Mark Wignall | Men, are you ram goats or good partners?
In Jamaica, we do not call a male goat a buck. It is almost in the same league as 'ram puss' or the beautifully ridiculous 'bull cow'.
This column is not about four-footed animals as much as it is a frivolous comparison of some of our more wayward men to the mating habits of ram goats. The ram is constantly having his way among the harem he occupies and provides not a single sliver of sustenance for the females and his offspring. Food, after all, is grass, and that is usually available in abundance.
In Jamaica, there are many good men, but I cannot say that their numbers occupy a plurality of the adult male population. A good man treats his partner, common-law or registered, with respect, especially in the moments when his worst frailties descend upon him.
He nurtures his children, provides for his family unit and prepares, as best that is available to him, the means for his children's future. Because of this, those in the community know who he is and the more envious will silently denigrate his efforts while others respect them.
And then, of course, there is the ram goat, that denizen among us that is constantly led by the excitement of the chase and a fiercely biological and psychological need to copulate.
"Hello, how are you, you are pretty, I want to take you someplace, will pick you up later."
Two months later, she is pregnant and the rammy disappears.
There are very few intimate relationships where the course of true love will always run smooth. Most will have a rocky patch where it is hoped that the passage of time will be the truest of all the teachers.
Jamaican women are, without permission needed, grabbing a bigger slice of the money pie in this country than before. One does not sense, however, that that added power and influence has given her increased respect from our men. Worse for the weaker men, the empowered woman is not the least bit interested in the roving ram goat except as an easily discarded sampler on her power trip.
Age and wisdom, one would think, ought to dictate the behaviour of old ram goats where other of the higher attributes gain added prominence even as the basic machinery is still intact.
Ted is 72, is long married and no longer has sexual relations with his wife. But he keeps the marriage intact by keeping the wife at home enjoying not the least bit of shortage of material trappings.
Ted is not institutionally a ram goat because he provides more than just penurious sustenance for his girlfriends. On the other hand, there is Joe whose woman is always in need because he gives her more children than food to feed them. And still, at 53, he is on a grand trip to populate every parish with his children.
It is more than just a cliche that many homes are broken in Jamaica. Many of those homes will occasionally enjoy the brief company of ram goats tripping from pillar to post. Young rams can be forgiven while on their long voyage of discovery. Older men still searching for that holy grail of copulatory excess have failed to recognise that some behaviours are best left to four-footed species.
Ram goats who give next to nothing to the woman are usually those who are more demanding of women and are just a storm cloud away from rages and fits of anger. Is there, on the other side, women with those tendencies?
Hit and run.