A few days ago an incident occurred which brought me back to a moment as much as a half century ago. In this recent encounter I was at a gas station and my eyes caught with those of a mature lady whom I am acquainted with, but we are not cordial. She was a little distance away, so I didn’t recognize her immediately. When I did, I initiated a polite conversation, because I didn’t want to look like a jerk. She pretended that I was talking to the person next to her, but after a while she responded, and we exchanged brief words.
There are some of us who cannot deal with rejection, so our personalities are relatively withdrawn, standoffish, shy, whatever. The first time I asked a girl to dance, it was at the old Mina Grant Day Nursery, which was in Majestic Alley behind the Majestic Theater. I must have been 15 or 16. She had been flashing all over the dance floor, and caught my eye. When she rejected my invitation for her to dance, I felt embarrassed the rest of the day and most of the next day. I guess this is what they call “sensitive.”
It so happened that a week or so later, a classmate and I were sitting behind her at a Sunday matinee at the Palace Theater, and she gave me her hand to hold. Can you believe it? I didn’t. But, I was raised as if from despair to exaltation.
Last week Nuri Muhammad and Jerry Enriquez were on KREM Radio talking about the fact that substantially more of our young girls/ladies are being educated than our young boys/men. A while back, one of my grandsons at a private school was being asked to be part of the cheering section for the school’s girls volleyball team. That seemed weird to me.
Gender has become a big issue, a very controversial issue in the world between the United States and Belize. For sure this was not so when I was growing up: boys were boys, and girls were girls.
We go back to Genesis in the Holy Bible. It was written, and accepted ever since, that the woman, Eve, was approached and tempted by the Serpent. In turn, having accepted his lie, Eve convinced her husband, Adam, to go along with the program. That was the so-called Original Sin. The woman was arbitrarily blamed. From whence did the evidence derive?
I have many stories to tell, but many are adult in nature, and Belize is a place which is not facing up to some dangerous sociological realities, and some of these are caused by the much ballyhooed tourism. But, let that be for now.
I feel that women are very, very powerful creations of the Almighty Jah. The phenomenon of slavery featured the use and abuse of black women by white men. Those of us who are products of these liaisons for centuries tried to emphasize how much we were like our European fathers.
The radicalism of the UBAD movement featured a desire to rescue the historical reputation of the black woman and place her on a pedestal. We said: “Black is beautiful.” This was a truly revolutionary concept in British Honduras in 1969.
A couple weeks ago the CWU held a fundraiser, and a source told me there was a shortage of testosterone. In other words, there were not enough men for all the ladies who came to the event to party. But then, do you realize the sociological havoc which is being caused by the large amounts of our young men who are being killed or incarcerated? Put that in the category of things we don’t want to talk about in Belize.
People like Tony Wright and I are sentimental for the 60s and 70s. The authorities brought in a foreign expert to figure out what had changed. They didn’t have to do that.
The situation is a sensitive one, so much so that I heard Nuri, a man who is always under control, become a little “ticked off” about what he called the feminization of our youth.
The sexually perverted of the developed countries fly to poor countries like Haiti and Thailand to satisfy their sick desires. In Belize, this is totally under the radar. That is because we are living some real lies here. The MCC Grounds was my church. When you began to violate the Garden, you made it plain what your priorities are.
Anyway, my gas station and Mina Grant incidents were only the sparks for my column. There’s a lady named Anne Macpherson who says UBAD repressed women. She’s not from here, and she wasn’t here. Who told her that? The truth is that UBAD was about the exaltation of the black woman. So, we didn’t get the job done. But, you can come to Kremandala any day and see how powerful Kremandala women are. This is real.