Call me trig­gered

The Star (St. Lucia) - - THE LIGHT SIDE -

Ifind my­self swoop­ing in on ev­ery at­tack on women I come across, whether in real life or on the In­ter­net. Last week it was racism tar­geted at dark-skinned fe­males be­ing spewed out of the mouth of a man who was, him­self, black. This week it was promis­cu­ity and, as usual, men and their ap­par­ent im­mu­nity to it, the sort of dis­tanc­ing that gives them room enough to con­stantly throw women un­der the bus.

Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I mean, we al­ready know how much the web re­ally is for some peo­ple the equiv­a­lent of down­ing a shot or ten, and act­ing upon that liq­uid courage in ways largely out of char­ac­ter. Or some­times . . . some­times all rum and Face­book have in com­mon is the fact that both am­plify per­son­al­i­ties that were there all along, good or bad.

But be­fore I stray too far from my point, I was scrolling through Fake­book the other day, as STAR pub­lisher Rick Wayne likes to call it, and stum­bled upon some­thing a lit­tle more real. Well, as real as a graphic car­toon image can get any­way: the image I saw fea­tured a woman lay­ing on a bed with her legs spread wide open, en­gaged in ap­par­ent sex­ual in­ter­course with one man, while four or five oth­ers stood at the bed­side watch­ing. The head­line above read: “Bitches get a lit­tle pop­u­lar­ity and for­get where they came from.”

Now, as you may well know, throw­ing some­thing like that out there is go­ing to get re­ac­tions. Face­book is al­ready as much a jun­gle as it is a plat­form upon which mean­ing­ful connections can be made, or al­ready ex­ist­ing friend­ships main­tained. Mostly, it’s just a place where peo­ple bully each other, or post shady memes for no rea­son what­so­ever, other than to feel bet­ter about their own lives. I’ve al­ways felt that the things a per­son shares on so­cial me­dia say more about them than about any­thing else.

But back to my point. I’m look­ing at this pic­ture and the con­ver­sa­tion it has sparked be­tween a few male Face­book­ers. They’re laugh­ing and hav­ing a grand ol’ time, talk­ing about the Saint Lu­cian phe­nom­e­non of run­ning a ‘next’ on a fe­male. The word im­me­di­ately brought me back to sec­ondary school where I’d heard it for the first time; from what I gath­ered, it seemed to have some­thing to do with post-pubescent boys ex­plor­ing sex for the first time, and find­ing a vul­ner­a­ble girl who, at best, would agree to have sex with more than one of the guys. In some cases there were ru­mours of rape, which the girls dared not come for­ward with, out of fear of their rep­u­ta­tions be­ing dam­aged even fur­ther. Still, it was one of those words you were sup­posed to know with­out ask­ing. For a young woman it was danger­ous ter­ri­tory, and one of those la­bels that could be at­tached to you for no other rea­son than hang­ing around the wrong peo­ple who wanted to build their rep­u­ta­tion at the ex­pense of yours.

But I know it’s hap­pened, both then and now. It still hap­pens in schools around the is­land, and I won­der if any­one ever gets the girls’ side of things. But even more so, I won­der about the per­spec­tives of those guys. How could they look at the ex­act same image that was in front of me and see noth­ing other than a woman who de­served to be bashed and crit­i­cized? What about the guys? The fact that they’d looked past those des­per­ate, sex-hun­gry males as they stood with their pants around their an­kles hov­er­ing over a lone fe­male, wait­ing for a bit of ac­tion, said more about them than any­thing any­one could’ve told me. They were not held to any ac­count of shame, and per­haps they never would be. Yet the woman who’d cho­sen to be in that po­si­tion, or per­haps hadn’t, was a ‘bitch’, and she needed to re­think her en­tire ex­is­tence, and for­ever hold her head down in shame.

Per­cep­tion is ev­ery­thing, but there are very few who can ac­tu­ally see.

Stars like Am­ber Rose and Blac Chyna have ad­vo­cated against the trend of slut sham­ing with their pop­u­lar ‘slut walks’ that call for an end of in­equal­ity and rape cul­ture, in­clud­ing vic­tim blam­ing and slut sham­ing of sex­ual as­sault vic­tims.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.