Everyday, women experience harassment in public places — be it on the streets or in public vehicles. A woman often has to fight against the things that make life harder for her just because of her gender. But what makes it even harder is that sometimes, women are forced to keep mum in the face of an abuse.
In a post shared by Facebook page Catcalled in the Philippines, Alyssa Paula Fernandez shared her enraging experience in a bus when she caught a guy touching one of her private body parts.
According to her post, Alyssa was on her way to work and she rode a BBL bus from Balibago to Cubao. While on the bus, she dozed off a little and woke up to see a guy who’s sitting beside her cupping her left boob with his whole hand.
With this, Alyssa immediately took action and called the guy out for what he did. The guy, after shamelessly doing the unrightful deed, apologized to her. But what good does a simple “sorry” would do? Will it change that fact that he just deliberately molested her? NO. Definitely not.
What’s really disappointing in this story is that when the bus conductor (probably the “barker” she referred to in her post) heard the commotion, all he can say was for Alyssa to not make a scene and just settle things.
This is one of the reasons why a lot of women choose not to take action when someone is abusing or harassing them. This why, until today, many women are suffering in silence and what they’re going through is casually being treated as a joke. This why a little girl would still grow up thinking that she’s supposed to wear “proper clothes,” be wary while walking down the streets at night — but will still feel afraid to fight back when she has to.
Because we are told that the end-game after a woman experienced any type of abuse is to “settle things” like it would turn the time back and fix everything.
There comes a time when a woman would bravely declare “not this time” like how Alyssa did and prove to every men that females are strong as hell to think that they can get away with sexually harassing them.
Because like what Alyssa said on her post: “We’re not yours to touch.”
Let it be a reminder that there’s still a law in this country that will put anyone behind bars for abusing or molesting women or children.