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The Filipino Culture of Smart-Shaming

Smart Shaming

I’m writing this after going on a debate with a few Marcos apologists. Just a background on those not familiar with Marcos, he implemented Martial Law in the Philippines which resulted to the death and torture of thousands of Filipinos and has gotten billions of ill-gotten wealth which they refuse to give back or apologize for and the Filipino masses are still paying off the debt until 2025. Now, the dictator’s son is close to winning the Vice President slot and a lot are not happy (me, included.). But a lot still stands with the dictator’s son and the dictator’s son’s “handsome” son. I can go all day with this but I’ll stop there. After presenting facts to these Marcos apologists, all I got was “wow, puta, eh di ikaw na matalino. #damimongalam” which roughly translates to “F***, fine, you’re the smart one. #knowitall”.

(The other replies I got was “Let’s move on from the Martial Law, it was thirty years ago”, “Why are you attacking Sandro Marcos?” and “Let’s talk about the Aquinos”. All of which I was able to present facts (and not insults) and I was pretty much smart-shamed every single time.)

Why do people smart-shame? What’s so bad about presenting facts without needing to resort to memes and slangs? What’s so horrible about having facts that back-up your claims? Heck, what’s wrong with actually knowing things?

How come some Filipinos result to using phrases like: “edi wow”, “Nosebleed na ako (My nose is bleeding)”, “Matalino ka na nyan? (You’re smart now?)”, “Etilista oh”, “Opinyon ko ito, wala kang pake (This is my opinion. You get no say in this.)”, “Shut up ka nalang (Just shut up)”, “Sige, bobo na ako, masaya ka na? (Fine, I’m an idiot, are you happy now?)”, and like I mentioned above “Edi ikaw na matalino (You’re the smart one)” when in the middle of what you taught was a casual exchange of ideas?

And why does the media encourage this? When the “edi wow” resurfaces and people all over the country started using it, I was pissed. I thought, well, here’s another term that helps the smart-shaming. Why does Filipino shows say that it’s okay to ostracize “smart people” and to laugh at “nerds”? Why are they feeding up this anti-intellectualism? When someone is actually saying something that makes sense, why do our celebrities and comedians focus on how they look like rather than the words coming out of their mouth?

Who decided that those conversing in English are know-it-alls and pasosyals? We can ask them to speak in our native language but instead you see comments like “Nosebleed! Ikaw na elitista! Ikaw na nakapagaral! Ikaw na mayaman (Nosebleed! You’re the elitist. You’re educated. You’re rich.)”.

Since when do we vote politicians (like say Manny Pacquiao and Tito Sotto) because of their appeal to the masses and not because of what they have actually done as a senator? Since when did we stopped giving a second glance to people that we know will do good in serving our country but we dismiss because she/he is not well-known or is not jolly enough in our eyes like Miriam Santiago and Gibo Teodoro?

Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I know that. That’s not even what this is all about. This is when every time I read a sensible argument online, the response from the other party is either “edi wow” or the getting-popular new one “shut up ka nalang (Just shut up)”. If those two phrases doesn’t work, they use memes or articles from satirical sites to “prove” their points.

When I googled “smart-shaming”, do you know which are the first results? Its articles upon articles about the Filipino culture of smart-shaming. I love my country and I love its people, but for the love of God, why do we smart-shame? This is something that’s been bugging me ever since I was made aware to it. And up to now, I have no inkling on why.

Here’s a Rappler article that presents a more thorough discussion about the Filipino culture of smart-shaming.

Why do you think people smart-shame?

Because for the life of me, I want to understand.

xoxo, Richel V.

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura
    May 19, 2016 at 2:26 AM

    Wooow awesome post!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 19, 2016 at 11:20 AM

      Thank you.

  • Reply
    Mira
    May 19, 2016 at 12:09 AM

    I didn’t know that smart-shaming presented such a huge problem in the Filipino culture, that is unacceptable and I completely understand why it makes you angry. I also experience smart-shaming sometimes, only in a less obvious way. I think that people are afraid to change their ways and instead of challenging their own thoughts they attack others – and people usually only do that when they know they are wrong and actually feel pretty guilty. I sometimes experience similar reactions when talking about the meat/diary industry, people get incredibly defensive when getting criticised. xx

    113-things-to-say.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 19, 2016 at 11:31 AM

      I agree with those. There’s also a point where I think they resort to smart-shaming or standing for their beliefs even if they know it’s wrong because it’s something they’re been standing for for a long time and they don’t want to eat their words now. Idk. It makes no sense.

  • Reply
    Tiny May
    May 18, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    …And this is why I will never be “Proud to be Pinoy” or whatever it is that people there like to say. I personally find it embarrassing to admit that I was born (but not raised- thankfully) in the Philippines. I noticed this culture of smart shaming with my own relatives where they would much rather be good-looking than have any wit.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 18, 2016 at 10:36 AM

      This is one of the bad sides of the Filipino culture but I personally won’t let make me ashamed to grow up in this country. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re still a Filipino and if we give up on each other, then how will we learn and grow? Just my two cents. 😉 Still hoping this stops soon because any kind of shaming is just sad in general.

  • Reply
    Danica
    May 18, 2016 at 2:59 AM

    omg this post. I seriously thought of deactivating my facebook account during the election period because a news feed full of arguments and non-stop debates is the last thing I wanna see after a very stressful day at work. Like seriously it irks me when I see people doing that to someone who just stated his/her opinion.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 18, 2016 at 10:31 AM

      I wanted to deactive my social media accounts because I told myself I’ll stop getting into the conversations but then I see a really ignorant post and I just adhaksjaf. Looks like Leni will win the VP race so we can expect more of these posts in our feed for months. LOL.

  • Reply
    Weyn
    May 17, 2016 at 1:43 AM

    The stuff I’ve read online this election season has got me so stressed and angry. As much as I want to engage and enlighten them, I also feel like I need some peace lol Nakakapagod sila. Also: #LabanLeni!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 17, 2016 at 10:49 AM

      Like one of those newpaper twitter handler tweeted: “Yoko na pagod na ako”. I’d done my part by dropping a few facts here and there but I don’t bother replying anymore because the stress is not worth it. lol. Did Leni win yet? Ang tagal ng announcement. Haha!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 16, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    That kind of shaming is everywhere especially with retorts like, “Know it all!” or, “Smarty pants”, ; And honestly, there shouldn’t be shame in intelligence or wanting to learn. I rather be called Mrs. Smarty Pants than be ignorant forever.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 16, 2016 at 12:42 PM

      IKR? Nothing wrong with being smart. Ignorance is NOT a bliss. Especially if it’s their choice to remain ignorant.

  • Reply
    Kandice
    May 15, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Truth, I was kind of disappointed when Marcos didn’t win the election. Smart-shaming is a senseless. For me it looks like a person is not ready to accept defeat (strong word sorry) or not ready to move on with the topic. No offense but I noticed so many pinoy attitudes, not just this, and sometimes, those become laughing stock in different countries outside Philippines (true story, I heard a lot about this, it hurts me)

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 4:39 PM

      No official count on the VP yet, but I’m still waving my Leni flag.

      Yes, exactly! Not accepting defeat so they result to smart-shaming which just leads to them being a sore loser. It really sucks and sometimes I‘m the one embarrassed for them! Judging from the comments I received from this post, I can see that many other Pinoys feel really sad and embarrassed about this “culture” of us. I don’t even want to think what other nations think about it.

  • Reply
    Karen
    May 15, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    I hate it when people are smart-shaming. They make it seem like it’s wrong when you know things that they don’t know. And when they can’t accept it, all they say is “ikaw na magaling”. Bawal ba mag-share ng additional information? Haha. Ewan ko ba sa mga tao ngayon. Hahaha.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 4:02 PM

      I think it comes off like we’re attacking them for sharing information?? Even if sometimes they’re the ones who started the “debate”???? People these days.. SMH.

  • Reply
    JOYCE
    May 15, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    The Philippines: a country where you are insulted as intelligent. Sad but true. 🙁

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 3:52 PM

      Very, very sad. 🙁

  • Reply
    Aneth
    May 15, 2016 at 12:38 AM

    I can’t recall when did this become a trend. I guess people get “stupid” because of technology 🙁

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 3:53 PM

      Only the past few years! I blame free fb. Huhu. But really, this became more rampant when that free fb service went live! 🙁

  • Reply
    Alissa
    May 14, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    I hate it when people does this. Like, is that all they can manage to respond? “edi wow!”? well, “edi wow” to them too. LOL. Well, they can’t think of an intelligent way to answer back so they only result to respond to those pathetic phrases. Smh.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 3:56 PM

      What I hate the most is when they result to insulting a person personally (like based on what they look like on their fb photos) when they can’t think of any comeback anymore. Huhu. Edi wow. 🙁

  • Reply
    Dada Dominguez
    May 14, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    I’m waaaaay too excited to move on from this phase. I really wish this culture stops real soon because this isn’t helping with the progress that we all want. 🙁 And I can’t even begin to explain kung paano ‘to naging “thing”. Apparently, some people turn to crab mentality when in lack of a good,credible argument.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 3:58 PM

      I’m way over this since I became aware of it. I thought it was only select few people until I notice it on hundred of social media posts. This is even worse than crab mentality. At least crab mentality means that the person who’s doing it is advancing one way or another. This smart shaming is just… sad.

  • Reply
    Mimi
    May 14, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    OMG THIS POST! I KNOW RIGHT! Like, can’t we have a say on matters as well as they do? Apparently, smart-shaming has really gone up a notch this time. This culture needs to be stopped because I myself can’t completely understand as well.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 4:01 PM

      Yes!! I mean, people (I, personally) don’t mind debates and arguments as long as they have something backing up their claims or willing to expound on it. Smart-shaming is just really sad! I had a comment before that had like three or four people telling me that “Ikaw na may alam”. Kudos that others called them out on the smart-shaming and I wish more people get aware of what they’re doing. I hope this stops!

  • Reply
    Louise Ramos
    May 14, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Hands up to this post! The political heat right now is so intense that I just stopped commenting on all social media sites. Also because of the smart shaming thing. Pag wala nang masabi, kailangan magsmart shame? 🙁 This is one of the little reasons why progress takes so long (if not at all). We can’t even fix problems like this with ourselves, how can we expect our country’s problems to be solved? I just hope mawala yung Pinoy na attitude na ‘to in the near time.
    Lou | Caffeine Rush

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 4:05 PM

      I want to be positive but it seems to be getting worse day after day! I reckon it’ll be much, much worse if Leni won the VP title. I’m staying off social media then because I can’t handle (voluntarily) misinformed and ignorant people that only results to smart-shaming as defense! Ugh. They’re the worst.

  • Reply
    Luxius Ravenheart
    May 14, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    I really cant cope with this smart-shaming. Only stupid immoral people will bash the shit out of them, because they cant accept the fact that it really makes sense right? Smart-shaming results in idiocy of one person not even trying to understand the point given.. Such immoral insult to our fellow countrymen.. Your article proved justice can be done by simple effort. Unity and peace to all.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 4:41 PM

      Right?! I mean, what’s the point?! They’re not even trying to understand so they get offended and act out aka smart-shame the other person. It’s pathetic.

  • Reply
    Nerdy Maria
    May 14, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    I don’t know much about Filipino culture but I’m sad that smart-shaming is a thing there. It’s so wrong on all levels and I wish that there would be no shaming whatsoever. However, I have no idea why is it a thing. Maybe people are afraid that there are smarter ones out there?

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 4:06 PM

      I’m so sad that you had to learn about one of our bad cultures before you get to know the good ones, Leta! I still have no clue how to do it. And when I call them out on smart-shaming, they ended up doing it more. It’s really sad and maddening. 🙁

  • Reply
    Augustin Ra
    May 14, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    I’ve been into your shoes since I was a kid until now just because I have something to share in class which in fact almost made me cry last semester because I heard people talking and laughing at me for being Ms. Know-It-All. I love sharing and talking ideas especially if it’s very important such as the Martial Law, politics and whatever because it challenges us and at the same time, widens our horizon. I hope people stop smart-shaming and accept a friendly debate or discussion about an issue rather than making nerds stupid.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 15, 2016 at 7:35 PM

      I’ve experienced this since I was a kid too because I always classified as a “nerd”. It’s not until a few years later that I realized that it was a “thing”. And it’s a really stupid “thing” and I hate everything it stands for. So over this crap.

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