There is nothing like a social media debate to get persons impassioned and when soca stars such as Edwin Yearwood and Mikey Mercer stir that pot, it is bound to be steaming hot.
The past week saw those two cause great debate on Facebook around a topic that has gained great prominence in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean over the past year - feminism.
It was on March 11 of this year that men and women took to the streets in Barbados in solidarity with Caribbean neighbours, who were similarly protesting gender-based violence and harassment in theircountries. Driven by theLife In Leggings movement, which initiated from a social media hashtag used by Caribbean women to share experiences of abuse and harassment, their outcry sparked much debate about a woman's right to be unmolested no matter what she wore or how she behaved.
Now a similar debate is buzzing once more and it seems to be playing to a soca tune.
On Saturday Edwin Yearwood stirred up the discussion once more, with his plea to women to "respect yourselves," stressing that it is only when women refuse to behave in a certain way that they will gain respect from males:
"One dayyoung women will play a big part in stamping out huge parts of disrespect from somemen .I'm not here this morning to blast men or cuss them I'm here to just ask my sisters to respect and love yourselves somemore .You don't have to join the crowd and spin on your head with hardly anythingon .Call me old I don't mind but I'm willing toBetthe man that loves you doing that at the party isn't going to love you living in hishouse .He won't see you as a mother or a woman he won't see beyond the split andspin .Show me the man that shows you respect when you have none for yourselves and I'll show you a man that goes bush hill looking to marry and settle down."
Adding that "whenyou have goals and respect yourselves you cut more than half of the numbers who will step to you," he told women that if they take this step they will not only helpthemselves,but also "help some young men who aspire to be with women like yourselves to grow as well".
While many persons supported this view an applauded the soca artiste for his comments, his stance did not go down well with many who commented on the post.
Alexine Jackman brought the "Christain" opinion on the matter -
"So to the Christians, the ones who claim to followchristand his example as written in the New Testament Bible, There was no instance where Jesus said to anyone, "Icantrespect you if youdontrespect yourself".Jesus showed Unconditional Regard to theives, prostitutes, liarsetc etc.Hedidnttell Mary " you are a whore anddontrespect yourself so Icanthave you washing my feet.My point is - Treat other HUMAN BEINGS with the respect thatYOUwould want to be treated with!"
N'Delamiko Beywrote -
"This is a circular argument grounded in blaming the victim. We are tired of itallyuh... your answer can't keep being these shallow inhuman responses.Doesn't matter what a woman wears or if she is spinning naked on her head top, the only person responsible for rape is the rapist.If you blaming the victim in any shape or form, you are the backside in the equation, the root of the problem."
Sherry Rousestressed that many women who respect themselves are stilldisrectedby men -
"I love how the onus for respect towards women...is placed on women. As if every woman out here being disrespected is experiencing it because they somehow don't respect themselves. How about teaching young boys and grown old men, that women are to be revered and protected because trust, many have forgotten that fact and manyactas though they were never taught it. A woman could respect herself, wear 3/4 of cloth, only sing hymns and keep her.legs closed until marriage...there are still many men who would use crass language towards her, attempt to bed her and then cuss her out when she doesn't acquiesce. Men, ESPECIALLY black men, need to start protecting the women who look like their mothers, sisters and daughters & stop making wack excuses for why they cannot and will not. How you dance or what you wear has nothing to do with this."
Mikey Mercer also took some licks on Facebook recently and it was all to do with a social experiment.
He explained what it was all about in the post:
While many persons shared his sentiments, he received some backlash.
Alexine Jackmansaid - "Men can afford to have "more manners" than women in public because men have more safety than women in public and can afford to be more relaxed and pleasant. Full stop.People on this post talking about yes women get harassed but they should still tryto be polite to the nice ones.
That's b**s**t. If you have to walk through a bad neighborhood where people get robbed and killed all the time and you got robbed there before...Are you still going to give everyone who approaches you a chance? Are you going to smile and be mannerly or are you going to put on your screw face and try to look as tough as possible so no one tries to mess with you?
For women, being in public can be like constantly walking through a dangerous neighborhood.And no one tells the people walking through the bad neighborhood to fix their face, they work on fixing the f**k**g neighborhood.Therefore, if you want pleasant women walkingboutthe place, then the work needs to be done to make it safer for us,otherwiseyacouldtekthe screw face."
Andre Holder understood her views, he wrote -
"These "unmanerly" women, what else did you observe about them? Did they make eye contact?
Some women think that men perform certain gestures as an opening to an unwanted conversation or disrespectful remark.
How many of the women responding in this post go through this daily?"
Where do you stand on these issues? Take a look at the gallery to see what persons had to say.