Jamaica's 'rape culture'

Jamaica's 'rape culture'

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The National Association for the Family seems to be stuck in colonial Jamaica based on its delusional and closed-minded proposal given at the review of the Sexual Offences Act. The mere fact that an organisation that should be expert in the changing family structure in Jamaica and across the world doesn't understand that single-parent families are just a part of our natural evolution as a society, and certainly not a cause of rape within our society, is highly frightening.

Single-parent family structures are associated with Nordic ideals of what the family should be. Based on our colonial past it is understandable why our nation presumes that having a nuclear family will solve all our issues. The fact still stands, though, that many deviants of our society came from the typical nuclear family, while many successful people are from single-parented homes.

The issue of “bad families” lies solely with bad parents or guardians. Essentially the family structure of an individual has nothing to with whether he/she performs the inhumane act of rape. It has more to do with the type of society we live in, how we look at our women, and how we treat rape.

Jamaica, in fact, has a severe rape culture rooted in patriarchal ideals, which have become problematic for our women and men. Women within our decaying society have long had to deal with a rape culture that made cat calling, unwanted advances, and sexual objectification of our women okay.

To eradicate this rape culture within our society we need to treat rape with the most disdain socially and institutionalise it within policies we create to protect people. We need to criminalise marital rape and we need to call forceful sexual penetration of the anus rape, not buggery. Teach our young men that women are not property and unwanted sexual advances are wrong.

These are just a few other ways our society could tackle our rape problem. Our issues with the dying nuclear family is unwanted conversation in this matter.

Kimberly Roach


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