OFW Mom of two speaks up on controversial kiss with Duterte
Many are divided on the incident, read on to know more about the public's differing opinions as well as what the married OFW mom really thought about what happened.
As parents, you want your kids to grow up knowing the importance of consent. You try your best to educate them about "good touch" and "bad touch," but how can you teach them true consent when the media and other influences seems to be confusing them with differing opinions about it.
Is it really a concept that is subjective, malleable or worse, something to be taken lightly?
Duterte Kisses an OFW Married Woman and Mom of Two in South Korea: Netizens and female advocates have differing opinions
Towards the end of a meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea, President Rodrigo Duterte called two OFWs up to the stage with him.
The President wanted to give them copies of Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church by Aries Rufo. The two women seemed happy to meet the President.
Upon meeting him, they took his hand and pressed it onto their foreheads as pagmamano, a sign of respect for elders.
To which Duterte replied, "Wag kang mag-amen-amen dyan. Oy, halika dito," before asking the woman to kiss him on the cheek. She asked the other OFW woman for a kiss on the lips, drawing cheers from the crowd, which was made up mostly of Filipino OFWs.
"Dalaga ka? Hindi naman kayo hiwalay? Pero kaya mo sabihin na biro lang ito?" (Are you single? You're not separated? But can you tell him that this is just a joke?)"
The President was in South Korea for a 3-day official visit.
Netizens had different reactions to the incident. While others were disgusted, others defended the President's actions, saying that he didn't violate the woman's rights because she "looks like she enjoyed it."
The clip shows the woman applauding and visibly excited to see the president. But just because she seems to have given her permission, the issue still stands: did the President really have to do this at an official, international event?
"It's not the behaviour of someone gracious or empathic. It's rude and frankly, gross..."
In the past, the Malacañang has emphasized just how serious Duterte is about upholding women's rights. However, more and more are seeing how his actions contradict this.
"What the president did was inappropriate and totally unnecessary," Marla Darwin, a graphic designer, writer, mother, and a women's rights advocate (Grrrl Gang Manila) tells us in an interview.
According to the mom and female advocate, there were many things going on during that moment. It doesn't matter that the woman and the crowd seemed all for it, his actions further reinforce his "well-documented toxic behaviour towards women."
"It's not the behaviour of someone gracious or empathic. It's rude and frankly, gross," she continues.
The grating reaction of the crowd at the event further showed how "low our level of political and civil engagement is in our country."
"We like our leaders behaving like macho action stars and we expect events to play out like entertainment shows," she continues.
"He made a show of asking for consent but the OFW was put in a situation where she was expected to give her consent or else risk the ire of the highest ranking official in the country..."
For Marla and many others, the president "took advantage of the power dynamics at play."
"He made a show of asking for consent but the OFW was put in a situation where she was expected to give her consent or else risk the ire of the highest ranking official in the country and the crowd of people watching...fear of being called a killjoy, buzzkill, etc.," she explains.
"It is also his own perverted way of getting back at his women critics..."
Marla isn't the only one calling out the president's behavior. Women's rights group Gabriela told Philstar, that it was "a disgusting theatrics of a misogynist president who feels entitled to demean, humiliate or disrespect women according to his whim."
“His repeated acts of machismo are meant as entertainment to hide the reality of his rapidly slipping popularity," they added. "It is also his own perverted way of getting back at his women critics, his way of proving he can dominate women at any time and any place he chooses. It is his way of publicly exhibiting his contempt for women.”
The Woman in the Now Viral Kissing Video Defends the President
Despite the disgusted reactions of netizens and female advocates, the OFW woman defended the president.
"It means nothing to me, to him. I swear," said the OFW, identified as Bea Kim, in an interview.
Kim said that there was no malice in the kiss and that it was meant to "excite the audience."
The OFW, who has been in South Korea for seven years and is married to a Korean national, said she considered meeting the president a "once in a lifetime experience."
Both of her daughters were present at the event, while her husband was not.
You can watch her interview, below.
Let us know what you think in the poll below.
Teaching Kids About True Consent
No matter what you think about the Duterte kisses an OFW incident, we can all agree that kids need to know the true meaning of consent.
Teaching kids that they have the power over who will touch them is an important lesson taught as early as the toddler years.
There is such a thing as coerced consent, which shouldn't be confused with actual consent. It is when someone uses psychological manipulation and the like to leave someone with no choice but to say yes.
For younger kids, this might be too complicated to explain. But here are simple guidelines to share with them.
1. Ask permission. Even if it's just to hug a playmate, they need to ask permission first. Silence does not mean agreement.
2. No and Stop are words they should respect. They should honor someone else's right to say "No" and "Stop." These are also words they can use when necessary.
3. They cannot be forced to hug and kiss someone. In the same way that they should forcefully touch someone, they also have the right to assert their rights over their own bodies.
4. Never bully or tease others into hugging or kissing someone. Teach kids that they should also avoid forcing others to hug or kiss someone against their will, whether it is by joking, teasing, taunting, or even threats.
5. Talk to them about their body without shame. When kids enter school age and puberty, they will be experiencing a lot of changes in their bodies. It can be a confusing time where they will need their parent's guidance more than ever. Empower them by openly talking about their fears and concerns.
6. Talk to them about what feels good and what makes them uncomfortable. For instance, is tickling something they do not like? Then they have the right to decline, even if the one "tickling" them meant it to be a form of amusement.
7. Teach them empathy and sensitivity. When on the playground, is someone unhappy or uncomfortable? Learning about consent also means upholding the rights of others to protect their right to say NO.
How would you teach your kids about consent? Let us know in the comments below.