WHEN we called on midterm election candidates to campaign “green”, we referred to eco-friendly campaign activities. It seemed that other candidates have other “green” things in mind.
We urge these candidates to refrain from using mysogynistic or sexually-charged remarks. It has been reported that candidates use them to rejuvenate bored crowds in their sorties, such as during the recent launching of the senatorial slate of Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Pampanga. Some “senatoriables” cracked green jokes and delivered sexually-charged speeches.
The campaign period is an opportune time to talk about the most-pressing issues of women ranging from reproductive rights, equal opportunities and sexual harassment. Let us remind candidates of the proper way to conduct their campaign. We find it very frustrating that candidates who present themselves before the people as aspirants for elective posts prefer to talk about women either as a butt of their jokes or a means to entertain their hakot crowds.
If we wanted jokes, we’d go to a comedy bar. We expect to hear from midterm election candidates their platforms on uplifting the plight of women, specially the poor, and not more degradation.
The Commission on Elections must warn and reprimand candidates who treat women in any way that may be deemed misogynistic. This includes social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, disenfranchisement of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification.
In 2016, senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino drew heavy flak after allegedly hiring scantily-clad, dance group Playgirls at a Liberal Party oath-taking activity in Laguna. Perhaps the poll body should prohibit the hiring of dancers as entertainers in campaign sorties. Candidates are often seen gyrating with female dancers onstage in between speeches of politicians.
We urge Comelec’s Commissioner Rowena Guanzon of Negros Occidental to help put an end to the continued degradation of women in the election campaign sorties of politicians. Also, female election candidates must stand up to their colleagues and to call them out even in public if the situation demands it. Their silence could be misconstrued as a sign of tolerance on their part that women should be treated as a butt of jokes and subjected to misogynistic remarks.