The marriage liturgy for example for centuries is designed to make the one with the lesser power basically victimized and sets up some of the present skewed power differentials. Who ‘gives’ the wife away as if she is some piece or property? or we talk about pregnant teenage mothers but what if the name for the men who got them pregnant? I guess ‘normal’; we talk about nymphomaniacs but what about the men who can’t get enough? They are praised as bed killers or strong; the problematic business of tops and bottoms in terms of questions of control and how we buy into it to legitimize hetero-normative confirmation to feel accepted. Unlearning some of that role play reliance is so critical in solving some of the intimate partner issues.
The impacted person may not be even aroused, interested or seeing certain body functions at work yet she is forced to lay there as a log and put up with the torture with all kinds of thoughts in her head, including whether or not to report the matter to the police or tell other family members and in-laws; she might just be re-victimised all over again or called a liar in order to make her way out of the union or for money in a victimhood shakedown. The reliance on biblical texts such of those of apostle Paul where on one hand he equate men and women as equal where he encourages marriages seeing that he thought the second coming of Christ was near but by the time he gets to other letters to the saints he elevates the role of men and effectively makes women in relationships second fiddle whilst also suggesting women also have no role in the church leadership. Male privilege I suppose.
Secular heterosexual relationships are the same thing as recent news stories and public awareness programs suggest, some of that is influenced by dancehall in large part as in a kind of art imitating life women are just sex objects that when seen women in bag-a-woman thinking and ‘produce a yute’ as a marker of virility, single men or men without children to a certain extent as still suspected to be gay or a ‘fish’. Similarly the woman or common law wife has to ‘give it up’ when the man needs it and it gets worse when there is alcoholism involved. If ever a condom is discovered by the man in possession of the woman things can turn for the worst as she will be accused of cheating on the man and he launches the ‘consent! Because you’re mine’ and trying to escape can be problematic as a recent case showed and the woman was killed by the man who then in turn tried to commit suicide. Obviously there are other psychologies at work which the experts have been trying to simply for the public’ awareness but the rapid succession of cases suggests that there is a lot of work that is to be done. The family unit is the main corner that religious minded and conservatives tend to focus on but often nicely overlook abuse in the church as recent rapid succession of court cases shows.
Same gender component
While in this part of the equation long term relationships might not be the norm power differentials play out for purposes of control more so than sex but the lesser powered person is expected to consent or raped if they resist often done bareback which raises the STI and HIV transmission problems, the intended target is usually the physically weaker individual as part of the group dynamics overall. A similar challenge occurs in the prison systems, and other types of correctional residences the prison wife phenomenon or downlow activity can spill over into all out abuse in a single sexed febrile environments. A hierarchy of sorts already in existence in the homeless group only plays over in the point of least resistance on the part of the perpetrator and adolescent victim in particular are impacted by aggressive older men, the abuse may include forcing persons to go out and earn usually via commercial sex or robbery as well (the unusually high phone robberies in recent times) and can also have a promotional benefit in terms of the hierarchy or pecking order of the unofficial leadership of the group.
With power differentials in many of these unions there is often time no option to say; violence often associated with sex in music for example seems to be a driver of this, so the ‘wuk’ is not done until there cries of pain as evidence of good sex is complete. Sadly femme types in some unions are either forced into submission, or subscribe to the she beats me because she loves me thinking which is given credence by popular singers or ruff sex makes me legitimate in my partner’s eyes. Rihanna’s “Love on The Brain” & the ‘He beats me ‘cause he loves me’ issue was dealt with in a previous post on Gay Jamaica Watch, I looked at the lyrical content especially the refrain which said in part:
“Baby, you got me like ah, woo, ah
On the gay or bisexual side the same relationship abuse also occurred, by observation over the years it gets pretty peculiar when there is a bisexual man involved who is paranoid downlow and who may be married struggling with his sexual orientation, the partner is expected to keep the secret in order to keep up appearances elsewhere but when he needs some ass the consent! Because you’re mine slips in. Such men tend to take on less physically powered men that can be controlled and the point of least resistance is advantageous. In a previous post I looked at the legal implications in terms of reports to the police when it’s male lovers in an abusive setting; lesbians might have a better customer service experience literally in the precinct as opposed to one male accusing another; then there is the buggery law issue, the report non-consent involving anal penetration technically can land the accused or even the receptive partner depending on the details with a buggery charge or grievous sexual assault. Referrals to the requisite expert is one thing but what about the perpetrator; not many victims are willing to go all the way to a court case given the fear or exposure, retaliation and a sentencing that effectively re-victimized them all over again. The police engagement by way of reporting may only be limited to physical abuse or intimate partner violence without the sexual component which may be hard to do. The best solution is to try and leave the environment but barring any specific legislation for same gender couples especially men that may make the victim immune to a charge of buggery while going after the assault options are limited.
Peace & tolerance