VILE, Lecherous Duterte delights in naked displays of power

Kadiri doesn’t even come near it. That display of naked power in South Korea by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte – soliciting a kiss as he handed out, of all things, a book on alleged corruption among Catholic clergy – was bereft of any sane motivation.

The Philippine President is a lecherous old man throwing his weight around. He probably thinks any woman would feel flattered that a President wants to kiss her on the lips.

A warped world view, a twisted mind. Duterte knows what buttons to push, how to trap people.

#BabaeAko I am a woman. I understand the dilemma faced by his overseas Filipino target.

It would be very, very hard to stand your ground in a hall, a man with pursed lips on one side – a man known for unleashing torrents of abuse at those who displease him – and on the other, a seemingly titillated audience.

We can fantasize about fending off the boor and stomping off, but that is way easier said than done.

One of the things that struck me about the #MeToo campaign in the United States was how so many women feared being seen as killjoys, even malicious, how many feared being blamed for calling out abuse or even just showing it was not welcome. (The trolls are coming out, screechig that anyone offended by Duterte’s latest stunt is just “jealous”.

Easy to be also disgusted by the audience. But one’s relationship w power is a complex issue. Sometimes what we see as enabling behavior can be, to others, a survival mechanism to preempt abuse.

Doesn’t excuse the abuse. In fact, abuse is often deliberate, a cold assessement of power and what one can get away with.