Time magazine is carrying a story on Jamaica's murderous attitude to gays.
There's nothing new in the story, or at least, nothing new for Jamaicans. The fault lies with the music according to this pundit.
Too easy to say and no analysis of why our music, famous for being preoccupied with our own island struggles, should be preoccupied with hating gay men.
Jamaican women know that Jamaican men are preoccupied with gays because they are nervous/terrified/very, very scared of what is happening to straight men on the island.
For more than 30 years, Jamaican girls have been outperforming boys in the educational system, a development which is only now becoming a "problem" for the US and Britain. Our sole traditional university, the University of the West Indies, has long had more than 70% female graduates. Law and medicine are female preserves.
Female headed households now account for 49% or 50% or 51% of all households. Unlike Nigerian women who put up with philandering husbands, Jamaican women have long ceased to link children and marriage. Jamaican women are serial monogamists and think nothing of having different fathers for their 2 or 3 children. At last count, 85% of Jamaican children were born out-of-wedlock, and do not have their father's name on their birth certificates…
The conventional wisdom is that Jamaican men refuse the responsibility of fatherhood – the reality for many Jamaican men is that their girlfriends don't see the point of tying themselves to men who earn less than they do, are emotionally immature (having grown up without fathers themselves) and require easily as much attention as a small child.
Since the early 90's, government statistics have shown that Jamaican children are "better off" – that is have more access to education, books and food – in homes where no adult male is present.
Adult Jamaican men devote their resources to transport (make that an SUV) and entertainment (Red Stripe, Appleton rum, girlfriend with 16 year old tits). Adult Jamaican women tend to divide their money between children, church and clothes. Never the twain shall meet, in half of Jamaica's households. So there's lots of men and boys around who are "surplus to requirements". Once they've donated their sperm they are short of homes, love and consolation.
So it's not surprising that many poor, uneducated men feel that their masculinity resides in their penis exclusively, and they never feel more male and masculine than when they are "slamming" it into a female. And it's not surprising that they are scared and full of hate for men who apparently are willing to take the "female role" in sex.
And not only do gay men undermine this fragile and temporary triumph over the female, but they, enviably, are able to make their lives without depending on any female whatsoever. They can spend all day and all night hanging out in comfortably masculine company without for one moment wondering which other man is hanging out with their girlfriend/baby mother/wife while they are at their local bar. They don't need a female to cook for them, wash their clothes, or perform any of the other services which a man would like to be able to expect and which Jamaican women are increasingly unwillingly to do.
Gay men also undermine the precious time that Jamaican men spend with their friends, as a woman or another man can immediately make this time suspect, by implying that only a "battyman" would want to spend so much time with his male brethren.
None of the factors operating in Jamaica are any different to the homophobia experienced by gays in America or the UK, but Jamaica is further down the road of non-traditional gender roles than any developed country, and Jamaican men are confronting the issue of "What Are Men For ?" in a way that no American or British men have yet been forced to do.
"My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica" (Edith Clarke)
"Born Fi' Dead : A Journey Through The Jamaican Posse Underworld" (Laurie Gunst)
"The Cries of Men : Voices of Jamaican Men who have been Raped and Sexually Abused" (O'Brien Dennis)
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