According to the Guyana Police Force statistics for the month of July 2016, there has been a 17% decrease in reported rapes from January to July 2016 compared to the same time period last year (243 in 2015 to 201 in 2016). While this can be looked at in a positive light I still believe we have more work to do.
Sadly, our social protection ministry has got a long way to go in curbing this social ill and calling rape by its name will be a great way to start. Unlike the stance taken by Minister Lawrence, we cannot sugar coat things. We cannot continue to empower predators by calling rape de-flowering, like Minister Lawrence continues to do. Further, rape survivors must never feel that such heinous acts aren’t been given the attention they deserve. We cannot continue to sweep rape under the rug.
More importantly, our boys and men need to know that we must be allies to our women folk. As a result, I will continue to raise awareness about sexual violence and its negative effects. Earlier this year I made a blog post about the negative impacts the notion that IT’S A MAN’S WORLD! has had on our society. Inspired by said blog, and under the theme Eliminating Social Ills, I entered the Golden Jubilee’s National Poetry slam with a spoken word piece called Man To MAN. Though making it to the finals and not winning my message was heard. I believe this issue still needs to be ventilated, whether spoken or written because the Guyana I want says No to sexual violence!
Spoken Word| MAN TO MAN
Over the years I developed a morning ritual. I would wake up, get out of bed and after I would have relieved my bladder, I would spend sometime staring at my mirror.
Most times I am proud of what I see, but at times my mirror would stare back at me with accusing eyes. As if it is trying to coerce a confession out of my reflection. And since I am a firm believer in introspection, I often wonder if my reflection reflects the true me. Or if it’s just a facade of my real identity, because I am conflicted between whom I am and what I may be.
So, hi I am Terrence, and man to man I am a potential rapist. Well at least that’s what they say in the statistics, since 99% of rapes are committed by males. And according to some females, my male gender makes me the perfect predator. Which makes your sister, daughter, son, brother my potential prey, but then again that’s what they say.
But man to man, what says you? Will you accuse me the same way too? Can you look me in the eyes, and tell them that is all lies? Or have you recognized that our genitalia is the flag pole we hoist patriarchy upon as we stand at attention as hypermasculity is allowed parade and fester like maggots, in the necrotic wounds of bigotry we are yet to debride.
So we respond in kind with the notion that boys will be boys. Until boys become men trapped in prepubescent minds. Using their penises as toys, to play the childish game of cocks and robbers. Stealing the innocence of our women and children.
Yet we nonchalantly brush it aside since boys will be boys. Until boys become men with monsters as friends. The wolves in sheep clothing and the vampires that feasts on our dignities.
But man to man tell me are you afraid of the dark? And the creatures that leave their marks, on the minds of our loved ones? The demons that think no means yes. And her dress screams yes, so yes it must be her fault, since clearly she asked for it.
But since when does anyone ever asked to be rape? But if you listen carefully and concentrate you will never hear of a consent rate. So I have to ask, man to man, can rape really be consensual? Because that seems very nonsensical, and illogical.
And it gets to me that all this buzz is due to my phallus.. see? Especially when we have a penal system that is filled with many fallacies. So tell me, how we can end rape culture when rape is we culture? Particularly, when we have a sexual offence act, that fails to act whenever the offence is of a sexual nature.
But we have accepted it as our fate, cause as a country we still have a date with rape. And I guess we must have all been roofied since the amnesia of the past mistakes hadn’t worn off. Because now, we aren’t convicted by the fact that our convictions are below one percent and that our men and boys are still confused with the definition of consent. But if you must know there is only one definition for No! And that is still no.
So man to man, take it from me. That our brothers keeper we must be. To eliminate the scourge of sexual violence. To be the megaphone that breaks the silence. Because it is on us, to regain the trust of our women folk so that our boys will become men who are proud of the reflection they see.
~ Terrence Isaacs.