Letters to the Editor

There are rules of decency

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the Sunday Observer article published on July 8, 2018, headlined 'Brother upset at sister for pinning panties near his rag' as part of the 'Covering the Courts' column.

I was offended by the emotionally biased comments of parish judge Maxine Ellis turning this situation into a gender issue.

“ 'You dark like midnight. You are so foolish. Your very sister? You are the one who should be removing them from the line if she gone and you see rain coming,' Ellis said.

“She also told McKenzie that if he had grown up washing his sister's undies he would not have come before the court with that 'foolish' notion that the panties should not be near his rag.

“ 'It is just a piece of garment,' Judge Ellis said.

“She advised McKenzie that he and other males of similar persuasion should 'cut out the stupidness' they have about not going near undies.

“She then told McKenzie: 'You are operating on a level and you need straightening.' “

I was attacked on the Jamaica Observer online portal for seeing things differently from our perspective, since the issue was turned into that and not treated as a simple decency matter.

Before I'm accused of being a sexist or bigot by some, in no way am I condoning the actions of this man to destroy property. I strongly believe he should've just pinned his rag somewhere else, or go build a line for himself.

However, culture-wise there are certain 'logics' when hanging clothing on a line. For example, if a person hangs coloured clothing with whites something is wrong with that person. A person pinning an undergarment on sheets, to me, is weird. A person hanging shirts on pants, and not separately, to me, is awkward. This is not a Jamaican thing, other societies have more radical mores than ours. And I'm way less conservative than others, because I will wash my woman's clothes if she's sick.

But whether the person is a blood relative or not, it's not decent for panties to be near a man's rag. Also, it's not decent for man to pin his underpants near a woman's bathing rag. It also not decent for a man to pin his underpants beside his blood male relative's or a male friend's rag. It's not decent for for a woman to be pinning her panties near another female's .

All of a sudden we all forget about decency? I know I will be chastised as being “dark like midnight” by many readers and commentators, but that's not the solution. Neither is the solution paying a $5,000 fine. The adult brother and sister need to learn how to communicate if they plan to live in the same yard.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann


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