Netizens have been clamoring about the latest sex ‘scandal’ that pervaded various social media platforms. The persons featured in the two videos were identified as AJ Ramos and Abby Santiguel—both are students of Ateneo and underage. It was only recently when similar scandalous videos hooked the attention of the public: names like Wally Bayola, Paolo Bediones, and Chito Miranda, among others, made it to the list.
Reports on these raunchy videos amassed various reactions from the public: some spit caustic comments; others express more sympathy, while others treat it rather casually. How should we react to issues of this content? What does this reveal about us as individuals, as humans?
First, I would like to point out that, despite its growing ‘popularity,’ Filipinos still think that such acts are considered shameful. This is a positive thing, I suppose, because it means that there is still an operant conscience among us. Moral sense sets the demarcation line between right and wrong, and gladly these scandals are outrightly falling into the latter category. Somehow we learned to define which practices are acceptable and which ones are considered scandalous.
Let’s take on some views and responses. You wouldn’t be surprised to read comments that express disapprobation and fiery preaching about just how obtuse they are for filing a very private act, which they are too juvenile to do. They are kids and should know better that they are not yet licensed to do it. They claim that sex should only be done by married couples because it is a sacred act.
Others don’t care about it though. They simply got curious, watched, and forgot the whole thing. It’s either they don’t care, or they don’t have time meddling with other people’s lives. Somehow they think that something’s wrong with the society but they are more concerned about their individuals lives and have no time for childish displays.
Finally, the mortification of these individuals educed a certain level of sympathy from people. They recognize the shame of the family and everyone involved. These people have learned to isolate a broken, embarrassed person from the shameful act. They believe that nobody deserves to be labeled by his act and this they hold without compromising their convictions that it is wrong. “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” They’re clear that a correction must be done, yet they manage to give grace at the same time.
Of all the creatures, man is the only one who exercises free will and possesses a moral sense. He is not simply driven by instinct. For this reason, any act that goes against shared values is received with either praise or condemnation. Sex is not bad in itself, but the bedside act should only be performed by married individuals as a law and custom dictate.
While we do not compromise what we know is right, we should learn to give allowance to people who may not be as convicted and firm in their values. Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, we are often very condemning of those who sin differently than we do. Sex scandals may be more provocative than others, but they are not any worse than the secret, little sins that we commit.
All of us can fall into temptation. And even if we label things to be better or worse than others, the truth remains that at some point everyone becomes deviant. So instead of shaming others for what they did wrong, maybe we can offer them guidance to strengthen their values and encouragement to choose a different path.
A sex scandal is a scandal and it should be treated accordingly. I do not suggest that we take it lightly because by any reasonable measure it is not. It is also our shame as a society because for some reasons we have nurtured people who participate in acts that go against the norms. Something needs to be corrected and healed.