Dear Editor,

I was shocked and enraged to the point of tears to learn of Minister A J Nicholson’s statement and his subsequent hesitation to withdraw the statement on the premise that it was just a joke.

Rest assured, Mr Nicholson, rape is no joke — flexible or otherwise — and there is no context or forum in which the rape of a woman should ever be taken as such.

The utterance was of your own doing, but that apology was not, as it was carefully crafted, evasive, and skillful.

You and those who found your verbal diarrhea funny have no idea what it must have been like for rape victims to hear that statement uttered by an elected official and to hear you defend it as a joke when confronted. That level of insensitivity and disregard has no place in government, contrary to common belief in such circles.

It is one thing to pillage and make a mess of the country’s affairs, but it is another thing entirely to propose — as your joke suggested — that there could ever be an appropriate time for rape. The statement is a slap in the face of every female in this country and more-so to those who have had to deal with this scourge that robs a woman of pieces of herself in ways you will never be able to fathom in your lifetime.

Shame on you!

Context: This editorial piece was printed in the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday November 5, 2014. It was in response to a highly inappropriate comment made by the senator who described opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte’s explanation of the need to limit working hours for women for fear of rape as a request for “flexi-rape”.

Read the details of the incident here