Man makes jeepney passenger uncomfortable, triggers sexual harassment debate

April 25th, 2019

If there’s one thing that we Filipinos can all agree on, it’s that commuting around Metro Manila is always an unpleasant experience. Every day, no matter what the time is, avid commuters have to fight their way through the crowd just to get on the bus or train. On top of that, passengers have to endure the scorching heat, dreadful pollution and the annoying battle of the bumpers before they arrive at their respective destinations.

With all the horrible things that happen during our daily commutes, most of us can’t help but feel paranoid about our safety. Because apart from the traffic and heat, another thing that really bothers us is the people we encounter onboard—pickpockets, snatchers, weirdos, and sex maniacs.

And this Twitter thread is proof of that. 

In this now-viral video tweeted by @69calum, a man sitting on the jeepney bench leered at one of his fellow passengers. Since staring seems a little unsatisfactory for this man, he decided to move closer to his “prospect.”

SHOUT OUT NGA PO PALA DITO SA MANYAK NA TO!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/MRKTR1oWgP

— ‏َ💄 (@69caIum) April 13, 2019

While the one who posted the video believes that clothing choice is not an excuse to disrespect women and normalize rape, other Twitter users argued that smiling should not be counted as sexual harassment unless there was some inappropriate touching involved.

Napaisip lang ako paano natawag n MANYAk eh hindi k naman hinipuan tiningnan ka lang at nag smile manyak n agad siguro kung hinipuan ka at naglabas sya ng ari nya pero wala naman ako nakita n kakaiba sa video maliban n lang kung masyado maganda tingin mo sa sarili mo

— mabango ako (@Christi18270387) April 14, 2019

Another Twitter user also commented that the girl doesn’t own the jeepney so it’s normal for this guy to just sit wherever he wanted to.

Manyak n ba agad pag umupo sa tabi nya baka nakakalimutan nya n jeep ang sinasakyan nya lahat pwede tumabi sa kanya maliban n ong kung inarkila nya o binayaran nya lahat para wala makatabi sa kanya

— mabango ako (@Christi18270387) April 14, 2019

But there are other netizens who strongly agreed that the guy’s act is clearly a form of sexual harassment.

sexual harassment can include but it's not limited to:
– inappropriate looks or staring at someone's body
– physical intimidation (standing/sitting too close to someone, following someone, etc.)

unwanted attention for a long period of time is inappropriate.

— anna (@itsatemar) April 15, 2019

there are all kinds of harassment out there and some of them don't involve direct touching. i won't be shocked if you're one of those people who think na catcalling is not a legit form of harassment. everyone was uncomfortable with what they saw kaya nga may mga tumulong.

— DAEgimon + karla, and a flower 🌸 (@kimjongdarrr) April 14, 2019

In the Philippines and in any part of the world, sexual harassment continues to be a long-standing issue. Despite raising public awareness about sexual assault and educating communities about these sensitive topics, there are people who still don’t understand the ins and outs of sexual consent.

Do you think this incident should be considered as sexual harassment? Tell us in the comments below.

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Read more from InqPOP!:

This strange note from a jeepney driver is proof of the systemic societal problem that is ‘catcalling’

This guy’s life-changing story serves as a safety reminder for daily commuters

Is the Philippines a hostile place for rape victims?

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