Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Stop attacking our women

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Relatively poor, quasi-literate men do not usually form relationships with financially secure, educated and independent middle-class women. It is not the norm. Middle-class women date middle-class men.

Lower-income men and their pool of available mates share a very potentially destructive philosophy amid an existence of scarce funds in a materialistic world. The Judeo-Christian view of women and relationships may have been useful in an earlier age and in a bygone time. But it is not in today's world. The Jamaican lower-income male and his female counterpart share the view that women is a man's responsibility to take care of. And in an economy that lacks the ability to empower women through meaningful employment, there are many women who date for financial help.

I think Jamaican working-class men have been giving way too much to their women, often at the cost of their own individual advancement. But male sexual energy is very pronounced. This lays the framework for a sort of symbiosis where poor women and poor men form relationships on the promise of sex, family and money.

In such social context, we should not expect the perennially high rate of men killing women to abate. If a man must put off his own growth to satisfy that of his woman, he will likely become possessive. You just cannot have a context where our women possess the liberty, freedom to change her partner whenever she likes and at the same time be the financial burden of poor men.

In a bygone era where it was the expectation of men to completely care for women, all her liberties were taken away. Those were male-dominated societies, founded on religious absolutism - in our case, Judeo-Christian morality which views women as inferior. Women were forbidden to work, own property or even get an education.

The world has been changing. Our women are now more assertive. Yet, the Jamaican economic reality robs her of financial empowerment. The world has also been far more materialistic. Her Brazilian hair, smartphones, school fees, rent, etc, must be had through assistance from her male counterpart. But her male counterpart is of limited means.

With financial empowerment, our women will more readily form relationships not out of desperation for money.

Ricardo McKenzie