More of Nancy than Meets the Eye

NANCY Binay’s recent fashion picks as her ensemble during the State of the Nation Address infamously puts her once again in the spotlight in the online community. Many have expressed their distaste with her unflattering Korean-inspired outfit, likening her to a hot air balloon or to Shrek’s wife, Princess Fiona, just to name a few. The Internet had a field day when pictures of the senator were transformed into online memes, putting her side by side with a Pokemon character or a sachet of local vinegar, among other things. These seemingly humorous pictures have made the rounds online as people liked, shared, and tweeted such funny representations.

Her exposure to online ridicule is nothing new. Her first taste of online memes happened during her campaign as senator, when people criticized her skin color. Social media was filled with viral jokes, comical pictures, and harsh blog commentaries of the lady senator. Despite such notorious remarks and naysaying, Nancy was still able to secure a spot in the Senate. But instead of redeeming her, her win actually led to more jokes on how the elections were so luto that it was actually sunog, once again drawing references to Nancy’s dark Filipino color.

There seems to be little (if none at all) commentaries with regard to her performance as one of the country’s lawmakers. People seemed to have turned a blind eye when it comes to her Senate work as her detractors were more focused on making fun of her physical appearance. If they looked past the ebony skin, the poufy green skirt and the oversized white top, they would have seen that the lady senator had actually put color and life in the Senate with her proposals. The Senate panel has approved her recent bill of amending Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, without any amendments from the Committee of Women, Family Relations and Gender Equality. The said RPC provision criminalizes premature marriages by women after the death, annulment, or legal separation from their husbands. Nancy has explained in her bill that it should be time for Congress to finally abolish antiquated laws that discriminates against women.

Her past work has also highlighted her advocacy towards women. One of her earliest proposals was the Electronic Violence Against Women. This bill seeks to cover the bullying and violence experienced by women because a person close to them uploads demeaning and sexist media of them. Nancy sees this bill as an addition and extension of the current Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Act since VAWC does not contemplate the specific acts of electronic violence in its text.

Nancy has also received accolades from her colleagues and fellow public servants because of her high performance in Senate hearings. Most noteworthy was her involvement in questioning Budget Secretary Florencio Abad with regard to the Disbursement Acceleration Fund. Because of her active participation in the Senate hearings, she has also expressed her plan to file a bill against ‘forced savings,’in which agencies do not push through with their projects just so they can use the funds in other projects. Her bill actually promotes accountability and liability of agencies with regard to their projects.

She might not be the prettiest or the best dressed but Nancy Binay shows in her acts that she is someone who is serious with her work and service. She may be a public servant, but she is not a public joke. Her plans and proposals should be enough merit for her online detractors to take a second look of this woman who has been a source of their laughs and amusement. Despite the hilarity brought about by the internet memes and online jokes, may we remember that it is substance that matters at the end of the day. P

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