CODE RED Slammed!

Letter writer indicts the work of CODE RED for Gender Justice, CatchAFyah and the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies for “denigration of the Caribbean male” and the promotion of (male) homosexuality.

He argues that what we, as feminists, are concerned with is domestic violence and that “progress is being made” in that area. Our efforts are therefore deemed unnecessary and completely misplaced since what we are really doing is seeking to promote homosexuality, he argues.

You can read his letter here.

What do you think?

New Multimedia Collection on Homophobias in the Caribbean

Theorizing Homophobias in the Caribbean: Complexities of Place, Desire and Belonging is a a digital multimedia collection of activist reports, creative writing, critical essays, film, interviews, music, and visual and performance art reflecting the complexities of homophobias in the Caribbean, while also expanding understanding of Caribbean sexual minority experiences and activism in the region and its diaspora.

There’s a lot there. I began my tour with Charmaine Crawford’s critical essay “‘It’s a Girl Thing’ Problematizing Female Sexuality, Gender and Lesbophobia in Caribbean Culture”. Excellent, well written, highly analytical read.

Crawford analyses how Caribbean lesbian lives are rendered invisible through Caribbean feminist analyses which take women to be always already heterosexual and sexual citizenship activism which often focuses on gay men.  While Caribbean lesbians often escape public homophobic violence which is meted out to gay and gender non-conforming men, Crawford reveals the “private” violence to which they are subjected.  Her analysis demonstrates how heterosexism and gender ideologies coalesce to render Caribbean lesbians as disruptive women who breach societal norms about both gender and sexuality.

I’ll definitely be coming back to this collection again and again.

Image source: Globe writer

Activism, Nationalism & Reponsibility

Earlier this week I came across this Tribune 242 article about a local politician taking to twitter to denounce birth control.  It contained the following line:

 “He referred to women who use oral contraceptives as “murderers” who should be hanged, as they are touched by the devil’s evil hands.” (paragraph 6)

I wrote this post in response and it was shared 192 times on facebook.

Someone who identified himself as the politician to whom the comments were attributed categorically denied ever having said that women who use contraception should be hanged.  I immediately updated the post to reflect his comments.

However, he was not the only one who took offense at my blog post.  On local message-boards some persons felt that the blog post tarnished the national image of The Bahamas on an international scale.  They said that as activists we “had gone too far” and did not take into account the damage that could be done to the country’s image by giving even more mileage to the opinions of just one man.  (FYI, we were not the only once to denounce his comments.  There were multiple rebuttals and follow up stories in the local press by local journalists. We actually learnt about his comments through once such rebuttal and then checked out his twitter feed for ourselves)

What do you think?

Was our post much ado about nothing? Was it irresponsible?

Did we give unwarranted mileage to what is clearly a minority view?

Does our responsibility as activists extend to ensuring that Caribbean countries do not “look bad” internationally?