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not promoting the killing of women but…

not promoting in anyways the killing of women but if some of wunna hot pussy whores keep wunna foot shut might b living now

A former schoolmate of mine has posted his wisdom on how women in Barbados can avoid being murdered by former or current intimate partners.

Another woman has been killed.  A 22 year-old who loved her family, her two year-old daughter, whose baby sister just became a mom.  A mothering worker like so many other Caribbean women who supported her family while furthering her education. And who loved make-up.  A complex woman like all women.  A woman with a right to be. A right to a good life. Her name is Krystal.  A name chosen with much love and care.

We continue to fail women.  We continue to offer excuses and justifications for their murders.

She had a new man.

She mussee tek de man money.

Yuh want soldier man money? Tek soldier man blows!

She did horning he.

Women does provoke men.

Now the police are reporting that the majority of perpetrators of domestic violence in Barbados are non-nationals. Xenophobia masking misogyny.

The violence won’t end till the hatred of women ends. The violence won’t end till we stop blaming schoolgirls for men’s decisions to rape them. The violence won’t end till we end it. We all have to look deep inside ourselves and unlearn those lessons about the relative value of women and men, about what it means to be a man or woman, about love and what it looks like, about what kind of fate is waiting for us “hot pussy whores”, about whose lives are dispensable.

Let us remember the women murdered in Barbados this year in acts of gruesome, public violence. Let us honour their lives by choosing to do the daily work to unlearn harmful gender ideologies. Wherever we are, whoever we are we can choose to work toward transforming our societies. We can start by speaking up when the men and women in our lives seek to rationalise violence against women. We can tell them violence is never justified.  We owe at least this much to the women who should still be with us, to their families, to their children, to ourselves.

For

Kimberley Hinds, 24

Brenda Belle, 64

Denise Clarke, 41

Caroline Forde 49

Linda Tull

Krystal Lovell, 22

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7 thoughts on “not promoting the killing of women but…

  1. Margaret D. Hill says:

    Dear Code Red:
    Please know My Police Force does not speak for me, a Barbadian with this focus. It may also not be xenophobia you hear, but a frightened Leader of police who does not know how to respond to a frightening situation all right thinking people abhor, including most Barbadian police officers. To raise the scabre of xenophobia is to speak to motives. I can just as well accord his motives to fear for Barbadian women to avoid men whose backgrounds they do not sufficiently know.

    What he is not speaking to and may be afraid to say, is that he probably knows that policemen everywhere themselves are said to form a group among the men who perpetrate violence on women. They also get, like laywers and other officers of the court (mostly male but also female) to bear the least consequences of all perpetrators of violence against women.

    To rush to xenophobia is to pit Barbados and Barbadians against other countries in the region, for believe me, Barbadians love their country and are a little bruised right now and many will only hear xenopjobia. To rush to xenephobia as the police leader’s motives, is to deflect our interest about what is happening here.

    The call to love better which you direct to all of us, including the pussy-chanting former school friend is a good call. The call to have us see what is really at stake here is a wise call. We must put no boundaries on our compassion and those demands for right loving- not even for police who may or may not be Babylon.

    I pray I have not, myself, left the trail in this attempt to support better loving and no killing.

    Guidance and much love,
    Margaret D. Gill

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  2. Thanks for the comment Margaret. I’m working on a project called Eye2Eye with many other amazing women from across the region. We seeking to visualize and make widely available data on violence against women and girls as part of a regional campaign. Now that one “top cop,” as he’s been referred to in the press, has determined that non-Barbadians are responsible for domestic violence I worry about how a public conversation about violence against women in the region would be received locally. I can see it quickly devolving into “us vs. them”. I can see people refusing to hear what we’re saying because one man with a wide platform has had a chance to frame the issue in a xenophobic way, regardless of his motive. Ultimately, the claim that Barbadian men are not perpetrators of violence invalidates the experiences of MANY women.

    The country is reeling and many of us are unsure of how to respond in the face of such violence. I understand that fully. I’m not sure how to respond myself. But too many, with wide public platforms, misrepresent what is happening and further invalidate women in the process. And they need to be called out when they do this.

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  3. Diana Swan-Lawrence says:

    It is becoming quite common for some persons who hold high offices to misrepresent very important issues, especially in relation to gender-based violence and other human rights issues.

    Our education system needs revamping to include in the curriculum, gender and development studies as well as other human rights issues. This training should start at the beginning of the primary level right up to the tertiary level.

    We need leaders who are compassionate and hate any form of violence. We need leaders who love and care for people. We need leaders who will use their offices to lobby for the elimination of violence against women, children, elderly, differently able, LGBTs and other vulnerable groups.

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  4. Nalita Gajadhar says:

    Hi, taught my granddaughter to sing Mille-gone-to Brazil. It was part of a project at her school to learn local folk songs. You know the ones we sing at Independence, and even the one played during the National Independence Parade. I also took the time to explain to her what the song was about. Later she came back and said Granny No More Violence. We had also practiced that.

    Over the past year or so I have been commenting on the nature of the killing of our sisters. There were all absolutely gruesome. They were killings that I was not accustomed to.The nation was asking what was making our men so angry. I never considered the race or nationality of the sister or of her colour. That was until I worked with the friends and family of Mrs Belle. There in that small community I heard of so many instances of abuse. One women from whom I asked for a plastic cup for the candles gave me a pack. Her mother was killed in front of her when she was a child. Another showed her scars, some told me of the fights when she hit back cause there weren’t taking a beating from no man. The felt there was no place for them to go for help. These were women from Guyana who were surprised that I had even come to work on the Rally. And they were talking about Barbadian Men.

    The Commissioner, needed more time to phrase his comments. I do not think his intentions were to promote xenophobia, but for us to start looking at some of the cultural realities that we will face in this country and ways in which we as researchers, activist, social workers, policy makers and all of the others in this region must now be more targeted in our approach.

    Look to the UNDP Human Development report for information on the number of killings in the Region. Look and see that there are a number of countries including Barbados who stand high in the ratings of over one hundred countries in Domestic Violence, Sexual assaults, rape and murder,

    Let us spread our work to look more at the “culture of misogyny” in the Caribbean which is “now more that ever our Home”. We can not abandon the Human Rights Approach and we can not embrace the notion of cause and effect.

    But we can continue the Caribbean Feminist Project After Independence.

    For the first time in many years I wish I were young and had the energy.

    Nalita V Gajadhar

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  5. Margaret D. Hill says:

    I want to encourage Nalita. My mother is 93 and she is down there pulling down as much of the house as she can for Christmas. Just to say, you have the force of will with you always, and more, for those who believe (as she also laments the women’s deaths and adds voice to calls for justice). And to add, perhaps leaders and platforms are everywhere. Perhaps we the people speak and are heard.
    The Barbados Police Commissioner’s words may not be xenaphobic as I urged. Furthermore, that is about countries. His stance may instead be better seen by feminists as a very gendered statement that is mired in patriarchial assumptions and defences. (it may also be xenaphobic, but to follow that is to deflect our purpose – getting the murders stopped). He could perhaps be called to account for his agency’s actions and statistics on meeting the crisis. We waste energy to call him to account for a perceived nationalist prejudice. May the force be with all women who struggle in situations of insecurity at this time. May it also be with us in better circumstances who also struggle.

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