On Monday, April 21, 2015 an audio recording captured Guyana’s Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran calling feminist activist Sherlina Nageer “an idiot”, “a little piece of shit”, threatening to “slap her ass…just for the fun of it”, and to have her stripped by “some of my women”.
A statement sent to the press by the Minister of Health subsequently claims that he was provoked to such misogynist violence after Sherlina Nageer interrupted a press interview. Sherlina can be heard demanding state accountability for Guyana’s high maternal mortality rate, which is the highest in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The Minister invoked the language of “provocation” to justify his act of violence. The invocation of “provocation” is frequently used to justify and rationalise men’s fatal violence against women and has crept into state and activist responses to violence. The language of provocation, just like the denigrating language and threats the Minister directed…
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