The hokage culture
Hokage—what was once a Naruto term for little boys is now an expression for the debauched men some of those little boys became. While the term was used as an internet slang for the smooth jerks on the web—the breezy—at present, that definition is so 2015. Because now, this Naruto reference has taken an evolution for the worse.
The concept of ‘maginoo pero medyo bastos’ has always been there, that’s for sure. These kinds of men made girls blush way back when they were the ultimate dream boys. But when things go beyond the measure of morals and decency and step into the realm of female exploitation and sexual objectification, that’s when we draw the line. And darlings of 2017, this story won’t make you blush at all.
Social media today serves as the stage for the rising culture of both low-key and extreme perversion. The scale starts with the viral videos like those of “Master Hokage” Bryan Oropel randomly holding girls’ hands in escalators. Worse in measure are the public transport passengers taking the term dirty old man to a whole new level when they’re caught jacking off around fellow public commuters. Sadly, these sorts of videos are already common to us. But it doesn’t just end there.
We often hear the words pastor and hokage, but never together. But recently, hellfire came out after Esquire released the article The dark side of Filipino Facebook exposing the large and numerous communities of perverted male entitlement. These communities are in the form of websites, Twitter accounts, and group chats, but mostly on Facebook groups and pages. Inside their virtual world, members of Pastor Hokage groups share nudity, pornography, and all the sexual materials they can grasp online; they even grab girls’ profile pictures and delight on it with sexual fantasies.
But before things come to trickle and we start to perceive this as something natural—as we all know porn has been around since day one—here’s the raucous catch: 1. Misogyny and harassment are normalized, 2. Pedophilia is practiced, and 3. Consent isn’t required. It’s pretty infernal, but the fact that such immorality plagues our everyday go-to realm is downright haunting. And since these groups make up a long list, there’s a great possibility that some of the members are students—and dammit, they are.
When you run down the members list of hokage groups, you’ll see a literal shuffle of faces. It’s a pool of people who thought they hit the jackpot—and why wouldn’t they? It’s a deal of sexual luxury. Anybody can hop on the ride—a young boy, your brother, or even you yourself—literally just anyone who wants a scroll of depravity on their screen.
To our ill luck, the toxin has already trickled into our seas. That’s why obscenity is no longer that hard to share online by youngsters, because the culture is already thriving. What’s worse is how such mentality ripples to a total toxic concept where teenage boys can freely spread porn star memes or ridiculous rape jokes.
The subculture isn’t just a shrub anymore; it’s an expansive kingdom with no high gates, as its influence gradually spills over its windows and before we know it, our social media’s already contaminated. Just as how Friendster changed into a gaming platform, no one wants to see Facebook turning into a carnal site—nor do we want morality to fall into total destruction. Luckily, someone has the fuel for change and action.
Feud on the lewd
It didn’t take a long parade. The growing misogyny and the recent revelation of the pastor hokage issue led to the birth of Senator Risa Hontiveros’ Senate Bill 1251 or the Anti-Gender-Based Electronic Violence (GBEV) bill. The bill aims to put charges on people who cause mental distress online; however, it doesn’t just affect the bullies. Some of the violations include the reproduction of a victim’s naked body in any forms of media, meaning it’s almost time to say goodbye to send nudes texts and cyber-stalking that includes hacking into personal accounts or using cellular trackers. These acts could garner around five to ten years imprisonment—if we don’t pay a fine of P100,000 to P500,000 that is. Such grounds may seem ridiculous, but this issue has been drastically ridiculed enough not to toughen the amendments for it.
“We will not allow them to shame our young women, suppress their right to express themselves through social media, and contribute to a culture of misogyny and hate,” Senator Hontiveros pressed. With that, we know the unmasking of the misogyny and immorality begins, but she’s not doing it by herself. The scene includes us, men, women, and netizens in general, because sexual harassment now can’t just be found in the dark outskirts or isolated woods—but also on social media.
It all spirals down to the fact that we wish for an alternative reality where hokage would have just stayed as the term for the young boys—no malice, no sexual viciousness, no immoral evolution. Because after all, we couldn’t imagine such a state of depravity to exist.
But we were wrong to believe so.