Debates between candidates for public office are among the means some media and civil society organizations are using to help voters decide who deserve their support. They’re specially useful in the Philippines, where those running for this or that post are often hardly distinguishable from each other in terms of platforms and programs, if at all they have any.
It’s not so much the alleged “lewdness” of that performance during the October 1 birthday party of Laguna 4th district Congressman Benjamin Agarao by a group that calls itself “Playgirls” that should be pre-occupying social media and other commentators, but what it suggests about the status of women in the Philippines as well as the kind of political leadership this country has.
There is no disputing the utter bad taste evident in the performance—which, however, was not entirely the women’s doing, since it involved some of the guests themselves. In some of the clips that have been uploaded over some Internet sites, these guests are shown enthusiastically giving full expression to what appears to be their wildest fantasies. Those fantasies apparently include being serviced by willing young women. But it’s not the fantasies themselves that should concern us—almost everyone, whether man or woman, has at one time or another had them—but how they’re being realized: and that’s at the expense of real, flesh-and-blood human beings who have presumably been paid to cater to them. Equally important is whether these performances are preludes to solicitations for paid sex.