Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.
What a busy month we have been having on our little island on matters of sexual abuse of minors! Grown folk have been having sex with children for ages, instances often being swept under the rug based on the perpetrators influence or how deep their pockets ran. We all know stories of parents being paid off to keep things quiet, so it’s a beautiful thing to see that as a community Grenadians are speaking with a collective voice that says enough is enough.
I’m loving the public outcry and how the community has been mobilizing. Seeing yesterday’s march against child sexual abuse makes me believe that once the public continues to support victims as they come forward, we keep the conversation going, and we see changes in the legal structure to ensure perps are held to the full extent of the law, this societal scourge can gradually become a thing of the past. One can only hope, right?
But in the midst of the outcry of bus men, business men, and just men in general having sex with children, I also want us to consider that sexual abuse isn’t always represented in the grown men and young girl, dynamic. Let’s also remember that under-aged boys are also molested and abused. By women. Yes, women.
Don’t believe me? Then recall that conversation or two you’ve had over the years with male friends who shared on losing their virginity as school-aged boys to women who could be considered adults. I can recall many such conversations. The sad thing is that these now adult men would speak of their experience in a boastful way or with a sense of pride. But bro, that is no badge of honor to hold on to, and it is not ‘sexy’, no matter how you dress it up. You were abused. And even if you enjoyed the experience, it does not make it any less abusive. Let’s make it clear – grown women have no business having sex with boys (just as grown men have no business having sex with minors). Period; end of story.
In public and private spheres, I wish we can have more conversations that include women who prey on or have sex with the underage. I believe it will provide us an opportunity to shift the narrative of conquest and sexual prowess often associated with young boys ‘getting’ older women to the reality that this is rape, abuse, and a violation of a child, by an adult. It’s not sexy, and it’s not something to be boasted about. Remember, pedophiles do not only come with penises.