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IMMERSED IN AN ORGY OF VIOLENCE

Published: 
Sunday, December 18, 2016

It is encouraging that various women’s groups have raised awareness and focused our attention on the uninhibited and vicious violence against women that is structured into this society. Now what? Where do we go from here? During the post-carnival period (2016) similar feelings of outrage, fear and wonderment overcame us over the killing of the Japanese pan player.

Regularly on weekends, we see religious groups marching for peace; and then what?

We return to the norm to await the next rush of violence against women. In the meantime, though, the violence in all its forms against women inside and outside of domestic relationships continues on occasion self-directed and perpetuated through young woman against young woman; young man in school uniform against young woman.

Recently, a video of a named dance hall rapper sexually brutalizing a female teenager to the delight of others surfaced. When the primitive wining ended, the “dancehaller” all but flung her away. But not before she unsuccessfully attempted on a couple occasions to prise herself away (overcome by the dog-chook wining, she, bent over, her head almost touching the ground and he repeatedly slamming his crutch into her rear end). But before he discarded her like a piece of used material, he dragged off her hair extension; she scampered out of the view of the camera her innate humanity crushed.

It was an act of total disrespect by him and his living out what he perceives as his role as a sexual predator demonstrated in song and motion. On her part, she had submitted to the notion of herself and her gender as being nothing more than an object for sexual degradation.

But the story does not end there. Providing the backdrop to the act of shame were a couple dozen young people, mostly females. They screamed their acclamation of the act, perhaps even vicariously wishing it on themselves. There must be a line in some dancehall song/act which validates it all.

How does the society begin to uproot what has become cultural practice at least amongst a cohort of the school population in this generation immersed in an orgy of violence?

Political leadership has failed to devise policies and programmes to turn back the violence; the security services have not been able to detect, strangle and begin to root out the culture and those who perpetrated the violence. Groups of parents; our religious leaders; teachers; and our social services have been reacting without being able to develop and spread a programme of prevention and social nurturing away from criminal violence.

Allow me to suggest (without claiming specialist knowledge of and solutions to the problems) there must be a broad understanding by us of societal violence and our acceptance of the responsibility to combat it. We, with the correct leadership of the many rather than the old model of the philosopher king, must take charge to establish institutions for human development education.

We have to take responsibility for parent education and transformation of those mores which are negative in the upbringing of our children.

One psychologist, Wendy Jeremie, and a concerned other from the Maloney area, have taken it upon themselves to establish a practice of healing for the victims of criminal brutality—Mothers of the Missing and Murdered (Mommy).

It is an example of what can be done and must be done by individuals and small groups. Wayne Chance, back then, newly out of prison completely without resources but possessing/perhaps possessed by the will to do something started Vision on a Mission to rehabilitate and reintegrate people coming out of prison to prevent them returning there.

I interviewed and Facebooked (the latter through the skill and understanding of my daughter) with a number of young people with great ideas, even intentions, to become active, including the will to confront, if it becomes necessary, the political directorate to conceive of and implement measures to counter criminality. What can we all do?

We need to force upon the Minister of National Security the agenda of reforming the prison system. We need to instigate the reorganization of a judicial system to prevent hundreds of people languishing inside prisons (in the process creating hardened criminals) for periods of up to ten years without their matters being heard by a magistrate. The plea by Archbishop Harris for mercy to be extended to such people has fallen on deaf ears.

My view is that at the core of domestic and other forms of violence in this society against women is a belief and categorization of women primarily as objects of male sexual attention. The fashion designers create and perpetuate that sexuality. Our advertisers exploit women and their images to sell every kind of product and service imaginable.

A recent report by the Inter-American Development Bank concludes that income inequality, subservience of women in the political culture, in the world of business “is a reflection of culture and a belief system that perpetuates and accepts inequality. Such vulnerability is also reflective of a legislative system that has not adequately addressed the issue of gender equality.”

In the immediate, there have been suggestions of legalizing pepper spray, women being counselled into being conscious of their surroundings, parenting and nurturing men away from the notion of being able to use violence to subdue women, sex education in schools, and a relevant gender policy.

We have to commit ourselves to action.

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