The Facebook caption was simple and sweet: “Ang aking mga prinsesa...I love you all so much.”
The photo showed Sunshine Cruz with her daughters, Angelina, Samantha, and Chesca, now all in their teens. They were in their swimsuits in the pool. Posted on June 28, 2020, the photo received more than 59,000 reactions and 46,000 shares as of this writing.
The comments section, however, hinted strongly that those reactions and shares were not good kind at all.
On July 7, Sunshine hit back at netizens who made toxic comments, calling them “sexual predators” and “manyak.”
“Nagkalat ang sexual predators sa social media lalo na dito sa Facebook. Check out my public page Sunshine Cruz. Sad na ginagawang rason ng mga manyak na ito na naka swimsuit or shorts daw kami.
“Do not blame women for the choice of clothes they wear. Believe me, kahit nakabalot o gown pa kami sa beach may mga bastos pa din. Never blame women rather blame yourself dahil kahit pinagaral kayo ng mga magulang mo, lumaki parin kayong bastos at manyak.”
Sunshine says she deleted the comments and blocked who made them, but she made sure to take a screenshot of each one. As a warning, she added her lawyers and talent management had access to her Facebook page.
Celebrities have been speaking up and calling out netizens who think women’s clothing is a reason to judge, harass, shame, or, rape. In June, Frankie Pangilinan criticized Ben Tulfo when he tweeted, “A rapist or a juvenile sex offender’s desire to commit a crime will always be there. All they need is an opportunity when to commit the crime. Sexy ladies, careful with the way you dress up! You are inviting the beast.”
Frankie fired back with this tweet: “Rape culture is real and a product of this precise line of thinking, where the behavior is normalized, particularly by men. The way anyone dresses should not be deemed as ‘opportunity’ to sexually assault them. Calling me hija will not belittle my point.”
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Later on, Frankie’s mother, Sharon Cuneta, made headlines after she tracked down the man who threatened Frankie with rape on social media.
The Victoria Municipal Police Station in Laguna is taking the right step, at least in educating and correcting views when it comes to rape culture and victim shaming. Its post, titled “Iwas Rape” tips, defined consent and clarified who isn’t to blame. It’s crucial to read, understand, and teach to family and friends.
Every tip began with “Huwag mang rape...”
“Hindi porke maiksi ang damit ay puwede mo bastusin.”
“Hindi porke naglalakad mag-isa ay pwede mo gahasin.”
“Hindi porke nakainom o lasing ay pwede mo na galawan.”
“Kahit asawa mo pa yan, you have to ask permission. At kapag sinabing hindi, learn to accept that.”