Thursday, September 18, 2008

Double Standards & Respect

Most of my blogs involve daily occurrences and observations in our tiny community.
It makes it more real. It makes it more pertinent. They are commentaries on our daily lives.

We all know that the world is full of double standards. Men who sleep around are studs, but women are easy; Women before men when abandoning ship; Different pay for same jobs.
There are countless examples, and whether each double standard is real or only perceived is not important at this time. But I would like to touch on one particular instance of a double standard that I found disturbing.

Recently I was in HRCU and I was standing in line in front of two women. The women proceeded to launch into a rather quiet but serious conversation about wanting to  rape some man "Blinky" that they thought had some nice "gravy". Evidently "Blinky" was not giving them the time of day. Strangely, I have heard this sort of conversation from women on 2 or 3 more occasions. I guess I am always listening to those around me, but shouldn't we all be aware of what's happening around us? Wait, I am straying, that's a topic for another blog! Click...Save!

Now whether or not "Blinky" would enjoy the threesome is irrelevant. And let's put aside the legal aspects of rape because those are not up for debate. What I have an issue with is that why is it socially acceptable for women to say this sort of thing. In fact, men would laugh it off (or at least pretend to), but if a man said it he would do the same to a woman, he would likely be hauled to the piss house. Now, for sure if these women actually held down "Blinky" against his will, he would never report for fear of being ridiculed by his male friends. A fate even maybe even worse that the crime itself.

What makes a woman less likely to do this crime than a man? Nothing physically, mentally or emotionally. In fact it is not unheard of for female teachers to be sleeping with their young male students. And in fact, when I was in third form, there was one female teacher who enjoyed to company of her "best" student. Aye...again I digress! Click...Save!  Sorry, no pertinent shush for you on this one at this time.

Some may say that perhaps these two women were just excited about the man and meant nothing by the use of the word "rape". But isn't excitement the first step in a possible crime. Shoplifters often steal just for the adrenaline rush alone. Serial killers often kill for sheer excitement. Politician oftens steal just just because they can.

Any social structure has its inequalities, and truly culturally we cannot do much about it. But what we can do is to have a little respect for each other. Respect starts within all of us, in private and in public. Men should ALWAYS respect women, and women should ALWAYS respect men. That is not up for any debate. Anything less is unforgivable.

Educational Tip of the Week: Contrary to what is being taught at some schools, Pluto is not officially designated a planet. It has now been classified as a member of the Kuiper Belt. Occasionally it comes closer to the earth than Neptune ( a real planet).  

Wouldn't I dearly love to just sit in a classroom (especially a UB or high school one) and just correct teacher inaccuracies all day. Great fun!

Have a good weekend...and Happy 21st. And don't forget to do your part and drink local brew, not that contraband stuff.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Looking back before running ahead

I usually take the time to look back on my life on my birthday. Since the birth of our nation is forthcoming, I think I'll take a little time to look at our country. Only in knowing the past can we fully and successfully take advantage of future opportunities.

I feel that we're at a crossroads. The documentary by Kemp, no matter how much I disagree with it, is a wake up call. Crispin Jefferies said it, and I'm agreeing with him {I can't believe I share an opinion with this man.} In this world ruled by the G7, where relations are governed by the rich for the advantage of the rich, we cannot live by the conventional rules of the so called first world countries.

We have to define our own Belizean reality. You know the days we used to yell, "Belize for Belizeans?" We need to relive those times. My knowledge of the past, however, is limited by time. Because I'm an Independence Baby... born Nineteen-Eighty-something, I've flourished under the shade of the mahogany tree...somewhat. Like those of my era, in my words, thoughts, and deeds, I've come to define what it is to be Belizean. I follow American fashion, I have a cell phone on my hip, and I eat rice 'n' beans with gusto every Sunday at noon.

There is so much of the history of Belize that isn't transcribed. I miss the blank spaces. They say you can't miss what you don't know... I have to contradict this long standing opinion. I've read and re-read 13 Chapters from cover to cover and I'm left wholly unsatisfied. There are stories whispered on screen covered verandas as neighbors pass to buy Boledo in the moonlight. There are so many things only the dying old people remember, stories and memories that are dying with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. I find it ironic that in a country where we so praise ourselves on our cultural richness and diversity, we're becoming quickly diluted in the "bling, bling" mentality of North America. The British were supposed to have left on September 21, 1981. So I ask you, why are our minds still shackled? Why are we yet to be freed? We're no longer slaves, yet we work hard to spend every dollar on 21st century skin and credit for our pre-paid phones.

We're composed of contradictions, we Belizeans. "This tranquil haven of democracy" our anthem cries out. Have you seen this haven recently? Between the bullet ridden bodies, skeletons in sugar cane fields, grenades launched in from of the hospital, and gun shots during Carnival? My homeland by the Sea.... I feel you slipping through my fingers, and all I can do is cry, because I wonder if we'll ever return to the days of open windows at night instead of sliding down a slippery slope into urban terrorism. Are we so in-confident in being Belizean that we must create an alternate ego? We have to be ourselves... or we'll lose everything.

Bottom line, the way to thrive, nationally {as well as personally} is by living within our means. Things may not move at the pace that we all wish, but brick by brick, we'll build our own success. On our own terms.