As Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival quickly approaches, we are hearing more from people on both sides of the fence – proponents and opponents. While some think it is a brilliant idea and welcome the new festival, others are offended, confused, and/or angered by it. We expected a statement from the Bahamas Christian Council long ago, and it finally came last month. It was both disappointing and infuriating, serving only to perpetuate rape culture through the policing of women’s bodies and the sexualization of rape. The statement by the Bahamas Christian Council is not the only disturbing one, but it is the one our Director has responded to in Genderational – a column for The Bahamas Weekly.
The idea that women and girls invite acts of sexual violence against them is being promoted by the Bahamas Christian Council, thereby perpetuating rape culture. Whether or not he realizes it, Dr. Patterson’s comments serve to normalize and excuse the acts he seeks to prevent by policing women’s bodies. The stance he has taken, on behalf of the entire Council, serves to sexualize rape while blaming victims and attributing the injustices they suffer to the choices they have the right make without fear of judgment or reprisal.
Women and girls live in a world where they are constantly watched, assessed, policed, shamed, and blamed, and by no fault of their own. They endure sexual harassment in the workplace, school, streets, and other public spaces. They are expected to smile on demand, have sex with their husbands as commanded, keep their problems to themselves, and struggle silently as they navigate a world clearly built for men.
Read the full article here and stay tuned for more from Hollaback! Bahamas on Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and the conversation around it.