by: Milton Pérez Osorio
On the third day of the V Coloquio: ¿del Otro La’o?: Perpectivas sobre Sexualidades Queer, held at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez last March 4-6, two University of Puerto Rico students presented lectures to the public about their research and its contribution to the development of rights for the LGBT community. Antonio Ramos, a graduate student at UPR-Río Piedras and Nivializ Toro López, an undergraduate student at UPR-Mayagüez presented on March 6 at 3:30 p.m.
Ramos presented a proposal to study discrimination against women and the past dominance of males in the police department of Puerto Rico; he drew from historical records and present interactions with active policewomen. Ramos discussed examples found in past cases and books such as Black and White Women in Blue: a Case Study of Police Women, “La dominación masculina” (Masculine dominance) and among others.
The history student stated that he hopes to continue his study and apply it in the future to the Justice Department in hope of relieving the burden that women suffer from the discrimination stated by stereotypes.
Subsequently, Toro López introduced her work as a connection between a news story found in the newspaper El Vocero in 2003 with a fictional novel called “Sirena Selena” by Mayra Santos-Febres, a renowned Puerto Rican author who, according to http://librosac.com/mayra-santos-febres/ has won prestigious awards such as el Premio Letras de Oro.
Stated by the Website “LibrosAC” (Books AC) the author Mayra Santos-Febres was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico in 1966 and manage to win some awards, such as el Premio Letras de Oro and publish her first novel known as “Sirena Selena” on Mondadori, Spain, in 2000.
Toro López retold the audience the news story about the arrest of 11 prostitutes in Puerto Rico. Toro López added that in her experience as a UPRM student she has heard that “multiple students come into contact deliberately with prostitutes nearby to enjoy the night.”
After introducing those realities, Toro López correlateed the events with the novel “Sirena Selena” with the aforementioned statement and how in close relation those two subjects tend to be.
As the panel came to an end, among the average of 30 people in the audience it was a surprise to find out that four prominent officers from the police force of Puerto Rico were also present. They endorsed Ramos’s project and expressed gratitude for his initiative.