writer Virginia Woolfe once called writing opinion pieces “ a mere
tossing of omlettes”.
column is that – a tossing of omlettes – a flinging of ideas – its
purpose not so much to prepare, serve and stuff ideas, facts and opinions
down peoples throats but to scatter seeds of thought. Its worth judged by
the debate it generates rather than anything else.
percolating in so many heads makes me think of the mind as a microcosm of
life - a mangled forest twined with vines, stretching this way and that,
where everything ultimately is related to everything else – where one
can occasionally be led to lush glades that if we are lucky, illuminate
questions that can lead to a truth (and there are so many- one of the
compensations of being in a huge mysterious world).
veins and vines that came in the form of voices from readers mostly, and
voices in my head - The vines I followed wonderingly led me from sexy men
and women to the way men and women define themselves, ending with obvious
questions about the human condition itself. Should we be dissecting
humanity into camps of men and women when it is so obvious that to be
human is to be tragic and ultimately heroic. We are born, we struggle,
against irritation, against our bad angels, against disappointment,
ageing, illness but we die anyway.
the human spirit always strives to be more than that – by creating
machines and plays, by laughing, through faith, or simply wanting to find
out why, like the child who rips off the petals of a flower to find out
how it works.
at the vine flaring
with thorns because it was furious at the inequity between the
sexes. Why, asked a young and spirited female voice, is it ok for a
sixty or seventy year old man to go out with a 20 year old girl and
obscene for a fifty year old woman to have a boyfriend half her age? Why,
she asked, are most women still secretaries, and men still bosses.
vine, green, tough, bright, clearly male says: “you set up rich,
powerful men as role models. How do you think the thousands of men in our
society who work hard, support a family, pay a mortgage, drive their
children to school, supervise homework, go to football games, and PTA
meetings, support their wives emotionally and economically, feel when you
hold up powerful men with cell phones as ideal role models?
cant you acknowledge instead the real heroes are men who choose drudgery
over self-indulgence so their children can get an education, who do
the tiresome work of teaching their children basic manners or who make
sure their elderly parents are ok?”
started this vine couldn’t stop, leading me to all kinds of tangled
places in the relationship between men and women.
we spend so much time looking at the men who are never there, the ones who
are violent or don’t pay alimony, the ones who know nothing about their
children’s lives, the ones who use the belt instead of words to get
across a point; that we forget about the ones who are.”
wonders another vine, female, not so old but its brambles bleeding
crimson sap with rage, "do men and women STILL ask the question
“What did she do wrong”? after a woman is hacked to death by her
spouse. NOTHING a human being says in anger or does in error (except
attempt to kill another) warrants bodily violence against them. Violence
against women and children by men is particularly heinous and ultimately
an act of cowardice because being weaker, they are unable to defend
themselves physically; because if the tables were turned the woman
wouldn’t kill you the man – she may shout, walk off, throw things,
leave, but her response is mostly above the belt – she does not cross
the border from humanity to beast to kill because she can’t get her
vine leads me to a voice so gnarled with mutilation that I took it for
dead when it spoke “My husband beat me everyday for 20 years – he
broke my bones and gave me black eyes, and once beat me so hard I passed
out and he left me for dead. The day I ran away he committed suicide.
Since then, all the women in my life, my sisters, and in-laws, my female
friends and acquaintances, have isolated me, saying I killed him by
leaving, that if I was a better human being he wouldn’t beat me . Trust
me, women are our own worst enemies. We put one another down. We are
bitchy about women who look good for their age, or who are brave enough to
leave an abusive marriage, or fearless enough to see no barriers in
reaching for our goals.
women foibles and all remain humanity’s right hand, the wellspring of
creativity, the torch bearers of justice, and the voice of reason. Perhaps
our inferior physical strength was deliberate so we could draw on our
hearts and intellect instead of brawn to live our lives.
small sample of our women. Look at them and you will know what I mean when
I say they epitomize loveliness and the triumph of the human spirit,
an evergreen glade of womanhood amidst us.
Dr Rhoda Reddock
Kamla Persad Bissesser
Kathy Ann Waterman
Dr Maria Bartholomew
Tricia Lee Kelshall
Giselle La Ronde-West
in no particular order for as many reasons as they are women. Yes, they
are beautiful but they are so much more than that.