It’s official, our new Safe Spaces Act or Bawal Bastos Law will punish misogynists offline and online. And guess who signed it? It’s none other than Mr. “self-confessed womanizer” himself—President Rodrigo Duterte.
A copy of the law shows it was signed last Apr. 17, but Malacañang just made the announcement yesterday.
The law lapsed last January. Through its principal author Senator Risa Hontiveros, we learned the following actions like “cat-calling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic and sexist slurs, persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance, relentless requests for personal details, statements of sexual comments or suggestions, or any advances, whether physical or verbal, that is unwanted and has threatened one’s personal space and physical safety,” will be penalized through this law.
Does this mean this law protects us from men like Duterte? That’s a big yes. By now, we’re pretty sure he violated 70 percent of the Safe Spaces Act already. And that’s just based on what we’ve seen him do in public.
Duterte loves casually spewing rape jokes like congratulating Miss Universe’s potential rapists. When female critics called out his actions, he called them “mga gaga.” He has the nerve to women “bitches” in a gender-equality event. A GENDER. EQUALITY. EVENT. And who can forget his power play when he kissed this woman on public television?
Misogynists justify their actions by calling it “freedom of expression.” But through this new law, will people still think of this as “freedom of expression?”
Let’s all hope this creates more safe spaces from men like our President, a “champion of misogyny.”