[Blackstudies-l] This Caribbean Carnival won’t allow you to twerk —unless you ask permission first
lima at geneseo.edu
Sat Feb 10 09:56:13 EST 2018
lisaparavisini posted: " A report by JACQUELINE CHARLES for the Miami
Herald. Attention all Carnival revelers and masqueraders attending the
Caribbean’s biggest bacchanal: Non-consensual grinding, the provocative
hip-gyrating, free-for-all that’s known in Caribbean par"
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> This Caribbean
Carnival won’t allow you to twerk —unless you ask permission first
A report by JACQUELINE CHARLES for the *Miami Herald*.
Attention all Carnival revelers and masqueraders attending the Caribbean’s
biggest bacchanal: Non-consensual grinding, the provocative hip-gyrating,
free-for-all that’s known in Caribbean parlance as “wining,” can get you
slapped with an assault charge.
Trinidad and Tobago, the two-island country that’s considered the
birthplace of the modern-day Pre-Lenten Caribbean Carnival, is telling all
attendees that before you back it up on someone, ask permission. And the
same goes for twerking, when the street party kicks off Monday and Tuesday
The ask-permission edict from the police comes after years of protests by
Trinidadian women who want to be free to dance without having to worry at
Carnival, the annual cultural event that draws everyone from tourists to
costumed diplomats two days before Ash Wednesday.
Last year, one of the biggest hits in the lead-up to Carnival was the song
“Leave Me Alone” by Calypso Rose, about a woman trying to dance in the
streets free of harassment. The lyrics — “Boy, don’t touch me” — made the
song a feminist anthem and inspired hundreds of gyrating women to wear
“Leave Me Alone” and “Leave She Alone” T-shirts during last year’s Carnival.
Like the song, the new consent rule is part of a Caribbean-wide push by
women to have more say over their bodies, said Gabrielle Hosein, the head
of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of
the West Indies in Trinidad.
“What you’re getting is an argument that has been made by tens of thousands
of women over three or more decades in the Caribbean, long before the
me-too movement addressing sexual harassment,” Hosein said. “Women have a
right to be sexual and feminine in public without that happening on terms
set by male aggression.”
And what’s happening in Trinidad is more radical than the me-too movement,
she said. It’s women, who often dress in racy costumes during the revelry,
saying they have a right to express sexual freedom without fear of sexual
The concern over sexual harassment during Carnival isn’t only in Trinidad.
In 2016, 22-year-old college student Tiarah Poyau was fatally shot
Brooklyn during the J’Ouvert street party before the West Indian Day Parade
after telling a man to stop rubbing against her and dancing provocatively
close. Police later arrested 20-year-old Reginald Moise.
Hosein commended the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for warning last
month that those who “thief a wine” — or hip-grind on a person without
consent — during the raucous street party can be charged with assault,
based on a law prohibiting physical touching without consent.
“This is a struggle that is finally recognized not only in law, which it
was before, but explicitly in the language of the police in what is an
extremely progressive position and statement the police service has taken,”
Soca artists, whose performances are designed to provoke hip-grinding and
gyrating, are divided about the controversial rule.
But when one well-known singer, soca king Machel Montano, objected and told
fans at a concert that no consent was needed to wine, the public backlash
forced a quick turnaround.
“Once you get consent, take a wine and have a time,” Montano told the
Trinidad Express in a written statement.
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
February 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: https://wp.me/psnTa-zrw
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