By Beverly W. Siy
He smiled at me then showed me his penis. Ops, I said. That was way below the belt. So I sent him to jail.
It was a sweet summer day of 2010. I was in a hurry to get to the LRT Station in Katipunan. There was a guy near the waiting shed who smiled at me then pulled up his shirt that covers his unzipped pants. Boom. There it was.
The tiniest penis in the planet.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the gargantuan disappointment I felt instantly that made me decide in sending him to jail.
I walked past Mr. D (short for Disappointing) then I looked back to check. He might have followed to entice me with his mini titi. He wasn’t. He was standing on the same spot observing women walking past him. When a woman in a knee-length skirt passed by, Mr. D pulled up his shirt again. The woman ignored him; she didn’t even turn around to take a second look.
Then Mr. D went near a teenage girl who seemed to be waiting for a jeepney ride. He was still holding on the edge of his shirt. I looked around in a hurry. There weren’t any policeman or security personnel nearby. Hey, there’s this shameless guy who’s about to showcase a nasty black wriggly worm to a minor. That will be way, way below the belt. I thought I had to do something.
I hurriedly walked towards the intersection of Katipunan and Aurora where a police outpost was located. I dashed in and found a policeman in his undershirt.
And in his dark blue pants, of course.
He was watching TV as I reported the event. He replied, “The roaming team is still roaming around. You better wait.”
So I sat there wishing Mr. D had not abandoned his post yet. After 20 minutes of waiting and watching TV with the helpful police guy, the roaming policemen arrived. I got in their car and off we drove to the waiting shed. Imagine my joyful squeak when I spotted Mr. D.
A policeman immediately got off the car and approached him. He pulled up Mr. D’s shirt. Boom. There again was the Philippine’s newest entry to the Guinness Book of World Records for small things.
Mr. D was arrested. And we were brought to the Police Station 9 along Anonas Street (which was a two-minute walk from my house.)
Mr. D turned out to be a 27 year old vendor from Marikina. He had a record in Quezon City Jail for possession of illegal drugs. The police asked if he was in drugs. Of course, Mr. D denied. That morning it was just marijuana, he said.
I was interviewed while he was ushered into the cell. Then, we were escorted to Quezon City Hall to file a case against him. The interviewer, after consulting the fiscal, declared that Mr. D’s crime was Immoral Exhibition found in the Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. I signed several documents before I was allowed to go home. Mr. D stayed with the police.
What a day, really.
But it was perfectly fine with me. Justice was one of the reasons why I wanted Mr. D to get jailed. He did me wrong. He must pay for it. And oh, by the way, I’ve always been victimized by random exploits of “sex maniacs.”
When I was a skinny teenager, my flat breast was sideswiped by some shitty guy inside the Star City’s Haunted House attraction. I didn’t see who did it. Even if I did, I’d probably just shut up and exit the house. I didn’t know what to do or say anyway. Should I scream? Should
I head butt that person?
When I was working as a waitress in Malate, I walked every night from the main road to a side street to get to our restaurant. One time, I saw a middle aged guy biking towards my direction. When he got near me, he touched my breast. I was so shocked. Of course, I never thought he'd do that. And most of all, I never thought someone in a moving vehicle can actually commit sexual harassment to pedestrians like me.
I turned around, expecting him speeding away because of fear. But he wasn’t. He biked in the slowest possible manner and he even had the nerve to turn his head and take a look at me. I wanted to run after him but I knew he would just pedal away. I wanted to throw stones at him but there wasn’t any where I stood. I could have used my coin purse but the fifteen one-peso coins were the only money I had.
When I was a volunteer storyteller at the National Children’s Medical Center, I experienced sexual harassment inside a jeepney on my way to a session. A yuppie sitting next to me "secretly" touched the side of my breast. Yes, it was, again, my breast. (What’s with the breast, guys? No, really. A bunch of cells, tissues and fats topped with a smaller bunch of tissues and cells, what’s the fuss?) Anyway, this time, I fought back. I shouted at him: BASTOS! Then I bullied him to get off the jeepney. He did. But throughout the trip, all of the passengers were staring at me. Waah. Was I the bad guy here?
Some people think that touching someone’s body part as a joke or just for “good time” is okay and should not to be taken seriously. I totally agree.
IF I am the “toucher.”
From the “touchee’s” point of view, it’s always more than that. It’s not a joke and it can never be for “good time.” Sexual harassment causes more than stress to women.
So guys, spare us! More exclamation marks needed here.
Back to Mr. D, after a few months, two hearings were held. The judge commended me for my attendance. He said, after filing their cases, most women don’t bother to pursue them. So cases were usually dismissed, the suspects were set free. I was different, he said. I was more determined.
I brimmed with pride. I thought, hey, this is the 21st century way of fighting for women’s rights. And for that, I held my chin high.
Then the judge declared: But, Ms. Siy, you filed the wrong case.
My chin fell on the floor.
Mr. D’s lawyer (from Public Attorney’s Office) said that Mr. D would be given the more appropriate (but milder) case and if he admitted his guilt, his sentence would be down to six months of imprisonment.
Well, that was fair enough for me. But I threw in a short prayer: Mr. D, have a change of heart. Don’t commit that crime EVER again.
So from April to November 2010, Mr. D spent his sunny days in Quezon City Jail.