Sunday, September 30, 2012

Leave him

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 22 September 2012)

This week, a wife went to court for throwing the spectacles of another woman into a trench because her husband was rubbing the other woman’s face. Any woman on the face of this planet can sympathise with this wife’s feelings of pain, betrayal and disrespect after seeing what her husband was doing with another woman in public.
Let’s face it; if a man is rubbing the face of another woman in public, he is probably doing much more behind closed doors. A woman is better off without such a man. He will cause her nothing but more hurt and pain if she does not leave him. Yet still, in this story, by tossing the other woman’s glasses into the trench it was the wife who ended up being arrested and in court.
Sisters, we have got to be smarter than to be the one who ends up in court while the cheating man walks away with a smirk on his face. The victim in this scenario was the wife, yet because of the way she reacted, she was the one who was placed before a judge. She should have just walked away and kept walking far away from that man.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The end of men

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 15 September 2012)

There has been much buzz this week about a new book, entitled “The End of Men and the Rise of Women,” by Hanna Rosin. The book, based on her very popular 2010 Atlantic cover story, “The End of Men,” explores the much talked about predicament of why men, who have for millennia dominated every aspect of the human experience (except birthing a child), are now in large part failing to adjust in a society where women are thriving.
In a September 10 column on Rosin’s book, titled “Why Men are Fail,” New York Times writer David Brooks illustrated the dire situation men find themselves in: “In elementary and high school, male academic performance is lagging. Boys earn three-quarters of the D’s and F’s. By college, men are clearly behind. Only 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees go to men, along with 40 percent of master’s degrees. Thanks to their lower skills, men are dropping out of the labor force. In 1954, 96 percent of the American men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. Today, that number is down to 80 percent. In Friday’s jobs report, male labor force participation reached an all-time low.”
The article said Rosin argues that women “…are like immigrants who have moved to a new country. They see a new social context, and they flexibly adapt to new circumstances. Men are like immigrants who have physically moved to a new country but who have kept their minds in the old one. They speak the old language. They follow the old mores. Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.”
And while some may say that it is just how men are and they cannot help themselves, the article said Rosin’s books posits, “This theory has less to do with innate traits and more to do with social position. When there’s big social change, the people who were on the top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.”

Monday, September 17, 2012

She will not shut up

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 8 September 2012)

Last week, I wrote about local female musician Jackie Hanover, who has a song out that encourages women to be independent and to make a good life for themselves. This week, I want to highlight another local female musician who is also sending out a positive message for women.
Lucieann, from Berbice, has recently released a powerful song, entitled “I am Woman,” that speaks to the issue of domestic violence. The titular woman of the song starts out talking about how the man tells her he loves her and needs her, but yet he likes to beat her “like a drum.” But, (Woohoo, there is a “but”!) according to the song, she is woman and she is strong and she is not going to put up with the violence for long.
The woman talks about the sweet talk from the abuser, who wants to show her the type of love that will make her blush. He is just going through a hard time and she should be patient… but all she sees are swollen eyes and broken hearts. She will not shut up, she is going to lift her voice, and she is going to make some noise (honestly, women have been acquiescent and silent for far too long).
The woman continues, saying she tried to deny the truth from the start and told herself so many lies. She gave love from her soul and all he did was beat on her bones. She won’t take it anymore. Good!!
There are so many women who do not want to admit they are in a domestically violent relationship. The myriad of reasons for not wanting to face the truth could include low self-esteem (feeling as if one does not deserve better), feelings of affection toward the abuser, fear of retaliation from the abuser, social expectations to stay within the abusive relationship, financial reliance on the abuser, social expectations to accept the abuse as part of life, and the list goes on.
Are you a victim of domestic violence? Do you think that you might be, but you are unsure? Wikipedia is not an authority on domestic violence, but the following definitions from that site can provide the reader with a description adequate enough to help determine whether she is a victim of domestic violence.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

An anthem for all women

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 1 September 2012)

They say art is a reflection of society. If this is true, the local female musicians are proving that the women of this nation are on a good path.  I have heard two songs from two separate female artists that show just how much the mentality of women is changing from that of brutalised victims dependent on the money of a man to that of an independent survivor who refuses to be a punching bag.
I came across the first song in July and instantly fell in love with it. Jackie Hanover both wrote the lyrics and sings the song, entitled “Ladies Anthem.” The lyrics empower and challenge women at the same. Take a look at the words of the song’s chorus:
Ah yo money buy de ford and de rover
De cute Chanel bag on yo shoulder
Cah you na beg no man fi nothin (You na beg no man nun)
No boy cyan see you out ah road
and ah pull off ya frock
Cuz him money buy it and him want it back
Cah you na beg no man fi nothin (You na beg no man nun)
These words show a new standard is forming in a society where women have been taught that it is acceptable to depend on a man for everything from food to shelter. This new standard being promoted in this song can be easily found in society. Just take a look around or talk to the women around you and it will become clear very quickly that women are deciding to take care of themselves instead of relying on a man to take care of them.

The War on Women in the US

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 25 August 2012)

I seldom talk about women’s issues in the United States in this column for one very important reason: there are so few columnists (if any) in Guyana who focus on the women’s issues of this country.
However, it is important to touch on the fact that this past year has seen the rights of women in the US diminished as those who would love to see a return of the “barefoot and pregnant woman” era find their way into power. People of a twisted mentality similar to that of Todd Akin – of the now infamous “legitimate rape” statement – are coming out of the proverbial woodwork.
I am going to be quite honest and say it is a scary time for women who value their rights in the US. In fact, in the last year, there has been a lot of new legislation presented and passed that restrict or rescind women’s rights, such as a woman’s right to have an abortion and women’s right to fair and equal pay.
This new breed of politicians even refused to renew the Violence Against Women Act, which provides for community violence prevention programmes and battered women’s shelters. The Act was originally passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized by Congress twice in bipartisan votes, but not this time.
I am going give my explanation of why I think this is all happening right now. I believe there are some men who have seen that women are taking their rightful place in society and it scares them. They are afraid of losing their power for the first time in thousands of years and they are scrambling to find a way to stop the women.
They are trying to create an atmosphere that would force women to have children by restricting abortion and contraception in order to push all women back into the home and out of the workplace. They are refusing to protect women who are being beat and abused in hopes that the men can beat the women back into “submission.”