I’ve had some time to chew on the issue, and I think I’ve finally sorted out what I think about the whole thing. Basically, people here are raising hell about the recently concluded fashion show by Bench, a Philippine clothing company. The show mainly features underwear and denim, but naturally, the underwear bit gets many people excited. How many chances do they get to see their favorite celebrities in nothing but underwear, after all?
Prior to the show, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines has already expressed outrage over the taglines on the billboards announcing the event, like “Come play” or “Bare your soul,” prompting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to make the rounds of all such billboards to cover the “offensive” lines in red.
There were some comments about the show expressing dismay that the celebs and models were baring their bodies, which I find laughable. The show is mostly an underwear fashion show, after all, and I don’t know how effective it would be if the celebs and models who were modeling underwear were fully clothed.
The part of the show that really had people shaking with rage was the one where actor Coco Martin was leading a woman onstage on a leash. Women’s groups, among others, condemned this as demeaning, dehumanizing, and objectifying. In the face of such outrage, Bench issued an apology and promise to do better and be sensitive next time.
Personally, the only thing I think they should apologize for are the more or less homogeneous body types during the show, poorly designed clothing, and for thinking it was a good idea to have Coco Martin pretend to be a dom.
Years ago, I would have joined in the condemnation of Bench for their show and that specific portion with Coco. Today, I just find it mildly amusing, as I’m aware that all it has are mere inexpertly applied tones of BDSM, as the real thing would most likely shock people. (And if someone tells me that that sort of thing should not have been done because we’re a good, conservative, Catholic country, please do me a favor and shut up. For a good, conservative, Catholic country, people are strangely unafraid of committing abuse and being unfaithful, and our politicians are perfectly happy to rob us and kill their opponents).
And if people really want to get angry about the objectification of women, get mad at car shows where women are needlessly put on display alongside cars. Get mad at the annual FHM 100 Sexiest event, where a lot of the models look stunned and slightly afraid in the spotlight, and where they engage in many acts specifically geared to satisfy the male audience. Get mad at beauty pageants for still forcing women to compete on the basis of their looks, and stop calling the candidates role models and stunning examples of what Filipinas should be like.
But let’s not stop there. Get mad at commercials too for telling women that their underarms are too dark, that their hair isn’t long, black, and straight enough, that their skin is too dark and they should have a rosy white glow. A brief moment of onstage dom/sub play-acting–or indeed an underwear show that lasted less than three hours–is less dangerous than the messages being forced down our throats every day.
I gave the book to my friend as a gift a few years ago, and I’ve had a digital copy since forever, but I only started reading it a couple of days ago and just finished it tonight. It’s not a bad book. Not extremely well-written; its strength lies in its subject and the characters, although I felt that there were such a lot of lines that you don’t really think would ever come out of people’s mouths, and a lot seem quite like wishful thinking. But then again, this is a book after all. I’m not familiar with John Green’s work, so perhaps that’s just his thing.
This line is particularly stellar, though:
…the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.
In light of the outrage over school dress codes targeting female students in the U.S. and the ongoing battle over ownership of women’s bodies, I’m sharing this old post I wrote a couple of years ago. Here in the Philippines, many people still think that women should dress “properly,” that is, “conservatively” if we want to avoid lewd gazes and comments. The concept that men should learn to control themselves still hasn’t caught on here, as many people continue to ardently defend the idea that guys will be guys and that they are slaves to their urges.
Because you said,
Among the rare bird species found was the Black Naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), which can be clearly defined by its bright yellow mantle and black stripe from the eyes to the back of the head.
Duuuude. The black-naped oriole is a common urban bird. You only have to go to UP Diliman and La Mesa Ecopark to see quite a lot of these birds, usually hanging out in twos or threes. They’re even in my neighborhood, typically singing in the early morning and swooping around all day. 1
- I’m not a super birder and I don’t want to be smug. But I feel like this is something basic that DENR-NCR should at least know about. ↩
The second show has been announced, a lot of tickets have been sold (if not sold out yet), and now the long long wait begins for the show. Here’s what a lot of Filipino Directioners are most likely thinking of.
1. Boy, I hope they don’t break up before they get here.
2. Boy, I hope none of them dies before their concert.
3. Boy, I hope I don’t die before their concert.
4. Basically, I hope nothing comes up in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the concert that could potentially prevent me from going.
The One Direction concert ticket buying ordeal a.k.a. one of the worst experiences that a person could ever experience that isn’t rape, death, slavery, famine, and other big important things
This post deserves a new category: OMFG
The formal announcement from the event organizers through One Direction Philippines came on May 19: the boys are indeed coming to the Philippines on March 21, 2015 for a concert at the MOA concert grounds–and tickets were going on sale on May 23. Cue the outrage. The ticket selling date came much too soon; many people couldn’t scrounge up the money in three days, and the concert’s practically a whole year away. Couldn’t they start selling in December or some date closer to the concert itself?
I suspect they couldn’t: I imagine One Direction’s management wants to make sure that bringing the boys here will be worth it and that tickets really will be sold. They needn’t have worried or doubted the 1D fandom in the Philippines. As early as 2 p.m., May 22, people had already secured their spot in the line, ready to pull an all-nighter. The number of people lined up grew throughout the night.
TJ, Macy, and I couldn’t line up earlier, so we were there at 5 a.m., at which point the lines were already so damn long. Long story short, Macy and I were inside the Arena’s lobby a little before 10, and we got inside the Arena Bowl before 2. We thought we were home free until we noticed that the line wasn’t moving at all. It took ages before it started inching along with some regularity, and we finally got our tickets–though not the VIP ones we were hoping for–after 5 p.m.
Fucking 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, outside, people were suffering in the heat, tempers were rising, tears were falling when people heard that some tickets have already been sold out. TJ reported that there were some scuffles and a lot of crying kids and angry parents.
All in all, it was an experience that I will never repeat and I will never do for any other band or person ever again. Buying a concert ticket shouldn’t have to take more than 12 hours, but I’m pretty glad we were able to get good tickets anyway–made the +12 hours worth it.
What the One Direction ticket selling organizers got horribly, horribly wrong
The biggest mistake they made that I can think of is being unprepared. I can’t say they underestimated the crowd; they said in their announcement that 15,000 people are expected to show up at the event. If they’re expecting that many people to show up, they should have ensured that they have enough people to control the crowd and guide the people. In addition, there shouldn’t have been only eight fucking counters inside the Arena Bowl and the concourse for the other tickets. I kept saying, “Two rows of 10 or 12 counters! One row on two sides of the arena! Don’t make people form a snaking line! Make them queue at each counter, and if they can’t fit yet, then that’s when the others should wait as part of one big line!” One dad was even saying that cash and credit card transactions should be separate, which makes more sense, because cash transactions are faster.
They also should have limited the maximum number of tickets per person to two, not five. Less chances of the tickets running out, less chances of scalpers buying up as many tickets as they can. Apparently, scalpers would immediately sell the tickets the minute they exited MOA Arena; VIP tickets went from P17,800 to P21,000-P23,000.
Another mistake is that we didn’t hear from the organizers. Inside the lobby, there were sporadic announcements about ticket availability, and then someone announced that they were requesting management for a second show. After that, we didn’t hear from at all. It would have been moderately reassuring if they would show up occasionally to tell the crowd why the lines weren’t moving and what they plan to do to make everyone’s lives easier.
What the organizers will probably get wrong the day of the concert
They’ve already made a mistake by choosing the MOA concert grounds. It’s a flat, level surface, and people with the cheaper tickets will not be able to see anything much from where they’ll be sitting. According to a comment on the 1DPhil page, “magkakariot” if they just use the monobloc chairs. It’s very likely that many people will be unhappy. Why pay any amount at all if all you’re going to see are people’s heads or their backs?
One thing I think they can do is to create elevated seats for the people in the back, giving everyone a fair shot at getting a look at the boys. I don’t think that’s very likely, however. BUT. SM can construct an entire building in a year. A seating section in 10 months shouldn’t faze them at all. And make sure they’re proper seats that people can’t dislodge and throw at the organizers. Get the fuck on it, people.
Over at the 1DPhil Facebook page, there are more than a few people saying that of course the VIP and Diamond tickets were sold out first, because it’s only the rich kids who aren’t real fans anyway who are snapping them up. To that I say, that’s completely untrue. Blame the scalpers who would go in in threes and buy five tickets each. Aside from those assholes, based on the VIP/Diamond crowd I saw yesterday, it was a mix of happy hardcore fans–who were seriously unhappy 1 to know that the tickets they wanted were gone–and parents and older relatives who are doing their best to get tickets for the kids in their families. So enough of the rage at the “carrot fans” and “fake fans.”
Many thanks to Macy for just being so cool in line and for urging me to go on when I felt like walking the hell out of there. But most of all to TJ for waiting outside for us in the heat and the crowd even though I know he was thisclose to losing his shit and was angry about the whole situation the organizers put everyone through.
- That’s an understatement. ↩
Secret’s out. Well, it really wasn’t much of a huge secret since the 1D Philippine street team posted tweets from event organizers that something big was about to be announced on May 7, which many Directioners already guessed was about the boys’ concert. The announcement was then moved to May 19. Unfortunately, local news outfits leaked the news of the boys’ March 21, 2015 concert, despite explicit instructions from 1DHQ that the announcement be made on the 19th. Sod.
Anyway, I AM BEYOND THRILLED THAT THE BOYS ARE COMING HERE. At last, a boyband is coming exactly when I am at the peak of fangirlhood, and not decades after their fame has faded. But at the same time, I’m worried that the ticket prices are going to be astronomical. I’m going to brag that as an older Directioner (with jobs! Plural!), I do have some purchasing power. But I’m feeling pretty worried for the younger ones who have been hardcore fans since the beginning but don’t have boatloads of money. An annoying possibility is that the really good seats will go to sponsors and celebrities who don’t even know much about the boys and their music. A second annoying possibility is that even the cheapest seats will be too expensive, thereby shutting out a lot of dedicated fans.
And no, it is completely unhelpful to tell them to just ask their parents for money or to save their allowances. Not all fans have deep pockets and rich families. If tickets are priced at a minimum of P5,000, a lot of fans will balk, especially younger ones whose parents and relatives won’t exactly be thrilled to shell out that amount of money. And let’s not forget the fans who aren’t based in Manila.
I certainly hope the organizers will consider the feelings and finances of the fans and not just assume that Directioners in the Philippines are swimming in money. After all, Simon Cowell said that it’s the fans who decided that One Direction was going to be famous. There should be room for every single fan in the boys’ concert, ones who will truly appreciate and enjoy the show.
A lot of my guy high school classmates are fathers now. It’s interesting. They were such goofballs back in the day 1 that seeing that they are now responsible for actual living beings is impressive stuff. Many of them have daughters, and things like “Rules for dating my daughter” 2 appear on my Facebook feed every now and then.
I get those rules. They’re a laugh. They’re supposed to be speaking in the voice of a father who is deathly afraid that his daughter will get hurt and will do anything to prevent that from happening. And maybe I’m just a dour, humorless bitch, but what gets my goat about those rules is that they don’t encourage a guy to respect a girl because she is a person and it’s the right thing to do. They tell a guy to respect a girl because he should be scared of the male defender in her life and what that male defender can do to him. It’s “Treat her right or you get hurt,” which is actually kind of selfish, as opposed to, “Treat her right because you shouldn’t hurt her.” 3
TJ and I caught a snippet of a conversation between a male DJ and a female DJ on the radio earlier. The guy was saying that women can’t complain if they get sleazy comments “kung naka-damit taputs sila.” 1 The girl, to my horror, agreed with him.
I probably shouldn’t be reacting at all given that my outrage will be based solely on that short snippet and I don’t have the complete context of their conversation. But that mere snippet is problematic. Essentially, the guy was saying that if you dress like a slut/prostitute/whore/whatever, you should expect to receive sleazy comments.
Problem #1: What is considered slutwear can be pretty arbitrary. Some people think a sleeveless top is already pretty slutty. Some won’t give miniskirts a second glance, while others will immediately whisper about the person who is wearing one. A woman could wear a top that fully covers her torso, but if she has large breasts, there are people who will still think she’s slutty just because of her breasts. You could wear pants, but if they hug your hips and rear, you’re going to attract unwanted attention from people who are helplessly drawn to your curves.
Of course, there are those who will say, “Just don’t wear anything that exposes your flesh and you won’t be subjected to lewd comments.” Initially, it sounds like a reasonable suggestion–until you remember that even women who dress modestly are also subjected to catcalling and sexual harassment.
Worse still, there will also be people who will say, “Well, they’re men. They’re really like that. They can’t help themselves.” It’s one of those comments that give men a free pass, allowing them to be ferocious horndogs who will slobber and paw anyone who catches their fancy. The idea that men are always easily sexually aroused and highly prone to acting upon that arousal is not a hearty salute to men’s manliness; it’s an insult as it suggests that men have no self-control and are animals who are unable to think before acting.
Problem #2: The male DJ’s comment that women should expect catcalls and lewd attention signifies a larger problem: that women and our bodies are considered public property that anyone is free to comment on or touch. Basically, the attitude is that “It’s there, so it’s fair game.” It’s even more insidious when you realize that the same idea applies to objects.
Problem #3: As I said previously, the female DJ agreed with the male DJ’s point of view. I don’t know whether she just didn’t want to argue or she just didn’t have very strong opinions on the matter, but I was disappointed that she didn’t call him out on what he said. It’s a great indicator of how ingrained the virtue of societally imposed modesty is, and how important it is to be a “good girl” and distance yourself from anything that society traditionally associates with being a “bad girl.”
We sat through the radio show for a minute before I turned off the radio in a rage. I was strongly tempted to call the station and tell the male DJ, “Women can wear whatever we want, and it is not your or anyone’s place to judge us or treat us poorly because of what we choose to wear. No one has the right to make unwanted advances toward anyone under any circumstance. Nothing, not even our clothes, gives you the right to disrespect others.”
And while women can expect to be catcalled or harassed, it’s not because of what we are wearing. Rather, it’s because people are essentially trained to react in that manner when they see the slightest hint of flesh and to treat women scornfully if we are deemed vulgar and immodest.
- “Damit puta,” just so you know. ↩