All grown-up

This article on Interaksyon caught my eye:

It’s been months since actress Ryza Cenon graced the cover of FHM, but sadly, nothing seems to have happened to her career, leaving the Kapuso star baffled and disappointed.

Apparently, her main beef is that she’s back to playing pa-tweetums or cutesy, young roles, as she’s primarily seeking to go for “heavy drama or sexy role talaga.”

It’s a phenomenon that seems to occur in showbiz around the world. At some point in their careers, young actresses are expected to bare it all on a men’s magazine cover to announce that they have either attained legal age, that they are undergoing a shift in their image, and that they’re ready to head in a new direction, careerwise.

I have no issues as to whether an actress wants to disrobe for a magazine, if that’s what she really feels that she wants and needs to do and not just because she’s complying with her manager’s idea–her life, her choice and all that. What I find particularly interesting is that how some see disrobing as a way to announce that they are ready for meaty roles. All I think it says is that you have no qualms about baring your body. Perhaps it’s because I just think that you can win substantial roles by, oh, I don’t know, prove that you have the aptitude for acting.

Of course, the actress isn’t the only person to criticize in such a situation. We can also look at how limited people’s views are as to the roles an actress can play in movies or TV. TV writers can be pretty lazy, redoing the same stereotypes and tropes over and over again, and being limited to the same kinds of characters, only with different names, which in turn limits actresses’ choices of roles.

Sunshine Cruz files charges against Cesar Montano

Today, actress Sunshine Cruz has filed charges against her estranged husband, actor Cesar Montano, for sexual assault and physical abuse. But that’s not the only issue here. Another issue is the inevitable judgmental and, frankly, ignorant comments from so many people, and a number of them have cropped up already. Basically, they include the following:

1. Assuming Sunshine Cruz is making it all up…
2. …because she’s no longer as popular as she used to be and could do with some extra publicity.
3. Saying that it can’t be rape because they’re still married even though they’re separated.
4. Saying that it can’t be rape if Cesar didn’t hold a gun or a knife to Sunshine’s head.
5. Saying that Sunshine is “laspag” anyway and a mother already so she can’t be raped.
6. Saying that she has bared her body on camera numerous times already, as if that means anything.

Among many other disgusting comments. Furthermore, The Philippine Star reported the news with the headline “Sunshine cries rape, files raps vs Cesar,” which makes her sound hysterical, instead of using more objective phrasing.

It’s hard to counter sexism, ignorance, and closed-mindedness. Nevertheless, I’ll just say the following:

1. Rape is when you force sex on someone. It doesn’t have to involve weapons of any kind.
2. Marital rape is a very real thing. People think that women are obligated to have sex with their husbands. This is untrue. A spouse can decline to have sex if he or she does not want it, and his or her spouse should then respect this decision. Choosing to ignore the unwilling spouse’s wishes and subsequently forcing him or her to have sex is marital rape.
3. Whether a woman is a virgin, a mother, old, has been in sexy films, or whatever has no bearing on whether she should be considered to have been raped. Anybody can be a rape victim, and your background and experiences don’t exempt you from being considered one.
4. Rape–all kinds of rape–is a very serious matter, and if a person claims to have been raped, this should not be considered an attention-seeking tactic. It takes a lot of effort and courage to admit to having been raped, knowing that people will question you and even blame you for being the victim, and that you will be subjected to scorn and humiliation because that is how rape victims are treated, well, everywhere, unfortunately.