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Fabian Marley, Dexta Daps and Polyandry

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2016 | 2:00 AMMel Cooke
Admiral Bailey
Dexta Daps
Fabian Marley
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I doubt that many people took the man calling himself Fabian Marley and claiming to be yet another child of Bob Marley seriously, even before the recent conclusive DNA test that proves that the Gong is not the daddy. His refusal to accept scientific evidence, which supports Fabian's mother telling him that Bob Marley is not his father, has not helped allay any perceptions that he is obsessed beyond reason.

However, I was watching an OnStage interview with Fabian The Truth (as he is now known) again on YouTube, and in one case, he does have a point. Even as he stuck to his Marley-is-my-daddy guns, although conceding ground somewhat because of his family, Fabian pointed out that there are quite a few men who are fathering children who are not theirs. In other words, they are wearing jackets and only the woman and the man who have stitched it together know (although there are always whispers about who does not look like daddy). Many a man finds this out when the migration papers are being processed, and the most cited statistic is that of about a third of men filing for their children getting a rude awakening.

So if that is specific to migration, it is left to the imagination how many men are living in the bliss of ignorance of being the daddy.

I got to thinking about how it is accepted in song and expected in the society, for men to have, if not "nuff gal inna bungle" (as Beenie Man joyfully deejayed), then certainly more than one sustained intimate relationship simultaneously. For we are a polygamous society, no doubt about that, but we have a blast with polygamy, where it is OK for men to have multiple relationships.

What is not acknowledged is that we also accept polyandry, where a woman has more than one man at the same time. It runs contrary to the "one man girl" (Gem Myers) and "a one man me got" (D'Angel) image of the always faithful, almost chaste woman, but the numbers just do not add up.

(Just in case, polygamy is having multiple partners. Polygamy is specific to men and polyandry to women having more than one partner.)

For if most of the adult men in Jamaica have more than one girlfriend or wife (even if there has not been a formal ceremony), and the ratio of men to women in Jamaica is stable (don't believe that seven women to one man claim, solidified in song by Barrington Levy's 21 Girl Salute), then it stands to reason that quite a few women in Jamaica have more than one man simultaneously. There is absolutely no other way it can work.

It is like oral sex. There is hardly a woman I know with whom the topic of oral sex has come up who has not had a delightful experience as a recipient, yet still many a man denies substituting the face for the waist. So it is either that the men are lying or there are a few men in Jamaica who have great taste in women.

So it is for the 'one-partner lady' and 'gallis' in this society. The figures just cannot work. And, like the DNA test, which Fabian The Truth, is denying, the figures never lie.

There is any number of Jamaican popular songs in which a man glories in being 'Joe Grind' - the man on the side who is sticking it to someone else's girl. Think about Pluto Shervington's Your Honour, where the character ends up before a judge accused of consorting with another man's wife. His explanation was that he could not have touched the man's wife, as alleged, and could not have because his hands were occupied - his shirt in the left and the pants in the right.

In reality, though, the object of Joe's attention is having two men. It is not a triumph for the man on the side. It is the woman arranging her life as she wants it to be.

That is where Admiral Bailey and Dexta Daps come in. The former has a song that gives women licence to have multiple partners (not that they need it), deejaying "a no sin if a two man you keeping". Then the latter takes it even a step further, accepting his role as the man on the side, even if she has six men and he makes seven, or if she has 10 men already and he makes 11.

Come to think of it, what exactly did Bob Marley mean in Waiting in Vain when he sang to the lady, "I know that I'm way down on your line/But the waiting feel is fine"? Think about it.

We claim to be a society of monogamous women and polygamous men. It is not true, although the women have the better of it as we men fool ourselves that we are always the Joe Grind and never 'Joed' upon. We live in a country where polyandry is as common as polygamy, and we accept it tacitly.

But still we fool ourselves to the point of murder-suicide.

One last thing. In that Bim and Clover song, where the man sings to his lady that he wants her to be friends with his sweetheart then gets upset when she says the same thing to him and she chuckles and says she was joking, was she really?

melville.cooke@gleanerjm.com