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Gabriella Cries Foul over SM and Bench

Gabriela, a leftist militant organization that advocates women’s rights against violence and discrimination will file a House Resolution in the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality and the Committee on the Welfare of Children to further encourage government programs and agencies in monitoring and enforcing violations of laws against private parties like shopping malls and event organizers that will protect women and children.

The incident report happened when Karen Kunawicz, from Louisiana posted in her Facebook account an offensive t-shirt design which was being sold in the boy’s section of an SM Department Store branch that states “It’s not rape. It’s a snuggle with a struggle” that had been shared and circulated over the internet and had caused an online fury.

“It’s not rape. It’s a snuggle with a struggle” tshirt

photo courtesy of (screen-grabbed from Karen Kunawicz Facebook Account)

Representatives Luzviminda “Luz” Ilagan and Emerenciana “Emmi” De Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party-list put SM in a major heat for selling the t-shirt which trivializes rape and implies that women are merely playing coy to men’s sexual advances, especially since the incidence of rape in the Philippines is high for the last few months.

“The shopping mall had the gall to market that offending shirt in the boy’s section, and what message does this send to teen men about taking liberties with women? The managers of the mall should realize that exploiting this wrong message just to maximize profits can perpetuate anti-women attitudes and violent behavior,” De Jesus was quoted in the statement.

The management of SM Department stores had immediately pulled out the “rape-joked” shirts and apologized to the public through their Facebook account about the incident although Gabriela is determined to further probe and investigate any sale, advertising and display of merchandise, services, and performances by companies  and firms meant to exploit the rights of women.

The recent Bench’s fashion show entitled “The Naked Truth” was also dragged to the probing as a shocking scene of Coco Martin coming out the stage with his "pet", a female model on a leash with a tie on her neck. Gabriela issued a statement saying that the stunt is a disturbing throwback to concepts of enslaving and subjugating women to male fantasies.”

Bench also publicly apologized for the said stunt and stated that it will be a learning lesson for them to be more sensitive for their next show and  vowed instead to honor women’s dignity.

Women have a vital role in the society and they should be respected at all times, privately or publicly. Any act of violence, enslavement, derogatory discrimination, and objectification is subject to a legal action.

Jessie Dericto, 28 years old is a Freelance Writer, Blogger, Virtual Assistant and a nursing mom. She is also into news and trends, fashion, photography, painting, and sketching. She loves sensible talks, long walks and activities that will enrich the mind and soul.

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