It’s 1996. You, a guy, a man of all men, are walking home from work and from working out. Maybe you’ll grab pancit on the corner restaurant before your block. Maybe you’ll buy Coke and beer for family dinner and for Friday Movie night. Someone from behind hits you on the head and you pass out.
Waking up face down on the bed, your limbs tied spread-eagle on the bed, you could only assume the worst: you will lose one of your kidneys. Apparently, this is something different altogether, you realize as someone jumps atop you and whispers “don’t worry, matutuwa ka dito” and violates you from behind.
Acts of lasciviousness. Physical Injury. Abduction. Back then, it could be anything but it could never be rape.
Rape used to be an exclusive concept that could only be consumed by “by having carnal knowledge of a woman” under a set number of circumstances. According to a friend of mine studying to become a lawyer in Manila, used to be the only qualifications for rape was that you have to be female. So a male being sexed up by a female without consent? Not rape. Male getting abused by another male? Still not rape.
Rape used to fall under Crimes against Chastity under Philippine Law. This means that the Anti-Rape Law (together with Acts of Lasciviousness, adultery, seduction, etc.) is drafted under the presumption that the crime is done with lust as the primary intent in mind. Although true, it undermines how rape is violent. Thus, it was categorized under Crimes against Persons.
This inclusion not only further criminalizes the crime of rape as it now assumes that the primary intent of rape is to do harm, but it also includes any manner of persons. This means males can be “raped” now. This was post 1997 onwards when the previous 1930 draft of the penal code was revised.
We find it safe to assume that the mentality on this law was acculturated from Spanish Colonial thinking, where male dominance was a prevalent concept; ie: 1.) men always want sex, 2.) men are strong and thus cannot be subdued, 3) an erection is equal to sexual consent. By the looks of these assumptions as to why men previously were un-rape-ble, it was also their fault (or at least the fault of a Chauvinistic ancestry). But times have changed and, more and more, none are safe from sexual assault, not males, not females, not even animals and inanimate objects.
I guess my point being is that the law can never be sexist—it’s a law, it’s something that’s out there to protect us from others and from ourselves. But laws are made by men, and in the case of the antiquated Anti-Rape Law, it was a law made by arrogant men who never saw themselves as vulnerable.
It’s 2013. You’re walking home from work and from working out. You’re either a man of men, or a belle among women—it doesn’t matter, you’re now protected by the law equally at long last.