Camille Mc Milan Rambharat
Take the number. Decades before cell phones, calypsonian Scrunter advocated for young girls and women to ‘Take the number’. The foresight, simplicity and brilliance of his 1979 hit Soca chronicled an overheard conversation between a neighbour and her daughter Carol. It was a frightening time, rapes were on the rise, and a most controversial rape polarised a nation still preoccupied with race and religion. That rape and that song forced parents to have the conversation with their daughters on the best self-defence/ coming of age advice to keep us safe and confident of having a strategy.
Fast forward to the technology era which provided cell phones with too many options and apps to choose from. From downloading Candy Crush, Maze and Cash App; with even thinking about the many free tracking/safety apps available for young girls and women. Fast forward also to pepper spray and personal taser-like devices. Hopefully, they can do more than “take the number” and bring some level of feeling like we too have a plan/strategy to protect ourselves in a cost-effective way.
So what is your personal security plan? Do you know how to use the emergency feature on your iPhone or Android devices? Have you downloaded any safety app for women? In case you want to ask the same questions of me–I can say to you, neither my daughter nor I have done the same.
The painful outcry in beautiful T&T echoed through the islands, vibrating internationally, catching the attention of US rapper Cardi B and others. They, like us lent their voices for protecting our young girls and women.
Standing up should not depend on where you live, how you look or who crime affects. If we can’t raise our voices for all—each and every one— then we are part of the problem plaguing. And stop directing this “raising monsters” to one demographic and ethnic group. Crimes against females come from all sides.
Women are fighting so many battles from catcalls while walking, travelling to and from work and sexual harassment at the workplace to name a few. Do we blame these executives’ mothers for raising monsters? Why not? Stop questioning and labelling mothers from certain demographic and ethnic groups for raising children who are now grown men with toxic behaviour. Let’s hold persons in authority accountable for upholding the laws of the land.
Carol was an exemplary mother bringing up her daughter right judging from Scrunter’s ‘Take the Number’ song.
There are many free self-defence apps available but it would be no use to us and our daughters if we don’t do our own research, practise and become comfortable using it. Like the fire extinguisher behind the enclosed glass case that reads: “in case of emergency, break glass”, it’s good to know it’s there, but hope to never have to use it. It’s the best and updated version of Scrunter’s song. Maybe that should become our ring tones, a reminder to stay alert and as a tribute to the memory of beautiful women and girls taken from us too soon.