I can’t escape Hayden Kho. My co-workers are constantly updating each other on the latest developments, it’s all over the news (I can’t believe that it made front page of the major broad sheets and that panel discussions are being held on the topic), the sex tapes are being reviewed in the senate (“in aid of legislation” har har har), and even the mayor’s opening remarks to the participants of my workshop in Cavite yesterday were about Hayden and Katrina (because sex scandals are central to the issue of education reform).
There isn’t even anything particularly scandalous about the videos. (I personally thought the highlight of this whole thing was the cheesy dancing to Careless Whisper and not the actual sex, but even that has far outlived its entertainment value.) Are we shocked by Hayden’s behavior? (Did we really expect more from the guy who’s been banging a woman old enough to be his mother for her money?) Are any of the women involved particularly virginal that we’re surprised by their carnal desires? (Isn’t Katrina Halili’s career built on sex in the first place?) Did the encounters involve any weird fetishes? (The sex sounded pretty vanilla to me. No human excrement, amputated limbs, electric eels or anything!) So what’s the big deal, people?
Let’s not even pretend that this is about legitimate issues. It sucks that these women had videos of them taken without their consent but is this really a matter of national importance? It’s ridiculous that national outrage is directed towards Hayden Kho when so many other people have committed much greater offenses against us. I sympathize with Katrina and Co. but really, there are much more grievous crimes against women. You want to talk about women’s rights? Let’s talk about rape and domestic violence and reproductive health and economic gender inequality. Illegal wiretapping? The wiretapping case against Cheche Lazaro is much more serious and more deserving of our attention but she isn’t getting nearly as much coverage as Hayden Kho. With the slew of political, economic, social and environmental problems the Philippines is facing, all this fuss seems like a total waste of our collective energies and resources. I’m not paying taxes so that my legislators can watch homemade porn.
Our obsession with “Haydengate” is such a sad social commentary. Are we Filipinos really this repressed? This shallow and tawdry? It’s downright embarrassing.