I GREW up with a nagging, restraining mother who strictly warned me against having a boyfriend during my younger days. She would usually not allow me to go with my friends on sleepovers, Manila trips (even our graduation field trip), and other events that happened outside the school. She would always tell me how she kept herself prim and proper even up to the day she got married to my father.
Back then, as a young rebellious teen that I was, I got furious and did not quite understand the reason why she was being very restrictive and overprotective of me. I admit I had some share of mischief as a result of her strictness when I was in high school, but these I am certainly repentant of.
As I grew up, I slowly realized these were all for my safety and good reputation. She wants me to be prim and proper so that guys will respect me and will not fool around with me. That was the moment I fully understood how important "delicadeza" is for a lady or woman like me. Turns out, her manner of raising me paid off, and it is something that I am truly proud of.
Upon seeing the news about a 16-year old teen who was a victim of gang rape after she spent a night with the six suspects in a drinking spree, I shook my head and only got disappointed with how young girls are acting nowadays. I hope people will not get me wrong for my opinion, I know that rape is still a crime and that the perpetrators need to be punished. Thankfully, four of the six suspects have been apprehended as of the time of writing.
However, I am raging with fury at the victim for giving the rapists the opportunity to commit the crime, for putting herself in trouble.
Based on news reports, the victim was invited by one of the suspects to have a drinking spree in their house, and after getting drunk and unconscious, the girl woke up as the sexual abuse happened. She managed to regain consciousness and went home after the said incident.
Who, in her right mind, would go to a drinking spree with six men alone? Did her parents even know about this?
Which now leads me to ask, what is happening with our youth now? If we look at the ages of the suspects, they are between 15 and 18. The victim is 16 years old, too young to be caught in this kind of crime and predicament.
The age of teenage pregnancy has also gotten lower and lower in the past two years, with the youngest girl at nine years old recorded in Central Luzon. She's not even a teenager yet. Face in my palm.
It's not at all bad to still remain a "Maria Clara" in this modern and fast-paced world. Coincidentally, as we celebrate Women's Month this March, I do hope that we also focus on the plight of our young women nowadays. We hope that we can guide them to better decisions, to good opportunities, and healthy habits to make sure that they become women of sophistication and beauty, both in and out, when they mature and grow older.