Posted April 17, 2016 from Philippines

This rape joke by a Presidential candidate is making me so emotional. So here it goes.

This is a translated excerpt from a speech of a Mayor running for President about a rape victim: "I looked at the face, (swears) she's like a beautiful actress from America. (Swears) what a pity. What went on in my mind was, 'they raped her,lined up for her.'I got mad because she was raped? Yes. That's one. But she's so beautiful. The Mayor should have been first. What a pity."

It was a joke, the Mayor said after receiving flak from women and women's groups for making this statement about an Australian woman missionary raped in his city that went viral.

I once thought that what he has done for his city is admirable. He fought rebels where ruling administrations had difficulty fighting. He had a reputation of supporting extrajudicial killings. Criminals feared him.Hisword was law and people followed. Whatever his flaws, I thought his track record of making his city clean and peaceful would have made up for them. But after pictures and videos showing his behavior with females in public came out, his hand touching/holding women in a manner that strangers normally wouldn't, wanting to kiss them on the lips, and now his "joke"that the Mayor (implying himself) should have been firston the woman raped, made me completely turn around on my opinion of him. It was degrading how he objectified women.

If he cannot lead by example that women should be treated with respect, then how can he possibly impose laws on sexual harassment or violence against women when he himself expresses acts that constitute and can even encourage others to think that sexual harassment or violence against women can be taken lightly? Rape is no joking matter and just because there are local ordinances existing or were first implemented in his city toprotect women does not mean he supports women's rights but can joke about rape with triviality.

What saddens me even more is that the women's group who strongly advocates for women's rights and demanded him to apologize for his rape "joke" (which as of this writing he refused to do stating there is nothing to apologize for) is reported to still continue to support his candidacy.This kind of support made me question myself.

Did I discern wrongly? Should I just close my eyes and throw out the window what I've always believed in and did volunteer work for all these years? If a strong women's group stillcontinues to support his candidacyandwill forego of his rape joke and vote for him why can't I? Some say he is a better choice over other candidates with reputations of being corrupt, weak and easily swayed, sickly, indecisive, etc. Who doesn't have flaws, they said. I'm sure their reputation, track record, strengths and weaknesses have been compared.

Presidents will come and go and we have to keep moving on and continue to live our own lives.Change has to start with us, not with a President every six years.At the end of the day, we all have to live with our conscience and I would rather follow mine.I cannot in conscience vote for someone who thinks rape can be taken lightly and joked about. So there.


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