So this man is charged with raping a 12 year-old girl repeatedly over more than six months. The prosecution has conclusive DNA evidence and the girl has some familial connection to the rapist. The story is being carried on radio and the DJ asks, could it be a case where he thought she was older???
Could it be a case where he’s a rapist?
Please show me the man who assumes he’s having a mutually satisfying sexual and dating relationship with a sophisticated 35-year-old librarian only to discover that all along he’s been raping a 12-year-old girl? Hasn’t happened. Doesn’t happen. Won’t happen. Ever.
Rapists who prey on girls do so precisely because they know girls have been made vulnerable and devalued by the collective consciousness where it is more comfortable and plausible to assume that a 12-year-old girl has tricked a grown-ass man than to insist that men recognize and respect the humanity and bodily autonomy of girls.
The thoughts I shared on facebook after listening to DJ Envy of the Breakfast Club discuss Jelani Maraj‘s rape charge.
Today I wake up to a new instalment from the popular Trinidadian series Santana shared by producers LEXO TV with the tag line “how little girls crush today.”
The clip they shared on facebook begins at the 4:46 mark and includes the “little girl” who aggressively pursues grown-ass Santana, begs him to swell her belly and for a cellphone and taunts him that his piggy must be small as he runs away from her.
If you’ve been a girl in the Caribbean you have no doubt experienced the ubiquitous street harassment and sexual violence that Jamaican writer Nicole Dennis-Benn highlighted in the New York Times recently.
The sexually predatory schoolgirl who entraps hapless men is an enduring Caribbean myth. This Jamaica Gleaner article claims that men are being pushed out of the teaching profession by schoolgirls who solicit sex from them and send them pornographic images via WhatsApp.
Of course, the facts about child sexual abuse and sexual violence against girls say otherwise.
After a 10-year-old girl was raped and impregnated in St. Lucia, a former Minister of Education and current MP argued that she should be excluded from school:
“You would not want a pregnant eleven year old sitting among others in the class because it is going to rub off on them and they may think that is acceptable.”
Newspapers described her as “sexually promiscuous”, told us her mom is a single parent, that it took months before she realised her daughter was pregnant, that the mom has a *gasp* job and is away from home a lot, that the girl comes from a broken home. They did not use the word RAPE. Not once.
For the record, an 11-year-old girl cannot be sexually promiscuous. She has been raped and victimised multiple times. This is no moral failing on her part. She should not be excluded from school because of rape and pregnancy. The rapist needs to be held accountable.
Do we ever question why we are so quick to condemn and shame girls who have been raped but can’t insist that men NOT rape children? Why is it so difficult to hold men accountable for their actions? Why so difficult to make rape unconscionable? Why would we rather believe that schoolgirls are more predatory and powerful than men than call a rapist a rapist?