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.

Too many women have been left in devastating positions when the man who fathered her babies runs off with another woman or drinks away the household money. Some women enter into relationships where the man insists she doesn’t get a job, but stays home to care for him and the family. However, when he leaves, she is left with no education, skills or money. Women are now choosing to protect themselves and the children by simply removing men from the equation.
Moreover, when the man is the sole money-maker, the woman is under his constant prying eye when it comes to how the money is spent. She never has the option of buying something she wants without getting his permission first. The lyrics to the first verse of Jackie’s song explore this attitude change:
Me rather work hard for meh money and spend as meh feel
No bwoy can tell me ‘deal or no deal’
Monitor meh moves, meh na have curfew
Clingy, clingy man dem a stick like glue
Some man like guard
Dem wan keep de homan ah de yard
While dem ah roll with de boys and ah have fun
Some bwoy like that, meh na want none!
Yes, things are most certainly changing. For thousands of years women have been chained to the house while men explored the world. Not anymore. And obviously, women do not need a man to protect her while she explores the world. After all, who is the man protecting her from? Men.
In Jackie’s third verse she demonstrates how decent women are rejecting the “gold-digger” types who prey on men to get their money and sell their soul in the process. Think of what these women could do with their lives if they spent all that wasted and self-destructive time and energy getting an education or being an apprentice in a field that could be a form of lifetime income.
“She wan money but she na wan work
No ambition-bition she ah lurk
Innah de club, she ah lurk innah bar
Hustle man who ah pass innah car
She can’t get a job, no qualification
She ah get thump every day, never go ah station
My girl your life ah disaster
Meh seh no man ah go be my master!”
To make things clear, as so often must be done when women take a stand for themselves, Jackie qualifies her stance in the final verse and spells it out for anyone who may want to misinterpret the intention of her song:
Now, meh know some gal, dem ah get me wrong
Na mix up de message meh ah send innah de song
If de man dem ah give, meh na tell yo decline
But you never mek him feel seh him ah yo lifeline
Young girls tek in ya education
Na rely pon ya looks fi no elevation
Housewife keep ah stash fi ah rainy day
Ya bank-book fat when him walking away
I am so proud of Jackie for putting this song out. If I had my wish, this would be an anthem for ladies all over. It is not that women must give up their relationships with men who truly love care about them, but a wise woman today will protect herself by creating a life for herself through a job of her own, a home of her own and an education.
Once a woman has made a good life for herself, she can then share that life with someone who truly loves and cares for her. Moreover, she is not forced to settle for the nearest low-life that is out to steal her smile and hold her under his thumb. However, note that sharing her life with a good man is different from that man being her life. If he ever walks, she is still standing on her own two feet (if she was wise enough to make sure he did not spend all of her money).
To listen to Jackie’s song, “Ladies Anthem,” go to Let it become the anthem for all women, young and old as we redefine the role of women in society.
Next week, we will explore yet another great song by a local female artiste.

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