The recent standoff at a popular strip club between two women I witnessed and the almost boxing ring-like cheering by other men who saw the fracas as an exciting event complete with blow by blow shouts and learned commentary to boot; that incident alone in my mind denotes the challenges and the obvious need for self expression but masculine acting women feel in order to validate their masculinity act like, adopt or project strength via bravado as in the case of marginalized men in Jamaica. This is in the context as well of recent discussions locally and internationally on non binary persons and the changing expressions out there other than the standard LGBTQ and I.
Confirmed and unconfirmed reports still abound and a recent case involving the police sites the challenges that continue to occur.
Sex on demand whether one consents or not
Then there is ‘as you see me give me’ mantra as supported by popular music and indirectly legitimises sexual assault if ever so tendentiously; a woman or even men who are seen as weaker in gay liaisons is obligated in the minds of more aggressive types and there must be no resistance to same. Co-dependencies in liaisons also plays a role I have seen over the years, one party maybe unemployed or lesser powered and is cohabiting with another who is financially stable but sexually starved or preoccupied and seeks to fulfill such needs and tension in a union of sorts. The reciprocal need to please or satisfy the other while supposedly not ruffling feathers causes all other kinds of challenges as well. So because the lesser powered individual is under ‘my roof’ that individual is obligated to open their legs in order to remain in the home if not it’s the highway and this kind of arrangement tends to pop up in so called couch surfing assistance for forcibly evicted or displaced persons who seek or get help under the guise of genuine assistance. This kind of assault issues are not limited to lower-socio economic classes as time has shown that many cases go unreported and often is spoken of (the ones that do get released) years after the fact when persons have moved on and feel more comfortable when there is a feeling that their already lessened powered position won’t be further threatened.
Ignorance plays a role as well on the part of the impacted individual as they may not be able to pick up the signs of a grooming preparatory phase before the onslaught or demands for sex without getting the required consent. Now we hear the education minister raising figures of abuse from the Office of the Children’s Registry, OCR and CISOCA from 2007 to 2015 as 16,000 plus such cases but he never said how many were solved versus unsolved. Why are seeing this scourge becoming such a rampant feature?
Despite campaigns, interventions millions of dollars spent and grants disbursed the situation seems unmoved if not unsolved by such attempts. As visibility of LGBT life continues especially since 2012 on social media and such the issues that were once either hidden or under-reported and still are to a certain extent (I have no doubt) those attendant matters come forth. Is the oppressed while changing its position to holding some power adopting the elements of the oppressor? A recent radio discussion looked at the chicken and egg situation regarding dancehall music for example and whether the influences can be tagged there; but dancehall is merely mimicking life I say on the other hand, subject matter from the genre or out of it don’t just fall from the sky I imagine.
Matters of self worth, self esteem and so on has a lot to do with it my experience has taught me, if one is not confident in who one is then there are close links to the aforementioned co-dependencies which suggests changes in systems in education, raising of children, behaviour change (ongoing but seem ineffective) and mindset change first and foremost, but where is one to begin? With the obvious backwardness as displayed recently at the anti gay group Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society JCHS of so called concerns on sex education in schools and a call for a kind of purging of same albeit in an information age then it is no wonder some of our challenges continue; thinking hiding information from minds when said info is a literal finger swipe away on a device (maybe the JCHS may want to censor the internet later) then they are fools frankly.
Where are these voices like JCHS when the very sexual assault and related fears turns up in churches of all places or carried out by pastors on church sisters and the age old issue of clerical abuse via priests? Then comes the rubbish frankly by Dr Wayne West chief protagonist of JCHS that “I don’t want to peep in your bedroom” claiming that the fight is not about consenting adults, then if it is not about peeping into bedrooms so to speak and the false dichotomy about freedom of speech then where else would buggery be mainly committed by said consenting adults?
It is this backwardness and supposedly protecting children in a misguided attempted to purify minds that have kept many in ignorance and hence the sometimes ridiculous debates, accusations and counter accusations of sexualizing children. Does not this same group really sit down and listen to the dancehall lyrics that play on open radio every day? The very violence, sexualization and such are promulgated by the very religious right groups on some moral quest yet find it convenient to deliberately continue to conflates abuse with same gender sex in the continuous efforts to ‘other’ those who are not as they are. With pressures such as this from fanatics and a unaturalizing of same gender loving relations then it is no wonder to me that to gain some legitimacy by adopting negative constructs seen as acceptable elsewhere.
Peace & tolerance