Women's Issues In Guyana

Isn’t it time those of us in authority begin leading by example?

Posted in Arts,Commentary,Culture & Society by wiig on March 23, 2008

Kaieteur News – March 23, 2008

Dear Editor,

I consider myself to be a fairly open-minded person; and being an advocate for education, teachers are some of the most special people to me. A proud Guyanese, I also love the fact that our talented local artistes are obtaining deserved success, with the accompanying recognition.

I love all of these talented people and Malo, Vanilla and Adrian Dutchin are some of the people that I personally feel have the ‘prerequisites’ to contend with other performers, anywhere in the world.

You can therefore imagine my disappointment and consternation, when, while perusing the Kaieteur News, I came across an article by Mondale Smith, titled, “Hundreds thrilled at KK annual school show”, which painted a vivid picture of the event, which was dubbed a success.

I have no doubt that the show was a success; however, what saddens and surprises me is the alleged invitation thrown out by the performers, to a female teacher, to do her “crazy wine”, and more surprising of all, is the teacher’s alleged compliance, and I quote from the article, “ As they dished out other hits , they also offered a quick aerobics session and demonstration of “push it back pon me”, and followed up with a teacher being invited to the stage, to do her crazy wine”.

The article then went on to say that many female students looked on with eyes of envy.

My question is, envy of what – standing by and watching while a teacher gyrated on stage?

Now, I’m dumfounded, as I would have thought, that those students would have been surprised at the teacher; but instead they were jealous, and were probably even mesmerized by the “performance”.

I am not saying that teachers should not gyrate, but there is a time and place for everything; and on stage in front of hundreds of students is hardly the ideal place to do so. Suppose for a moment, that a female student had been invited on stage, and complied, what then would have been teachers’ reactions. Isn’t it time that those of us in authority begin leading by example?

Now, Mr. Editor, there is talk all over the place, of the lack of morals and declining standards generally within our society; and many, like myself, blame the prevalent negative lyrics of popular songs, most of which demean, instead of uplift us as women; and the accompanying dances, which only serve to help propel us into a state of perpetual decadence.

With this in mind, don’t you think that it was totally inappropriate for a teacher to be invited on stage to do the “crazy wine” in front of the young, impressionable minds that made up most of the audience? I think what was crazier was her compliance, which however unintended would send the message to the school population – “If Miss could do it, we could do it too.”

Please don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong with dancing, as I for one love to dance, and do it every opportunity I get, even while doing the dishes; it’s in my blood, and to me it is the greatest form of exercise. But I hate it when persons that really should know better exhibit forms of dancing, if we can call it that, in public, that really should be reserved for the privacy of their bedrooms, or at the very least, a hotel room.

I think that the time has come for us to stand up against this insidious form of “pornography,” that seems inextricably linked to contemporary music.

And Adrian please, next time, clean up your act, respect our women, especially our teachers, and remember that you do have to be aware of the messages that you can sometimes unwittingly send through your performances, as this can have a lifelong negative impact on the many young people that adore you. Do the right thing, and you’ll still be their hero, while showing the world that you do not have to resort to cheap and distasteful gimmicks to do so.

As you would most naturally know, there are many world renowned artistes, like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys, just to name a few, who never had to resort to on stage lewd behavior to gain prominence in the entertainment arena; and as much as I love you, I would be the first to advocate the banning of distasteful gimmicks and lyrics, in the name of entertainment, to school audiences.

And teachers, remember that in every walk of your life, you are a teacher; and children do look to you for guidance, even outside of the school system. So please, do not besmirch your image and disappoint them with your conduct, for you can help in a big way to reverse our present “race horse” descent into decadence; and please do remember, that being a teacher is almost like being a celebrity- eyes are always on you!

Enid Joaquin

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