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08 October 2012

My rights

I have resisting writing about crime for some time now.  I have done this for several reasons.  First, I am tired of thinking about it.  Secondly, I want to write about things that make me happy, spread good vibes etc. .. Thirdly, I think everyone has pretty much said it all when it comes to crime in Belize.  And lastly, I think we have sort of gloried the idea of crime in Belize, and it is not good for the economy.  How do we expect to  attract international tourist, investors, and trade if the only thing any intelligent person is writing about in Belize is about crime?

But this is my thoughts.  I have to say it. The type of crime happening in Belize nowadays is usually gender based.  Women are being attacked, killed, robbed, you name it, because they are women. Not because they are rich, are easy to get to, deserve it, in the wrong place at the wrong time. Women are simply being attacked because we are women.  Let's face it, Belize is a sexist place.

How dare I say that, right?  Of course.  I am, as a women in Belize, suppose to stand back and allow it, just like I was suppose to allow men to behave disrespectfully to me in other ways.  I am suppose to allow men, of all ages whistle at me, makes unwelcome, inappropriate remarks about me or to me.  A classic examples of this is a typical morning.  I am walking to the bus, where I am going to wait for the bus for my usual commute to the University.  I am wearing typical week day clothes: comfortable jeans and  v-neck dark red blouse. I am doing nothing to attract attention to myself... I am just walking to the bus minding my own business. All of the sudden, a man, who I never seen before, passes me in a car. As he passes, he puts his head out the window, and puckers his lips and makes a kissing/sucking sound. This disturbs me for a couple of reasons.
1. This man is a stranger. I know his intentions were not in careless friendly batter.
2.The motion was not a cute air kiss or wave kiss.  This noise was particularly disturbing.
3. What right does he have to do something like that?
4. When complaining about it to a friend she remarks "oh you know how man are...." Am I really suppose to be complacent about this type of behaviour?  Does society really see it as normal and acceptable???
5. When telling Beloved about it, he wanted to beat the guy up... I love you Beloved, but really? brute force? I am not a damsel in distress. I am a capable woman distressed about the fact that woman cannot safely move about in this country without disturbances. What about my friends who do not have gentlemanly men in their lives? Are they suppose to fall victims?

So this is basically how I see it.  Gender based crimes are two part.  First, they start small.  If women hold so little value, that they can be randomly molested by strangers gross passing comments, then they can be disrespected in other ways.  It alarms me how many people excuse the recent crimes against women and little girls. I hear things like "what was she doing out so late by herself" about the murder of a young woman coming home from the same university I attend or "little girls have no business getting taxi's on their own" about a 12 year old going from her father's house to the Queen's Jubilee. Comments like this are show that society really does not value to work as women.  It seems that woman are expected to stay at home, stay in groups and never, never, do anything that is progressive, and meaningful, or different from the rest.

Lastly, I see how sexist our justices system really is.  For a long time, I thought that the system was bias against men.  However, I am noticing a new trend. Men who commit crimes against men are getting convicted more quickly.  It seems that police respond more readily and the justice system is stricter with men who have hurt, robbed, or done any other crime against another man. Men who have hurt, raped, robbed, kidnapped, or killed a woman on the other hand, are out on bail or worse being requited for  lack of evidence.

Basically, it is an growing pain era in Belize.  Dangerous as it is, we must go through it in order to grow up

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