Mon | Feb 24, 2020

Sandra Currie | What of our beloved men?

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 6:23 AMSandra Currie/Guest Columnist

I have a deep admiration for men who lead, and lead with excellence. I absolutely believe that it’s a man’s place to lead the family, Church, school and government. This, I believe, is how the Creator designed it to be. Now, some of our beloved men have messed around and have either vacated or failed to assume their positions, thus leaving the posts to be manned by a woman.

More single-parent homes are headed by a woman and this is a fundamental problem. Yes, I know this horse has been flogged with many stripes over the years, but still it persists.

According to an article on the Early Childhood Commission’s website, “More than a third of our nation’s children have no father figure and over 90 per cent of households have the parenting role being performed by the birth mother or a grandmother (PIOJ & STATIN, 2014).”

Weh de man dem deh? Your sons and daughters are mourning your absence. While you are required to play an active role in the home, just your presence makes a world of difference. Household chores are done with minimal delay, curfews are seldom broken, and while grumblings and mumblings are inaudible, a second thought is definitely given before ‘backchat’.

As a woman, I quite understand my role and when I am required to take the lead on matters. Mentally, I am strong and when I need to move, I am gone. A strong situation will hit like a freight train and I may be knocked ferociously into the fence, but as soon as the shock wears off, I am coming to get you – ‘lights, camera, action!’

Now, observe a girl who drops out of school for any number of reasons; give her a few years and watch her progress. On the other hand, note a boy who suffered the same fate and follow him for a few years and see the difference. This I have seen played out numerous times. The girl will claw her way back to some achievement; while the boy takes the easy way out and their failure becomes someone else’s fault, plus ‘beg yuh a ting nuh, nutten nah gwaan fi mi’, while rubbing out the palm of their hand. This is now a common behaviour in some circles and is being pushed to become the accepted norm, as our beloved men have chosen to hop on crutches through life.

MENTALITY OF ENTITLEMENT

Here is where my concern emerges and the question of why do our beloved men seem to quit or settle for the mediocre so easily. It is very painful to watch one created for greatness wimp out like a ‘she kitten’.

They have become a burden rather than a blessing. The bus conductors, taxis and JUTC bus drivers will attest to the fact that more men beg rides daily than women, and to add insult to injury, will cop a nasty attitude when they are refused. They behave as if everybody owes them and so they adopt this mentality of entitlement.

Men have missed the mark, dropped the ball and left the building, leaving us women no choice but to run the show. It is true that at the very top, it is crowded with men, and at the bottom as well. They are far more likely than women to be imprisoned, estranged from their children, commit murder, be killed in road fatalities or gang feuds. They are also less likely to make any significant strides because of short-sightedness, impatience and lack of direction. As a result, life becomes a case of happenstance rather than a planned path of laid-out goals and sustainable achievement.

Confidence and belief in one’s self is a powerful thing, but this, it seems, has escaped our beloved men.

Sandra Currie is an administrator at the College of Health Sciences, UTech, Jamaica. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.