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.