Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Letter of the Day

Published:Monday | November 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I read the article in this newspaper and saw it later on the newscast carried by both local television stations and witnessed a most outrageous and disdainful remark by A.J. Nicholson where he proffered a joke about flexi-rape, sotto voce, during the debate on the flexi-work bill in the Senate last Friday.

Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte had expressed valid concerns and possible implications which could arise when women are now subject to work at nights, the most obvious being the victimisation of women by rapists.

It is unfathomable that men could possibly find humour in the reference to rape against women in these times. It may very well be that such crude humour about a sensitive subject like sexual violence is frequently commoditised on television and in music which purports to give licence to make light of the subject.

While the culture of rape is not a new phenomenon, our sensibilities must guide us appropriately to treat it as the serious and unacceptable act that it is and to condemn those who carry out such an act to the harshest penalties under the law.

Such an unfortunate utterance that was allowed to leave the lips of a government minister like A.J. Nicholson shows the attitude that he and many other men who are not direct victims or physical perpetrators of sexual violence have. This type of attitude sets the tone for some men to choose to become enablers.

Senator A.J. Nicholson has reached a new low as an enabler and a government minister appointed to the Senate in his respected capacity to deal with the business of the people, with his crude humour about a sensitive matter to which there are hundreds of victims.

A.J. Nicholson, it is ultimately easy for you to joke and then apologise over your unfortunate utterances on the very real prospect of rape, of which many have been victims of and suffered psychological trauma. But at the end of the day, the joke is on you.

If you have nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut.