BRISBANE - I have so much to say. I don't know where to begin. I'll start with I do not think all men are savages.
I am not a misandrist in any way, shape or form. I appreciate that Papua New Guinean men play a pivotal role in PNG society. I get it. Mi save tu lo pasin lo ples ,na kastom. Iau nunure. Mi save!
Secondly, I will always support a PNG writer, male or female. I will read, share and buy your work. I will wave my PNG flag beaming with pride around the world. Your words come from a place from deep within.
Ward Barry, you have this thing called freedom of speech and right of assembly. You are able to express your thoughts. You can express your thoughts and creative gifts through poetry. And others that read your work can respond with the same rights.
I have enjoyed your poetry in the past. Did I enjoy this particular poem? I am indifferent. I feel nothing.
My indifference is not against you personally. My problem is not with your poem. My problem is the way you have responded to the many women who have had valid and clear points regarding your poem.
Your perspective has been heard and read multiple times. Your message is loud and clear. You have proven a point. You are a great guy we get it. You love women. You love PNG women.
Thank you for not raping us; thank you so much for not molesting our daughters; thank you for not man-handling and groping us on PMVs, in the markets and on dance floors in the clubs. Thank you for not burning us at the stake.
You are commended. Did you want a medal? Or a certificate of appreciation?
Jordan Dean, you too are commended for defending your brother. I presume you don't understand what all the fuss is about? Why are so many women up in arms? What's the big deal?
Let me flip the scenario for you. A white guy writes a poem. Yes, I'll use white guy as an example because, Ward, I've seen your comments against the white man.
Apparently we PNG women folk need to "rausim galas blo waitman".
So maybe you will relate to this analogy.
White guy thinks to himself, "Hmm I'm a decent guy. I have never owned a slave. I have never used the N word. These 'people' have had so many atrocities and horrendous stories of mistreatment, brutality and death because of the colour of their skin."
Then he thinks, "I'll write a poem depicting how great I am and how kind and loving I am to my black brothers and sisters."
Sounds absurd, right? This is how you have made women feel this week.
Now I am only one woman and this is only my perspective. I appreciate yours. I don't expect you to appreciate mine.
Violence Against Women (VAW) and Gender Based Violence (GBV) are raw and sensitive subjects in PNG.
Women and men have been fighting for change. I won't fight battles that aren't mine to fight. However the fight against GBV and VAW in PNG is a personal battle.
You don't know me personally; you don't know my story just as you don't know the stories of the many women your comments have hurt and caused discord.
Before you dismiss my perspective or judge me, possibly berate or ridicule me for speaking out..... You see my words come from a place within.
My words come from real pain. They are not irrelevant. Just as your words have relevance, so do mine.
The scar between my inner thighs caused by a stab wound, that has relevance. Stabbed by a PNG man.
My permanent drooping eye caused by a man's fist, that has relevance. Punched by a PNG man.
My permanent injury caused by a kick in the head, that has relevance. Kicked by a PNG man.
And still not one part of me feels or thinks that all PNG men are abusive.
That's just my story. There are hundreds of women with similar stories. All relevant.
Let’s just leave it. You have spoken. The women have spoken. Your friends have spoken. And now I have added my opinion, thoughts and liklik two toea.
Enough now. Nur vue.