Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ja: Acquaintance rape in society and the Marley marriage

Some years ago I wrote a column about three women I met after my marriage, and I went off in different directions. The first woman had had a rape attempt made on her by a friend of one of her brothers. After pinning her on the bed and attempting to pry open her legs, the young woman had the presence of mind to reach across to a night table where an electric iron had been left. End of story for the would-be rapist.
When Rita Marley, in a recent interview, revealed that she had been raped by Marley during their marriage, I was forced to believe her. I believed her because she just could not be so stupid as to sully Marley's name with so heinous an infamy if it did not actually take place. Second, Rita Marley must have been traumatised all of these long years by the act of the man while he was a living legend, and during the period after his death when he became an icon-for-life.
Read the rest. Mark Wignall's article is a devastating piece that reveals the barbarity of some men in Jamaica for whom women are fair game. He writes that Bob Marley himself even subjected his wife Rita to the barbarity of rape.

For some Caribbean men, "holding down" a woman is one of the perks of manhood. These men are not afraid to brag, laughingly, to their friends that they "hold she down." In their minds, the "hold down" is not rape but is a sexual encounter in which the woman really wants him but puts up a struggle to save face. Thus, for such men, the "hold down" is a point of pride.

In actual fact, it is criminal. No means no. Young men need to be taught that "hold down" equals rape. Young girls and women must be encouraged to report the thugs who force themselves on women in the arrogant belief that "she did want it." A woman is more than TAH to be had with a little physical effort. If some men can't learn that, then society must deal with them severely.


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