Like silverfish and other unsavory creatures that scamper for cover when the rock under which they were hiding is lifted, officers and members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity of the University of the Philippines have fallen silent after leaked screenshots of their private Facebook messages revealed a pattern of misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, ethnic hatred and racism and a fascist outlook.
While a few individual members have come forward to condemn the private messages that were leaked on the Twitter account of Lonsileaks on Nov. 20, the organization itself has remained silent, and none of its current officers have spoken up, either to deny the posts or to denounce them. Almost two weeks after the leaked messages triggered an uproar in the UP community, no internal investigation to identify the guilty members has been announced.
The scandal is a stain upon Upsilon Sigma Phi, one of the oldest fraternities in Asia, with a roster of notable members such as the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, his political rival Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., Senators Joker Arroyo, Richard Gordon and Francis Pangilinan and former UP presidents Salvador P. Lopez and Alfredo Pascual.
Reacting to the leaked messages, the UP Women in Law issued a strongly worded statement that clearly spells out the dangers of leaving these kinds of views unchecked.
“Regardless of the verity of these messages, they represent a very real evil that thrives not just in our college, but in the university: the archaic and unfounded mentality that men have claim over women and their bodies, and the implication that women are restricted to act in a certain manner by virtue of their gender alone.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the macho feudal mentality and culture that festers within the University. We will not stand idly by and allow for the propagation of machismo at the expense of our dignity. This is a call for accountability for institutions who are supposed to uphold the virtues of character and integrity. The quality of an organization is best represented by the acts of its members.
“The University should not be home to an environment where this culture of misogyny remains. The ‘boys will be boys’ attitude enables men to continue the culture of violence and discrimination against other genders. It encourages harassment and abuse beyond their institution and transcends to their treatment of women in society.”
Even more troubling is the fact that these caveman attitudes not only survive but thrive in the dark, hidden from view, among the youth, these so-called scholars of this nation.
In one bigoted exchange, a member posited that women belonged only in the kitchen or in the bedroom. The truth is, these poor excuses for human beings belong only in the bathroom, where they can be easily flushed away with the fecal matter that fills what passes for their brains.