Like the Jamaican Government, and the many thousands of persons who have commented on the issue, this newspaper disagrees with Robert Mugabe's sweeping characterisation of Jamaican men as an unambitious lot, who get high on drink and drugs and eschew education.
So, he warned Zimbabwe's young males against using Jamaicans, with their growing cultural influence on the country, as role models.
Indeed, as Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller observed, there are "many outstanding and globally accepted examples of Jamaican men who have set the benchmark as exceptional achievers".
Moreover, there are many thousands of Jamaican men at home who do what men are expected to do: work hard, look after their families, and lead decent, productive lives.
Of course, the better advice Mugabe might have given young Zimbabwean males would not to become like himself. He is a sad caricature of the heroic figure who led the armed struggle against apartheid in Zimbabwe that, with the help of many countries, including Jamaica, culminated in black majority rule.
He is now an octogenarian despot, who abuses human rights and clings desperately to power, having mismanaged Zimbabwe to ruin.
This newspaper has in the past recommended, and still believes, that Jamaica should remove Mugabe's membership in the Order of Jamaica, our fourth-highest national honour. He no longer represents the ethos of the award.
Indeed, any criticism from Mugabe, who has so badly betrayed his country's liberation and devalued the assistance of partners in the struggle, is particularly galling.
Yet, even as we are angered by Mugabe's hyperbolic statement about Jamaican males, the Zimbabwean autocrat may have provided us an opportunity to begin anew a serious discussion on the status of men in our country.
The evidence, anecdotal and otherwise, suggests that our males have significant problems and are increasingly at risk.
Worsening gender relationships
Mugabe, in his criticism of Jamaican males, said they didn't want to go to college. Well, the enrolment rate among women in tertiary institutions, including colleges, is around 41 per cent of females nationally. For males, it is 20 per cent of the national cohort of that gender. At universities, females represent more than 70 per cent of the students. Such male underachievement runs a grave risk of worsening gender relationships.
It is not only in education that our young men are at risk. In Jamaica, more than 60 per cent of the victims of serious crime are men, and the proportion of male perpetrators are even higher. Indeed, men represent well over 90 per cent of persons charged for major crimes and around 90 per cent of the people who are sent to jail.
Additionally, in Jamaica, males are nine times out of 10 more likely to commit suicide than women.
Robert Mugabe notwithstanding, there is much here to discuss about the state of the Jamaican male.
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