Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Words From the Dark Mangroves

“In a patriarchy, every act of aggression against a woman by a male in authority is calculated to control, to keep her in a place outside her imagination, in the hopes that she may forget how to get there. She may forget a place called ‘imagination exists at all. And without a way to get to her imagination, there will be no new ideas, and no agency with which to live them.”

Words from the Dark Mangroves

Imagine a homeland where all stay at home parents, mothers and fathers, looking after children, house and home, are paid for by the state, an elite corps of civil servants, acknowledged for their specialized expertise and paid a decent salary. Imagine a Bahamas blessedly rid of rape and violence against women by way of real legal and social reform led by the voices of the Grass Root Literati and the Cyber Dissidents and Citizen Journalists on the Web who amplified and documented the peaceful protests of many thousands of our people demanding the end to the violence. Imagine our government begins by building ninety nine new shelters and safehouses for the women and children at risk in our time. Imagine this little place rising from the patriarchal ashes into the new age of tolerance, of diversity, of equality, a Time when the greatest thinkers will lead us, not the greatest campaigners, when fundamentalist religions are gratefully faded into the past, when poor women in need of reproductive health services can easily get them, a time when accused murderers, rapists and child predators are never, ever granted bail. Imagine re-creating our society into one where restorative justice replaces execution, and the police and other armed forces are known to be brave, honorable and worthy of our gratitude and never again our fear. Imagine the transformation when we replant New Providence with big trees for shade and for fruit, imagine tax exemptions for property owners for every planted tree. Imagine a Bahamian society where no one of any sexual orientation is ever again killed or otherwise silenced because of who they love, a renewed, restored, invigorated society where environmental conservation is a guaranteed human right, when everyone of us is an organ doner, and everyone of us reads and adores a favorite homegrown poet. Imagine piety, conformity and hatespeach at the altar gone from the voices of women and men who are teachers of spirit, replaced now with inclusiveness, tolerance and views that are constantly widening. Imagine us by the many thousands changing into people no longer afraid , but wholly and completely empowered, this will be a time for embracing.

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