A man explained his outburst caught in a viral video as akin to a woman having her “monthly period.”
“For the past three years that I’ve been a member of Congress, once a year I experience a monthly period… I can’t help being human, breakable and hot-headed. I also get stressed with work,” Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III (ACT-OFW party-list) said at a press conference on Monday.
It could be a joke but no one laughed.
Bertiz is perpetuating another stereotype on women with his response to criticisms over his viral outburst at the airport, the Commission on Human Rights said.
Bertiz is currently under fire for violating the protocol of shoe inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, harassing the airport screener on duty and attributing such actions to the menstrual cycle.
CHR: Not a valid reason for bad behavior
Lawyer Jacqueline de Guia, CHR spokesperson, said that Bertiz’s claims in his public apology are not based on reality.
“He is perpetuating the harmful stereotype that a woman that is menstruating can be dismissed as unreasonable, moody, and over-emotional, and would react in a similar fashion as he would have,” De Guia shared on Twitter.
By claiming his actions as part of his "monthly period," he is perpetuating the harmful stereotype that a woman that is menstruating can be dismissed as unreasonable, moody, and over-emotional, and would react in a similar fashion as he would have. pic.twitter.com/hdBD9XYLKT
— CHR Philippines (@chrgovph) October 4, 2018
Bertiz should also be held accountable for violating the standards of professionalism required from a public official, the CHR said. The human rights group cited Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
“He should be well aware of the security procedures required of passengers at NAIA, as well as how to act accordingly in these situations,” De Guia said.
Woman’s rights groups Gabriela and Every Woman also dismissed Bertiz’s perception as “misogynistic” and “arrogant.”
“Science has shown that this lie about women’s irrationality is just a fantasy made up by men like Bertiz to cover up that they cannot compete with most men and women,” Every Woman said.
Rep. Emmi De Jesus (Gabriela party-list) also said that her colleague should not associate women with his arrogance.
“The issue here is his arrogance. Women should not be stereotyped as arrogant and entitled during their menstrual period,” De Jesus said.
A video of Bertiz circulated online recently that showed him refusing to remove his shoes as part of the final inspection in NAIA Terminal 2. He then confronted the airport personnel who called him out for it.
After gathering widespread criticism, the congressman issued a public apology and ascribed his behavior at the airport to the monthly female cycle, wherein he claimed to experience it once a year. He gathered fresh outrage after.
Bertiz had since apologized for the remark perceived as offensive and admitted that it was “stupid.”
Monthly period 101
Women do experience a whirlwind of emotions before and during their menstruation and this is due to the release of the estrogen hormone, a medical website said.
“Some experts believe that some women are more vulnerable to the menstrual cycles normal changes in estrogen. They suggest it’s the roller coaster of hormones during the reproductive years that create mood disturbances,” the WebMD explained.
Amid the many unpredictable changes that happen to women during this having have the menstrual period does not normally cause hindrance to daily activities or rational decisions and behavior.
“Many menstruating women go through the airport’s security measures everyday without issue because they are aware of how crucial it is to ensure the safety of everyone on the airline,” the CHR pointed out.
The House Committee on Ethics planned to probe into Bertiz over the viral security video. He, himself, filed the resolution seeking such inquiry.
However, recent reports say that he was rushed to the hospital after suffering chest pains.