President Rodrigo Duterte’s Remarks on Women and its Impact on Young Men in the Philippines


Author: Korina Sanchez (University of San Carlos, The Philippines)
Speaker: Korina Sanchez
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
CALA 2020 Colloquium Session


Panel Abstract

Language is a powerful tool used for communication. However, Philips (2006) argued that some language is being valued more than others. Various studies have confirmed that people with authority convince their viewers to believe in what they say. Kulo (2009) stressed that speeches particularly political speeches imposed certain moral or ethical values on people.With this, the researcher finds it important to consider how the highest official of the country, the president, can influence the perceptions of the general public.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly displayed misogynistic remarks in most of his speeches. According to a statement made by the Commission on Human Rights, those presidential remarks are said to be utterly humiliating on the part of women to be spoken in such manner, even as a joke, by the highest official of the land. The fact that it is spoken publicly makes it even more appalling.

This research aims to determine the respondent’s reaction and identify their perceptions on the presidential remarks. In addition, they will rank the remarks according to its impact and influence specifically on their social and emotional aspect.

This research used a qualitative approach through a combination of key informant interviews and focus group discussions. It was conducted at Barangay Itum in Duero Bohol, Philippines. The research participants were selected through a purposive sampling limited only to 12 male high school students within the age bracket of 15-20 years old. An informed consent was given prior to the conduct of the study.

Based on the result, it was found out that President Duterte’s remarks have a significant impact in shaping the perceptions of young men towards women. It was revealed that there is a high tendency for other men to imitate the act given that it came from the mouth of the president. Although most of them are not exposed to the media and find those presidential remarks unfamiliar, their emotional aspect has also been affected. They felt sad, insulted and shocked. They also feel what women feel when being addressed by those remarks. With this, the respondents suggested that President Duterte’s misogynistic and derogatory remarks against women must be put to an end. Furthermore, the researcher recommends to the future researchers to consider other aspects by which those remarks has an impact, to consider other age bracket of the research respondents and to limit the remarks according to its rank or target population.

Keywords: Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, presidential remarks, language, misogynistic, women, impact, young men