To Top

Kiss Between Philippines President and Married Woman Sparks International Outrage

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte kissed a married woman on stage at an event in South Korea earlier this month, prompting outrage from individuals from his country as well as abroad. The 73-year-old populist, who has been accused of inappropriate and crude behavior toward women in the past, was addressing a group of overseas Filipino workers when he called two women onto the stage.

Photo by MR O.K on Unsplash

In an uncomfortable video that has been circulating the internet, the President asks one of the women if they’re single. When she replies that she’s married, Duterte responds, “You’re not separated from him?” and goes on to say, “Can you tell him that this is just a joke?” before kissing the woman on the lips.

In front of a crowd of screaming supporters, it seems that the woman, identified by the state-run Philippine News Agency as Bea Kim, is flattered by the kiss and by the presence of the president. She later reported to the Philippine News Agency that “there wasn’t malice in it. For me, for him, it didn’t mean anything.”

The President is now under fire for what many see as a misogynistic and inappropriate assertion of power.

“It was a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority,” Philippines senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement. “Even if the act was consensual, it was the President, possessed of awesome, even intimidating power, who initiated it. It was not a meeting of two consenting individuals on equal terms.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Duterte has been labeled a misogynist. In February of 2018, when speaking of female rebels, the President made a statement that translated to “There’s a new order coming from Mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina, so that – if there is no vagina, [the woman] would be useless.”

Between saying that women who are not Filipino have a “queer” scent, to reacting to a deadly typhoon with the statement, “Lord, I hope only the ugly died. I hope the beautiful ones did not,” it’s clear that Duterte has little respect for women overall.

His recent antics involving kissing Bea Kim have sparked discussion online about consent and appropriate behavior. While some see the kiss as harmless, others are deeply offended and concerned by Duterte’s actions.

The kiss seemed consensual and Kim stated it as such; however, the question of respect looms over Duterte. As president of a country with over 106 million citizens, Duterte’s public statements and behavior are troubling for the entire international community.

While some have spoken out against Duterte, the fact remains that almost 40 percent of the population voted for him in the 2016 election. If misogynistic comments and actions are not addressed and punished, a message is being sent – a message that says that men in power are entitled to this behavior.


Featured Image by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed

  • No More Bumps: 5 Steps to Smooth Skin

    Ladies, it’s hard to feel nice and smooth after shaving when ingrown hairs and bumps immediately take the spotlight. However, not...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 13, 2020
  • Healthy Social Media Use

    Social media presence has increased for decades, remaining incredibly prevalent in everyday life. Cultivate healthy habits by learning about the effects...

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 12, 2020
  • No Woman was Surprised by What Happened to AOC

    A few weeks ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was insulted by Representative Ted Yoho being called a “f—ing bitch” and “dangerous.” Afterwards,...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 12, 2020
  • The Meaning Behind #ChallengeAccepted

    Recently, a trend has surfaced on Instagram where women nominate one another privately to post a black and white picture of...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 11, 2020
  • Why Anti-feminism can be Fatal

    Recently, New Jersey Federal Judge Esther Salas and her family were attacked resulting in the loss of her son and injury...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 7, 2020
  • Elijah McClain: What to Know and What to Do

    Elijah McClain was a 23-year-old innocent black man killed by Colorado police. Recently, a peaceful protest and vigil in his honor...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 31, 2020
  • What does #FreeBritney Mean?

    Dedicated Britney Spears fans have been in fear of her safety during quarantine. They noticed her social media presence to be...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 23, 2020
  • How The Handmaid’s Tale Remains Relevant

    The Handmaid's Tale seems to reflect our world today. Is Atwood's novel entirely dystopian, or is she warning us?

    Lydia SchapiroJuly 23, 2020
  • 6 False Assumptions about Mental Illness

    There are various stigmas surrounding mental illness, and it is often difficult for affected individuals to feel appreciated. Learning about mental...

    Lydia SchapiroJuly 16, 2020
  • Black Girls: Forced to Grow Up too Soon

    The issue of hypersexualizaton is the fault of the black girl when she’s born. Her appearance and behavior is strictly monitored....

    Kalyn WomackJuly 15, 2020