Sex never more risky—and STDs not to blame!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Kayra Wil­liams

For a minute or two last week I thought I was back in kinder­garten. Imag­ine be­ing sur­rounded by grown women gig­gling over a cell phone like naughty lit­tle girls en­joy­ing some­thing for­bid­den.

In this in­stance the for­bid­den fruit turned out to be nude pic­tures of a well known in­di­vid­ual cir­cu­lat­ing on the web. You may well ask, dear reader, what was so spe­cial of those images, keep­ing in mind the va­ri­eties of porn avail­able on the In­ter­net and else­where.

The fuss re­minded me of some­thing I’d read about the ex­tra mil­lions of Pent­house copies sold when word got out that the re­called is­sue fea­tured the lat­est Miss Amer­ica and an­other 19-year-old girl do­ing what they imag­ined would re­main pri­vate. Their trusted young pho­tog­ra­pher had given his word! Some­thing sim­i­lar hap­pened in­volv­ing Play­boy mag­a­zine and a young and naked Madonna. Is celebrity junk all that dif­fer­ent from the gar­den va­ri­ety?

Over the week­end nearly every­one I en­coun­tered wanted to talk about that pic­ture on the web and the fea­tured di­men­sions. The cen­tre of at­trac­tion had ear­lier been con­sid­ered just an­other politi­cian. Now a hail­storm of re­lated memes, jokes, and plain nasty and de­mean­ing com­ments had turned him into the na­tion’s most dis­cussed topic.

As for me, I aban­doned Face­book for sev­eral hours. But when I re­vis­ited, it oc­curred to me that for Saint Lu­cians at home and abroad noth­ing was more wor­thy of dis­cus­sion. True, we’ve al­ways been a na­tion of bul­lies; cy­ber bul­lies, even. But who knew the sit­u­a­tion could get this bad?

I couldn’t help won­der­ing what I would do if, in­stead of our un­for­tu­nate MP, I had been the one flash­ing to the world what only the spe­cially cho­sen were en­ti­tled to see. Kill my­self? Oth­ers in that sit­u­a­tion had done just that, I re­called. For cer­tain, some of my FB friends would abruptly aban­don me. Oth­ers would feign shock. No one would talk about how I’d been be­trayed by a trusted, even loved one. I’d be de­clared stupid, naïve, at best too trust­ing. Mean­while the back­biters would be hiss­ing: “Well, on the quiet she re­ally was al­ways a ho!”

As for the lat­est cy­ber fi­asco, there are sev­eral el­e­ments at play here: the MP’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to the pub­lic, for one. What ex­actly is it in this case? Who knows for cer­tain? That of­fice hold­ers should not en­gage in ex­tra-mar­i­tal ac­tiv­ity? Who would have the courage to pro­nounce him guilty of il­licit be­hav­iour that has al­ways been nor­mal be­hav­iour in Saint Lu­cia? I am not en­dors­ing, mind you, only stat­ing the in­dis­putable. I kept think­ing over the week­end of all those kids with gov­ern­ment-is­sued com­put­ers. I won­dered how many had lately used them for study, by which I mean school­re­lated study.

I was hope­ful for a fleet­ing mo­ment this week, with thoughts that per­haps the most re­cent case would en­cour­age abused women, in par­tic­u­lar vic­tims of cy­ber bul­ly­ing, to go to the cops. Then I re­mem­bered the count­less long-for­got­ten un­re­solved rape cases, and the un­told num­bers never re­ported. I thought about the fa­mous “one or two se­rial rapists in our midst”. Men, it seemed, have al­ways had the sys­tem’s tacit en­dorse­ment to abuse women with im­punity.

Might this mat­ter with the MP may be only the tip of the ice­berg? Black­mail via the In­ter­net? To be al­to­gether truth­ful, many men have cho­sen to pay up rather than be forced to de­fend at­tempted rape al­le­ga­tions. No sooner had the story bro­ken last Fri­day (it turns out it has been un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion since early De­cem­ber) than the al­leged black­mailer and photo dis­trib­u­tor ap­peared be­fore a mag­is­trate and was or­dered to post bail. As some­one noted, how ironic that the first per­son to land in such a predicament here turned out to be a wo­man, never mind that most vic­tims of cy­ber bul­ly­ing here are fe­male. It will be said that this might not have come as far as it has, had the al­leged vic­tim been a wo­man and not a par­lia­men­tar­ian. I’ll leave it at that un­til the court rules. Mean­while, there is this im­age in my head of a pow­er­ful man wag­ging his fin­ger and say­ing un­der oath: “I never had sex with that wo­man . . .” Is that what we’re likely to hear down the road? To that I say: “It all de­pends on what you mean by is!”

Women are of­ten vic­tims of sex crimes on the In­ter­net. Will the re­cent case brought be­fore the courts here set a prece­dent for fu­ture in­ci­dents in­volv­ing cy­ber bul­ly­ing?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.