THE EDITOR, Sir:
President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has struck a very controversial and apparently disruptive, though not necessarily discordant, note with Jamaican men in general. He was able to accomplish this daunting feat in his bold attempt of labelling us Jamaicans as "a country of marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge since men are always sloshed (drunk)".
What of our men! Jamaican men! This seems to be the case of a one-cap-fits-all situation. The quintessential question really is: Is President Robert Mugabe really on to something?
Certainly, his observation that our "universities are full of women" while our "men want to sing and do not go to colleges" is a truism, which none can deny.
We may want to hit him hard with the charge of meddling in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation. We might even question whether he should maintain membership in the Order of Jamaica.
But regardless of our feelings, is this another toll of the bell for men and our manhood in this our beloved country? Can we not use this as an eye-opener and another wake-up call to help our men?
There is urgent need for a concerted groundswell effort by all Jamaicans to salvage the dignity and respect of some of our downtrodden and marginalised men.
The Church, schools, colleges, universities, private- and public-sector organisations, non-governmental organisations, the judiciary, civil society, we must unite for this common cause.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Derrick Cochrane, in appealing for greater public support in resolving domestic disputes, said, "It is a real problem for the police but we cannot do it alone ... so we want everybody to see themselves as part of this critical coalition going forward." My general comment: Ditto!
VINCENT PETERKIN (PhD)
Northern Caribbean University