And Now, a Few Brilliant Responses to Being Called Hija

A short history of the Frankie Pangilinan-Ben Tulfo issue.

(SPOT.ph) Confused about the #HijaAko movement on Twitter right now? Trying to figure out what's up with the word war between Frankie Pangilinan (the daughter of Sharon Cuneta and Senator Kiko Pangilinan), and Ben Tulfo? Wondering why people still need to protest victim blaming in this day and age? Well, we are too. 

Blaming sexual assault on the victim—based on their clothes, character, and whatever other circumstance—is an old and baseless narrative. The Pangilinan vs. Tulfo Twitter exchange is just another chapter in the saga, one that started with none other than the folks mandated to serve and protect our people: The Philippine National Police.

In a now-deleted Facebook post dated June 11, the Lucban Municipal Police Station wrote, "Kayo naman mga ghErlsz (sic), wag kayo magsuot ng pagkaikli-ikling damit at pag naman nabastos ay magsusumbong din sa amin. Isipin 'nyo rin!" Obviously, people weren't happy with the message—and Pangilinan had something to say in response.

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She came in with a solution, but there were counter-arguments. Tulfo swooped in and replied with a tweet, "Sexy ladies, careful with the way you dress up! You are inviting the beast," addressing Pangilinan as hija. 

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Pangilinan replied to Tulfo with a tweet that had three points: that "rape culture is real and a product of this precise line of thinking," the manner of how someone dresses up should not be an opportunity for sexual assault, and that calling her hija "will not belittle" her thoughts on the matter.

"Hija" in itself isn't offensive; It is a term of endearment usually used by family elders calling on female kids—mostly when they're about to drop actual nuggets of wisdom. But if you encounter a conversation similar to this—as in someone seemingly talking down with the use of "hija", you can respond to them with a couple of the options below:

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  • Borrow the words of Korina Sanchez: "Please leave. Bruha ka."
  • Take inspo from Gretchen Weiners: "Stop trying to make victim blaming happen. It's not going to happen."
  • "Saksak mo sa baga mo 'yang "iha" na yan," (but politely)
  • "Bad words!!!"

Pangilinan reclaimed the term hija with a post that includes the hashtag #HijaAko, which spurred some Twitter users to speak up against victim blaming.

Some folks on Twitter also used the hashtag alongside their own clapbacks, while others shared their thoughts on the issue: 

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Aren't you just insulting yourself?

Can't argue with that logic.

Caps lock para intense.

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"Asking for it."

Tarantadong Kalbo is keeping track.

Simple.

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