ICYMI, there is a standing city ordinance in Caloocan that prohibits going topless (even for men) and the wearing of short shorts. And, surprise, surprise: GMA News reports that the rule isn’t actually a new one. In fact, it has been around since 2007. Recently, though, the archaic rule has gained notorious attention for being victim-blaming.
The controversial Caloocan City ordinance is city ordinance no. 0439, which states that going topless (even for men) and wearing short shorts in public are not allowed in public. Offenders get a warning on first offense, a P500 fine on the second offense, and a P1,000 fine and jail time of not more than two days on the third offense. If the accused does not have the money to pay the set fines, he/she has to sweep streets in the concerned barangay for two until four days.
In the recent report by GMA, the news body checked up on whether the rule was being observed in Caloocan City:
Apparently, more men without shirts are caught and sanctioned. Women usually go scot-free. Based on additional interviews by GMA, they talked to a barangay official who said: "Hindi naman po namin ipinagbabawal sa barangay namin 'yung naka-shorts lalo na kung mainit t'saka mas comfortable po kasi dito sa amin mga naka-shorts dahil mga busy,” says Councilor Beng Tabada of Barangay 132.
Feminist group Gabriela is opposed to the ordinance because it fosters a sense of victim-blaming. There are moves to change the rule and apply more aligned ordinances, like Quezon City’s anti-catcalling ordinance. Generally, though, we feel there should be a boost in wide-spread public education on respect and body autonomy.
What do you think? Is this rule too old school to be cool?
Follow Zo on Instagram.