Daily Dingleberry 05-31-12 Blame the Victim PLEASE

She is someone’s child

This picture is going around ..not sure who she is or even if she is Belizean, American or what. Most people are sympathetic but many myths and simply wrong information is being perpetuated as well. One person said that the reason it keeps happening is because the women tolerate it and don’t press charges….

I have serious beef with this one.

There is a psychological process going on here that is being willingly ignored. A woman doesn’t grow up thinking “I’m going to marry an abuser when I grow up.” Even if she is in a home where she witnesses violence, she is hoping for someone who loves her and will care for her. So when this person, in whom she has placed her trust, to whom she has made a commitment, pledged her love, starts to hurt her, she is confused, betrayed and embarrassed.  She is ashamed because she believed that she was a smart person who “knows better” and makes good decisions. So at first she may hide it and not tell anyone because she hopes it is just a  one time thing….a phase, it will go away.

And then she has children with him and they can have a decent life with Christenings and Easter vacations, Christmas gifts and Valentine dinners. All the while, she is being beaten and told she is worthless. He isolates her from her friends, calls her a whore if she wants to go out with them. He tells her she can’t talk to so and so because she is a bad influence. Before you know it, she doesn’t even go to visit her mother because he accuses her of neglecting her duties as a wife. Soon, she doesn’t have time anyway because he expects a clean house, three meals a day and the kids must be clean and in bed on time.

He monitors everything…her cell phone…who is she talking to? who is she texting? why shi di waste time pan facebook? Even if she works, he might confiscate her paycheck or make it impossible for her to save anything because he spends it on liquor, electronics, gambling, friends.

Everything about her is attacked: her independence, her intelligence, her capabilities, her security, her mental and emotional well being, her identity. This is the woman you want to go to the police station and tell her story to a bunch of untrained bullies? When they arrest the abuser, he threatens her in front of them but they do nothing? She is frightened that he will come after her and her children. He promises to kill her when he is released on bail. Where is she supposed to go? How is she supposed to feed her children? Pay the mortgage?

Everyone has a lot to say. I will help you. You need to leave him. Have some pride. How can you let someone do this to you?

The problem is who will be there in the wee hours of the night when every creak and whisper makes her jump? afraid he has come to make good on his promise?

My aunt-in-law went to live with my uncle and  aunt in the hopes that they could protect her. She left her son with the man who married her at 14, raped her everyday and punished her by making her sit on a hot comal, bare assed. He came for her in the middle of the day when my aunt and uncle had gone to run some errands. He slit her throat and sliced her belly open in front of his 4 year old son and his two nieces. They watched as my mother scooped up my aunt’s guts and press them back into her abdomen until they could get her to the hospital. She lived but only because my uncle could afford to send her to Jamaica to recover and also make sure that my other uncle was prosecuted and sent to jail….

Most people don’t have that and still…she almost died anyway.

We just don’t have the proper supports set up to protect those who need it most. The most we can do is help each other on a one on one level. Don’t hang with people you know are abusive…shun them…make them know you disapprove. You men who like to say that the women deserve it because they stay…go yell at the guy beating her…tell him you are watching him and that YOU won’t tolerate HIM. You women who sleep with them knowing what they do to their wives, just don’t…tell them you deserve better. Raise sons to respect people. Raise daughters to fight for themselves. Be part of a community movement to address and confront this issue because in the end…it will affect all of us in some way. And stop blaming the victim. Please.

05-01-12 MAY DAY! MAY DAY! Mayday?

May Day has its origins thousands of years back to the days when it was celebrated as the Festival of Flora or the Roman goddess of flowers. Bonfires were lit to signify the end of winter and the coming of summer. As Christianity spread, many pagan celebrations such as this morphed into other religious holidays such as Easter, Christmas etc. May became known as the Month of Mary and all over the world, statues of Mary are adorned with crowns of flowers, offerings of fruits are made. More secular celebrations involved crowning the Queen of the May and Maypole dancing.

In Belize, it is Labour Day and is usually incorporated into a long weekend of “Agric” where all produce that is grown and animals that are reared are featured as part education/part celebration. There are 80 countries around the world engaging in similar celebrations on this day borne out of tragedy. In the late 19th Century, tensions rose between workers and capitalists resulting in the May Riots of 1894. In response, socialist organisations all over the world formed labour unions in an effort to create better working conditions for workers. May 1st became a day for many to continue to bring attention the conditions of the labour force and as such has become known as Internation Worker’s Day. Many countries decided to make it a public holiday in recognition of importance of workers.

In the US, despite failed attempts to make today its official labour day, it is still observed as a day to protest and send a message to corporate America. This year the Occupy Wall Street, OWS, is staging a general day of protest asking people all across the nation to just do nothing for one whole day in an effort to highlight the impact of the labour force on the economy:  No Work – No School – No Housework – No Shopping

So, what began as a pagan ritual celebrating the end of winter, has now morphed into a day of protest and dissent, a day to send out a “mayday” to anyone who will listen to the cries of distress  of the labour force. http://occupywallst.org/

How will you celebrate today? May Day or sending out a mayday?