Originally published in the Star 26.11.08 by Playwright and actor Paul
“Blakka” Ellis, this a popular piece so I decided to repost it and is worth re-reading, it’s one of those instances where someone takes a good look at ourselves without prejudice just straight facts and reasoning.
Some Jamaican brethren love to run off mouth about how dem love woman and brag ’bout dem nuh pet man. Yes, big man, start counting the number of activities that you participate in, exclusively with other ‘man friends’. Calculate the amount of time you spend with members of your own sex.
Now, compare that with your quality engagement and time spent with the opposite sex. I’ll bet all the money I lost in Cash Plus that when the situations are objectively compared, many men will find that they spend more time and energy dedicated to activities with other men than with women. Isn’t that funny? But, as I’m never tired of saying, we are a case study in contradiction. Is true, man! Many Jamaican men seem to be violently homophobic, yet passionately ‘homosocial’ at the same time. Check it, dem burn fire on men who sleep with men but di only company dat dem keep is men.
Some roughneck, macho men seem totally happy to spend 20 hours of one day socialising with a bag a man and then share the remaining four hours with a woman. And, those four hours are likely to involve maybe 15 minutes of talk, 45 minutes of sex and three hours of sleep. In fact, one man made it clear to me that, as far as he’s concerned, the main thing to do with the opposite sex was sex.
When asked if he talks or plays with his lady, he said he hardly talks, he mainly sends text messages. Quoting an old joke, he said the only game he plays with his girlfriend is strip poker, with the aim being for her to strip and for him to ‘poke her’. He went on to seriously assert that men, who spend a lot of time with women, are sissies. What do you think?
I think it’s kind of sad. Plenty men just don’t treat social, emotional or intellectual engagement with women as a central part of their life. It’s like they marginalise their dealings with women to the extent that any relationship with a woman that doesn’t involve sex, gets minimal time, limited space and zero value. And, the women, with whom we share conjugal relations, sometimes only get personal attention when it’s time for them to ease our sexual tension.
You know, there are men, who have no genuine women friends? You realise that there are men out there, who can only see women as objects of potential conquest? And, some of those same men love and idolise other men, who they describe as their ‘God, dads and general’!
Some men work all day with men, spend evening chilling and talking with other men, then spend the weekend playing with men again. They eat and drink with men, ‘par and link’ with men, then smoke and joke with men again. That’s how I see it yah and I don’t care who vex. Some men do every single thing with other men – except sex – and the one deggeh-deggeh thing dem do with women is sex.
But, guess what happen in the process? We miss out on opportunities to learn, grow and build mutual respect with our sisters. Look nuh, I love sex, I adore women and I value the many things I can share with them. Yeah, man, that’s one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of co-education. If it does nothing else, mixed-sex schooling helps boys to learn, from early, that there are many fulfilling experiences to share with girls, including, but not limited to sex!