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Kimmy Baraoidan: Misplaced outrage

The overwhelming righteous indignation is directed toward a man who did not inappropriately touch, rape, or kill anyone. Many who chastised him online are the same people who are silent about much more disturbing acts.

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THE thought of an old man pleasuring himself is a disturbing one. Even if you had the fortune of not seeing the video and screenshots, the scene itself is hard to erase from one’s mind. The video was supposed to be for private consumption, but somehow it got leaked and, as expected, went viral. The man’s privacy was clearly violated. Yet rabid netizens were quick to pounce on the man and declare him a pervert — for an act that I’m sure they are very familiar with.

Ironically, the overwhelming righteous indignation is directed toward a man who did not inappropriately touch, rape, or kill anyone. Many who chastised him online are the same people who are silent about much more disturbing acts like corruption in public office, attacks on the media, violence against women and children, the intrusion of China in the West Philippine sea, the massacre of the farmers in Negros Oriental and other extrajudicial killings.

The much more disturbing acts had sadly become the norm and many seem to not care anymore because of false assumptions being perpetuated by trolls. In the case of EJKs, some dismiss the issue because they automatically rationalize and assume that the victim is a drug addict or dealer, and therefore deserved their fate. The same is true for victims of sexual abuse. On the other hand, a leaked sex video is not a daily thing, and so when one surfaces, the public goes wild and immediately condemns the person or persons in it.

Many are silent about the bigger issues because — and many would not admit this — they don’t know enough or sometimes know nothing at all about these and aren’t actually interested in them. So they just blabber and complain about the small things or things that are none of their business anyway, like what celebrities do in their private lives. There’s a voyeuristic fascination with the lives of other people that permeates the psyche of every Filipino to varying degrees.

There are those who are afraid to raise their voices against injustices that plague our country for fear of their reputation or their lives. And some may even hold a defeatist view, thinking that we can’t do anything about it anyway, so why bother? But when it comes to petty issues, they are no different from or are sometimes worse than the school bully who only picks on the weaklings and beat them to a pulp (literally and figuratively).

Some even use instances like a leaked sex video to sanctimoniously brag about how good a person they are compared to this lowlife that they’re condemning. They would go on about how they never did such an indecent thing in their life, let alone record it on video, but secretly watch porn when home alone.

The irony of this whole thing is that people tend to care about an issue if they are directly affected, but why do they care so much about a leaked sex video? Why are so many outraged? Are they directly affected by it? No, and yet here we are. If only our moral outrage is directed toward crimes against humanity, heinous crimes, and threats to our sovereignty and democracy, then maybe, just maybe, abusers and opportunists would think twice about messing with us. (Laguna Now)

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