Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Gay-baiting headline deplorable

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Jamaica has one of the worst records worldwide for sexual assaults against women and girls. Most of these attacks are perpetrated by heterosexual men, often in conditions of employment.

However, I have yet to see a local news headline scream 'Straight stalker!' So, I am puzzled as to why your paper chose to use the headline 'Gay stalker!' to describe a recent deplorable instance of sexual harassment of a man by another man. Exactly why was the headline necessary, except, of course, to sell papers?

I am sure that you are aware that all sexual assaults are about power. It is never only about the physical act of intimacy. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally capable of abusing powerful situations, as we recently saw with the spate of pastors sexually abusing young girls.

Responsible journalism reports these instances of abuse of power, without endangering the lives of innocent bystanders. I regret that your recent headline feeds the deadly myth in our homophobic society that the minority gay population poses a threat to society and must, therefore, be eradicated.

I consider The Gleaner to be one of the more balanced newspapers in Jamaica, and so I expect that going forward, you will make it a point to investigate and report the sexual orientation of all sexual predators. Otherwise, your readers may be left with a warped sense of the true source of sexual violence in Jamaica.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

Montego Bay, St James