Women beat and rule men, too
With International Women's Day last week and the high number of reports of women being hurt physically by their partners and ex-partners, domestic violence is high in the national consciousness. However, the focus has generally been on men beating women, although it goes the other way as well, with a couple Jamaican popular music songs reminding us that women beat men, too.
And it is related to money.
In Elsaida, singer Ernie Smith outlines getting paid on Friday and spending the money and gambling. When he gets home, he pleads with his lady, "Elsaida, no mash up de one boot inna me head/Elsaida, a money fi fix it an we cyaa buy bread". Then in the 1980s dancehall song, Kuff, deejay Shelly Thunder says "sometimes a man fi get kuff" and does just that as she tracks down her cheating man and beats him. In the introduction, she says, "to all de man dem who cheat pon dem woman, I waan yu know say de Thunder stan behin har door wid har frying pan in har han". She outlines a marriage to Ricky in which he starts coming home late. So:
"Thunder get mad an decide fi gwaan nasty
Drape him up an say listen to me
Yu no know yu fi come home early (kuff)."
MONEY EQUALS POWER
Included in her questions is asking if Ricky is taking care of his other girl wit her "deejay money". So it is the person who has the money who has the power to beat.
It is deejay Flourgon's 1980s song, We Run Tings, which gives us insight into how some men who do not take charge of their relationship affairs are treated by women. He deejays, "we rule girl, girl no rule we, dats why fi we girl dem haffi respect we".
He deejays about a friend named Aston who "treat fi him girl like a gentleman/So she start say him is a sof'man/She can do anything she can/Like come in 12 o'clock an quarter past one/But if a gal do me dat a different fashion/Jah know she woulda haffi know me a de don/Me come firs' an she come second".
There is some hidden beating, as he deejays:
"Some man nowadays gwaan lik dem a notch
Yu see dem outta road like dem a Goliath
An when dem dey a yard dem haffi keep quiat
Dem girl no stop beat dem wid spoon an pot"
Erup also speaks about his dominance in the relationship and the hidden beating in Gal A Run Dem Head.
"Me make de talk girl listen follow what me recommend
Me ben, some message me sen to some bway
Whe a flex like dem a de catty an dem girl a de men
She all a drape in front a dem fren
Touch 9 o'clock she tell him go een before 10"
The message is clear. The man whose woman calls the shots is not really a man.