[Dash of SAS] To the girl who was told by Pia Cayetano 'Boys will be boys'

Nikka Luna, artist and women’s rights activist:

We can’t allow toxic speech against women and girls. In the current administration, sexist comments, catcalling, objectification is now slowly categorized as the "norm." But that is where the problem lies. It has a domino effect. Boys and men who see and hear this in the news spoken by the most powerful and influential leaders in our country will learn that men can get away with this kind of behavior and repeat it.

What you can do:

It is unfortunate how it takes so little to perpetuate gender prejudice. This type of toxic language is not harmless and should not be tolerated. We need to publicly call it out. It is crucial that we speak out when we know or feel something is wrong and offensive.

Toym Leon Imao, sculptor and painter

I believe that women do not need men to “champion” their plight against the misogyny of other men. That would still be perpetuating the “damsel in distress” scenario. The mindset should be to stand by your fellow human beings against horrible sexist behavioral aberrations of your species.

What you can do:

Misogyny comes from a position of perceived power. What I suggest to my female counterparts is to find the source of that power. Take some time to patiently follow the power line and once you find the convenience outlet, yank that plug out from the socket! Metaphorically, you are left with an appliance or a power tool that is “turned off.”

Myrza Sison, editorial director of Summit Media and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine:

Despite our so-called matriarchal society, despite ranking 7th in the world and number 1 in Asia in the latest Global Gender Gap report, it is shocking to know that we still live in a machismo-infested culture with sexist attitudes and mores that seemingly refuse to die.

What you can do: 

"Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes," someone once said.

It is in our hands as women to help kill this misogyny by calling out each inappropriate remark, one retort at a time, by not permitting chauvinistic behavior to continue and protesting each and every incidence of it until all men – and the women who enable it – see the light and feel the consequences of their abusive actions.  

Yes, do it, even if they call you "manang," (old-fashioned) or "maarte” (whiney), or "di marunong makisama" (not a team player).

Right is right, even if it's not popular where you are. You must speak up for what you know in your heart to be right. Do it even if you won’t be liked, even if you’ll be maligned, even if it goes against your own personal self-interest. Do it for you, for your fellow woman, your fellow human, your fellow Filipina, your fellow Filipino. Because, really, how could you not?

Marcus Swanepoel, Strategy and Operations Director, Roots of Health, a family planning NGO in Palawan:

Be bold. If you have ideas, let people know. A lot of men don’t know how offensive what they say or do is to women.

What you can do:

 – Rappler.com 

Ana P. Santos writers about sex and gender columnist for Rappler and for Sex and Sensibilities.com. She is the 2014 Miel Fellow of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and has received reporting grants from the Pulitzer Center to cover women’s issues internationally.