Mindless male mayhem

 

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Category: Reflections 01 Jul 07

 

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.

 

“Feel it 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.

 

Despite my revulsion I saw its power. Pull the trigger and snuff a life.

 

The gun 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.

 

Just before 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.

 

Even the 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.

 

Furious women

 

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.

 

Careless, 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.

 

They too, 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.

 

They wanted 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.

 

Ironically, 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.

 

Young girls 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 company.”

 

Although there are exceptions to all generalisations, girls don’t use a crappy childhood to pick up guns.

 

Recently, I 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.

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur