Stop Telling Mediocre Boys They will Be Mighty Men.
And stop telling girls they have to dull their shine because they steady flexin’ on these plebeians. No I don’t hate men. You know what? I take that back. I don’t need obvious disclaimers, it’s 2017. Down with the Patriarchy.
Some of you are cringing at the title, holding up one finger, while using the other to type a dissertation on all the reasons why I’m wrong. Put your finger down and have several seats because I don’t care.
It’s June so schools nationwide are gearing towards the end of year exams and awards ceremonies. If you were anything like me in high school, not one of those awards has your name on it. Not because I was overlooked, but because I was just genuinely an overall bad student.
No one was going out of their way to give me a participation trophy and rightfully so. I didn’t deserve not even an honourable mention and I took that L of my own making.
A couple of years ago though I overheard a principal and some of her teachers talking about who should be Valedictorian and Salutatorian in their Primary School’s Graduation Ceremony. Apparently, the list contained 5 students with the top GPA in the school, and every name on this list belonged to that of a little girl prepared to slay life. Logic would dictate that the Valedictorian and Salutatorian would then go on to be one of these 5 girls on this impressive list. Please tell me then how another suggested name of a young man popped up to be Salutatorian? It was in an effort to keep him “encouraged” and on the right path.
This right here is why I can’t be a parent. All of this right here is why Y’all don’t want me taking a deep-rooted vested interest in the form of a child in the Education system.
Before you say “Ash chill out it’s primary school they shouldn’t even be having graduation ceremonies and such.” You’re right. I never understood the point of 6th-grade graduation ceremonies either. The itchy corsage, the same gelled up hairstyle as everyone else, walking down an aisle in a choreographed march to one of paedophilic R.Kelly’s inspirational songs from the 90’s. It’s too much. I may be too passionate but hear me out. These same boys who don’t make good grades, who aren’t the best at their extracurriculars and aren’t remotely close to being at the top of their class get conditioned to think that their mediocrity is exemplary. That they are somehow special. When in reality if life is the NFL or NBA and we’ve made school this massive drafting pool they are nothing other than waterboys. Which are admirable positions but when are we gonna look them straight in the eye and say “Honey you’re not in the game.” Forgive me. As stereotypes dictate, I know nothing of sports.
Like I said earlier, I shouldn’t need a disclaimer and this isn’t me bashing men. This is a “who the cap fits should wear it” type post. There are boys that work hard and as such deserve all the recognition that comes their way. But in no instance on Jehovah’s bright green planet should a girl have to jump through hoops to get the recognition she deserves all in an effort to keep young men “encouraged”, and I’m not wrong on this.
The narrative is that we must save our boys, our young men from getting lost in the system or joining gangs. I agree with it. I fully stand behind the efforts that organizations take to ensure that we don’t lose our young boys to an easily-slipped-into life of crime. We have to be careful though, that in our desperate need to make sure young men succeed in life, we don’t overlook and as a result, lose our young women in the process. This isn’t an unfair request.
Someone is getting ready to post a link to that World Economic Forum video on countries with the most women in management roles. The Bahamas somehow made it on there. Stop. You’re getting ready to say that “Caribbean women are well respected in our society.” that “they make up the backbone of the family” and as such my points are invalid. Stop. Because I only need one piece of evidence to prove my point. The Referendum. And I honestly don’t need to clarify which one because you already know.
The Vote No campaign showed us exactly how both Bahamian men and women feel about women and their place in this country. The loudest and most ignorant voice in that entire campaign was led by none other than the most mediocre boy there is, Rodney Moncur. You’re about to say “Ash. But no one takes him seriously though.” That’s where roads diverge and we disagree. Rodney Moncur not only has thousands of followers but he also has a radio show with actual sponsors! Rodney Moncur grew up in a society that told him that, regardless of how many medical statements you make with no actual scientific proof you can be a spokesperson for the people.
This same society made him believe that in all of his misplaced political rhetoric he can not only run for office but he can become a Senator!
This society taught him that regardless of how much of an idiot you are by saying marital rape isn’t a thing, You somehow can still turn around and name a campaign “Save Da Woman Dem” and have a league of people supporting you INCLUDING women. All because of the ability to pee standing up.
Bahamian women and by extension, Caribbean women are the backbone of our intricate society. Not just because of the traditional island ability to keep house, but because of the passion we put into everything we do. We’re some of the most educated, skilled, dynamic leaders in our communities. We make up the head of our families. We do the job ourselves when we need it done. All while being catcalled. All while facing statistics that place us at a high risk of danger. All while being slut shamed and all while facing systems that were never in our favour. We deserve to not have to share the spotlight with those undeserving of it.
Tell your mediocre boys to work harder. That will make them Mighty Men.
Originally published at ashsean.wordpress.com on June 22, 2017.