Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Men, use the head on your shoulders

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM


On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, The Gleaner carried a letter titled 'Vagina not public property, but are women asking for it?' by Mr C. Richards. This was in response to an article titled 'My vagina is not public property' by Ms Karen Lloyd (Sunday Gleaner, August 3, 2014).

In his letter, Mr Richards suggests that a woman's mode of dress may be responsible for the unwelcome and uninvited sexual advances of horny men. To buttress his argument, he draws four analogies with the way a woman dresses and the responses she elicits: 1) items in a market; 2) dresses displayed in shops; 3) items in hardware stores; and 4) free testing of commodity for limited time.

May I suggest another analogy? Works of art displayed in a gallery. Here you may look as much as you wish, but are prohibited from touching the exhibits. A woman's body, however clothed, is a glorious work of art to be admired, respected and treasured, not to be gawked at or groped.


Mr Richards rightly condemns the uncouth behaviour of the men in Ms Lloyd's scenario but goes on to display a pathological ambivalence that besets our society by blaming the young lady in said scenario. The issue is not the woman's mode of dress but the man's presumptuous responses. It is very disconcerting to continue to blame women for the various indiscretions of men rather than addressing the real issue of self-control and respect.

Ms Lloyd's article has elicited a great deal of responses; unfortunately, none has sought to address the real issue: Does a man have the right to touch a woman without her consent? Respondents have touched on a number of issues, including prostitution.

A prostitute offers herself as a commercial commodity and she will advertise and entice, as all sensible businesses do. However, she will not allow you to touch or sample her product until a commercial agreement is established. You want it, you buy it. Then and only then you are allowed to use the product, and only according to the sale agreement.

My fellow men, may I remind you, your brain is not as small as you think. You only need to switch your gaze from the head in your midsection to the head on your shoulders, and would be amazed at the much higher thoughts of which you are capable.


Red Hills PO, St Andrew