December142013

Scarred

Scarred http://wp.me/sSQ7E-scarred

Guest post

Good evening. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Elmer, 22 year old Belizean youth that comes from a humble yet hard working family. Today it is important for me to share my story with you. I am speaking on the impact that my mother’s teenage…

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July72013

The current state of the law throughout much of the region and the practice in Barbados require urgent reform to treat the abuse of ALL children, as a class of criminality that deserves its own treatment as an act against our collective humanity and deserving the highest levels of opprobium.

In so doing however, the law ought to treat to the sexual abuse of children, in the instant case the abuse of boys, as conceptually distinct from the consensual sexual relations between adults.

CODE RED for gender justice examines the double injustice of the Caribbean’s buggery laws. Read full article here.
November302011
“Earlier this month a Trinidadian police officer refused to help a rape victim because she was naked. When asked if he could lend her his raincoat so that she could enter the station to report the rape, he refused. Two good samaritans then took her to her mother’s house where she dressed before returning to the station to report the rape.”

This CODE RED article looks at rape and responses to rape around the Caribbean, showing how misogyny, heterosexism and homophobia are connected.  

CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men. Join us on facebook, twitter or wordpress.

We really want to hear your responses to this article. What do you think?

June242011

Over her dead body: Nationalist rhetoric as (erasure of) violence against women
Natoya Ewers, a Jamaican woman, was hacked to death by her intimate partner, leaving behind three children.  I came across this Jamaican facebook page where the occasion of this woman’s death was used to denounce the fact that Bajans did not like Jamaicans.  Many users asserted that the woman should not have left Jamaica to travel to that third world full-stop of an island Barbados.  Absolutely no mention of violence against women.  No mention of the Jamaican women who lost their lives at home in Jamaica at the hands of intimate partners during that same week.  No mention of how increasingly violent Caribbean societies had become.  I told myself it’s just one facebook page.  Surely that is not most people’s reaction.  Then I saw the Jamaica Observer cartoon above and it confirmed my initial fears.
Caribbean feminist scholar, Alissa Trotz, has outlined how “women’s bodies [become] the site on which group loyalties are enacted.”  Not to be outdone, on the Nation News (Barbados) facebook page comments were also nationalistic as readers alleged that the man who committed the murder and subsequently killed himself was Vincentian.  They quickly moved from the nationalistic to the sexist:

But lets face the truth. Bajan women take and take and take and just take too much from men. Its not like the men can afford to give so much. Men feel compelled to give because its the only way they can keep these selfish bajan women. Bajan women have become a society of beggers.
Just say ” hello” to a bajan women and she wants a top up.

Of course, the other facebook users moved to correct the commenter quoted above, not to chide him for his sexism but to remark that the woman in question was not Bajan but Jamaica.   The stereotype of Caribbean women as mercenary, materialistic and financially dependent on men and these “facts” in and of themselves being presented as a justification of murder went unchallenged.
While the recent tensions surrounding the treatment of Jamaican nationals at the Barbados airport and the rape of a Jamaican woman in police custody explains in part this recourse to an unthinking nationalism, it does not explain why all the “talk” following this woman’s brutal death made absolutely no mention of  the similarity with so many other murders of Caribbean women and displayed very little feeling for the woman herself.   Reports are that she had confronted her partner about sexually abusing her daughter.  On local television one of her neighbours reported watching the woman’s murder from the safety of his bedroom window.
Women’s bodies are used as boundary-markers in what has become an asinine Barbados versus Jamaica beef played out at the highest and lowest levels.  Wasted time, talk and energy that could be put towards fighting against what is really at issue here: men’s violence against women, society’s sanctioning of it, incest and child sexual abuse.
 image source: Jamaica Observer 
CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men.  Join us on facebook.

Over her dead body: Nationalist rhetoric as (erasure of) violence against women

Natoya Ewers, a Jamaican woman, was hacked to death by her intimate partner, leaving behind three children.  I came across this Jamaican facebook page where the occasion of this woman’s death was used to denounce the fact that Bajans did not like Jamaicans.  Many users asserted that the woman should not have left Jamaica to travel to that third world full-stop of an island Barbados.  Absolutely no mention of violence against women.  No mention of the Jamaican women who lost their lives at home in Jamaica at the hands of intimate partners during that same week.  No mention of how increasingly violent Caribbean societies had become.  I told myself it’s just one facebook page.  Surely that is not most people’s reaction.  Then I saw the Jamaica Observer cartoon above and it confirmed my initial fears.

Caribbean feminist scholar, Alissa Trotz, has outlined how “women’s bodies [become] the site on which group loyalties are enacted.”  Not to be outdone, on the Nation News (Barbados) facebook page comments were also nationalistic as readers alleged that the man who committed the murder and subsequently killed himself was Vincentian.  They quickly moved from the nationalistic to the sexist:

But lets face the truth. Bajan women take and take and take and just take too much from men. Its not like the men can afford to give so much. Men feel compelled to give because its the only way they can keep these selfish bajan women. Bajan women have become a society of beggers.

Just say ” hello” to a bajan women and she wants a top up.

Of course, the other facebook users moved to correct the commenter quoted above, not to chide him for his sexism but to remark that the woman in question was not Bajan but Jamaica.   The stereotype of Caribbean women as mercenary, materialistic and financially dependent on men and these “facts” in and of themselves being presented as a justification of murder went unchallenged.

While the recent tensions surrounding the treatment of Jamaican nationals at the Barbados airport and the rape of a Jamaican woman in police custody explains in part this recourse to an unthinking nationalism, it does not explain why all the “talk” following this woman’s brutal death made absolutely no mention of  the similarity with so many other murders of Caribbean women and displayed very little feeling for the woman herself.   Reports are that she had confronted her partner about sexually abusing her daughter.  On local television one of her neighbours reported watching the woman’s murder from the safety of his bedroom window.

Women’s bodies are used as boundary-markers in what has become an asinine Barbados versus Jamaica beef played out at the highest and lowest levels.  Wasted time, talk and energy that could be put towards fighting against what is really at issue here: men’s violence against women, society’s sanctioning of it, incest and child sexual abuse.

 image source: Jamaica Observer 

CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men.  Join us on facebook.

June232011

Jamaica: Televangelist Paul Lewis walks free despite compelling DNA evidence against him in a case of child sexual abuse. Paul Lewis thanked God for his acquittal but CODE RED has a different take on why DNA evidence was not enough to secure a conviction: 

No matter what DNA evidence the defense brought it did not stand a chance against the belief, held by many, that a 14/15 year old is not a child and can either consent to sex or is considered “fair game”. Pun intended. I don’t think for a minute there was any doubt that he did in fact have sex with the girl in the presence of the other teen. But convincing people that that is wrong, an abusive of power and that it is rape, that is the hurdle the defense team faced. God had nothing to do with Paul Lewis’ acquittal. The UNICEF report on attitudes to child sexual abuse and incest in the Caribbean explains why Paul Lewis walked free.

CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men.  Join us on facebook.

June132011
November262010

The Justice for Children March took place on November 20, 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago and is part of a wider campaign to strengthen children’s rights and eliminate incest and sexual abuse.

September102010

VIDEO: Vigilante Justice and Child Sexual Abuse

By now you would have seen the video of attempted vigilante justice in Barbados following the alleged rape of an 11-year old girl (link below).

Here are some reactions from around the web.  They do not represent the opinions of CODE RED.

1. Intriguing the way this event is played out and the multiple roles women locate themselves in this space given the accusation.

2. Hmm, this video is so very interesting on many fronts, all of those working class people have blackberrys, it is amazing. Also because the woman took control and basically told the guy to back of and he did almost in a maternal way and backed off. Some of the men seemingly protected him as well.

3. I “know” that lady in the orange. Met her at a nail tech in Bridgetown. I think her husband is a [edited] so maybe she/they is/are community leaders and that’s why she had so much influence over the guy. This video is a joke though - it ain’t saying nothing.

My reaction

i think the men were only too happy to have her intervene to stop them from seriously injuring him. looked like a lot of masculinist posturing more than anything else. by the time they stopped the crowd became more sympathetic towards the alleged perpetrator. you could hear people saying that the girl could be lying, that he did not actually rape her etc. by and large though most of them treated the entire incident as entertainment. you could hear them repeating the details of the rape “de man eat pussy and ting den” and taking delight in videotaping the brief beating of the man and boasting that it would be on facebook. the 11 year old girl is lost in all of this. even if he didn’t rape her, somebody did. these stories don’t just come from nowhere.

What’s your reaction?

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=158674797481190&ref=nf

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