Friday, October 05, 2007

Stella Says…Guyana’s leaders need to leave the young women alone

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 07 October 2007)

I wonder if those who sexually molest young women ever ponder the consequences of their actions. Surely the humanity inside even these monsters would force them to contemplate the lifelong damage inflicted upon their young victims.

For whatever reason, even if there is a fleeting tinge of remorse, sexual predators disregard the severity of their injurious ways and choose to instead cause great physical, mental and emotional harm to these young women (and sometimes young men as well).

Which is why it is quite comforting to see the Ministry of Human Services take proactive steps to protect society from sexual deviants by initiating research that would provide the foundation to revamp the nation’s sexual offence legislation and violence against women and children.

A Stabroek News article from Friday stated, “The research found that a level of male violence is widely tolerated, reducing support for women who might otherwise report the criminal offences against them.” I saw a sample of this tolerance first hand this week in the letter pages of Kaieteur News.

In this newspaper’s Thursday edition, letter writer S.A. Peters was attempting to make a point that law enforcement response to shootouts does not come close to the response for lesser criminal acts.

Peters said, “Mr. Editor, this is Guyana, and riding without a bicycle light, riding a motorbike without a helmet, a drunken man slapping his wife for dinner, cussing the next door neighbour, fetching out dirt from a vacant plot of land, among other petty offences, will see the police in their numbers, armed with SLRs and other weapons, ready to slap the law book in the faces of folks who just deserve a warning, a traffic offender's ticket, or made to pay a little fine before the court.”

Please note that Peters likened a drunken man slapping his wife around because he wants dinner to trivial acts like riding a bicycle without a light, cussing out a neighbour or fetching dirt from a vacant lot. This statement is a perfect example of the tolerance society has concerning violence toward women.

In my opinion, if that husband wants dinner so badly – he can cook it himself or starve, but don’t dare hit that woman.

A huge victory was recently made for women in America when Warren Jeffs, a leader of a polygamist cult group, was convicted of two counts of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl by forcing the young woman into marriage and to have sex with her first cousin.

It is about time these twisted leaders were held accountable for the damage they inflict on young women. Last year someone told me about a Guyanese politician who had young women in and out of his house on a constant basis. I have also heard stories about a national leader with several young women on his lap at one time in a public place.

Albeit, these are just rumours and the girls involved were seemed to be above the age of consent, yet if this is true to any degree I cannot help but think that about the damage being inflicted on these girls that will last for the rest of their lives.

Do these leaders ever put their penises on hold long enough to consider the long-term ramifications of their actions? Those young women may think they are having a good time hanging out with “powerful” men, but one day it will dawn on them that they are being used and abused just to satiate the sexual appetite of an adult who should be helping them and knows better than to behave in such a distasteful manner.

These young women should be receiving worthwhile guidance from these leaders – not be expected to service their sexual desires. Legally these men may not be doing anything wrong since these girls would be old enough to consent to their actions, but morally these men are simply deplorable for what they are doing to these girls.

These are not the type of leaders Guyana needs. For heaven’s sake, I have daughters of my own and if I found they were being used by one of these perverted politicians I would make sure the entire nation knew exactly what had transpired and expose that “leader” for what he really is.

Any new sexual offence legislation being considered by the Ministry of Human Services may not be able to protect Guyana’s young women from these community leaders and oft times the girls do not listen to their parents’ good advice to stay away from such filth.

However, the people can demand a higher level of moral conduct from these leaders by exposing them at every turn until they are too embarrassed to show their face in public or to expect sexual favours from another young woman.

If society continues to turn a blind eye to this type of behaviour from leaders in the community – whether businessmen, politicians or other leaders – these young women will continue to be damaged just so a man can feed his ego.

If these men are so bent on their sexual satisfaction and they cannot get an intelligent woman who is their own age to listen to their nonsense for two seconds, let them get well acquainted with their own hand to find satisfaction – but leave those young women alone!

Email: StellaSays[at]

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