Getting the word out…

Tag Archives: women


Guest Post by Sashana Sanderson, 2nd Year Journalism Student at Caribbean Institute of Media & Communications (CARIMAC), located on the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

When one thinks of the term the Next GENDERation several things may come to mind, for some it’s the empowerment of men and women or a focus on young people in terms of their gender, for others it’s about emphasizing the teachings of Marcus Garvey seeking true equality for both men and women.

In all of these perspectives, there is some commonality, for Dwayne Gutzmer, President of the CARICOM Youth Program, the Next GENDERation is about catching the next crop of innovative and creative young people out of violence. But what does the Next GENDERation Initiative mean to you?

The Next GENDERation Initiative is a partnership agreement between the Government of Jamaica, local agencies and the World Bank. It aims to raise awareness and promote discussion among youth, local organizations and the government on youth violence using specifically a gender perspective. Youth violence and violence generally is seen as a development problem in Jamaica. The idea is that to solve this developmental problem, youth violence can be better understood if analyzed focusing primarily on gender.

Traditionally, when people hear the term gender voiced in society, they immediately think about women’s issues or female empowerment but really, the term involves a lot more. Essentially it’s described as the social construction of men and women. In other words it’s how society perceives the role of a man as opposed to a woman.

The World Development Report (2012) identifies education and awareness campaigns targeting the youth population as a good way to rid the cultural norms and behaviours which contribute to violence. As a result, one of the goals of the Next GENDERation Initiative is to develop appropriate and creative messages in an innovative way against violence. These messages will be done primarily by young men and women to be used by the government in national communication campaigns.

The Next GENDERation Initiative also seeks to incorporate elements of society which affect gender such as cultural norms and societal behaviours. Some of the areas focused on in the initiative include; Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Gang Violence and Bullying, each portraying societal norms, and their effect of gender.

The first day of the launch of the initiative was Monday in Montego Bay at the Gloustershire Hotel, several youth organizations, government agencies as well as youth from several community organizations were in attendance.

So far the discussions have been lively and engaging, involving role plays and interactive sessions, much to the benefit of the participants who openly appreciated the knowledge gained from the presentations at the launch. Some of the issues that came out of the discussions were the role of the technology, the role of the media, constraints on gender equality, access to information and the influence of the home.

Keen attention was paid at the relationship between violence and social norms, as the two are closely related in the Jamaican context. Along with the issues there were also a number of potential messages against youth violence as well as ideas on how to further the cause of the Next GENDERation Initiative. Terisa Thompson, President of the JSI and avid youth advocate, explained that in terms of the role of the home in influencing change, parents need to know their children, and know exactly how and what to teach their children. She shared ideas on how to further the cause of the initiative by exploring all avenues of technology, and using popular social websites for easy sharing of information.

The Next GENDERation Initiative is will host the second day of its launch in Kingston on Wednesday. It is the first of three phases and its administrators anticipate great and wonderful things on the second day and thereafter.



Charly Black is the latest member  of the Portmore Empire, better known in some circles as the Gaza Empire, led by Vybz Kartel to have release a video for one of their songs. Black also joins the ranks of Vybz Kartel and Sheba with Like Christmas also release this month as the BEST videos so far to be release by that camp.

This video is not done locally and perhaps that is the reason why it has such “clean” footage. The video starts off with a couple arguing, where a female insist on leaving her male partner who is also abusive and refuse to allow her to leave. If you follow the song this start off seems good and perhaps predictable since the song speak about a female telling Charly Black ‘she will never love again.’

Charly Black has his swagger all turn up, with a slight resemblance, or should i say a style which seem to have been influence by T.I the rapper.

Some aspects of the video were a bit weak, for example there could have been some more fire to convince us that the love being display for the camera while he sat in the park singing to the female character was real when he started caressing her face. Also aspects of the domestic violence were a big “no-no” and required more work.

Watching the video i kept saying “Portmore Empire improved!” Tell me if you’re impress with the video which takes on domestic violence.



Follow Writer on Twitter: @lgrandison

The all too familiar case of dancehall star Bounty Killer, who was recently charged by the Constant Spring Police Station for wounding his girlfriend, was earlier this morning granted bail in the sum of $500,000.

A few weeks ago local television stations reported that the woman claimed the deejay whose real name is Rodney Pryce had beaten her with a hammer, an electric mosquito zapper and a chain.

Bounty Killer, known for his ‘cross, angry, miserable’ stage-line was accompanied this morning by the woman who claimed he abused her seeking to have the case dropped and for both to attend mediation. She reasoned that she wanted a continuation of the relationship between herself and the Killer.

However the presiding Judge Shelly Williams, would not have it and refused to drop the case, instead setting a trial date of November 19.

My View
I will never get to understand abuse relationships or abusees. For one we were originally informed through media reports/speculation that the woman was allegedly injury in what was a play with her lover, Killer. While I never entirely bought the story it was getting a little leniency from me because I was think perhaps of the possibility that individuals have different sexually taste, and Bounty Killer’s mighty just have been one.

I’m not attempting a justification of Bounty Killer beating his girlfriend but just saying what came to mind first when I heard the story.

I’m sure exactly what this woman hopes to achieve from a mediation with Mr. Pryce, but I do hope she knows she can be charged for perverting the law. Its nothing new Mr. Pryce has been charged with domestic violence and other related charges before, but why are these women not testifying against him?

Where are all these women empowering organisations in Jamaica, why aren’t they playing a role in assisting this woman? Why are situations like this allow to continue before the court? Is there any means that this case can be tried using the testimony or statement of the alleged abusee?

Update via @lgrandison



Have you seen any ads for energy drinks lately?…the provocative women and the words that challenge men to ‘step up to the plate’? Concern has been voiced by TV viewers and participants of Women’s Media Watch workshops throughout the island about how uncomfortable – even distressed – they are about the sexual nature of many energy drink advertisements such as Mandingo roots drink.

WMW contends that the portrayal of women and the images of men conjured up in energy drink ads such as those for Mandingo, reincarnation of an age-old colonial ideology and representation of African humanity as overly sexed and animalist.

The history of the interaction of cultures and imperialism is replete with racial and gender stereotypes of Africans, Asians and Indigenous peoples. In these representations Europeans have promoted themselves as a superior standard for the rest of humanity to emulate.

For the African, the imperial project was clear: de-Africanize, racialise, dehumanise, objectify and sexualize.

Let us go back in time and explore how Europeans justified their treatment of Africans during the 15th to early 20th centuries to sustain imperial power, and accumulate wealth, human capital and lands.

During Afro-Caribbean enslavement for instance, the dominant colonial model of manhood and masculinity embodied power, property, refinement and Christian ethic among other things. African manhood and masculinity on the other hand was the negative opposite: brutish, devoid of intellect, having a large penis, thriving on strong carnal energies that could serve the needs of populating the plantation. African womanhood was perceived as “extreme lasciviousness” and prone to “simple and animal living”.(1)

The female physical endowments of African women were often exaggerated as lacking refinement, posture, and proper reproductive functions, reducing them to “wenches” to breed on plantations and subject to sexual violence by white men. This consistent ideology served to emasculate and defeminise enslaved African men and women respectively. Certain pejorative categories such as “Hottentots”, “Mandingos”, “bejewelled darkies” and many more, emerged from centuries of writing by European “explorers”, planters, colonial administrators and missionaries from the Renaissance period well into the 20th century. (2,3,4)

Compare the picture of the willing model, Maliah Michel for the Mandingo ad with the picture of Sara Baartman known as “Hottentot Venus”, the subject of 18th century scientific objectivism, often used to justify “close kinship with apes” and whose body upon death was dissected by George Cuvier (French naturalist and zoologist) who was fascinated by the “genitalia of blacks”.

Jules Virey (Naturalist and Professor of Pharmacy, 1775-1847) for example, constantly harped on the ‘animality of blacks’:

“Moreover, the negro brutally abandons himself to the most villainous excesses; his soul is …more steeped in the material, more encrusted in animality, more driven by purely physical appetites… if man consists mainly of his spiritual faculties, it is incontestable that the negro is less human in this respect; he is closer to the life of brutes because we see him obeying his stomach, his sexual parts, in sum his senses, rather than reason.”(5)

Fast forward these ideologies a few centuries, and we find contemporary versions of the “reinvented nigger” in our present media culture. The Mandingo roots drink ads, alongside others, join a spate of energy drinks on the Jamaican market that rely on racial, gender and sexual stereotypes which promote the idea of black male prowess (and little else) and lascivious, seductive and pliant black females. With a woman straddling the human size bottle symbolizing a phallus the Mandingo ads ask, “Are you man enough?” So, man is defined by his ability to perform sexually, and what’s more, his performance needs to be enhanced by the energy drink.

This self-denigration continues through time. The 1975 Hollywood film “Mandingo” (re-released on DVD in 2008) portrays black men as sexual beasts and stud-like.

Not everyone drinks in these images and stereotypes indiscriminately. It is clear from the feedback WMW receives from the Jamaican public that these ads are found wanting, even without the historical and cultural filters:

“The Mandingo ad needs a PG warning or aired at nights only.”

(Primary School Guidance Counsellor, Hanover)

“As a man, I find some of these ads offensive.” (Community Leader, St. James)

“Magnum or Mandingo is clearly selling sex…if it’s for sexual stimulation it is not supposed to be openly advertised.” (Member, Kingston & St.Andrew Action Forum)

These concerns centre on the portrayal of sexual objectification in the ad and its inappropriateness for children’s viewing. Based on the Broadcasting Commission’s guidelines the images would indeed violate the PG rating when shown at certain times. This raises the question of ethics and standards addressed by Gary Allen, chairman of the Media Association of Jamaica in a statement to the Press Association of Jamaica, February 2010.

Allen implored the PAJ to bear in mind three critical principles that should bear on their profession: Excellence, Standards and Ethics. He acknowledged the difficulty in maintaining standards in their profession and the urgency to establish a Media Code of Ethics to prevent the erosion of standards in the industry.

We hope that marketers and advertisers will use their astute business sense to make the connections between effective marketing for profit, and the preservation of our society – and align their own messages and designs accordingly. There are clear links between what we sell, how we sell and how wesee ourselves. These links affect the way we relate to each other.

Many energy drink ads, WMW suggests, present messages which recall those of former colonial powers. They remind us that violence can be mental as much as it can be physical.

The use of denigrating racial and gender stereotypes is a form of self-imposed mental violence that reduces our sense of power and our humanity. In this post-emancipation era, we have an obligation not to perpetuate these stereotypes and to point these out where they occur.

We call on those who create ads and other media products to be aware of their social responsibility. Let us use our Jamaican strength, indomitable spirit, humour and sharp intellect to create media messages! WMW

Author: Women Media Watch

Reprinted from the WMW Newsletter

References

1. Said, Edward, 1993. Culture and Imperialism. NY: Verso Books.

2. Long, 1774, vol. 2 cited Jahoda, Gustav. 1999. Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture. London: Routledge.

3. Alleyne, Meryvn. 2002. The Construction and Representation of Race and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and the World. Kingston: UWI Press

4. Wood, Marcus. 2000. Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America 1780-1865. NY: Routledge.

5. Virey 1834 Vol. 2, p. 117 in Jahoda, see (2)


Have you seen any ads for energy drinks lately?…the provocative women and the words that challenge men to ‘step up to the plate’? Concern has been voiced by TV viewers and participants of Women’s Media Watch workshops throughout the island about how uncomfortable – even distressed – they are about the sexual nature of many energy drink advertisements such as Mandingo roots drink.

WMW contends that the portrayal of women and the images of men conjured up in energy drink ads such as those  for Mandingo, reincarnation of an age-old colonial ideology and representation of African humanity as overly sexed and animalist.

The history of the interaction of cultures and imperialism is replete with racial and gender stereotypes of Africans, Asians and Indigenous peoples. In these representations Europeans have promoted themselves as a superior standard for the rest of humanity to emulate.

For the African, the imperial project was clear: de-Africanize, racialise, dehumanise, objectify and sexualize.

Let us go back in time and explore how Europeans justified their treatment of Africans during the 15th to early 20th centuries to sustain imperial power, and accumulate wealth, human capital and lands.

During Afro-Caribbean enslavement for instance, the dominant colonial model of manhood and masculinity embodied power, property, refinement and Christian ethic among other things. African manhood and masculinity on the other hand was the negative opposite: brutish, devoid of intellect, having a large penis, thriving on strong carnal energies that could serve the needs of populating the plantation. African womanhood was perceived as “extreme lasciviousness” and prone to “simple and animal living”.(1)

The female physical endowments of African women were often exaggerated as lacking refinement, posture, and proper reproductive functions, reducing them to “wenches” to breed on plantations and subject to sexual violence by white men. This consistent ideology served to emasculate and defeminise enslaved African men and women respectively. Certain pejorative categories such as “Hottentots”, “Mandingos”,  “bejewelled darkies” and many more, emerged from centuries of writing by European “explorers”, planters, colonial administrators and missionaries from the Renaissance period well into the 20th century. (2,3,4)

Compare the picture of the willing model, Maliah Michel for the Mandingo ad with the picture of Sara Baartman known as “Hottentot Venus”, the subject of 18th century scientific objectivism, often used to justify “close kinship with apes” and whose body upon death was dissected by George Cuvier (French naturalist and zoologist) who was fascinated by the “genitalia of blacks”.

Jules Virey (Naturalist and Professor of Pharmacy, 1775-1847) for example, constantly harped on the ‘animality of blacks’:

“Moreover, the negro brutally abandons himself to the most villainous excesses; his soul is …more steeped in the material, more encrusted in animality, more driven by purely physical appetites… if man consists mainly of his spiritual faculties, it is incontestable that the negro is less human in this respect; he is closer to the life of brutes because we see him obeying his stomach, his sexual parts, in sum his senses, rather than reason.”(5)

Fast forward these ideologies a few centuries, and we find contemporary versions of the “reinvented nigger” in our present media culture. The Mandingo roots drink ads, alongside others, join a spate of energy drinks on the Jamaican market that rely on racial, gender and sexual stereotypes which promote the idea of black male prowess (and little else) and lascivious, seductive and pliant black females. With a woman straddling the human size bottle symbolizing a phallus the Mandingo ads ask, “Are you man enough?” So, man is defined by his ability to perform sexually, and what’s more, his performance needs to be enhanced by the energy drink.

This self-denigration continues through time.  The 1975 Hollywood film “Mandingo” (re-released on DVD in 2008) portrays black men as sexual beasts and stud-like.

Not everyone drinks in these images and stereotypes indiscriminately. It is clear from the feedback WMW receives from the Jamaican public that these ads are found wanting, even without the historical and cultural filters:

“The Mandingo ad needs a PG warning or aired at nights only.”
(Primary School Guidance Counsellor, Hanover)

“As a man, I find some of these ads offensive.” (Community Leader, St. James)

“Magnum or Mandingo is clearly selling sex…if it’s for sexual stimulation it is not supposed to be openly advertised.” (Member, Kingston & St.Andrew Action Forum)

These concerns centre on the portrayal of sexual objectification in the ad and its inappropriateness for children’s viewing. Based on the Broadcasting Commission’s guidelines the images would indeed violate the PG rating when shown at certain times. This raises the question of ethics and standards addressed by Gary Allen, chairman of the Media Association of Jamaica in a statement to the Press Association of Jamaica, February 2010.

Allen implored the PAJ to bear in mind three critical principles that should bear on their profession: Excellence, Standards and Ethics. He acknowledged the difficulty in maintaining standards in their profession and the urgency to establish a Media Code of Ethics to prevent the erosion of standards in the industry.

We hope that marketers and advertisers will use their astute business sense to make the connections between effective marketing for profit, and the preservation of our society – and align their own messages and designs accordingly. There are clear links between what we sell, how we sell and how wesee ourselves. These links affect the way we relate to each other.

Many energy drink ads, WMW suggests, present messages which recall those of former colonial powers. They remind us that violence can be mental as much as it can be physical.

The use of denigrating racial and gender stereotypes is a form of self-imposed mental violence that reduces our sense of power and our humanity.  In this post-emancipation era, we have an obligation not to perpetuate these stereotypes and to point these out where they occur.

We call on those who create ads and other media products to be aware of their social responsibility. Let us use our Jamaican strength, indomitable spirit, humour and sharp intellect to create media messages!                                                                                                                             WMW

Author: Women Media Watch

References
1. Said, Edward, 1993. Culture and Imperialism. NY: Verso Books.
2. Long, 1774, vol. 2 cited Jahoda, Gustav. 1999. Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture. London: Routledge.
3. Alleyne, Meryvn. 2002. The Construction and Representation of Race and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and the World. Kingston: UWI Press
4. Wood,  Marcus. 2000. Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America 1780-1865.  NY: Routledge.
5.  Virey  1834 Vol. 2, p. 117 in Jahoda,  see (2)



Women who perform the act of fellatio and swallow semen on a regular basis, one to two times a week, may reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent, a North Carolina State University study found.

Doctors had never suspected a link between the act of fellatio and breast cancer, but new research being performed at North Carolina State University is starting to suggest that there could be an important link between the two.

In a study of over 15,000 women suspected of having performed regular fellatio and swallowed the ejaculatory fluid, over the past ten years, the researchers found that those actually having performed the act regularly, one to two times a week, had a lower occurrence of breast cancer than those who had not. There was no increased risk, however, for those who did not regularly perform.

“I think it removes the last shade of doubt that fellatio is actually a healthy act,” said Dr. A.J. Kramer of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. “I am surprised by these findings, but am also excited that the researchers may have discovered a relatively easy way to lower the occurrence of breast cancer in women.”

The University researchers stressed that, though breast cancer is relatively uncommon, any steps taken to reduce the risk would be a wise decision.

“Only with regular occurrence will your chances be reduced, so I encourage all women out there to make fellatio an important part of their daily routine,” said Dr. Helena Shifteer, one of the researchers at the University. “Since the emergence of the research, I try to fellate at least once every other night to reduce my chances.”

The study is reported in Friday’s Journal of Medical Research.

In 1991, 43,582 women died of breast cancer, as reported by the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Len Lictepeen, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said women should not overlook or “play down” these findings.

“This will hopefully change women’s practice and patterns, resulting in a severe drop in the future number of cases,” Lictepeen said.

Sooner said the research shows no increase in the risk of breast cancer in those who are, for whatever reason, not able to fellate regularly.

“There’s definitely fertile ground for more research. Many have stepped forward to volunteer for related research now in the planning stages,” he said.

Almost every woman is, at some point, going to perform the act of fellatio, but it is the frequency at which this event occurs that makes the difference, say researchers. Also key seems to be the protein and enzyme count in the semen, but researchers are again waiting for more test data.

The reasearch consisted of two groups, 6,246 women ages 25 to 45 who had performed fellatio and swallowed on a regular basis over the past five to ten years, and 9,728 women who had not or did not swallow. The group of women who had performed and swallowed had a breast cancer rate of 1.9 percent and the group who had not had a breast cancer rate of 10.4 percent.

“The findings do suggest that there are other causes for breast cancer besides the absence of regular fellatio,” Shafteer said. “It’s a cause, not THE cause.”

[Update made via CNN Health]