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Posts: 83

« on: December 01, 2016, 04:56:43 AM »

Trini women join #lifeinleggings movement to raise awareness of sexual harassment


Tales of sexual harassment and sexual and domestic abuse at the hands of men in Trinidad and Tobago are circulating on social media as women join the Life in Leggings hashtag.

Created by two Barbadian friends,Ronelle King and Allyson Benn, the hashtag is aimed at highlighting women's sexual assault stories to show men that the experiences are not just the domain of a few.

“The hashtag encourages women to share their sexual assault experiences with men so that the men on their timeline would be forced to acknowledge that every single woman they know experiences this from the "ghetto" to the "bourgeois" as well as from their "daughters" to their "mothers"," King told Loop Barbados.

She explained that #LifeInLeggings was chosen because leggings are the main article of clothing that are considered ‘slack’ and almost every woman from all walks of life owns a pair.

 “I've always been outspoken about injustices in society but after observing the comments on Sherri-Ann Norris' video and seeing that some men were attempting to justify their abhorrent behaviour that I realised something else needed to be done," she said.

Norris is a Bajan blogger who sparked controversy when she spoke out on the issue of street harassment.

Women all over the Caribbean have been sharing painful stories from their experiences from childhood into their teens and adulthood.

Stories range from sexual abuse at the hands of relatives and family friends to comments from men on the street.

The hashtag has engaged the attention and support of women's groups all over the Caribbean.

"The fact that the hashtag has gotten so much traction throughout the Caribbean speaks to the importance of the space it has created for Caribbean women to talk about their experiences of abuse. We can see that for many women their sharing has been deeply cathartic, especially in the face of prolonged silence, fear and shame. It seems that this moment is what so many of us have been waiting for because it has made visible a whole community of women who share similar experiences and from whom we can draw strength to share our own," said Stephanie Leitch of Womantra.

She said at the political level, the visibility of this type of movement is critical to highlighting some of the major institutional failures of governments to protect women.

"This, in a region where three of the top 10 rape rates in  the world occur in the Caribbean (SVG, Jamaica & Bahamas) and ALL Caribbean countries have a higher rape rate than the global average. The stories of these women are shocking enough but when coupled with these statistics it paints a very dark picture. I  mean I don't know if twitter can change the world but if you get enough women talking, who knows what the possibilities are for movement building across the region around sexual violence; organising has begun.

"Already there have been lessons learned or rather just reminders of how difficult it is for women to grieve their own situation, unburdened by the responsibility of protecting male egos and justifying their victimhood. The cyber attacks on women by men who have created a narrative of conspiracy is deeply hurtful and reminds us of just how much work is still needed. As a beginning, we challenge all men to listen to the women who are sharing their stories and offer no judgment or advice," she said.
Posts: 83

« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 06:19:22 PM »

Here are some of my #lifeinleggings stories:
 #lifeinleggings hating to travel home on the rare occasions I had to because my taxi stand is by a bar; it didn't matter that I was wearing my school uniform as men would still make vulgar comments to me.

Being in UWI at night studying and a strange male offered me a massage because I 'looked stressed' and I politely declined because we were both alone and I didn't want my rejection to upset him. He then insisted that he should give me a massage to which I continued to politely decline having to wait a while before leaving so that I don't appear scared. Only for the next day to see the said male who decides this time he can just grab me.

Having to politely reject sexual advances by males and 'compliments' because of fear of getting cussed out.

Actually getting cussed out for not responding to catcalls when walking down High street.

Rejecting a male because I did not feel the same only to be called a lesbian. 

Getting asked "well what yuh come here for" after refusing to give a man a wine at a fete.
Those are the not too personal ones.
Posts: 1523

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 09:47:44 AM »


By Sherene Kalloo
December 05, 2016 - trinidadexpress.com

“BABY yuh %@$# *&~# want some luvin!”
I literally froze when I heard a man shout this at a woman in a mall car park as she walked to her car. He did not stop there. He proceeded in the must vulgar way to tell her how good his “oral” skills were and how he was certain she never had a good #*&%~ before.
The woman kept her head lowered, increased the pace of her footsteps and looked relieved as she jumped into her car.
The man stood there, a nasty smirk on his face as he leaned against his car looking for another victim. He had no regard for the woman or that there were children around. All that mattered was the expression of his sick mind through verbal vomit.
I was enraged. I wanted to ask him if he had a wife, a daughter or sister and whether his mother would be proud of his actions.
I kept my mouth shut, gave him a “bad eye” and proceeded to my own car. I was disgusted but I understood why the woman ignored him and went her way and why I had to do the same.
You never know what could happen. You never know if standing up against such vulgarity and disrespect could incense the attacker and trigger a violent tantrum.
I experienced it myself in medical school, the unwarranted and unwelcome sexually charged out-of-place comments and I did what women do—ignore.
Catcalling, verbal abuse, harassment and other forms of imposition on a woman’s right to be a woman are considered a norm not just in Trinidad but globally.
The Oxford Dictionary defines rape as: “The crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.”
The lewdness spewed by men on our streets, in our offices and even our homes is verbal rape because it is unwanted, it is against the will of women.
For centuries women have been silent until the rise in the number of feminist movements and courageous women showing that they too have the testicular fortitude to stand up against abuse.

Full Article: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20161204/editorial/lifeinleggings
Posts: 1263


« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 09:06:02 PM »

The poor conduct displayed by many males (as well as some females who have adopted negative aspects of machismo) is quite detestable. Many feel that they can say and do as they please and that females should tolerate them regardless. There is no excuse for such negative attitudes. However, as lengthily discussed elsewhere, it is understandable (meaning that one can analyse the conduct and assess why it is so) why some males feel that they can be nasty to females. Piggybacking on points raised on another thread, racism, colourism and perceived economic/academic status is a major factor why some females may accept some advances while rejecting others. There is an obvious double-standard that needs to be addressed in this regard as it relates to what some females perceive as verbal (and in some cases, physical) assault. Tied to this is that some males, usually working class males—many of them of dark skins who may have experienced rejection on all fronts—feel as though they can hurt females with their words and actions because they themselves hurt. They feel as though they are rejects of the system and are often treated as such. They receive the same systemic indoctrination as the rest of society and therefore desire the same status symbols as the rest, including the perceived sexual ideal(s). However, unlike others who may possess greater wealth, idealised looks, academic qualifications and so on, they know to themselves that the females they desire would not give them the time of day. They also are aware that despite the aggressiveness and arrogance of other more privileged males, many of these females respond favourably to their advances. Thus, with the awareness that it basically comes down to race, class and colour, the fact that some of these females may act snobbishly towards them when approached, and because they know that they cannot experience their desires without acquiring status items which may seem, for most, an impossibility, some of these males act in extremely vulgar and hurtful ways. In their view, they have nothing to lose. Such crassness is also a learned behaviour to handle rejection, or as a way of “taking front” because rejection is expected. On the other hand, people may also become victims of this crassness because of their own overt racism when dealing with others they perceive as lesser. Protecting male ego at all costs, especially in depressed communities where all other human dignities are repressed by wider society that tramples on you, shames you, ignores you, and mocks your very being, is considered essential for survival or, at the very least, for asserting some sense of belongingness.
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