“If you repeat fiction often enough, it becomes fact” – Joseph Goebbels – Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda (a literal translation).
Decades ago there were glass ceilings all over the place and women were second-rate citizens with few opportunities to showcase their talents and compete with men. How things have changed in Barbados if nowhere else! We now have females as: Governor General, Prime Minister, Ministers, Leaders of the three major political parties, doctors, lawyers (more than 80 per cent of those admitted to the “Bar” in Barbados over the last five years have been female), Director of Public Prosecutions, Magistrates; Judges; and engineers. More than 80 per cent our university graduates over the last 20 years have been female.
International recognition of the need for gender equity and a concerted promotion of such equity in Barbados contributed to this. Unfortunately, the approach has been biased and one sided with several unnatural consequences. Barbados’ conferences on such equity have been no more than women’s affairs attended by few men, if any at all, (unless they were dressed like women).
Is there a link between this current gender imbalance and domestic violence and the increasing violence against women?
Men are bad! Men are bad! Men are bad! Men are bad! Men are bad! Men are bad! Men are bad! Men are just sperm donors! Self-fulfilling Goebbels’ type propaganda which has brain washed our young, both male and female.
Even a radio commentator was recently heard supporting a female who had perjured herself without retribution in order to get the court to force a former sexual partner to pay child support for a child that was not his.
This has been compounded by an education/school system that favoured females with more than 80 per cent of the teachers being females and boys being forced to attend coed classes.
Increasingly young men have less opportunity with more than 80 per cent of the new appointments and promotions in the civil service going to females. Little is left for our young men other than to form gangs and push drugs. Under adverse conditions, animals tend to band together. The crucially revealing development is that, whereas in the past, more young females were seeking opportunities overseas, we now have increasingly more of our young, better educated men being forced to seek such opportunities overseas. At the same time, we are encouraging more immigrant workers to Barbados. Will these immigrants be any better sperm donors?
The reality is that I would not want my grandsons growing up in Barbados at this time! If gender imbalance was wrong 50 years ago, it is equally wrong today!
The concern in our beloved Barbados is that nothing is being done to adjust this situation in the interest of gender equity probably because it is not seen as being in the interest of those now in charge. We cannot reasonably expect those who have vacated their traditional nurturing role to be now concerned for their sons’ prospects, but surely there are other mothers and fathers out there who see the need for balance. One option is to do nothing and allow the situation to follow a natural course whereby the violence may force a change. Unfortunately, such a forced change would not necessarily bring balance as it may be palliative, treating the symptom rather than the cause!
We need more militant advocacy of men’s interests: to reverse the unjust brain washing that has taken place; to change our education system to encourage young males to be more competitive; to restore balance to gender equity in Barbados and suppress the increasing male animosity/violence against women.
Peter Webster is a retired Portfolio Manager of the Caribbean Development Bank and a former Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture.