Dear parents and soon-to-be parents,
My friend was harassed last night. What was supposed to be a great fun night out turned sour when two guys–whom she thought were her friends–forced their way into her car and touched her as she was about to drive home. In the process of doing their sick actions, they showered her with insults, calling her “fat” and all. She fought back. She screamed for them to leave the car. She tried to push them out. And then the guy behind her said, “Ginusto mo naman yan eh (you wanted this)”. But she didn’t. She never did. She still doesn’t.
Thankfully, she had the presence of mind to get her spray out, which led them to leave the vehicle. As they were leaving, they shouted “Bakit ka ganyan? Gusto mo naman eh (Why are you like that? You want this).” But she didn’t. She never did. She still doesn’t.
She’s now safe. But how many others girls will remain in danger?
I call to you, dear parents and soon-to-be parents, to please educate your children that “no” actually means “no”. Please teach them how to respect people, of all gender. Please teach them that they are not entitled to do harm against others.
To parents of young boys, teach them to treat girls as their equal. Teach them to keep their pants zipped. Teach them to keep their hands away from unwantedly touching others. Please teach them to understand that they have the power of self-control. Please teach them that the excuse “lalaki kasi” is not an excuse to harass others. No one gets accidentally raped.
To parents of young girls, please teach them how to speak up when they’re harassed. Please empower their voice. Don’t silence them. Please help them understand that they should not be silenced. Please teach them not to be afraid. Please teach them how to fight back. Please teach them that they shouldn’t blame themselves when harm comes their way.
To parents of all children, please teach them how to love. Teach them how to respect all. Teach them to raise their voice when they’re harmed. Teach them to ask for help.
I may not have a child. I may never have one. But you, parents and soon-to-be parents, have the power to raise a generation that’s more loving and peaceful than the generations before them. The power to educate them that “no” means “no” is in your hands.
We can blame one for one’s faults. But the solutions starts at home.
So please… raise a generation of good kids–not self-entitled brats who think they can get away with anything.