Esther Tyson, Contributor
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down."
- 'Mending Wall' by Robert Frost
Foundations, boundaries, values and morals are being destroyed by an egregious philosophy which would have us believe that freedom from restraint is the highest good. As a nation, we have bought into this mindset, and so the old boundaries that determined civil, courteous, good and decent behaviour have been destroyed.
Without boundaries, anything is allowed. Freedom without the attendant responsibility has become the hallmark of our culture.
Violence is used as the method of choice to deal with conflict. Human life has lost its value. Obscenity and vulgarity reign unchecked in the dancehall culture. Women are objectified as sexual targets. Some women accept this and make it their badge of honour.
Men feel that their manhood is tied up with having sex with as many females as possible. Children are simply offshoots of sexual affairs. Girls serve the purpose of quenching a man's sexual thirst. It does not matter if it is a daughter, niece, stepdaughter, underage girl or a baby.
We have lost all semblance of decency and conscience. We are a society that deems sexual depravity as 'ah nuh nutt'n'. Having allowed every perversity to make its inroads into our country, we have now begun to prey upon ourselves. Our babies, our women, whether old or young, our young boys are no longer safe, because we have allowed predators to walk free as a result of our warped justice system and a mindset that has begun to accept a distorted morality; good has become evil, and evil has become good.
The rape of the five women and girls, including an eight-year-old, in St James has sparked a pushback against this mindset of 'ah nuh nutt'n'. As a nation, we must realise that 'a supp'm, a big supp'm'.
We cannot continue to drag young girls who are victims of rape through a court system that is outdated and can only depend on witnesses in order to determine guilt. We traumatise them to relive their experience and then many times the jury frees the perpetrator.
I agree with Betty-Ann Blaine that DNA testing should become mandatory for persons accused of rape. I applaud the justice minister for seeking to put in place the Sex Offenders' Registry. It is long overdue.
The extent of our lack of restraint is seen with the police records showing increasing numbers of women being accused of sexual abuse. The typical view of women as the nurturers is fast being eroded. They, too, are now being infected with the evil that comes from the breaking down of moral boundaries.
Many of us know deep within our hearts what is right. We know that children should be brought into a family with parents who love them. They ideally should have a mother and a father who are there to prepare them for life. We know that having many children for multiple fathers creates poverty, problems with self-esteem, psychological and cognitive deprivation.
CHANGE THE MINDSET
Men who father many children cannot afford to support them in a time of economic hardship, even if they intended to do so. These children become alienated and angry. They sometimes become violent, joining gangs such as the Fatherless Crew.
The girls continue in the cycle of poverty, many times being sent by their mothers to have sex with men for money. They move from one man to another, pretending to want to have out their lot. This mindset has to change. It is developed from a slave mentality that has bound us and which is now being reinforced by a dancehall culture with its sexual objectification of the female body.
We need to re-establish the family as the central unit of the society. We need to develop parents who take seriously their responsibility to be role models and a guide for their children. We need to re-establish the value of life, the gift of children, and our women as nurturers.
When our boundaries are down, many prey upon us. This clearly was the intent of the persons who were behind the recent revision of the curriculum guide for the health and family life education programme in schools. Why is it that the parents had to be the ones to point out to the public that something was wrong with the content of the guide? Guidance counsellors and teachers from all over Jamaica were brought together to be trained in this revised programme by the Ministry of Education.
As part of this training, these counsellors and teachers were taken through some of the activities. One such, I understand, required the participants to relax and take hold of their private parts and make a song about it. This was in an attempt to get them to be comfortable with themselves so they, in turn, would go and teach the seventh- and eighth-graders to be at ease with their sexuality, whether it be same sex, other sex, or both sex. Why didn't the public hear an outcry from these participants about the nature of the training?
I applaud the minister of education, Ronald Thwaites, for pulling the texts from the schools and for understanding that what was being done was not to educate our students about homosexuality but to condition them to a homosexual way of thinking. I am looking to see who will be held responsible for this insidious, deceptive strategy.
Esther Tyson is an educator. Email feedback to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.