Gov’t body censures Vice Ganda over ‘tasteless’ rape jokes
MANILA, Philippines —The Philippine government’s policy-making body on women and gender equality on Thursday expressed “grave concern” over Vice Ganda’s “tasteless and revolting rape jokes.”
“Rape jokes hurt women who are suffering or may have suffered from the trauma of rape. It is not a laughing matter,” the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) said in a statement.
It was referring to Vice Ganda’s joke made before a packed arena audience on May 17, making fun of veteran broadcast journalist Jessica Soho’s heavy weight, saying that if she were a bold star in a movie she had to be gang-raped.
“We express our grave concern over the tasteless and revolting rape jokes, which Vice Ganda jested during his May 17 concert at the Araneta Coliseum,” the PCW said, adding it condemns human rights violations and trivializing rape and other forms of abusive behavior.
“Rape jokes hurt women who are suffering or may have suffered from the trauma of rape. It is not a laughing matter,” it said.
Ganda has apologized to Soho, vice president for news programs of GMA Network. Soho said she hopes his apology was sincere.
“As I’ve said, this is not about me, but about the issue of rape not being an appropriate subject matter for comedy. Rape transcends age, economic class, gender — and even one’s weight,” Soho said in a statement.
According to the National Statistics Office, nearly one out of 10 women aged 15-49 has experienced sexual violence.
But the PCW noted that “many rape cases go unreported because victims are shamed and rape is trivialized.”
“The repercussions of rape jokes are serious and damaging. In the pursuit of humor, women’s and even men’s vulnerabilities are exploited. Victim-survivors once more recount their horrible experiences and relive the pain,” it said.
The commission called on public figures not to glorify rape as it asked workers in entertainment and media to censor themselves when talking about abuse.
“Let us not glorify rape or perpetuate the idea that rape victims are responsible for their own attacks,” it said. With a report from Associated Press
Originally posted at 06:27 pm | Thursday, May 30, 2013,
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