Designer Mich Dulce took to social media to report an incident of groping that happened when she was in Makati last night. Groping is an unwelcome and nonconsensual form of fondling or touching in a sexual manner, and be considered sexual assault.
Mich tells us that she was shooting a documentary for Coconuts TV. She was standing outside Ringside Bar with her producers when a foreign man walked passed her and brushed his hand against her butt. "I screamed at him and said ‘Are you serious? You just grabbed my butt," Mich recounts. She said the man, who had already walked a distance away, walked back to her and said "Yeah, I'm an American in the Philippines and I can grab any ass I want." She lost her temper and started shouting angrily at him. She had the presence of mind to pull out her phone and take a video.
The video post that appears on both Facebook and Instagram has this caption:
"So this guy just groped my ass and I started to scream at him and he walked back and 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. I started to film him after screaming at him for a while and he showed no remorse."
"At that moment it happened, I was so frazzled and angry, and if you watch the video, you can hear that what I'm saying does entirely make sense," shares Mich, adding "I think that happens with most women that when faced with that situation, we get so shocked that we don't know how to behave. I consider myself a feminist, and at that point in time, I didn't know what needed to be done."
In many instances of groping, the shock of the unwanted touch can leave you stunned and confused. More often than not, women are not as quick to reprove their assailant. Mich tells us, "Even I was caught off-guard, I could barely even make sense while screaming at him." But it’s best to act quickly and call out the transgression right away, or else the perpetrator might just get away with it. "Girls really need to know what they should do and can do," Mich says adamantly. The co-founder of feminist movement Grrrl Gang adds, "We need to increase the muscle memory of women to reacting to situations like that."
In her caption, she adds that "Another white guy was watching the whole thing and said ‘That's it? He should go to jail.’ So there are still decent guys..." Mich tells us that it was at that moment that she thought, "That's right, what are my options as a woman? What can I do?" She says in hindsight she should have asked him for his name and reported it to the police to have the incident recorded on the blotter.
One thing is sure, if the touch is nonconsensual, sexual in nature and makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to say no and call out the behavior. Be the first person to stand up for yourself!