Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Patria-Kaye Aarons | Devaluation hits vaginas

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 3:00 AM

Once upon a time, the vagina was a commodity. The narrative was, "if a man want it, him haffi pay dung pon it". If you listened to the stories people told, every day women exchanged what was in their panties for what was in a man's pocket. It was a sort of perpetual hire purchase - in the same way you trust a fridge from Courts. Men paid in increments for the use of 'the item'.

And the better the vagina was, the more a man was willing to pay for it. And women bragged about this.

If that wasn't bad enough, things have worsened. It's clear that today, some women feel that what's between their legs isn't a thing to be sold. Their vagina has become actual money. Legal tender. Some women see their hoo-ha as actual currency, and by the looks of things, not a very strong one.

Here's how I cemented this conclusion.

One Sunday afternoon while lyming outside a rural bar in St Thomas (don't you judge me), a mid-50s-looking woman stepped out of the noise to answer her cell phone. She was in earshot.

 

THE CALL

 

I clearly could only hear her end of the call and it went like this.

"Mi never know say all like you still remember my number."

"So how things?"

"Yu still a work round suh?"

"Das nice."

"Anyway, mi waan go Harbour View, but mi nuh have nuh cash. Yu can carry me and we stop a bush an f***?"

Any minute now, for the redemption of my gender, I was praying she would burst out laughing like this was all a big, crass joke. She never even cracked a smile.

The call ended with her agreeing that she would call him back with the pick-up time.

I was horrified, not only by the fact that as I can recall, all the bushes between Kingston and St Thomas were macca-filled, where would they lie? But more important, I was horrified by the fact that what I had just witnessed was a transaction. Barter. Ride for ride. This woman just agreed to pay for transportation with her vagina.

 

VAGINA AS MONEY

 

By this new definition of the vagina as money, this bartender giving her tra-la-la-la-la to the driver isn't a man paying for her goods and services; the transaction is more like foreign currency exchange. Perhaps the bartender sees herself as nothing more than a modern-day cambio.

I'm horrified.

It seems as if when the IMF declared that the Jamaican dollar was overvalued, all currency used in Jamaica lost value. And like everything else in the economy, the vagina lost its worth.

When we as women give ourselves, give our girls away for fried chicken, for groceries, for a ride to town, we have reached a new low. There is no part of our body that should be seen as a thing to be bought or traded. We need to get it together.

It's time all women begin to value ourselves more, and recognise that we have so much more to offer to men, to the world, than sex. Low self-worth has found a home in far too many of our women. It's high time we bring back 'Operation Pride'.

- Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and findpatria@yahoo.com, or tweet @findpatria.