Men And Boys Are In Crisis, They Are No Targeting Women…

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.

He said;
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.
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