Your Gender, Your Business

By Raffique Shah
July 04, 2023

Raffique ShahVerily I say unto you, Man, that you have the right to use, abuse or misuse your body any which way you choose to, so long as you do not impose your choices on your neighbours, friends, and especially on your enemies, since they are likelier to be hostile, even war-like punishment for one’s refusal to submit to the will of the others’ which must be wrong in any culture, belief or ethnicity; further, I retain my right to practice within the privacy of my castle, however humble such edifice may be, acts between me and my mate that bring us immense pleasure, that do not impinge on the freedoms of others, least of all on children who do not have the maturity to rationally determine what is good for them, and what is not.

It is at this latter point you will see ‘man turn beast’, for even if the child appears to enjoy the intimacy, I hold that the child cannot engage in what he or she derives pleasure from, since it will almost certainly not understand the unintended consequences of the eroticism that could overwhelm him or her in a moment of bliss that could wreck the remaining years of her life, such negative impact fully understood by the adult participant.

I have chosen to explore the subterranean world of under-age sex since the topic is not the exclusive domain of those who are directly involved in its murky cross-currents, adults who could easily find themselves sucked into almost violent vortexes that become irresistible moments of madness that, in turn, forever alter lives. In fact, in recent years—recent meaning a century or so—sex-related scandals have impacted our lives from cradle to grave.

The hottest sub-topics are alternative lifestyles which are no longer confined to two categories, conventional and homosexuality. These now seem to be boring, old school. Hardly worthy of commentary. By the time these two had become acceptable in metropolitan countries, in smaller societies such as ours, homosexuals had not merely crawled out of the closets, but they had taken positions of pride—no pun intended—in TT’s Carnival. They dominated the beauty business, and walked the streets fully made up. More among the sorority went public, living together as couples was normal, and children of either or both parties fit in neatly in the arrangements.

However, when they got involved in the education system by introducing what their detractors called text-books that promoted their lifestyles as ‘normal’, religious police moved in with alacrity, sounding the alarm. Personally, I believe what adults do and how they live in the privacy of their homes, in their bedrooms, is their business. Also, same-sex relationships are matters of choice. They escalate to draw the attention of the law only when they disturb the peace of others, or when one of the duo appeals to the law to take action, to rescue them from some degree of slavery.

I have painted this broad canvas largely in light of religious organisations that took offence to several books that are/were on display at shops owned by a major supplier of text books used in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in the English-speaking Caribbean, and for governments to withdraw them from the syllabi. Before you could say ‘Abu Bakr’, groups with one person membership came alive to register they were not dead, and that they, who approve sex between minors, but especially between old, ‘squingy’ geezers and girls barely out of kindergarten, threw in their support.

While I may portray the issue of sex and under-age children as despicable on the one hand, and hilarious on the other, and I simultaneously state that parents will be better off educating their offspring, preparing them for what lies ahead, I appeal to the alphabet-long list of those who are neither tom nor tabby, ram nor ewe, to stop sowing discord, give us a chance that we need so badly to set this country right. Your sexual persuasion is your business, not mine.

Regarding the so-called sex-texts which the Ministry of Education has denied it as being carded for the syllabus, I call on the denominational boards to allow the dissenters to have their say. Let us not go to war, stupid wars, over books and television shows etc. The established churches have had their fair share of scandal with high priests from almost all such oganisations being involved in one form or other of deviant sexual behaviour.

Some twenty years ago, when I exposed a scandalous affair in a Catholic church involving just a handful of priests, my life was threatened. I warned them then that they will need more than the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit to silence this loud-mouth since I am no lamb. I never heard from them again.