I’m smart, you’re dumb; I’m big, you’re little; I’m right, you’re wrong. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

I’ve felt this way for a long time.

Many were outraged when Willie Revillame goaded a child named Jan-Jan to dance in a macho dancer style. Even while he was already crying, he was still goaded to dance. Needless to say, it already caused a Net Rage and it revived initiatives to permanently censure the long-notorious Revillame, who had smears on his name after the MTB incident and the Wowowee stampede, plus more.

But this brings me to a topic I have long thought about: Does Filipino culture really treat children poorly? The treatment of Jan Jan in the show may actually be a barometer of the way Philippine society as a whole treats their children.

[...] Even within families, children are used for adults’ pleasure. At parties, they are sometimes made to dance the Ocho-Ocho, Spaghetti Dance or other funny dances just to make the adults laugh. I find that rather unkind. Adults like these only treat children as a source of entertainment, and not as the future. Thus, the disrespect that media shows in children may or may not be a reflection of treatment in the family.

There was a time when I’d gladly sing and dance and declaim on top of coffee tables, no goading necessary, but not everybody feels the same way and even if it’s “just” a kid who does, that opinion should matter. And people wonder where all the angst and emo(-ness?) come from.

(Title from Matilda.)

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