Arts & Culture

Poetry | A Beautiful Woman’s Rejoinder to the Latest Rape Joke

Poetry | A Beautiful Woman’s Rejoinder to the Latest Rape Joke
Ilang-Ilang Quijano

“As long as there are many beautiful women, there is rape…Who agrees to do it on the first request anyway? Will the woman allow it? No. ‘Don’t, no, ahhh.’ Even when they’re inside the cinema, she will push him away. But if you happen to sit beside someone toothless, would you still want to do that?” ~Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

I once knew of a toothless woman who went into a cinema.
She tried to cloak her ugliness in the darkness
but a man saw it,
and raped its shadow.

The crime scene—his dominion over the unblessed—
vanished when the lights came on
and the laughter
and sycophantic applause
died down.
It will reappear.
Not in the catcalling streets of desperate daylight,
but inside his poorly lit home—
the asexual house help, the beaming five-year-old
the studious niece
who envies her pretty classmates–
they all cried for help
when he raped their terrified silence.

Meanwhile, the police milled around outside
investigating non-crimes
such as the possession
of a toothless, raped smile.

I once knew of a young Australian missionary
serving bread and hope to prisoners
of a godforsaken country.
They say was too beautiful to be raped.
So the mayor came, Uzi submachinegun
firing like his penis,
and raped her memory.

Such that whenever a gang happens to rape a woman,
they now check with local government:
who knows if mayor wants to be first?
Better safe than be emasculated with a bullet.

I once knew of a woman rebel who wrested political power
from her vagina.
Singing softly to herself
after having just brokered a truce with her own motherhood,
she was captured and brought to a camp
where soldiers
raped her intellect.
(By edict of martial law,
each of the perpetrators have already raped two,
mostly civilians)
Before they cut off her breasts
and blasted her genitals,
she said:
“Tell your commander-in-chief,
I take better care of my brood
than fathers who rape
the motherland.”
Her tears were hot seeds that grew
into Children of the soil of all ages

I once knew of a die-hard supporter who raped his wife.
He loved her as much as he loved his possessions
for which she should be grateful,
and unquestioning,
as Duterte is to God.
Needless to say, when the woman went to the barangay hall
to complain
the desk officer helpfully put down
on the charge sheet.

I once knew of a ravishing woman,
the curve of her legs sublime
her pink pouty lips inviting
her breasts just the right graspable mound.
Plastered on a glossy billboard on EDSA
she invites millions to lust
she invites millions to rape
but she never was.
They think it’s because she was made of tarpaulin,
but the truth is,
they couldn’t rape her
as she was already married to an old magnate
who charges a users’ fee
for every gaze and wet dream.
Unaware that rape
or lust
they go home penniless, dejected,
seizing the steering wheel
of man’s debased power.

I once knew of a man who held so much power in his hands
he could never be raped.
But he could have sex with any woman he wanted
as long as
he kissed them on the mouth
and gagged their vaginas.
So he had them stuffed with taxpayers’ money
delivered promptly
every 30th of the month.
And whenever those razor-edged bills
the insides of their cervix,
the women told themselves
it isn’t the same
as the shard
of a broken beer bottle
as a bloodied broom handle
as a knife liberally pressed
against another woman’s throat.

Though this man freely distributed his affection,
he frequently stole his orgasms
(it was his personal style)
and even bankrolled
his best buddy’s senatorial run
with their unlimited supply.
Once, he ordered all the beautiful Filipinas on stage
to tell rape jokes
to groups of ugly men all day.
He was amazed that there were so many of them—
women like a school of miniskirted fish.
Surely they knew what was coming.
“This country is full of predatory sharks.
I am here to protect you,
I am your father
your lover
but could you perhaps lose a tooth or two?” he said,
his laughing face dark and hard
as the penis that failed him.

The women all became toothless, but got raped anyway.

Arts & Culture
Ilang-Ilang Quijano

Ilang-Ilang Quijano is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. A graduate of University of the Philippines Manila and the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center of Journalism, she is currently an editor and producer for Altermidya. She is a member of the International Association for Women in Radio and Television and the Society of Asian Journalists.

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