Pinay fashion designer, milliner, and corsetiere Mich Dulce posted a video on Instagram and Facebook showing a man she was having a shouting match with—but it was no ordinary argument, because it was the guy who groped her.
In an interview with Cosmo.ph, Mich revealed that it happened on her way to the car with friends outside Ringside Bar in Makati. She was shooting a documentary for Coconuts TV. A foreigner walked past her and squeezed her ass—something that she called out. "It was my first time to encounter someone who actually turned around and talked to me after touching me," Mich said. On Instagram, Mich wrote, "He told me to my face that he was an American in the Philippines and that he could grab any ass he wanted. I couldn't believe [my] ears." Mich told Cosmo that she was probably screaming at him for roughly five minutes before she thought of the best way to make him liable for his actions. So, she decided to take a video.
Read the transcript of their conversation below, and watch the Instagram video Mich posted in the early hours of October 14, 2017.
Mich: "You come here and you say you can touch anyone you want?"
Guy: "I live here, I don't come here."
Mich: "You just groped me, then you said to me, I live here, and I can touch any Filipino ass I want. Are you fucking kidding me? You CAN'T touch ANY woman!"
Guy 2, Mich's producer: "Just walk."
Guy: "Okay, I'll leave."
Mich: "Can you like, walk away?"
Guy: "Are you really that pussy whipped?"
Mich: "He's not pussy whipped. He's just a fucking nice person, and not a fucking mysoginist like you."
Guy: "I'm a mysoginist?"
Mich: "Yeah. If you walk around thinking you can grope people, you're a fucking mysoginist."
Guy: "How did I grope you?"
Mich: "Excuse me? Everyone fucking saw that! I was standing there and you touched my fucking ass."
Guy: "Show me the video."
Mich: "Fucking walk away."
Guy: "You have a video?"
Mich: "Fucking walk away!"
Guy: "So no video?"
Mich: "No, I don't have a video, because you fucking touched me. Everybody's right here."
The guy eventually walked away, and a bystander, also a foreigner, told her as they walked to the car, "That's it? He should go to jail." Mich shared, "That's when I realized that I should have done more. I should have reported it to the police. Women should know what to do in instances like this. You know how we're trained in sports to have muscle memory, where we instantly and subconsciously know how to react to something? The same should happen when dealing with sex offenders—calling them out is, of course, the first step, but what do we do next?"
She added, "I'm known to be outspoken, and I called him out, but I was also at a loss on what else to do. It's easy to freeze, and be shocked in the moment. If I felt like that, what about other [less outspoken] women?"
Mich is a feminist and an active member and manager of Grrrl Gang Manila, a group that "aims to create a safe, non-judgmental space for women in the Philippines to discuss the issues that affect them." Cosmopolitan Philippines and Grrrl Gang have been supportive of each other's mission to promote reproductive health awareness and push for the lifting of the TRO on contraceptives.
In Cosmo.ph's "What To Do When You've Been Raped Or Sexually Harassed," Stephanie Shi interviewed Atty. Kathy Panguban, a member of Gabriela National Alliance of Women and Gabriela Women’s Party, and asked her how a groping incident might be punishable by law. "If someone gropes you in your commute (for example), the perpetrator cannot be held liable for sexual harassment under the law, but he may be held liable for unjust vexation." Panguban added, "The vital question to be answered for the charge of unjust vexation to prosper is whether or not the act complained of caused irritation, annoyance, or disturbance to the mind of the complaining party."
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