Fine line between fashion, and rape and soft porn

Best Editorial Article – School Paper Category | Gawad Pluma Awards | 10.11.14

Sex sells – this is something we continuously hear when it comes to fashion campaigns. Recently, reports about how a fashion event objectified and commoditized women to the extent that it resembles soft porn, and how a department store trivialized rape culture by putting sensitive statement on their shirts created a fuss and circulated over the internet. Has the fine line between fashion, and rape and porn finally been crossed?

The Bench/’s “The Naked Truth” event drew much controversy because of its provocative acts showcasing almost naked bodies of celebrities and models especially of females while performing antics bordering soft porn on the runway. There was even a part when two models lip locked while being watched by Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez. Also at the show, Coco Martin dragged around an acrobatic woman on a leash positioned on four like a pet dog.

In the Philippines in which it is in the culture to uphold the dignity of women, these kinds of acts aren’t widely accepted. Also, women were portrayed as if like a product that can be bought and sold. Some acts were inhumane as well. It was never socially acceptable to treat anyone literally like an animal.

On the other side, shirts trivializing rape culture by putting “It’s not rape. It’s a snuggle with a struggle.” sold at SM Megamall Department Store’s boys section drew an outrage online prompting the store to immediately pull them out, and conduct an investigation why it was included in the assorted T-shirts.

Rape isn’t funny – never was, never will – and putting these on the shelves on the boys section is something to be alarmed of. Rape is a serious crime entailed with long-term and lifelong impacts on the victims. So-called jokes like this could possibly give the boys a wrong hint that it is actually fine to rape.

Fashion, in one way or another, can be a reflection of culture. These are not the values we surely want to impart to the next generations. There is no need for local fashion to dive into these marketing strategies and take the low road just to sell, and feed our vanity and desires. While we continuously tolerate this form of “entertainment” to happen, we do not realize that we are slowly allowing ourselves to accept rape, and objectification and commodification of women as normal. These things are serious issues to take. There can be no justifiable reason for them to be considered as comical.

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