Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
The most challenging task in Montego Bay is to identify a new breed of women who are 'supposedly' powerful.
A woman should always strive to be her best and harbour ambitions of one day becoming a powerbroker. Sadly, in the west, this verve is missing and it is extremely disturbing.
The women in the Second City have become comfortable with the idiom "I am keeping a low profile". As far as I am aware, low profile is used to describe a car tyre that gives you a better ride on the road.
In fact, many seem very comfortable hiding behind their husband's 'petticoats' and are satisfied staying in the background. The town is now the commercial hub of western Jamaica and the fuel that oils the rest of the economy, yet it's the men who stand out in this city. It is the men who are powerful and capable of wheeling respect, some as far away as Washington, DC.
Recently, I was asked to name four powerful women in the Second City, and not even three came to mind readily. This speaks loudly to the dilemma of the society. If I am having this type of challenge, what is happening to the young women here who can't find a woman in this city that they can identify with?
The answer is obvious. But, I am going to play devil's advocate and say that the women who live in my town plan to become movers and shakers after their husbands die and their children are grown. I am convinced that this is the case, as why else are they so afraid to lead? Why else are they so keen on keeping a low profile?
I am very afraid and the next generation ahead should be too. There are no female role models in the varied sectors for young women to emulate, for them to want to be motivated by. It is a basis for concern, as there is an obvious void. And, I beg you to differ.
I was born under the clock, grew up in what we now call a city, but I spent my young days roaming the 'country' areas such as Springfield, Spring Mount, Orange and Adelphi. In those days, even if it was the postmistress, the young people would try to find someone they could identify with.
Today, there is hardly any imagination in the society, which is really pathetic.
Could it be our schooling, could it be so entrenched in us that we are to support our men only, and to do otherwise would be unladylike and pushy. Is it our social schooling?
Or is it that we continue to be constrained by miseducation. In this global village that is this world today, we cannot continue like this.
One thing is for sure, we need to grow our local stock, and yes, take a page out of the American history book, which has chronicled the breaking of the glass ceiling by women. You don't need to be manor born to be a positive influence in the society.
What I do know also is that there are far too many unanswered questions in this column!