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Shawna Kay Williams-Pinnock | Jamaican men are too damn disrespectful!

Published:Tuesday | July 2, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Shawna Kay Williams-Pinnock

Last weekend, I went grocery shopping at a nearby wholesale when I witnessed a most upsetting incident.

While I was waiting on my purchase, a security guard and a lady started arguing. Well, in all fairness, it was the security guard who was quarrelling. The lady only sought his leniency.

“Mi seh yuh fi move the @#$% car!” he lashed at her.

“Mi soon move it. Me just a collect them things here,” she explained, pointing to a box that was already packed with her groceries.

“Come move the @#$% car, now,” he insisted, nevertheless. “A round a front you must park.”

By then, he had attracted much attention, and with this, he appeared all the more determined to assert his authority over the plaza’s parking lot.

After hand-smoothing his neon-green reflective vest and tight-fitting denim pants, he went up close to the lady.

“You deaf? Mi nuh r@#%s business. A round here you fi park. All the while unnu park round there suh. A fi people who a use that deh wholesale deh,” he charged.

Wanting to de-escalate matters, the lady quickly took the grocery box and hastened from the wholesale. It was only then that the security fired his final barrage of expletives and walked away.

Interestingly, he seemed oddly pleased by the results of his brash carrying-on, as I later overheard him bragging about “putting the woman inna har place”.

Certainly, I do not support unauthorised parking or any act that unreasonably defies authority. However, the security’s conduct was entirely unprofessional and uncouth.

Sadly, his behaviour is not one-off. There are many other Jamaican men who are regularly disrespectful to women. When you do not respond to their sexual passes, for example, they are quick to detail the depth of the very hole from which they were born. They will also tell you all the holes to which you must apply suction, like we would ever rob them of doing the only thing some of them are capable of!

Three years ago, a former colleague told me how one bus conductor disrespected her after she asked him for her change.

“Suh weh yuh a gwaan suh fah? Yuh too miserable, muma. A because yuh naah get nutten,” he said, suggesting that she was sex-deprived.

At the time, my dear colleague was 50 years old, and, as always, she looked most respectable in her tailored, knee-length skirt suit. She had just lost her husband and was deep in mourning. Therefore, that young man, who could have easily been her son, was not only rude, he thoughtlessly compounded her grief.


I have had my own share of disrespect, too. One day, I was walking in downtown Kingston when a man called me “Buff Bay.” He then stoned me with expletives when I ignored him. I felt completely violated, of course. In fact, I was livid. Unfortunately, however, anger did nothing to loosen my tongue, and words failed me. I found nothing to hurl at him! Not a bloody word! He got away!

The following day, another man downtown made similar sexual comments. Apparently, he had on magnifying glasses, and so he saw an enlarged version of something that I thought was well hidden beneath my loose-fitting pants.

At first, I continued walking when he commented, but I then turned around, walked up to his splotchy, bleached-out face and ganja-tarred lips, and scolded him. He subsequently apologised, and I walked on.

Thankfully, my husband has since taught me some colourful rejoinders!

Shame! Shame!

Men who disrespect women must bow their heads in awful shame. Every pun intended!

I must add, too, that as a nation, we need to seriously redouble our efforts to raise respectful men. Our boys must know that nothing is ‘manly’ or ‘cool’ about disrespecting women.

Our girls must also be raised to demand respect from men. They should know that comments alluding to the fatness, tightness or stiffness of their privates are daring, distasteful, denigrating and unflattering.

Let us stand against disrespect! Enough is enough!

Shawna Kay Williams-Pinnock is an educator. Email feedback to and