Understanding the Rape Culture Landscape in the Philippines through #HijaAko Revolution: A Multimodal Discourse Analysis

Author: Aileen Bautista (De La Salle University – Manila)
Speaker: Aileen Bautista
Topic: Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2021 General Session


The belief in the just world is deemed to be operating in the Philippine society as reflected in the victim-blaming that occurs on various communication modes, especially on social media. However, the very same belief is being used as leverage to strengthen an online movement using the hashtag, #HijaAko. Hence, this study explores the rape culture landscape, as reflected in the online discourse, specifically on Twitter. Furthermore, it seeks to answer the following research questions: 1) What is the rape culture landscape as reflected on the rape myths observed on the Twitter posts with the hashtag, #HijaAko? a) What are the emerging themes that reflect the power struggle from the #HijaAko posts of the sexually abused victims?  b) How do the netizens’ comments on the posts with the hashtag #HijaAko reveal rape myths that the Filipinos embraces? This case study used 340 Twitter posts and utilized Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis to analyze the data. The data reveals that the rape culture is shaped by the various rape myths that influence the Tweets and the Tweet replies. However, it is observed that Twitter has become a platform that aids in giving voice to the victims of sexual abuse and, at the same time, challenge the existing rape myths that are circulating on the Internet.

Keywords: Rape culture, #HijaAko, Multimodal Discourse Analysis