Last February 15, Cosmos: UP Fair Friday 2019 brought the best of OPM music and the people together in the name of gender equality and the continued fight to achieve it. It brought to light the existence of struggle against institutions, policies, systems, and norms, and called for the eradication of social constructs put in place by those who look down upon anyone who is different. The dust has settled after the success of Cosmos, but the pursuit for gender equality has not stopped. The month of March is International Women’s Month and in the true spirit of the celebration, it’s important that we re-examine how we, as a society, have been treating women and other oppressed groups like the LGBT. In the long journey towards gender equality, we must not neglect the small steps we can take that can produce lasting change.
STEP 1: NO = NO
Guys often misunderstand or ignore it when women say no or reject them. This leads to guys making unwanted advances towards women. It is not romantic to keep pursuing a girl who clearly is not interested. Many guys, not necessarily maliciously, often misinterpret “no” as “not now”. This perception is worsened by the perpetuated "sawi" culture which romanticizes going for someone despite being rejected. Guys should respect the responses they get; they should take it as it is and leave them alone.
It's difficult to live in a world where your decisions aren't respected by others. Imagine having to bear with so many uncomfortable situations with a person who clearly is not taking a hint or, even worse, creeps who are very aggressive. Hopefully, more men learn how to take rejection like a champ and let go of their ego and entitlement so that this world can be a place where women can breathe easily.
STEP 2: Leave Rape Culture in the Past
Ladies, are you uncomfortable walking the streets of Katipunan? It wouldn’t be surpr