Recently, women legislators in the Philippines united to oppose the showing of a controversial 'fake' sex video, thereby collectively standing up to what appears as "clearly a case of misogyny," as described by Senator Risa Hontiveros.
Likewise, Senator Grace Poe took a stand, citing Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 as basis to the argument. This law has been enacted in light of a scandal that shook the country at that time. As all parties involved in the said scandal have already expressed their regrets and moved on with their lives, The Smart Gypsy revives some old posts - albeit with slight edits - from a previous blog, World of Womanity, which are relevant to the current discourse.
From Private Shows and Voyeurism... What's New?
May 9, 2009
A scandal makes it to the headlines again. But really, what's new?
Ever since file sharing websites and Blue Tooth technologies have become accessible to all, the whole world has seen the worst of what should just take place inside the bedroom. Everyday, normal people become instant superstars with beginnings traced from the humble sidewalks of Quiapo. Recent times also prove that there is no longer a need for hi-tech equipment, super talent and editing skills to produce a blockbuster hit. Any three-minute private clip shot by a simple camera phone can be viewed and downloaded by a thousand times in just a matter of hours.
Such indie productions grace the growing galleries of every voyeur's laptop. They zip it. Hide it. Then they think they're safe.
But girlfriends should be wiser than safe.
Voyeurism as a Breach of Trust
May 29, 2009
It has always been around but these days, voyeurism is just one hot topic that arouses the interest of every Filipino. Many are reacting. Gabriela steps in. And even the Senate takes the case on its hand.
Setting aside the fact that the hype on [the recent scandal] is creating a tabloid out of the Philippine politics, we have to grasp the issue in bite sizes to be able to come up with real solutions. Judgment is necessary. Solutions, however, are preventive.
Good ol' Wikipedia defines voyeurism as:
"the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature"
If we will be human enough to look at this definition as some stark reality, we have to ask ourselves whether this is normal or not. If not, what do childhood and early imagoes have to do with one's compulsive effort to videotape acts that occur in private places? And in which cases do we classify the voyeur as an offender?
(Since the first question is far too complex for a blogger to discuss, allow me to delve on the latter instead.)
Sad to say, existing Philippine laws do not have any sanctions on the recording of sexual activities; on the other hand, some countries have laws that explicitly declare the act as deviant and even criminal in cases when there is no consent from the other party involved.
Given the said limitation, we can only think about the scandal as an ethical offense--particularly because it is a breach of trust.
Sex and everything else leading to it are basically like relationship contracts. Such contracts are made and entered into with the binding force of trust. Without the other's knowledge and consent, videotaping obviously violates this trust. An act that is done in the bedroom should not find itself replayed on public media.
Moreover, the act should not be passed on from the hands of men and women for reasons due to entertainment, money-making, and even just sheer curiosity. At the end of the day, circulating the videos can be just as damaging as the real offense.
The worst part of all these scandals lie on the fact that most, if not all, of the victims are women.