When A Man Loves A Woman . . .

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Clau­dia Elei­box

No level of gen­der equal­ity can change the fact that men and women are sig­nif­i­cantly dis­parate, phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally. The curves and edges of a woman, eu­lo­gized by John Leg­end’s pop­u­lar bal­lad All of Me, nor­mally con­trast with the more an­gu­lar fea­tures of mas­culin­ity. Body hairs on a woman are gen­er­ally finer than a man’s, most times ex­pos­ing softer skin. Fa­cially, gen­tler and softer lines de­fine fem­i­nin­ity. There is no way to mis­take the com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween male and fe­male re­pro­duc­tive sys­tems—un­less sur­gi­cally al­tered.

Most men will at­test to fall­ing vic­tim to pre­men­strual mood swings. I read­ily ac­knowl­edge be­ing an overly emo­tional fe­male who would cry faster than any of my broth­ers. Sci­en­tif­i­cally it’s ex­plained that the same neu­rons in the brain that are con­nected to a fe­male’s in­ter­nal hor­monal, blood pres­sure and res­pi­ra­tion reg­u­la­tion, are in­stead con­nected to a male’s ex­ter­nal vi­sion and move­ment reg­u­la­tion.

From time im­memo­rial, male and fe­male roles have been dis­tinct. Women are child bear­ers, breast feed­ers and, more of­ten than not, the phys­i­cally weaker sex. Mother­hood and wife­hood re­quire care-giv­ing and nur­tur­ing phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally and spir­i­tu­ally. The same goes for father­hood and be­ing a hus­band. So­cially and cul­tur­ally women have tended to the house­holds and the chil­dren. In the re­cent epoch many have be­come the sole or pre­dom­i­nant bread­win­ners. Men have ful­filled the lead­er­ship roles in the home by be­ing providers and pro­tec­tors, whether as hus­band, fa­ther or son.

Or­tho­dox so­ci­etal roles are un­doubt­edly chang­ing al­though some fem­i­nists have in­stead be­come ex­trem­ists. Men and women are be­com­ing more com­fort­able with let­ting the op­po­site gen­der man­age the home or rake in the dol­lars. Ei­ther way, roles are, hope­fully, equally shared.

If women can also be pro­tec­tors, es­pe­cially emo­tion­ally, men are still bib­li­cally, so­cially and cul­tur­ally given the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect as well. But iron­i­cally in our Chris­tian so­ci­ety, the vast ma­jor­ity of ac­cused rapists are male.

Imag­ine a young woman or child be­ing bru­tally as­saulted by a stranger and left soaked in sex-reek­ing blood, like the 1979 case of a woman vi­o­lated in her ninth month of preg­nancy and left des­o­late un­der a bridge with her rape-in­duced, new­born twins. It was the young woman’s step­fa­ther who was charged with her rape and mur­der and with also killing her twins.

I remember the fam­ily of the miss­ing Crys­tal St. Omer ask­ing whether I’d seen her. Her body was later dis­cov­ered at Cap Estate. The fam­ily had ex­pected the worst when Crys­tal didn’t come home, and were proven right. A young man con­fessed to killing Crys­tal soon af­ter her body was dis­cov­ered.

Ac­cord­ing to the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force’s Crime Anal­y­sis Report, Jan­uary to De­cem­ber 2016: “Males ac­counted for 93 per­cent of mur­ders.” The per­cent­age dif­fers only slightly for pre­ced­ing years. At my last visit to Borde­lais Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in Au­gust this year only eight of the 529 in­mates were fe­male.

Teach­ers com­plain con­tin­u­ously about stu­dents whose moth­ers are the only providers in their house­holds. So pre­oc­cu­pied with putting bread on their ta­bles, these moth­ers have little op­por­tu­nity to be real moth­ers. Where are the fathers? Some chil­dren are forced to as­sume stress­ful re­spon­si­bil­i­ties while still at school be­cause their moth­ers alone can­not pro­vide for them. By their aban­don­ment men have forced fe­males to as­sume dom­i­nant roles and to be less con­cerned about equal rights. Fam­i­lies con­tinue to be dys­func­tional while the young turn more and more to crim­i­nal be­hav­iour. Might the causes be re­lated to their MIA fathers? Some will say it’s un­fair that so many women seem to be­lieve “all men are dogs”. There is ev­i­dence to the con­trary, how­ever scant. The fact re­mains that too many Saint Lu­cian fam­i­lies are daily aban­doned by the very peo­ple who should be pro­vid­ing for them and keep­ing them safe: the fathers of our so­ci­ety.

Would it be ask­ing too much, even in our pre­sumed Chris­tian coun­try, to sug­gest our men take a les­son from the life of Je­sus who will­ingly sac­ri­ficed him­self in our best in­ter­ests? There was a time, from all I’ve read, when men took spe­cial pride in what they did for their fam­i­lies. What­ever hap­pened to that?

Could the an­swer to the is­land’s crime woes lie in deeper un­der­stand­ing and ac­cep­tance of gen­der roles?

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