Harassment is Not Exclusive for Girls — Miss Pascual

“Basagin na po natin sa isip natin ‘yung konsepto na babae lang ang naha-harass at lalaki lang ang nanghaharass.”

These were the words of Ms. Arlene I. Pascual, Executive Assistant II of the Office of Planning and Development, in a symposium regarding Anti-Sexual Harassment Act: Nature and Prevention held yesterday, Dec. 12, 2011, at BPSU Dinalupihan, Covered Court.

Ms. Pascual conditioned her audience to be comfortable with the subject matter as the seminar delves on Anti-sexual Harassment and reminded them that terminologies such as sex, p’wet, etc., will be taken with utmost professionalism and maturity.

“Kasi tayong mga Pilipino ‘pag sex na ang pinag-uusapan wala na tayong alam gawin kundi mag-crack ng jokes eh.”

Ms. Pascual solicited from her audience images, things, or scenarios that they associate with ‘sexual harassment’. Mr. Ariel Tamayo, a Social Studies instructor readily quipped, “vulgar words”. Others even said “dakma”.

“Normally, ito ‘yung nabubuong image sa atin. Isang lalaking boss, na nagbibigay ng extra attention sa isang subordinate na normally ay babae.”

She explained that sexual harassment is gender-blind abuse of power. It is an intimidation that is sexual in nature that may come physically, verbally, non-verbally, or visually. She stressed that complement is different to harassment because it injures and dishonors human dignity.

Throughout her discussion, Ms. Pascual reiterated that sexual harassment is an “unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors”. She added that the victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be anyone who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it.

In sexual harassment, the harasser may be completely unaware that his or her behavior is offensive. She reminded that it is the recipient who decides whether an action or remark is harassment or not.

Moreover, Mrs. Magdalena A. Abella, Director of BPSU Center of Human Rights Education (CHRE) talked about the legalities and penalties concerning sexual harassment. Penalties include reprimand, fine, suspension not exceeding six (6) months, and dismissal depending on the gravity of the offense. She said that it is best that the student publication publish the Policy on Anti-Sexual Harassment of BPSU so that the student populace may be aware of their rights.

Mrs. Abella initiated the open forum. Mrs. Talavera of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) raised the question on how to deal with students who are afraid to put their complaints into writing because they are afraid to be retaliated with grade. Ms. Pascual on this note replied, “It’s just a matter of assuring the students that their statement would not be used against them.”

Dr. Estrella remarked in the end that one of the main purposes of the symposium was to pave the way to educate the faculty members on sexual harassment since there were reports against certain faculty members. “Now that the basic knowledge about sexual harassment has been laid off, everybody should be well aware of their actions,” she said.

All the faculty members, administrators and the non-teaching staff were required to attend the two and a half hours seminar.

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About harksarmiento

Filipino. 27. Licensed Teacher of English. Writer. Leader and Team-builder. Speaker. Affiliations: PALT, Inc. (Active Member); PNU Manila (MA ELE); ONHS Main (English Department). Areas of Interest: Research, Philosophy, Psychology, Logic, Languages, Music, Politics, and Religion. Inclinations: blogging, watching movies, writing, reading. Hobby: badminton. Personality: Passionate, straightforward, tenacious.

Posted on December 13, 2011, in Education and Teaching, Human Rights, NEWS, SEMINARS and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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