I was once
handed a silver gun by a gun enthusiast. He crooned over it, calling it a
“beauty,” urging me to feel its cool steely lines and admire its curves.
yourself,” I said and dropped it on the floor.
I felt my
blood grow cold as he expertly handled it and demonstrated how bullets were
loaded, how to aim, how to release the latch and how to fire.
revulsion I saw its power. Pull the trigger and snuff a life.
enthusiast probably regretted his aborted initiation as I laced into him
about his hobby. Guns represented mindless egotistical male power
insecurity, religious and political dogma. Guns preclude dialogue between
people. In the hands of the stupid and the cruel they are fatal toys.
he died, one of this country’s finest economists, Frank Rampersad, warned me
that the emergence of droves of brilliant, driven women from schools and
universities who consistently outperform the male will create a
“marginalised species” who will prey upon our society.
The surge in
crimes committed by teenaged and young men, the growing ranks of the
illiterate school drop outs, the gangs, the rage, ignorance and apathy on
our streets bore him out.
government has recognised this “marginalised species” and made half hearted
attempts to teach young men skills and provide them with make work jobs.
NGOs have picked up the slack, taking on the role of absent fathers, by
mentoring young boys and men.
Every time I
see a woman cross the road at the sight of a young man in oversized clothes,
or hover in a fearful way when young workmen are about, I feel bad for these
boys. Horrible to be shunned like that, treated like a criminal for being
young, male, poor and uneducated.
But I am
seeing another species, not endangered, but forgotten and angry, perhaps
more so than the young men.
faithless men and boys who fling their seeds about randomly, then forget
about their offspring and the women who bear their children as they cruise
for more fresh female meat, have created a mass of furious women.
wanted something more out of life. They wanted a proper family. They wanted
a man who would love them, be faithful and support their children.
to explore their own dreams, to study, to start their own business, to see
the world. But they never got past drudgery. They are breadwinners and
single mothers, care takers of elderly relatives, crisis management experts.
this “strength and wisdom” badge works against women. Its in everyone’s
interests (government and men in general) to praise Caribbean women as
strong matriarchs. It allows men to do what they want and shove
responsibilities and burdens on women.
face similar disadvantages to young boys yet they become achievers. Nobody
is excusing them saying “Poor girls, they never had a father, fell into bad
there are exceptions to all generalisations, girls don’t use a crappy
childhood to pick up guns.
was persuaded to go out on the shooting range again. To everyone’s surprise
(my own included) I was a damned good shot. I won’t go again because I was
too good at it. But it did get me thinking, what could happen if women
decided they no longer wanted to be silent sufferers?
It wouldn’t be pretty. Thank God for the
Caribbean woman’s empathy, strength and compassion. They bleed daily to
provide this country grace amidst everyday mindless male slaughter.