During the carnival celebration here, the murder of a Japanese national occurred. She was found dead and apparently strangled. As if this was not bad enough, the Mayor of the capital city made statements implying *not verbatim* (before even an autopsy was performed) that it was probably that she had engaged in vulgar action over carnival that provoked rape and death.
While this was purely premature speculation on his part it was clear that he was placing the blame of the victim’s death at her feet.
This is one of the few times that the usual laid back society in which I live seemed to be truly incensed. People took to social media, held protests and bombarded his office clamouring for his resignation because of his blatant sexist, misogynistic and all round poor judgement in making those statements especially given his office.
He subsequently “apologized” yet still insisted that there were some people who agreed with his original statement (therefore you still think you were right to say it?). He has been endorsed by the Prime Minister so he will not have to resign office despite the clear public outage.
I have never and will never understand the act of rape. I will also NEVER understand the attitude of – well she probably looked for it/ deserved it/ should know better because that’s just how men are attitude. It is so common now that rape is so loosely referred to and it seems that it is increasingly easy to find people who are willing to do it. I can’t and don’t want to begin to imagine that invasion of the body.
My body is mine. Regardless of what I wear, how I behave, and the things I do – it is MINE. Who has the right to decide I should be/ need to be/ can be raped AND by extension murdered? What are we teaching our boys/ men? Why has this act become so prevalent within society that it is treated in a flippant manner and STILL with victim shaming?
We have too many cases of babies being raped and elderly women … What act of vulgarity did they commit? We are not dealing with the real problem – why do men feel it is ok TO rape?
We have lost a young woman who travelled to our country because of a love for our culture and our national instrument – the steel pan – which many of US can’t play yet she came here to do so and THIS is the best that the voice that is supposed to represent us from a public office can say?
I teach girls. While I have a syllabus to teach… I don’t just teach what you need to know to pass the exam. I wish teaching was that easy – where I teach what’s on a syllabus and that’s it. But it’s not. I have to teach my girls about LIFE as well and what they will meet when they leave the confines of school.
It is not fair that the fact is that they will be at a disadvantage in the workplace because of their sex, at a disadvantage in the world because of their race- the reality that they are at a disadvantage in life because there were born female and not male. It is not fair that I tell them go out and be anything you want to be but I know that many of them may be forced to fail because of their very sex.
Is it remiss of me to ignore telling them about what or who lies in wait for them out there in the world? How are these the rules we as females live by? -:
Walk quickly and with purposeful action
Don’t make eye contact with men
Do not go to the bathroom alone when out – buddy system always
Do not leave your drink alone ANYWHERE or with ANYONE.. In fact just don’t drink
Be careful especially at night EVERYWHERE
Watch how you dress… Better yet don’t wear a dress…
Be aware of how you dance
Try not to get a man angry
Don’t make a man feel insecure
Don’t leave your children alone with a man – ANY MAN
In fact….. Just don’t go anywhere or speak to anyone!
Where is the trust? The respect? The supposed love FOR fellow humans? How would I treat with this if I had my OWN children?
It is a frightening world with innumerable unknowns. Responsibility must be taken by those in positions of authority for their part to play in endorsing the stereotype that women are to be seen (only when cooking) and not heard and if we are heard it is our fault whatever action is taken whether it be rape or murder.
I don’t believe all men are like this. There are good men out there (somewhere)… But there is always fear… Hovering in the back of our minds and I’m angry… Angry that I will let fear and distrust forever hinder the chance to believe a man when he says he is NOT that way.
Only WE collectively female and male can change the world. We have to demand more from ourselves and our peers and those who represent us as a people. I want a world full of love, respect, protective nurturing and without fear. I want better.