#metoo: Filipino women call for an end to sex abuse

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Nicole Adrienne Ponseca

Nicole Adrienne Ponseca

By Cristina DC Pastor


Two short words that now wield power in a society shattered by the actions of just one man. Or so we thought.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s pattern of sexual assault and harassment is just one story although it has psychologically bruised at least 40 women he has victimized over the years.

Joining other women around the world, Filipinas crying #metoo on social media show the scale and seriousness of the problem, and it’s not just perpetuated by men in Hollywood, men in power, men in business suits. It could be the men on the street catcalling women on their way to work, men in offices commenting on co-workers’ ‘nice dress,’ or men in robes touching schoolgirls underneath their uniforms.

Restaurant owner Nicole Ponseca shared with The FilAm how her victimization has continued over the years – from the priest who touched young girls in her school, to the media strategist who closed the door and locked the room on a late night meeting.

“I pleaded with (the media strategist). Told him he has a wife who is pregnant. Not to do this. Think about his family. How disrespectful this was to his unborn child and his wife,” recalled Ponseca, the CEO and co-owner of Jeepney and Maharlika restaurants.

“It’s incessant,” she said. “I mean there’s too many moments to count.”

Nicole is one among countless Filipinas who have added their voices to the call for an end to sex abuse coming from persons who believe they have power over women’s bodies. These women also have private scars they keep within, but for now can only say: #metoo. The global campaign now a “megaphone to amplify women’s individual stories,” in the definitive words of novelist and women’s rights activist Ninotchka Rosca.








© 2017 The FilAm

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