Women's Issues In Guyana


Blowing a woman’s mind

Posted in Commentary by wiig on February 18, 2006
Tags: , , ,

Kaieteur News – February 18, 2006
Peeping Tom Column

Uncle Freddie raised an important issue in his Friday column. He wrote about the failure or reluctance of the ruling party to impose discipline when it comes to excesses of their membership in government offices.

I thought this was an important issue – far more important than the coverage it is presently given – which goes to the heart of the respect that is shown to women and the way they are pressured while in the workforce. I thought therefore that I would begin a short series on the important issue of sexual harassment and I can assure readers that they will find that the problem does not just fit the stereotypes that are being pedaled.

I want to begin this series by dealing with an aspect that I had written about two years ago and which I think is the crucial point at which harassment begins: when we lose respect for women. I said then: It is not that men have lost their respect for women in Guyana . It is not that we have so lost our moral moorings that we the male Homo Sapiens have failed to appreciate the priceless jewel that is the opposite sex.

Rather what has happened is that feminist consciousness has grown and what we in Guyana would in the past have innocently deemed “interfering with a gal” has now become “sexual harassment”. Gone are the days when you could without worry see a nice girl walking down the road and decide to “interfere” with her.

A boy once whistled at a girl who was passing near him. “What are you doing?” asked his mother.

“Oh, I just trying a tackle pun that nice girl who just passed,” he explained.

“Tackle! Tackle! What do you think she is a football?” his mother remonstrated.

Times have changed and women are not going to tolerate some of the passes that long ago would make them privately blush. In fact, some of the lines we used to throw at young ladies in the days of yore would today be considered as offensive and indecent. Some of the things you told the young ladies in those days would now constitute sexual harassment.

Of course quite a few young men then and now simply did not and do not know how to approach a young lady in order to strike up a conversation. I was standing by a corner shop a few days ago and heard this fellow trying to gain the attention of the young ladies who were passing, “Look at you and yuh bambazoom!” he remarked to one quite startled young lady.

The next lady to pass was stocky and sturdily built. “Ow, Goddaughter, like yuh mek with mud!” was his deprecating way of telling her that she looked good.

The guy wanted to compliment the girls; however he just did not know how to do this.

Some guys just like to molest young women; they behave very much like dogs that chase after cars that they have no intention of driving. At times it is pure hormones and bad training.

It must be quite harassing for our young women in Guyana to have to endure the comments and glare of men as they pass them on the streets. There are some men who stop in their tracks and look at some women from head to toe, mentally undressing then as they do so. What harassment! Being a young woman certainly cannot be easy these days.

Some women have learnt to handle it. The best approach is just to ignore these crude advances. To even think about answering back will only lead to further harassment. What no man likes, however, is a woman with a sharp and witty tongue, one that will embarrass him.
One time a guy was sitting at a bar all night staring hard at a pretty girl wearing the tightest pants he had ever seen. He kept wondering how he could approach her; how should he begin a conversation. Finally mustering all his courage he walked over and asked, “How do you get into those pants?”

The pretty girl looks him over and replies, “Well, you could start by buying me a drink.”

When men are courting, and they are serious about a girl, they are on their best behaviour. They shower her with gifts, say the nicest things, and are always kind and considerate. But no sooner does the wedding ring go on the finger of the bride that her suffering begins. Some men suddenly begin to take their partner for granted and at times will even try to belittle their wives in front of their friends.

I urge all the men in Guyana to treat your partners with respect. Pamper them and make them feel loved and wanted. One night, I watched an interview on NBC with Billy Bob Thornton. He was speaking about his ex- wife, the stunning Angelina Jolie, and he took all the blame for their split. He told the interviewer that it was entirely his fault.

Then when he was asked why the two split up he said it had nothing to do with his unfaithfulness. He added, “I was afraid of her. She was too beautiful for me. She was too smart for me. She had too much integrity for me. I felt so small next to her.” That line, sincere and exact, would blow any woman away. No woman could ask for a greater compliment from a man, even one that she is divorced from.

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