One of my former colleagues made a rather important observation on a social media platform today.
I must say that I found his observations rather pointed even though I cannot validate the numbers killed genderwise.
“In Jamaica, in any given year we will murder over a thousand of our citizens. Of those more than a thousand citizens„ probably 1 % will be women. Of that 1%, maybe a huge percentage of those weren’t directly targeted. So do we believe that the problem is ’ “violence against women?” maybe we need to change our selective outrage. Our default settings are to kill those who offend us be it man woman boy girl or a dog that attacks us. That’s the problem”.(RS)
He nailed it.
I have always wondered where we would end up in our Jamaican society because we never do anything without being extra, pretentious and overdoing it.
Sure, we need diversity of all kinds, but I hardly think that tipping a container too far one way or the other does any good to the contents of that container.
In February of last year, I wrote the above article in which I called out a female government minister for ignoring data in order to push what I contended was a feminist agenda.
One of the things that I have observed in our society growing up, was that in many cases a poor family would make the choice to educate a girl sibling leaving the boy to fend for himself. After all, a man can always fend for himself so we have to ensure that the girl gets an education.
I have always thought that way of thinking was dangerous because we lived in a society in which the man was [still] expected to take care of his family.
A man who did not take care of his children was less than a rabid dog, open to ridicule and derision, and correctly so. Nevertheless, if he was not educated the same way his sister was, how can he be expected to compete in the dog-eat-dog society in which only the fittest survive?
When the UWI, the preeminent institution of higher learning freshman class year over year, is up to 85% female, is there any wonder that the men are angry and feeling left behind?
In the article last year I included some basic facts to be considered, I will incorporate some of those facts here.
There are exponentially more all-girls schools in Jamaica than boy schools.
There are also myriad agencies dedicated to the support and upliftment of girls and women.
(1) The Bureau of Women’s Affairs (gender affairs)Act as a catalyst to ensure that the Government addresses the problems that confront women, given the impact of patriarchy and sexism.
(2) Woman Incorporated (Crisis Centre) Offering crisis counseling, referral services, and a 24-hour hotline. The issues addressed by Woman Inc. include rape, incest, domestic violence, domestic crisis, and sexual harassment.
(3) Sistren Theatre Collective Brings pressure to bear on society to change the negative stereotypes of women.
(4) Women’s Centre Of Jamaica Foundation Objective is to motivate young mothers to choose education instead of continuous motherhood.
(5) Women’s Media Watch The organization works to improve the images of women in the media.
(6) Women’s Resource And Outreach Centre Provides a place for women and youth in the Lyndhurst and Greenwich community to learn the route of self-empowerment.
This list does not begin to scratch the surface but it gives clear and unequivocal examples of the disparity in support services and to whom they are dedicated.
I am yet to locate a bureau of men’s affairs. Not only are men in crisis not socialized to be vulnerable, they hardly have any place to go for help.
If you have been paying attention you would have noticed that from the classrooms to the boardrooms across the country, men have basically retreated and in some cases have all but disappeared.
Who will the highly educated women enrolling in the UWI marry? In fact, when the very man who was sidelined in order that his sister could go to college, decides to educate a girl he falls in love with, and then she finds him uneducated and therefore unsuitable for her, and he kills her, why are we in shock?
The sad truth is that there is a lot to ventilate on this issue, an issue that needs psychological attention.
The men who dropped out of school, or were sidelined for their sisters, or decided they did not want to bother with the long process of education, are the men being empowered by the gun. They are the men who find power and ventilation in violence, they see no other way.
They are not about to give up that power, those guns will have to be pried from their fingers, one way or another.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge, or subscribe to his Youtube channel @chatt-a-box, for the latest podcast all free to you of course.