Fernando: Sexuality

THE discussion on sexuality heightened last year when Hollywood A-listers broke their silence on sexual abuse/harassments from movie executives. Perhaps, we could listen to the cries of sexual abuses in our own region too.

Sexuality is a gift from our creator. In a deeper sense, it is an expression of our identity as individuals. If other people step on this dignity, then there is abuse of sexuality. It does only pertain to the common notion of sexual abuse such as rape or molestation. The cases in Hollywood which started the buzz refers to this kind of abuse. Prominent actors and certain producers were allegedly forcing young and rising stars to engage in sexual activity or touching private parts of their bodies, of course, without their consent. They were able to do it because they knew the victims couldn’t complain afraid that they would be cut out from the movie projects. Doers were certainly more powerful so victims mostly couldn’t resist. If people could do it to famous individuals how much more to people who can’t find their voice in their grief.

We have a lot cases in the region. It just happened that Hollywood news are so quick and more accessible. It just happened that we are more concerned with what happening with our favorite stars than what’s happening in our neighborhood. The most popular cases of sexual we have here is rape. The nature makes it worst. Young and helpless kids are being molested by people they know. According to a recent study, most rape cases happen at home meaning the perpetrators are relatives. They are mostly fathers, uncles, cousins, far relatives, and neighbors. Women can become sexual abusers too. While Hollywood stars who are victims of sexual abuses are more capacitated to overcome its negative impact, I couldn’t think the same to the kids we have here.

If how these young victims go on with our daily lives, it’s hard to picture out. The different children I encounter in my work show various emotions. Some barely talk. There are those who are afraid to move from their seats. Others do not socialize. They are more comfortable in a corner. If you speak to them, they either respond with a timid smile or blank stares. They are in their youths nonetheless, and they could not digest well why such things happened to them. The world they come to know as safe has suddenly became dangerous. It becomes difficult to trust. Everyone could be predators just like the one they trusted in their homes.

Sexual abuses as a form of degradation of sexuality must be exposed to punish the doers. Some family members think they protect their family when they hide sexual abuses happening at home. They do not want the neighbors to know that the head of the family is molesting his own daughters. It is too shameful. The whole family suffers. The integrity of the family name will get stained. When this continues to happen, we are taking care of a monster instead of saving a soul. The innocent victim is confused. The prey feel unloved. He/she suffer in silence and learn to despise the family and eventually the world. We think we break the family when we put molesting husbands in jail. We are afraid who gets to provide financial support if we put our breadwinner in prison. But is there more fearful in the world than corroborating to a grave sin?

There are other forms of sexual abuses. Others we do not know they are form of abuse. When kids are sweet-talked to perform sexual acts even without contact it’s an abuse. When teens are forced to watch pornographic scenes, it’s a sexual abuse. It is a sexual abuse because it degrades the dignity of these people though the use of their bodies. The body of a man or a woman is the most tangible expression of our sexuality.

Sexuality is more about respect. It is respecting others who they are. It is looking at the body of a man or a woman as a product of love created by the Creator. It is God who formed it through His love. If people demean it, it is an abuse. So we don’t make fun of homosexuals or transgender. If they are able to help other people with this kind of sexual orientation then it is more acceptable. Criticizing them does not make us better except when there is a good reason to correct. We don’t see men’s or women’s body as instruments of worldly pleasures. If we know of sexual abuses happening in the area, voice it out. Tell the authority. Until they are the ones who get to fear and feel the shame. If victims can’t help themselves, then what have we been doing?
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