Why Cultural Fluency is a must skill if we truly want to move Humanity Forward.
A comment from Haitian President makes International news” WOW!!!Really?
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A hostile comment made by Haitian President Michel Martelly at a campaign rally has set off an…nyti.ms
Several international news outlet including BBC and the New York time published articles on this topic that is making headlines on the international stage and after reading it,
I just shook my head at the sheer naiveness or santa clause/christmas wish approach that most people have when it comes to helping move a society and the world forward, a mission that seems to be an inspiration for so many.
Below is my opinion on the matter:
The most effective way to change anything that you don’t like is to do it from within as all lasting changes are from inside out not the other way around.
How is these ladies quitting helping change this mindset and way of being in Haiti?
Why? For decades, Haiti has been plagued by instability — constant change of government so these ladies quitting not only does nothing to change the mindset about gender differences/appreciation in Haiti, it will also contribute to the lack of consistency and political instability of that society.
Without political stability, the country has very little chance to move forward so them walking away reflects extremely poorly on their true desire to contribute to the advancement of the country.
President Michel Martelly has been perhaps one of the two governments that has the chance to complete his term. How does quitting help when their initial reason for being part of this coalition government was to help move the country forward?
When they chose to go into that coalition government, they were very well aware of the mentality of the general Haitian population when it comes to bias against woman so how is quitting helping Haitian society move to a more equitable and appreciative view/treatment between haitian men and women?
Being a majority christo/catholic society, the man is perceived to be the “head of the family” so when a woman is perceived to be without a man, her priority is to find one and satisfy him sexually so he can be happy and keep taking care of you.
While I did not bear witness to President Michel Martelly’s actual interaction with this woman, I do know the socio-cultural and religious beliefs and where those belief stem from to understand the unspoken elements of it.
The second factor is that Haitian society still reflect some of the same values you find in African societies where the woman’s primary role is to satisfy and focus on her husband.
A woman demanding answers from the president is not a norm so Michel Martelly and the crowd reacted according to centuries of programming from the society’s religious heritage from Spain & France and from it’s social heritage from the African ancestries.
2nd)Michel Martelly was a singer turned president, you can blame him for everything but he never lied or deceived anyone on who he is.
Just listen to his lyrics or to any of his many interviews.
You may not like him for who he is but he is always crystal clear on who he is so I am not sure I understand all the fuss about his comments?
Are people expecting to change him or that he would change to make them feel more comfortable?
When the haitian population elected him they knew fully well who he was so now what?
Politicians are people so why do we all of the sudden expect them to be any different that who we know them to be?
I am neither for or against him, I just happen to believe him at the face value that he always presented and never put my personal perspective on who he “should” be. The haitian people elected him because that’s who they felt they needed to govern them.
Why? At the last election several candidates where running including Ms. Manigat who is a well known intellectual within the Latin American and Caribbean region and in France where she used to teach at La Sorbonne.
The haitian population still chose Mr. Michel Martelly knowing that is he was a singer and most of his songs were about sexual topics and the interaction between men and women.
3rd) Given the applaud he received from the audience when he made that remark, you can easily see that this is “normal” in Haitian society so if you want to address this and move Haitian society forward, bring to light and address the underlining cultural beliefs and ways of life that support or even encourage women being viewed and treated the way they are, not go after one scapegoat or quit.
As far as the outside world/international world and development world crying fowl, do understand that before you can event take a position on something internal to a country, you need to become fluent in that particular culture to address the underlining cause of what is perceived to be the infraction.
You meet a society where it is before you can take it to your “perceived” better destination.
In conclusion, moving a society forwards requires Cultural fluency and cultural fluency doesn’t happen over night or by taking a magic pills as it takes practice and requires a certain level of objectivity if your true desire is really to see progressive changes in any society and throughout the world.