The recent awkward incident involving Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle and a female journalist is probably a good launch area to have a discourse on Caribbean masculinity. The construction of Caribbean masculinity needs to be re-examined in light of the Chris Gayle incident involving female Australian journalist Mel McLaughlin.
Gayle’s sexually coded comments were inappropriate. He was fined for his sexually suggestive remarks to the journalist who, after all, was only doing her job in
trying to get an interview with him.
Historically, the threads of masculinity and manhood are
deeply entrenched and linked to the sexual objectification and harassment of
women. Alarmingly, not much has changed in the 21st century and the
prognosis suggests not much will change any time soon. This toxic notion of masculinity is very much
celebrated throughout the society and is being eagerly passed on to our boys,
especially when juxtaposed with our homophobic culture.
Disturbingly, our education system offers very little to
counter this skewed notion of masculinity, which is negatively impacting gender
relationship and the academic achievement of our boys. Gender relations are at
an all time low. This is evident in the increase in domestic violence in the
society. Strangely enough, many of our women still gravitate towards males who
display this sort of primitive notion of masculinity. I hope this will incident
be a learning moment not only for those who were directly involved but to the
wider society. As a society we need to confront the relentless sexist remarks
which are allowed to escape daily. It is obvious that many males are unaware of
the distinction between giving a lady a compliment and resorting to sexism.
This tells us that much more work is required in the areas of gender and
development. The hegemonic spell of this crude notion of masculinity must be
broken if we are to encourage harmonious gender relations not only in the
workplace but the wider society.
#manhood #masculinity #sexist #discrimination #gender #development #patriarchy