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Simon! Simon! Simon!


EDITOR: A week or two ago I was stopped in the middle of my afternoon work when Mr. Simon Kamara of World In Focus fame suggested that pornography be used in schools as a tool for teaching sexuality. I stood transfixed, compelled to listen as the dialogue which ensued between Simon and Ron resulted in Simon further suggesting that every night club owner in SVG should employ persons to hand out condoms near their club entrances.{{more}}

Rest assured I wanted to call in but alas I could not. Pornography depicts sex acts and cannot, as Simon suggested, be used to teach about sexuality. If a Married couple (a man and a woman) wants to purchase a sex manual “containing diagrams” in an effort to spice up their sex life that is one thing. It is quite another to deliberately expose teenagers to material which is known to be highly addictive and capable of enflaming passions to levels beyond which sound judgment is utterly compromised. This would be either criminal or insane.

Sexuality is much broader than the mere mechanics of sex acts. Sexuality has to do with appreciating the differences between the sexes, and appreciating the way they complement each other. It has to do with understanding and appreciating oneself – for a man his maleness and the way he lives out his manhood, likewise for a woman. This maleness, this femaleness is physical; it is also emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and creative. True study of sexuality orients us toward the finality that only a man can be father and only a woman can be mother. Simon, how could one such as you confine sexuality strictly to the realm of genital gratification? Are you not aware that we are meant for so much more?

A favourite of Simon’s is the almighty, all-saving condom. How long have the saving graces of the condom been preached to Vincentians now? The answer would certainly be “greater than 20 years”. Simon, if you were to take a stroll through Kingstown on a Friday afternoon and later visit a number of the “Hot Spots” around St. Vincent, how many persons young or otherwise would you run into who had never heard about the condom? My wager on this question would be none. Simon, are you aware that health workers in this country are targeting persons as young as ten and eleven with the message and distribution of condoms.

If the condom is the answer, why has HIV/AIDS been declared an epidemic here? Why is the speed with which this epidemic spreads across SVG increasing? Why does my heart ache, heavy with the knowledge that as I sit writing, a one-year-old born with the “Big A” struggles simply to live, and a dying mother wonders what will happen to her children?

As a student of Philosophy how is it that simple truth escapes you? The first Truth: the condom is a technology. Secondly it is a technology from outside of Caribbean culture. Thirdly it was originally developed and marketed as a means of human population control, not disease prevention. The question should be asked: how has this foreign technology over the decades impacted our culture and is not its main function still to effect population control? With HIV spreading faster than ever can there be any doubt?

Any technology whether it be a hammer, a computer, or a condom, is only as good as the person, the mind using it. The condom can’t save our people; it has no mind. So we end up in quite a quandary by pushing the condom at younger and younger people. We prevent them developing/training their minds, learning discipline, self control, patience, faithfulness, postponement of pleasure. These are the real indicators of maturity. The three major Religions of the world have long since realized this. The condom mentality precludes this training of the mind. On the inevitable day when the condom is absent, damaged, expired, or interfering with the flow of things where will the training suddenly materialize from?

On one hand Simon believes that we will be lost without condoms, yet on the other, he fervently believes we should not under-estimate our people. Is it not absurd to place more confidence in the man-made condom than the divinely created human mind? If these questions are too difficult perhaps we prefer to ask one simple one: In the words of John King “HOW MANY MORE?”