About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]


MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

Rape jokes, under any context, are NEVER okay or funny

This has been one hell of a week with Imee Marcos asking us to move on after Martial Law and announcing that she’s running for senate in 2019. The president is endorsing “a dictator in the likes of Marcos” for the betterment of the country. Senators are also seriously considering to ban internet porn to combat early pregnancy because that’s what sex education is really about. Sigh.

And now, President Rodrigo Duterte shared his ‘humor’ in a speech with yet another rape joke. He does it so frequently that you could almost hear Britney Spears saying “Oops, I did it again” in the background.

In his speech during the 49th Mandaue City Charter Day in Cebu, the president addressed the PNP data that says Davao has the highest number of rape cases and said: “Ingon sila nga daghang rape ang Davao. Basta daghang guwapa, daghang rape gyud na.” (They said there are many rape cases in Davao. If there are many beautiful women, there are more cases of rape.)

“Who agrees to do it on the first request anyway? Will the woman allow it? No. ‘Don’t, no, ahhh,’” he said.

“Nobody agrees to do it on the first try. That is rape. Even when they’re inside the cinema, she will push him away. ‘No, don’t.’ There are so many beautiful women. But if you happen to sit beside someone toothless, would you still want to do that?”

You can’t say that the number of rape really has something to do with someone’s physical beauty when in fact, some cases of rape would prove that rapists see no face, no age, and no gender. In dark streets, rapists can attack even without seeing their victim’s face. A woman wearing niqab which only shows her eyes and covers most of her face gets raped. An infant as young as 4 months old gets raped as well as elderly women in their 80s.  Hell, even animals get raped, too.

As always, the palace tried to pacify those who criticized the president by saying “it’s just a joke” and that he was just taken out of context.

“I don’t think we should give too much weight on what the President says by way of a joke,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

They say it as if it is a “no biggie” kind of thing for a president — a man who has the highest influence in the country — to say in a public speech. And while this joke might not bear much weight for some, victims of this terrible crime carry the burden their whole lives after the traumatic incident. Imagine a rape victim looking in front of a mirror, echoing the president’s remarks inside his/her head and making her feel guilty for being born with such face.

Saying that the alarming high number of rape cases is because there are many beautiful women, is not a compliment or an appreciation of beauty. Again, it puts the blame on the victims and gives perpetrators an excuse to justify their actions.

In his statement, Roque even said that the president’s controversial remark is just a humor different from Luzon like it is a cultural thing. “There’s a difference in humor in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. People in the South don’t take things as seriously as people do in Luzon,” he said.

But people from Visayas and Mindanao don’t want to be associated with this kind of “humor”. It’s even an insult for them that rape jokes are deemed to be related to southern culture.

Rape exists because there are rapists. And no context can ever justify a rape joke.

This is not the first time the president has made a rape joke and it may not be his last.


(Artwork by Mark Ferdinand Canoy)

Read more from InqPOP!:

10 Ways we can actually end rape

Just so you know, RAPE IS NOT A JOKE

Women stand up against sexual harassment through a very unlikely method

Women musicians react to sexual allegations against local indie bands

No man can just molest a woman and think he can get away with it

About Author

Related Stories

Popping on POP!