Letter of the Day: Disturbing video and the society we now live in
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Monday, a disturbing video of a young girl being sexually abused by a young man went viral. The outcries since then have been for the young man to be killed, and questions have been asked as to the reason the young girl was at his home.
My primary question is: Are behaviours learnt or are they innate? One of the things I would want to focus on is how we can prevent a reoccurrence of this ghastly act.
For far too long, we have turned a blind eye to the things that shape a nation - values and attitudes. Generally, in raising boys and girls, our value systems differ. When a boy falls, we say, "Get up, man, and brush it off. Hey, try nuh cry, yuh nuh." If the girl falls, our immediate reaction is to run to her rescue, pick her up, brush her off and say, "Hush, Princess". Too many of us as parents do not take the time to bond with our children/teenagers, and so for the most part, we are in the dark as to their activities and/or thoughts.
I was speaking with someone who was recently baptised into the life of a garrison, the culture of which differs from that of the wider Jamaica. Although persons might relocate to other areas, their culture travels with them. The general female-to-female greeting, he explained, irrespective of age, is "big h**e gyal". When mothers are summoning their daughters, it is generally the same utterance. Boys are usually in the company of older men who share their sexual exploits.
Our music and movies normalise rough sex and teach that women should feel pain during the act. A boy/man dare not refuse sex from a girl/woman; his refusal means that he is less than a man or gay.
Turning again to the video in question. The young man has said he did not rape his girlfriend. In his eyes and those of many young men, he did nothing wrong, but had only taught a lesson to his girl who he said had "dissed" him.
It is said that the young lady has been communicating with the young man since the ordeal and has expressed her love for him. Do you still think that the way to go about this is to kill the young man and see the young lady as stupid? Shouldn't we begin to resocialise our children and encourage empowerment sessions at the community and school levels? We must expose our children to the laws of the land as well as the proper way to relate to each another.
It is time for us to become our sister's/brother's keeper. How different are those who are calling for the death of this young man. Isn't this violence?
The situation can be handled differently. There are consequences for actions, indeed, but let us examine ourselves and see how we have been engaging and interacting with children and the mixed messages taught, whether directly or indirectly. Let's join hands and hearts and change the way we socialise our children.