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Raffique Shah


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Of sensuality and vulgarity

By Raffique Shah
Februry 16, 2016

I wonder if the wide spectrum of persons who have used the words "misogyny" and "misogynic" to describe ex-Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee following his asinine statements on the murder of pannist Asami Nagakiya either believe what they are saying, or understand the definitions of the words?

According to the Oxford English dictionary, misogyny means "dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women".

And misogynic "is very close to the meaning of 'misogynistic', or 'hating women', but he may not feel full-out hatred toward them".

Now I don't know Tim Kee except as Mayor, and as someone who does not have a way with words to the extent that he often plants both feet in his mouth when he speaks. Witness his war with the Savannah vendors, which saw him backing down after uttering disparaging remarks, and his frequent bouts with other vendors and burgesses of the capital city over which he presided.

Based on these conflicts that were all triggered because he seemed to have spoken before thinking, I would say Tim Kee is a foolish man.

In the Nagakiya issue, before he knew anything about how she was killed (the autopsy was still pending, and whether she was raped has yet to be determined), he mouthed off on the way women un-dressed for Carnival, on their lewd behaviour that he had harped on earlier, and so on.

In other words, he seemed to have suggested that Nagakiya might have invited her own demise through her conduct during Carnival, which was a very stupid insinuation that warranted condemnation, and, indeed, his resignation as Mayor.

That said, does anyone among the few thousand persons who came down on him like the proverbial tonne of bricks really believe that Tim Kee hates women? That he has contempt for them? That he bears ingrained prejudice against them?

I don't know the man, but surely he must have a mother, probably a wife, sisters, daughters, aunts.

Do those in the pack that attacked him believe that he hates or holds in contempt all these female family members, or women in general? I think not.

I should add my own position before the fem-pack turns rabid on me: nothing that a woman says, does or wears or does not wear, justifies advances from any man, far less rape. A person's body, be it man or woman, but more so women because of their physiognomy, is sacrosanct.

And when it comes to sex, consensual is the only format that is acceptable.

What the ex-Mayor was trying to get across, though, his abhorrence toward rampant lewdness on the streets and stages during the Carnival, with women being the prime offenders, is a very valid issue that needs to be discussed.

Many people in the society feel strongly about this overwhelming affront to our sensitivities, so much so that they have voted with their feet: they stay away from fetes and street parades where such behaviour is predominant. Note the steep decline in spectators on Carnival days, from Jouvert ot Las' Lap.

But they do not speak out against the vulgarity for fear of being pounced upon by the feminist and ultra-liberal lobbies that are aggressive as they are intimidating.

Me? I don't give a damn. I've been around for too long, having established my bona fides as an architect of change and defender of human rights and women's rights, for me to fear a backlash from anyone, any group or segment of the society.

I ask the women who claim full rights to their bodies if such rights include exposing their every crevice in public, before children, whose impressionable minds might tell them such behaviour is acceptable?

I ask them if simulating sexual acts of varying contortions, no holes barred, and their seeming fixation with rear-ending each other, on stage, on the road, before television cameras, is right?

Citizens surrender our rights to drive on most streets of cities and towns for the duration of Carnival, give way to masqueraders whose hired thugs even beat us up if so much as step close to their gyrating bodies, for what?

To see them simulate sex?

We pay hundreds of millions of dollars, pay thousands of soldiers and police officers to protect them (hardly us) during the festival, not to see the spectacle of colour, creativity and listen to good music, but to be assaulted by deafening noise and seas of near-naked, gyrating bodies.

To add insult, they tell us they have the right to bare their backsides in our faces, and we must accept their animalistic behaviour or, well, stay home and do not even watch local television.

They seem to not know that a woman can be sensual, ooze sexuality, without baring her all, without being vulgar.

But then, what do they know of sensuality who only vulgarity know?

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