Weekes related an incident where she was mocked and laughed at by a group of female students while trying to speak to them about staying away from same-sex relationships.
“I was at this particular school telling a group of females that lesbianism is wrong. These 14-year-olds just laughed at me. To them it was just a joke,” she recalled.
“Parents need to know that same-sex relationships are a big thing out there, and it is often hard to detect because females are usually chummy with each other.
source: Nation News Barbados
i just wanted to say that the reaction of these young women- their rejection of homophobia, compulsory heterosexuality and the disciplining of their bodies- gives me faith that we may realise our audacious vision for a Caribbean in which all people have a right to a good life.
The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to the exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need – the principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment. Such a system reduces work to a travesty of necessities, a duty by which we earn bread or oblivion for ourselves and those we love. But this is tantamount to blinding a painter and then telling her to improve her work, and to enjoy the act of painting. It is not only next to impossible, it is also profoundly cruel.
Source: Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power.
What does erotic mean to you?
We want to articulate a politics that is larger than our immediate interests and larger than our immediate environment. Yes, the personal is political but we are defining the personal to include our responsibility to community. What a student feminist organisation can do is put feminist knowledge in a form that is accessible beyond the academic community using social media, supporting relevant causes and building networks within and across Caribbean societies and supporting each other here on campus through informal networks. As students we recognise tertiary education to be privilege and not a universal right. The recent IMF-recommended freeze on subsidies for tertiary education in Jamaica serves to remind us of the privileges and responsibilities that come with access to tertiary education.
One of our responsibilities as Caribbean students ought to be the refusal to be seduced by patriarchal pleasures. By patriarchal pleasures I refer to the system of rewards and privileges for being a “good” woman or a “good” man—middle class, upwardly mobile, heterosexual, conformist, consumerist, serviceable. When we allow ourselves to be seduced by patriarchal pleasures we are really reinforcing the very system which creates geographies of exclusion and which excludes many Caribbean people from the right to a good life— a system which by its very nature must have a large number of drop-outs—bodies, people, places which do not fit. Anxiety over Caribbean women making gains in education is energy wasted and misdirected. Attempting to lure men to university with rewards of masculinity, to discipline women university students with threats of being unable to find a man is energy misdirected from the urgent task of building a Caribbean with less drop-outs and ensuring that the Caribbean itself is not “dropped out” of global significance.
Rejecting patriarchal pleasures does not mean a rejection of pleasure. As a student organisation we see ourselves as inciting students to change through the embodiment of an erotic feminist ethic. If we understand ourselves as having the capacity to experience bodies, knowledge and learning in radically different ways we can begin to do the work that is necessary for us to realise a loving freedom.