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Tag: Rape

Otiko Djaba, Rape is not an STD.

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Dear Otiko Djaba,

Rape is NOT an STD. We Cannot Prevent Rape by Covering our bodies!

It is not often that I take the time to write to persons in positions of authority, as for the most part, I believe that authorities know what they are doing and do not need my input. However, on the odd occasion, I have been known to speak up. Ms Zita Okaikoi heard from me regarding her inaction, during her tenure as Ambassador to the Czech Republic, when a Ghanaian male was treated like “garbage” in that country.

Your predecessor, the Honourable Oye Lithur also heard from me, though I did not share my strong words for her here but kept to facebook, when she chose to sign the petition for the release of the Montie 3. Today, my attention is on you, and only you.

When you spoke up for yourself during your vetting and stood your ground when compelled to apologise to former President Mahama, I applauded from my home. I posted on social media about how it was high time we had a headstrong woman in the role of gender minister, who would not kowtow to the whimsy of our patriarchal society.

Imagine my joy when you turned up for your swearing-in looking radiant in your traditional garb and with your “interesting hairstyle” and hit back at your detractors when they accused you of setting a poor example for girls. Your defense for your hairstyle warmed my heart. Surely you would defend human rights as you defended your hair, no? Soon after, however, the bombs began to drop.

When videos began to circulate, in which a suspected female thief was sexually abused by a group of traders, you took days to speak regarding the issue, and even then, only to say that the police must be allowed to follow due process, and that the lady in question did not want to be found. My jaw dropped. With actual evidence in hand, the State wanted the victim to press charges before locking up those men? Even if she was proven to be a thief, did she deserve to be treated in such a manner?

The whole thing reminded me of an incident in Legon Uni where another alleged thief was stripped naked and manhandled by the males in one of the Mensah Sarbah Hall Annexes. Video footage circulated from this incident as well and some rather vile minded persons implied that she got what she deserved. I wonder why it took so long for action to be taken in the February 2017 event, when there was video evidence clearly showing the faces of her attackers.

You disappointed me, Otiko. You disappointed me so much but I had hope. I, and other women I hold dear to my heart, hoped you would “show us levels” but alas, just as Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you their character, believe them the first time.

I have actually left my sick bed to write to you tonight. I am supposed to be on bed rest while my back heals up but noooo, I needed to sit upright and take the time to let you know how disappointed I am, that you, a Minister for Gender should stand before a group of adolescent girls and declare that they should avoid wearing short skirts in order to prevent rape.

Can we stop devaluing men and their ability to think? Their brains are not actually stored in their penises.

I must thank you for warning male teachers not to coerce and abuse their charges. Warning them to desist from impregnating the girls, was a step in the right direction considering the society we live in but sadly, even this one good deed of yours stood on rocky ground. It gives the impression that the only thing wrong with male teachers sleeping with students, is the possibility of pregnancy.

You were absolutely right, in that it is an abuse of their rights but I put to you that pregnancy should be the least of their worries, but rather the emotional and physical trauma they inflict on their victims. Focusing on the risk of pregnancy ignores the fact that STDs could be transmitted and that female teachers could also be taking advantage of their charges, be they male or female students.

You mentioned something else that caught my attention, “We want to initiate a mentoring program; a girls-girls leadership program in all the schools, from basic to tertiary and as well as within the communities to ensure that we know our rights and we understand what it is to be  a woman who is an equal partner in society, no longer women behind but side by side with our men as equal partners”.

Great initiative but I wonder, can we have a mentoring program for boys as well? One which teaches them that older women sleeping with them is a form of abuse and not something they should be “proud of”? One that teaches them that they do not deserve sex whenever and wherever they want it, and that they should not be afraid to speak up when they are being forced into situations they are uncomfortable with? Our society has taught men for far too long, that their “manhood” and brains lay in their penises, and that women exist solely to provide them with pleasure.

In the next breath, you are alleged to have stated, that the girls should “…be bold, be confident, be respectful. If you wear a short dress, it’s fashionable but know that it can attract somebody who would want to rape or defile you. You must be responsible for the choices you make”.

Here is where I screamed in fury before being reduced to a weeping mess. My dear woman, that was a terrible gaffe. You revealed in those words, the fact that you are as much embroiled in the patriarchal BS that we are fed daily, as women. As the defender of human rights, you managed, in one fell swoop, to lay the blame for rape at the feet of the victims (fine, fine, potential victims). Please be informed, if you have not read my header above, “Rape is not an STD and we cannot prevent it by covering up“.

Rape Condom! To deter lusty males from infecting your body with rape.

Your statement ignores the following:

  1. Rape is not about sex. People do not rape because they are horny and want to get off. No, rape is about control, about power, about abusing a vulnerability, be it mental or physical. It is this “power thirst” that has warriors raping while they pillage villages. You think they simply miss their wives? No no it is about humiliation of the enemy and proving their weakness. “Haha you call yourselves warriors? Watch us violate your women and children”. Sex has been used as a weapon for years and so I am appalled when I meet people who miss the purpose of rape.
  2. Rape involves more than a penis and a vagina. I do not believe in the Ghanaian legal definition for rape, as it assumes just as you have, that rape only involves a man placing his penis inside of a woman’s vagina. The term defilement annoys me also, as it implies a sullying of the victim. The victim is not dirty, in the case of “defilement” so why use such a disgusting term? Newsflash, Madam Minister, men can be raped too. They can be raped by men, and by women. Once upon a time, I thought it was impossible to rape a man but then I learned that rape is about consent, and consent can be denied, even in the presence of a physical response.Research has shown that in fight or flight situations, men can have erections. The same happens with women, who often are ashamed to report rape because their bodies responded during the struggle. Most often, their attackers even point out to them the fact that their bodies are prepped and ready.I ask you, as a woman who seems to think that short skirts are the reason for rape, what would you say to a woman who told you she said no to a man but he forced himself on her and that, to her shame, she had an orgasm or two? Would you as gender Minister then decide her orgasm was proof of consent? I think you need some gender sensitivity training.
  3. Rapists have self control. Yes they do! They have so much self control in fact, that they actively search for persons they can overpower physically and mentally. A rapist who is 5’4″ and weighs 50kg will not attempt to physically overpower a person who is 6’2″ and weighs 90kg, certainly not without a weapon, or with prior knowledge that the potential victim is not mentally sound and thus can be coerced into the act.All those house helps seducing their young charges, call it statutory rape or no, there is a clear indication that these persons have had their bodies and rights violated.The idea that showing a little bare skin is enough to drive men into a sexual frenzy is absurd and should not be perpetrated any further. If a woman should choose to walk through the streets naked, it is not an excuse for anyone, male or female to touch them inappropriately, let alone insert objects into any orifices.  You liken men to animals with no self control, when we have seen dogs back off from food because they were told “NO”. Are men honestly reduced below the level of dogs when they get turned on?
  4. Rapists do not always beat their victims into submission. Most children who are assaulted will tell you their attackers did not beat them. They may have threatened violence either on their person or that of a loved one in order to get them to keep quiet, but overall, child molesters (rapists) simply prey on innocence and naivete to get what they want. Drugging an adult victim is a sure way of overpowering them without physical force. Or perhaps you, like the Ghana Police, want every victim to turn up with rope burns, swollen eyes, busted lips and vaginal tears to prove they did not consent to sex?
  5. Women in full clothing get raped too. The high incidence of rape in countries like India and Bangladesh are proof enough that no matter what a person wears, they can still be attacked by predators. Long skirt, short skirt, tights or jeans trousers, none will prevent a narcissist from taking what they want.

Pardon me for the long rant but I feel very passionately about this because this argument allows a lot of rapists to get away scott free. It allows boyfriends, dates, husbands (yes and girlfriends and wives) to simply refuse to take no for an answer, force a physical response from their victim and take from them, that which they do not wish to give.

Patriarchy has done this to us. Women are taught they are to blame if they are raped, that they are at fault if they get pregnant and men are taught that they are men when they have a high body count. They refuse to consider that they could be sexually assaulted because they cannot fathom ever having a woman or another man managing to overpower them physically or mentally.

Let’s please get this right and stop victim shaming. Giving predators excuses will never do, and teaching our young women that their clothing will drive men into a frenzy is beyond irresponsible.

Ms Djaba, i must ask you to do better. As gender minister, you are more than just a voice for the voiceless. You should never be caught perpetrating such misogyny.  Please don’t ever tell girls they make a choice to be preyed on by rapists when they dress a certain way. I don’t see us telling the lion that the gazelle was prancing about like a slut and deserved to be eaten.
And thus a closet rapist is born

The next time you talk about sexual abuse in any form, please remember to discuss consent. Let it be known that a man or woman has no right to demand oral, vaginal or anal sex from another person. Let them know even hand jobs are not to be demanded.

I and other Ghanaians want to hear you telling men and women that even if a person consented to sex, and is in the middle of the act, they still have a choice to say no and walk away. Let it also be known that if a man or woman says no to sex, that it is not alright to convince them to say yes, by stroking their bodies into submission.

This is one thing I have noticed in some Ghanaian relationships, where people assume the person saying no is playing hard to get. Disrespecting the person’s wants and choices, forcing a physical response from them, and carrying on is reprehensible. Sex is supposed to be between two willing individuals. The fact that one person has to be coerced should surely kill any vim, no? 

Oh by the way, I went out drinking on Friday night wearing a short dress and heels. The older male I was with, despite my near intoxication, thin frame and sexy clothing (the dress even had cut outs to show some flesh above my boobs) did not rape me. He had several chances, as we were in a dark and quiet section of the bar we visited and the streets on our drive back to my home were dark, to overpower and rape me, but he did not. In fact, he did not even touch my arm or leg, simply because I had already told him prior, that I was not interested in sex with him, or anyone, and that I was only interested in making a new friend. I know this must be a shock to you, and to others who hold your views that men are uncontrollable beings led by their penises but this man is a prime example of what we nurture when we, as a society teach men and women to respect each other, and make them understand that they are not entitled to anything from another person.

Oh by the by, I apologise for calling your hairstyle a chicken style on twitter. I was overcome by anger yet still, I owe you an apology. Your hairstyle should have no impact on your duty, unless the weave is sewn in too tight and making it impossible for you to concentrate.

Be the woman we expect you to be, Otiko. Show us that you’re here to protect all genders and that you are capable of doing your job.

Sincerely Yours,

~Daixy~

PS I have so much more to say but I am emotionally and physically exhausted. Should you wish to debate further, my twitter handle is @D41XY. I loooove to debate online, but only when I do not have deadlines to meet.

 

Mob Mentality: It Can Lead to Fail

Time: 3am
Date: 31st March, 2011
Location: Mensah Sarbah Hall Annex B, University of Ghana

Event: Apprehend a female thief and show her what’s what.

Thursday had me busy at work. I ignored the internet and there’s no radio in my office so I missed the debates. The evening saw me having the time of my life at the Labadi Beach Hotel with my family and I got home too late to bother with anything running the gossip rounds.  Fast forward to Friday, April first and my shock at reading a tweet by Nii Ayertey about Amina and how she could have been his sister.  I thought, “what’s going on now?” and followed the link to this CitiFm story.  And then I prayed it was some sick April Fool’s Joke.

At about 3am on March 31st, some male students of Mensah Sarbah Hall of the University of Ghana through whatever means, decided “to catch a thief“. Unfortunately, there is NO correlation between these kids and the characters in the movie/book.  No one is quite sure how they caught this girl or how they got a confession out of her. We do know though that instead of handing her over to the police, they chose to beat her up. The girl in the video clearly has a black eye and unless she did that to herself trying to escape (silly excuse really) I call these boys women beaters. I do not condone mob action and always insist on turning over suspects to the police and for good reason. You never quite know who the mob has apprehended, and you sure as heck don’t have anyone in a mob listening to reason.

I do not know at what point in time the boys chose to strip her naked. Parading her in the Hall, they did more than that.  They tore her clothes off of her, exposing her bra and panties.  Even those were not spared however, despite her pleas for mercy. Bottom line, they exposed her nether regions and proceeded to taunt her, while taking photos of her private parts and even going as far as to insert their fingers into her vajayjay.

University authorities are looking into this matter but I do not have any confidence in my Alma Mater. For years, students have been parading alleged thieves naked through the streets of campus (from Commonwealth Hall to the Main gate) in order to pond them.  And the university has always turned a blind eye to the happenings on. Debates yesterday on facebook had people comparing what happened to this girl to the pondings that were delivered to the boys who stole in the past.  Well let me say this, when you stole from Commonwealth or any Hall in the past, you had a choice.  Either you went to the shrine at La or were handed over to University Authorities or you had an option of being marched naked through the streets of campus with the culmination of a “decent” bath in the filthy pond at the main gate.

Amina was not given any of those choices. These boys tore, (shredded, call it what you will ) her clothes from her body and then did something that has never before been done, even by those troublesome Vandals. They crossed that fine line that exists in mob mentality where the role of criminal and victim are turned around.  See, once Amina was down on the floor clutching her tattered bra to her chest and begging the boys not to go any farther, she ceased to be a thief in my eyes.  She became a sexual assault victim, pleading with her attackers to have mercy on her.  She became a woman begging a gang of men not to violate her person. 

I don’t know how many of you have ever been in such a situation before (I certainly hope you haven’t) but I doubt there is anything more damaging than having a gang of men or women (or even a single person) out to sexually molest you and you laying in a defenseless heap with nothing but your tears to protect you.

I’m still trying to reconcile what they did and simply cannot find a single rhyme or reason. Who in their right mind captures a thief in their home and then decides “Let’s see what they look like under those clothes”.  Who in their right mind chooses to get their Johnses off when they find a burglar in their home.  “Oh thanks for comming to rob me.  I’d like to have the sex now” I do not think that I have ever been more ashamed to have been a student of the University of Ghana and I am glad now that I did not follow my father’s footsteps and join Sarbah Hall.  He’s certainly upset about it.

I’m against sexual abuse of any person (be they male or female, child or adult) or animal and can only describe what I feel right now as empathy.  I wept when I saw the video (couldn’t finish watching it) and wish now that I hadn’t been linked to it. If I cannot condone lynching a person for some crime, then how on earth can I condone sexually abusing them? I keep thinking what if this had been a case of mistaken identity? Just imagine for a second, for those of you who want to justify what happened to her, that these kids had made a mistake.  What if they’d grabbed the wrong person and abused them in such a manner?  What if your sister had been the one they’d grabbed in their frenzy? It shames me to have people I respect and admire tell me she deserved what she got and that this time she’ll learn her lesson.  It shames me to hear people I expect to do something ask me if I knew this girl and demand to know “why are you being so emotional about this?”  

No one cares!!!  A clear case of human rights violation and no one cares!!! Someone had the guts to say on facebook that if it had been a man, we wouldn’t be making so much noise about it. He said to “get it right.  It’s human rights not women’s rights” and I set him straight. We’ve been complaining for years about mob action.  Been speaking out forever about the marches to the uni pond. Clearly that was championing human rights and that was when it was even only men being abused. I have never heard of a case when a male thief was being paraded naked in the streets and the girls went over to stroke his manhood.  It’s plain disgusting to think of if you ask me.
The reason this person seems to think the world champions women’s rights is simply this.  Women and Children have always been weaker and therefore more defenceless.  Of course when you hear stories about human rights violation, they’re going to be about women being raped or molested and children being treated the same or worse.  And men, when they are abused, shut up about it.  Show me one case where a man was abused sexually and people threw a party for his attackers. 
This guy made a case of “women rape men and women beat men”.  PLEASE!!! It’s anatomically IMPOSSIBLE for a woman to rape a man unless she chooses to sodomise him and if you showed me such a case, I’d be first to condemn it. If it had been girls fingering Amina, I would still be talking about it.  If it had been boys sodomising a man or woman, I would be talking about it.  If it had been boys groping a male thief, I’d STILL be talking about it.  SEXUAL ABUSE is wrong and any person that seeks to justify and rationalise it away and promotes it is a big fat filthy IDIOT and should experience it for themself.

I want to see Amina fight for her justice now.  The state can do whatever they want concerning the theft but now the state HAS to round up the students responsible and deal with them.  Amina deserves justice.  She has become one of the many victims of sexual abuse and if it’s one thing that I know, Victims Never Forget. She didn’t ask for it.  This is not her fault and instead of men and women applauding these depraved students for their actions, I would like for there to be a united voice, calling for Justice, calling for heads to roll.  The university needs to be strict when they apprehend these students and the State should be well prepared to fight this to the end.  

I also hope that we will find a way to talk to our students.  We need to get it into people’s thick skulls, right from childhood, that sex is not a tool for punishment. 

Another thing that worried me was the way in which the video went viral.  I know some people meant well and wanted the world to see the depravity of man but did anyone think for a second that it would be adding more insult to this girl’s injury?  I sat down to think and I wondered, would I be okay with it, if my rape was taped and spread over the internet? Would you be fine if your friend, sibling, mother was attacked and the video making its rounds to every cellphone and computer, not only in your country but going as far as to hit the internet, where the entire world can see? So I asked the person who uploaded the video to delete it.  Did he? When I checked at 3pm yesterday, he hadn’t done that.  Now, his facebook profile has been deleted. Thank God for facebook crawler bots and the report violation button 🙂

No matter how you look at it, there is no “justice” in what was done to Amina. This is a human being (forget her crime) who was sexually abused by a gang and she’s never going to get over it.  I insist that we do not simply sweep this under a rug.  I’ll keep talking about it and demand that we hear something tangible from the Ghanaian government and the University authorities.  I demand that something be done to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. You can be sure that I’ll be writing more about this, that I’ll continue to make a nuisance of myself until someone in authority says something. And it had better not be along the lines of  “It is not nice and especially when it involves students who are supposed to know better…” and then nothing is done. We have a judiciary and laws have been put in place to handle these things.  Now I want to see these laws and their enforcers DO THEIR DAMN JOB!!

My heart goes out to Amina.  No matter what her crime was, she definitely did not deserve such a punishment and I pray that true justice is served.

~Daixy~

Related articles

Daixy on: Boobs, Vajayjays and Feet, in no particular order…..

picture source: http://fitnesslines.com

Through out history, in the various parts of the world, there have been several ideas on what women should look like. In most of africa, women are expected to be shapely.  Wide hips more or less guarantee a woman can bear a man’s 15 children and her bantu buttocks are fully expected to cradle a child on her back.  And the giant pendulous breasts?  Oh but certainly both child and husband can enjoy suckling at them 😉  Yes in the western world, thinner bodies are appreciated. An ideal that has led to severe psychological disorders in both male and females (although most often in females) like bulemia and anorexia nervosa. Good job Europe and America.  You’ve turned a female dilemma into a general issue 🙂

For over a thousand years, women in China had their feet routinely broken and bound, with the aim of giving them a wavy “lotus-like gait“.  Feet that are already too small (compared to mine), were shrunk down to fit in two inch shoes from as little as 4 years of age!! Why?  Well because the men felt the lotus gait was sexually stimulating.  How any man could bear to look at his wife’s unbound feet simply befuddles me.  I honestly doubt that they ever assisted with the constant nail trimmings and the massages the poor women had to endure to try and stave off the pain (which they had to endure for the rest of their lives).  

WARNING!!! If you are squeamish, please do not read any farther!!!
 

Of course, in most of Central Africa, some parts of Arabia and Asia, women were having their labia and clitorises lobbed off.  The reasons, well, people (of course they were male) thought the female genitals were ugly and dirty for one.  Chop them off and a woman would be better equipped to clean herself? Forget that for weeks, she would be afraid to attend to natures call; on account of the acidic nature of her urine would cause fresh reels of pain to course through her nether regions.  Gentlemen, imagine touching yourselves down there with hands that are covered in pepper or a hot liniment.  Think of lemon juice or salt in an open wound.  Why would you subject anyone to this kind of inhumane treatment?

Some (obviously mentally unsound persons) argued that women had no right to enjoy sex and thus insisted on removing the centre of pleasure. What did this lead to?  Frustrated husbands raping their wives, of course.  Well if you make a woman hate sex, why on earth then, would you expect her to WANT to give it up? Yes, these women will stay away from men as intended but did the oh so intelligent males of the species forget that they were in essence, cock blocking themselves? (This actually made me lol.  Amazing what stupidity we can eschew, n’est pas?)

What drew my ire most was one story I read (back in high school) where a frustrated husband; annoyed that he couldn’t get his overly-large african snausage through the tiny passage left by the village wanzam, decided to turn himself into a surgeon.  Without anesthesia, ignoring the basics of sterilization, he beat his wife senseless, cut her open and then proceeded to rape her.

Did anyone think about the degree of pain these poor women would go through during sex, let alone during child-birth, before instituting this atrocious practice?  No wonder many of them sought ways of abortion and rendering themselves barren. I doubt I could ever finish talking about this particular form of mutilation.  It sickens me to the core and there’s absolutely no way I would ever condone it. I’m glad it’s no longer in active practice.  Yes, I know it’s turned into a covert-op in our Northern regions but at least more and more people are aware of it and more women are standing up for themselves.

Women in Victorian England were expected to wear corsets. These tended to plump up the breasts while squeezing the spine into a most uncomfortable shape, cinching the waist into a thinner shape and allowing the hips to flare out.    This practice had it’s own negative effects.  Imagine having your internal organs pushed out of place, as seen in the picture above (corseted woman is on the left). People dealing with scoliosis would want to slap these idiots who willingly bend their spines out of shape!  I know I want to…. On the other end of the boob shape spectrum, Catholic nuns up until the 1930s were required to wear a linen breast binding under their garments in addition to their everyday vestments. Clergy claimed that this measure was designed to eliminate any potential distraction that the nuns’ breasts might cause.Yeah right!  I would far more prefer for wayward priests to go after the nuns than to turn to little children.  How a priest can preach against homosexuality and tout sodomy as an act of the devil, and then force little boys into that act…well that’s a rant for another post methinks.

Oh and let’s not forget the women who had to hide their breasts from men (like Joan of Arc so she would be allowed to play soldier).  Yes, it’s this topic that’s kept me awake since 11pm and will not allow me a moment of peace.  BREAST BINDING!!!  EUGH!!!!  You see, I happened to take a look at Nana Yaw Asiedu’s post Breasts Pressed Messed… yeah, you can lay the blame for my insomnia squarely at his feet.

So, now we’re onto an act that is openly active in this day and age.  Women in Cameroon and other parts south of the Sahara have taken to distorting their daughters’ figures with the sole purpose of making them undesirable to men. Girls as young as nine years old are being subjected to torture in order to prevent them from being raped.  Most women interviewed insist that they want to prevent pregnancy so their daughters can go to school.  They want to save them from the uncontrollable and horny males lurking round the corners.  As always, when the male of the species is unable to control his instinct for debauchery, it is the female who must suffer.  Why are we not bending penises and making them look like pretzels?
What affects me the most about these atrocities to women is how mothers will encourage their daughters to suffer through this.  How they manage to brainwash them into believing that they need to go through with it.  A mother will bind her daughters limbs to her own while a wanzam cuts away at her God-given vajayjay.  She will sob along with her and plead for her to withstand the pain.  Girls have been known to dislocate their shoulders while trying to free themselves from those “maternal” arms.  How can a mother pound her daughter’s breasts into flat misshapen objects and all the while tell her, “you must bear it.  Think about your education”?
The only modification we perform on males is circumcision, which is scientifically proven to be beneficial to them.  And guess what?  We do that in a hospital with trained staff and put them on medication so they do not suffer.
How bad does security have to be in a country before its women have to resort to such drastic measures?  How sick does a society have to be, for it to decide that its women have to destroy their bodies, to deny themselves of any sexual gratuity?  When will women ever be allowed to be free, to walk, talk and breathe as they like?  To decide what they want to do with the natural grace, beauty and passion that they are blessed with?

I’m SICK AND BLOODY TIRED of women having to constantly feel ashamed of their bodies. Enough is Enough!!!

I know, I know, I am quick to condemn.  But I fail to wrap my brain around this, to see why it is that us, WOMEN, the bearers of life should have to deal with the nonsense we do.  Why we need to fear for our virginity and constantly be on the lookout for people ready to molest and abuse our minds and bodies.  The next time there is a war somewhere, I want to hear about an army of women marching through the villages and ravishing the local men.  I want to hear about men pleading not to be taken, screaming for mercy while some lascivious female mounts their unwilling bodies and forces them to yield that which they would rather save for a deserving person. Then we’ll see what practices would stem with the pretense of protecting you.
Oh wait, that’s never going to happen. You damn lucky bastards can turn yourselves on and off like switches. One would have to feed you an aphrodisiac in order to rape you lot.  I have a new level of anger toward your kind now 🙁
~Daixy~
It’s past 5am and I’m still awake.  This is going to be a weird day, even for me 😮 Forgive the ranting.  I have a whole lot more to say, I just can’t finish it all in one day.