Prayer for Jamaican Men Of All Stripes

December 19, 2007

Just a few things I would pray for, if I was so inclined…

1.  That JM learn to control their bodily urges, and refrain from using every available wall and patch of grass at the side of the road as a public latrine.

2. That JM stop using their penises, hands, mouths and money as weapons against women and children.

3. That JM learn to value people’s lives, including their own, and stop using automobiles and the roads as battle terrain.

4.  That JM read and learn to ask questions about the information they pick up at the rum bar, the gas station, the barber shop, massage parlours and other such places frequented by other men.

5. That JM learn basic hygiene principles e.g. washing their hands after they touch their genitals, stop spitting in public places, tossing their garbage out their car windows, and wash their handkerchiefs and sweat rags regularly.

6.  That JM learn humility, grace and introspection, and stop behaving like arrogant, intolerable, defensive, oversexed, sexist, aggressive, know-it-all jerks wherever they go.

7.  That JM learn the art of conversation, dialogue and compromise, and refrain from shouting down, dismissing and doing harm to anyone who asks questions or disagrees with them.

8.  That JM understand that being a man does not require a bag -o-mouth, a puffed-up chest, a self-righteous disdain of – and inability to feel – genuine empathy and love towards other men.

9. That JM understand that they are not God’s gift to other men and women, but are simply human beings who do have a responsibility to make the world a more harmonious and just place, rather than continue to fuck it up with their slackness, callousness, penchant for violence of all sorts and general disrespect for the environment and all who live in it.

No, I do not hold most Jamaican men in very high regard.  As human beings, they have needs like all others that I respect and hold quite dearly.  As social creatures borne of dis yah society, ah cyaaa tek dem one bit!  Clearly, there are complex reasons for why the characteristics I have noted above have become so pronounced over time, many of which I am aware of, so maybe we can work on outlining (and addressing) those one by one.  I just can’t ignore the patterns of mistreatment and disrespect — at every possible level and dimension — in everyday life in Jamaica.  It makes life that much harder every single day to deal with this crap.  Clearly, there are lots of exceptions,  but certainly not enough (in my opinion) to change the general rule suggested by the list above.  And for what its worth, my men friends, less than a handful of whom live or aspire to middle class lives, would agree with every word I say above. 

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6 Responses to “Prayer for Jamaican Men Of All Stripes”

  1. Esteban Agosto Reid Says:

    Are all Jamaican men Neanderthals and troglodytes as explicated in your prayer?Indeed,many men in Jamaican society exhibit a condiderable amount of the various qualities and characteristics advanced and advocated in your prayer.Consequently,and quite unfortunately,I am not in a position to posit an arguement in contravention to your effectively articulated position.Nonetheless,there are many Jamaican men that/who are very civilized and sophisticated in terms of various values and moralities,namely:caring,loving,kindness,understanding,empathy,respect for women and children,non-violent,tolerance,non-sexist,inter alia.And such Jamaican men exhibit the qualities alluded to on a daily basis in their professional,family,personal and social lives.Interestingly,the crucial and essential question with regard to the Jamaican male population is,can they be socially and psychologically metamorphosed, with respect to a marked transformation in socialization,condition,habits,character,morality and education that will result in normal development and a path towards decency and civility, that will lend or allow for females such as yourself being appreciative of them, as opposed to seeing them as Neanderthals and troglodytes.Subjectively,one is of the perspective that this transformation towards decency and civility of the Jamaican male is possible,but the task will be a long and arduous one couched within the context of proper socialization and spiritual development of young males. I found the prayer quite remarkable and interesting.RESPECT!!

  2. selah Says:

    I find this article very humurous yet very true. I wish Jamaican men would just care, simply cae. They tend to have a nonchalant whatever happens happens type of personality. They don’t really try help one another in understanding the value of a woman and a child. You’ve got the ones that are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and the ones who don’t do shit. The disparities in Jamaica are sad, if they could lift eachother up and work on solidarity and community, as well as the basic foundation of family, mountains would move. I love a hard working Jamaican man that takes care of his responsibility and respects others, especially his woman. Nowadays, with the way the world is with drugs, diseases, and promiscuity, it’s a dangerous world so Jamaican men need to wake up and smell the blue mountain coffee! respect!

  3. selah Says:

    I find this article very humurous yet very true. I wish Jamaican men would just care, simply cae. They tend to have a nonchalant whatever happens happens type of personality. They don’t really try help one another in understanding the value of a woman and a child. You’ve got the ones that are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and the ones who don’t do shit. The disparities in Jamaica are sad, if they could lift eachother up and work on solidarity and community, as well as the basic foundation of family, mountains would move. I love a hard working Jamaican man that takes care of his responsibility and respects others, especially his woman. Nowadays, with the way the world is with drugs, diseases, and promiscuity, it’s a dangerous world so Jamaican men need to wake up and smell the blue mountain coffee! zeen?

  4. pet Says:

    this is true only a few jamaican men break away from this cycle to be bad is to be good

  5. pet Says:

    i dont know if its from adam and eve with the apple but i think the generations before never gave the same diciplinary action to the male and female child for example if two teenagers have sex the male child would be forgiven and the female would practically be disowned the mother or the father dont support or protect the female child she is human and she is a child we are all sinners alot of people take from the bible what they want and turn it ina ignorance this is the effects of it until jamaican men and women understands that they are equall a mother is a guardian a father a protecter you wont die if a man nu lay down pan yu men yu wont die if yu tek a woman seriously yu friends anuh god snap out of the immature bullshit cause at the end of day you will face the consequences what seems strong is truly weak who talk brave is truly afraid a new generation of cowards thats afraid of love god is love

    • longbench Says:

      Pet – thanks for stopping by and commenting. Fear lurks at the centre of many of Jamaican men’s identities – a fear of themselves, and a fear that they will find out that they are trying to live up to some ideal that doesn’t have any value outside of their heads. And so they continue on, destroying themselves and everything around them in the effort to make the rest of us respect them. For those men who have figured out that this way does not work, I wish they would spend more time reasoning with their brothers. One one coco…


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