Letter of the Day
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Carolyn Cooper's article titled 'KC old boys desire male sex' in the November 9, 2014 Sunday Gleaner is most distasteful. As an educator, she could have put her literary mind to better use.
Since this issue has been brought to Jamaica's attention, a few feminists have shared their view on the [non-]issue. They've pointed fingers at patriarchal evils. But what do they think they are doing? Women are not always victims, nor are they the only ones being affected by patriarchy.
Bell Hooks said it quite succinctly, "Feminist advocates collude in the pain of men wounded by patriarchy when they falsely represent men as always powerful and only gaining privileges ... ."
The decision by the Kingston College Old Boys' Association to not invite their female counterparts to their annual event should be understood as just that.
Carolyn Cooper and other like-minded women have made this an issue of discrimination against women and a rejection of heteronormative obligation. There should be no implication of homosexual tendencies. Nor should it be about the material possessions or achievements of these old boys. It is this kind of thinking that has so many Jamaican [and Caribbean] men hurting under the pressures of proving their masculinity, and in this case, their heterosexuality.
There is no logic in concluding that attending an all-male institution, being around males for extended periods and sharing emotions with your brothers, result in homosexuality. That is a dangerous and baseless argument to make, especially with the conundrum of misinformation about sexual diversity. Why should attempts at building brotherhood be labelled
as desiring male sex? Why introduce sex and sexuality to the issue at all?
Ms Cooper's tone and arguments have only managed to perpetuate some misleading stereotypes about feminists - that they are women who hate men, would like to eradicate men from existence, hate marriage and just like to use the Internet to share their anger towards men.
How? She has unwittingly incited homophobic onslaught on KC students and old boys, and by extension anyone who has had anything to do with all-male education, and cast unfair judgement on marriages of which she has no knowledge.
I, however, blame the media for sensationalising this issue. Had an all-girl institution made this decision, it would not have been newsworthy. Girls' time carries no implications.
Also, the exclusion of women in this context is not indicative of discrimination. Those women will not lose anything by not being in attendance. There is also nothing that entitles them to an invitation. Much ado about nothing!