to have their way, we might as well narrow down all possible solutions into a single piece of advice we can offer to victims of sexual violence: “You shouldn’t have existed in the first place.”

It’s either that or we gouge out the eyes of disgusting perverts.

It is unfortunate that people — even those who call themselves upright — would look at rape culture the way they look at a typhoon: a natural phenomenon we can find ways to adjust to. Maintaining this line of thinking only normalizes the very problem we are trying to address.

Rape and all forms of sexual violence have no place in our country or anywhere else in this world. To sustain a form of morality that refuses to look at the bigger picture only leaves things the way they are.

If ever we want to strive for a higher form of morality, we must not remain complacent with all the mind-numbing madness of this world.