Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Lennie Little-White | Some Jamaican men are dawgs

Published:Sunday | April 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Some Jamaican men have become 'dawgs', roaming the streets like mongrels in search of a bitch in heat that will allow them to plant their seeds. This century-old behaviour pattern has led to a plethora of children who grow up without knowing, or bonding with, a father. This vacuum is one reason why our males have few male role models or guardians to prevent them from becoming 'leggo beasts' - ready to rob, rape or commit murder. These have now earned the moniker of 'irredeemables'.

So, what are the objective factors that have caused many of our males to become 'old dawgs'? Sociologists and anthropologists will publish their dissertations that speak in academic abstracts that few understand. I prefer to draw first blood from the poets of the street who breathe and live the experience. Who better to turn to than Beenie Man, the self-proclaimed King of the Dancehall? It was Beenie Man who gave this 'dawg' label popular credence in the street when he created his hit song in 1996:

Old dawg like we

We have to have dem in twos and threes

And everybody know me wild already

Believe you me

The navel string cut under p**p** tree.

It was not surprising that the song soon became the anthem of the streets as this verbal celebration provided a ready umbilical cord between uptown and downtown dawgs. In one fell swoop, Beenie Man legitimised the behaviour of a significant segment of Jamaican males who believe that having a multiplicity of women is a badge of honour among their peers.

 

BIBLICAL BIASES

 

Even our strong Christian and social biases have added to the mystique of the prolific male of the species, given the biblical reference to King Solomon and his hundreds of wives. In the Bible, it is written that King Solomon was the wisest man. Many Jamaican men believe that his wisdom arose from his genital prowess as the first 'bedroom bully'. Some scriptures claim that he had as many as 700 wives and bundles of concubines - numbering 300.

Some Jamaican men do not know that King Solomon was not only the wisest man but also a very wealthy man presiding over Jerusalem with its majestic palaces, gardens and government buildings. His deep pocket of wealth allowed him to provide financial solace, if not service, to the many women who he called wives. Contrast that with many of our present-day bedroom bullies who do not have 'two pennies to knock' in their pockets. Yet with smoothness of tongue and untested sexual prowess, some of our men seek to have 'nuff gal inna bundle'. This is best articulated by Beenie Man, who wrote and sang:

Man fi have nuff gyal and gyal in a bundle

Gal from Rema, gyal from Jungle

Nuff gal and none of them must grumble.

All ghetto youth - unno fi tek mi example.

Having established a premise for multiple partners, the only concern of today's male is his own prowess to stand tall while watering the Garden of Eden without any respite. Beenie Man says:

The one-woman business nah work again

'Cause one man fi have all 50 girlfriend.

If you stop drink roots, start drink it again.

You have to have stamina to service dem.

Textbook sociologists contend that our ability to 'service dem' has direct DNA linkage to the plantation days when Backra Massa forced the 'big black bucks' to service the women, providing a free source for plantation labour. This forced copulation sometimes became a public stage show for the owners who, on occasion, would become bit players with the young virginal slave girls whose offspring became the first 'brownings'.

Sexual reproduction on the plantation had very little discrimination - the male 'serviced' any female that was put before him. It could be blood relatives of his immediate family, as long as they still had their monthly passage of blood. Could this be one of the reasons why incest is still so commonplace across Jamaica?

Having been inculcated with the habit of using his 'tool' as a means of propagation, after the formal end of slavery, the male of the species now had licence to select who he mated with rather than those who were prescribed. To guarantee her space at the head of the line, the free female was no longer passive in the mating game. She started to give as good as she got and became the trophy lover with the best wine for the men with 'strong back' who could 'tan pon it long'. Again, we must turn to Beenie Man in his seminal hit, Slam:

Gimme di girl dem wid di wickedest slam,

Di kinda girl whey know fi love up she man.

Now if you want to get the medal,

You have to get a slam from the real ghetto gyal.

Man, if you want to know how good loving feel,

You haffi find a gyal weh live a Maxfield.

For those men among us who call themselves bedroom bullies, condom and coitus interruptus are foreign terms. Hence, the unprotected female continues to be a production line for babies with no father to support her or the children. At least on the plantation, the child would have some de facto corporate paternity from Backra Massa, who valued every slave child he did not have to buy from West Africa.

Across today's society, young women with limited options must become a social lover giving the 'wickedest slam' to the next man on the corner wearing a white T-shirt, tight-foot jeans and a Clarks bootee who is prepared to let off two gran' for some quick action.

Jamaica, like all the nation states that suffered through Christianity and slavery, continues to live with male sexual habits that devalue fatherhood. This is buttressed by the fact that the righteous among us still pay homage to Genesis 1:28 in the King James Version of the Bible:

God blessed them, and God said unto them

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish

the earth, and subdue it

Therefore, between the plantation heritage and Christian orthodoxy, anyway you take it, our men will continue to be bedroom bullies. Such a pity.

- Lennie Little-White, CD, MA, is a Jamaican filmmaker and writer. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and lennielittle.white@gmail.com.