Fashion retail brand Bench clothing has issued an apology over what it refers to as “offensive elements” on its NakedTruth show.
“We will take all these concerns seriously and will serve as a lesson learned when we plan our next show. We at Bench shall continue to uphold the dignity of women and our commitment will remain so,” Bench said in a statement posted on its official Facebook account.
The NakedTruth is a fashion show that featured the country’s biggest showbiz personalities, walking down the ramp in Bench underwear.
A photo, however, of actor Coco Martin pulling a female model on a leash went viral over the internet, which women rights activists said is a “disturbing throwback to concepts of enslaving and subjugating women to male fantasies.”
Blogger Plump Pinay found the said photo demeaning.
“Since when did dehumanizing women to become anyone’s pet become socially acceptable? It’s bad enough that women’s bodies are already being used in music videos and movies as eye candies and accessories. But for a woman to be portrayed as a pet? I never saw this coming. Not from Bench,” the blog post read.
She added that women have long been victims of the media, whose bodies are being treated as commodities.
“How can events tell us we’re only as good as how our bodies look, or our worth is dependent on how ‘hot’ or ‘fuckable’ we are be seen as something to be acclaimed?” the Plump Pinay said in her post.
In a statement, Gabriela Women’s Party said they would call on the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality and the Committee on the Welfare of Children to investigate current programs of government agencies that monitor and enforce violations of law that protect women and children.
The said investigation, the women’s group added, would also cover the controversial t-shirt being sold at SM department stores, the country’s biggest mall chain, with a printed text that read: “It’s not rape. It’s a snuggle with a struggle.”
“The shopping mall had the gall to market that offending shirt in the boy’s section, and what message does this send to teen men about taking liberties with women? The managers of the mall should realize that exploiting this wrong message just to maximize profits can perpetuate anti-women attitudes and violent behavior,” Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus said in a statement.
Gabriela added that the said shirt trivializes rape and imply that women were “merely playing to coy men’s sexual advances.”
SM Department Store, in a statement, said they have been informed of the controversial t-shirt via social media and they too find a message of the shirt unacceptable.
“We are investigating on how it was even displayed and will be pulled out immediately,” the mall chain said.