Dutty Politics

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”
bell Hooks

As if the UNC wasn’t already such a colossal waste of space and daily adding more ammunition to Papa Patos’ ever enlarging sense of self-importance, they had to come and make things worse.
As if it wasn’t already bad enough that they are a sham opposition and their incessant fumblings and foibles aren’t enough of a jeopardizing of our full experience of democracy, whatever that means in this little neo-colonial playground of the rich and gormless.
They had to come with the dutty wine politics.  They had to put an ad for their Carnival fete in the newspapers with their rising sun logo stamped just north of a red girl’s yellow and orange panty.
Okay, okay I concede. So it was equal opportunity objectification.  There was an African girl in a ripped t-shirt and a UNC logo between her breasts and an Indian girl in a batty rider shorts with a logo like a slap across her face.
And of course the red girl in the middle, just to the right of poor Roy Cape with the sun rising out of her yellow panty.
Well yes.
We really reach where we have to go when the political parties start buying into the ‘sex sells’ folly.
Every nubile, flat bellied, pretty faced agency brown girl in Trinidad is ripe for the picking.
Ripe for the auction block.  Suitable for to be plucked, splayed, filleted for public (read male) consumption.
There’s nothing wrong with freeing up, liberating women from the enslavement of clothes and those passé Victorian puritan notions of decency, right?
I suppose I should forget the patriarchy and that women’s bodies are always the point of contestation.
I suppose I shouldn’t be alarmed that a political party, an institution of power and authority has jumped in the gayelle and joined the fight to have ownership of women’s sexuality for its own purposes.
Sex sells even as more little girls pose for camera phone porn in their class rooms.  Sex sells even as young women between the ages of 15-24 contract HIV because they haven’t the words nor the power to negotiate condom use with their macho Trini men partners.
Sex sells, ent? And the ad for the UNC fete of the year is bordered with the words one dollar, over and over.  That’s the value UNC puts on the bodies of young women.
Sex sells, well if that isn’t the cliché of Generation X, I don’t know what is.  Because I’m not putting water in my mouth to say that it’s not so much that sex sells, baby, it’s that women’s bodies are so highly sexualized in our advertising, our music and videos that we can’t see ourselves as anything else.
I look at that ad and I try to figure out what is supposed to be sexy about it. I ask my bredrins and they can’t see it either.  Because like so many other low grade, poor quality sexism posing as advertising, there’s no real sexiness to this thing.  No portrayal of sexuality that celebrates the goddess in us.  No creative odes to femininity, no delightful sensuality, no subtle desirability.
‘Sexy’ women selling everything from cars to half limp political parties is not fecund. It’s feculent, stinker than the smell of smelting and corrupt officials circling like well-dressed cobos.
No sah, it’s the same predictable, emotionless, lowest common denominator, formulaic like a bead and sequins bikini band. Like every five cents snack box soca and the poor misguided little boys and girls who think that this is their ticket to stardom.
I reason with some people.  They say, you know how it go.  Some little upstart in the party must have convinced the older heads that this was a good way to get to the young people.  Because everyone knows that young Trinbagonians only have sex on the brain.  Everyone knows that a sun rising out of a yellow panty is the key to political power.
Hold your corner and wine down low.  That is the real secret.
Talk about who have the best pipe and skin your teeth plenty and people will like you.  Talk bout sleeping with the devil to gain power and for sure you have a place in the hearts and minds of the party faithful.
We really reach where we have to go, I telling you.  We reach the lowest of the low, lower than the lowest rung of a limbo pole.  Lower than the La Basse. Lower than the dry season trickle of the East Dry River.
Dutty wine politics is taking over.  I wonder how many girls are going to break their necks for more visionless politicians to come to power.

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