June is #ReadCaribbean Month – Post 18

ETA: Making this my Sunday Post

What can I say about the topic that’s been dominating my timeline – the US Supreme Court upending of women’s reproductive rights – when I live in a country where that was never really up for discussion, where mere months ago the discussion in media was about marital rape (because apparently whether that’s a thing or not is up for discussion), where – as discussed in a recent CREATIVE SPACE and this blog posting – a woman’s “shoulder meat” is considered obscene in public spaces, where convictions and sentences related to violence/sexual violence against women and girls continue to confound, where…and I could go on. It is a burdensome thing sometimes be-ing as a woman when our being comes with so many caveats – it varies per location but seems fairly universal, and it is exhausting. To be clear, if I had a say I would come back both as a Caribbean person and as a woman, and a Black woman at that, but also some days the exhaustion is real. And I have wondered how (or if) this US decision will affect the Caribbean, does it matter here, where we never had a Roe v. Wade. Not so much practically perhaps, as in terms of what direction the conversation goes. When the brief originally leaked in May, our attorney general was quoted in the media as saying, “It is intended to have some public discussions on the matter and then make a determination as to where we go from there. I know the public interest has been piqued by the intended delivery of a verdict in the United States in the case of Roe v Wade.” It’s obviously not a one to one relationship, we are an independent country with our own values and exist within a context specific to us and how our history has shaped us, but the US casts a big shadow and we are within its sphere of influence to the point that it’s a common saying that when the US sneeze, the Caribbean catch cold. So, will this latest development impact pro or anti choice attitudes and conversation? Without doubt.

What then can I say, except to continue to fight until wherever we be our right to be fully as we choose to be is not up for discussion. That said, it seems timely to re-share this CREATIVE SPACE discussion with activist Ronelle King, founder of #lifeinleggings, about gender issues in the Caribbean.

And now back to my regularly scheduled #readCaribbean #CaribAThon reading journalling. If you’re new here, June is #CaribbeanHeritageMonth and I’m using this month and these social media memes to try to push my sluggish reading and practically stalled book blogging.

I’ve made more progress on Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Harriet’s Daughter than anything else, and coincidentally, the section I’m up to now emphasizes the young female protagonist’s sense of being controlled and wanting to be free to change her name, help her friend escape a bad situation, and be and think for herself. Here’s the #lastline #whereIpause –

“Others joined in: ‘Long live the Underground Railroad.’ (p. 88) & “Make-up and clothes weren’t going to get me out of that house and away from parents who didn’t want me in any case.” (p. 92) & “Then Mrs B began talking.” (p. 98) & “I thought of making up an excuse about not feeling well, to get out of being at the dinner table, but I din’t want to call too much attention to myself, so I decided against it.” (p. 105) & *possible spoilers* “Wait. If they refuse – and what you kids are asking for seems quite reasonable to me – if they refuse, I promise you you’ve got my help. How’s that? So Tuesday evening, right after school, you girls come on by here, and we’ll see where things are at – you’ll probably know by then anyway. Cheer up now, no poker faces.” (p. 111)

& from Sharma Taylor’s What a Mother’s love don’t Teach you also in progress, “But mi fraid too.”

2 thoughts on “June is #ReadCaribbean Month – Post 18

  1. Wow…your intro left me feeling shocked and astounded. My heart goes out to you, as well as admiration for your strength. Your well-written intro left me much to ponder and I feel my words are inadequate to even comment further.
    I’ve looked for Harriet’s Daughter at our library, but alas, no go. I’ll have to find it elsewhere. Thank you so much for sharing what seems to be a very powerful book.

    • It’s not all doom and gloom – we have lots of powerful women (stronger than me) out front in lots of areas including activism (one reason I reshared the #lifeinleggings interview) and we are technically a democratic society (freedom of speech, religion, assembly etc.), but there are indeed many, many, many…many, many, many rivers still to cross. Which much as I understand and empathize with the reactions to the recent decision puts me in a different relationship to it. Thanks for taking the time to comment and glad to hear I’ve piqued your interest in Harriet’s Daughter. Hope you’re able to track it down.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.