The relationship and gender crisis discourse
I conceptualised a repeating scene of a male standing stoic with a half-smile on his face before a burning building where he and his family used to occupy while his wife was screaming and rending her hair and garments. The question in the summary of this depressing scene is, which member of the relationship will survive and who by gender will suffer the most? I remember the incident on Princes Street at the former popular ‘Lucas’ place that burned in 2019 and a male resident collapsed and died upon arriving on the scene. Do pent up feelings pose more of a threat than a vocal expression of grief? I was somewhat uneasy with this definition. I have known men who in circumstances of extreme loss who have not recovered easily. My colleague, and National Artist- Angold Thompson perished in the fire of the family home in Campbellville only last week because after getting everyone out of the burning building, he turned and went back into the building and never came back out. Whatever he went back for triumphed over the obvious fatal dangers that faced his final actions. So, I had a conversation with my wife and youngest daughter, because I cannot presume on their gender priorities in the said context that the article was addressing. They provided a profound narrative that even transcended the issue that Involved my main objectives. They pointed to the “timeframe” consciousness that predominate the group conversations of many women, they emphasised close and trusting to each other”- children, financial security, companionship, all aspiring possibilities within specific time constructs. Considerations most men pay scant attention to. I was reminded of a child support case involving my son and his (almost instant) estranged wife. There was a case brought by a young woman against a gentleman of 73 years old who had fathered her child. This brother could pass for an early 50-something. The young lady was no more than earlier 30s. She seemed to have been prompted by friends or relatives concerning the man’s life worth. In the end she was rewarded a quarter of what he was already giving her by the law for their child.
But even that evidence does not embody how people act in aftertimes of crisis. By experience in the male context, one would have had to have conceived of specific goals at least by mid-20s to rise above unforeseen challenges at 55 and continue to move forward, inspired by ground covered and the fact that men repeat among each other, “suppose you don’t die at three score and ten, but you’ve stopped getting the ball moving, updating yourself on changes, then you’re still standing at ninety, who do you blame?” The downside is the men who’ve been conditioned and guided to lean on charitable family structures, and smile and open arms to anyone who is a seem-alike with praises and promises. Also the women who became qualified and adopt attitudes that fit into the text of the 2010 classic “Over schooled but Undereducated” towards their sisters, the very homemakers who have always been the foundations of society and the knowledge bearers of our healing botanicals. People are schooled towards ambitions and the overplay of social gratifications, but never towards the ‘Legion’ of disappointment. We learn to roll over and get up on the simple parables repeated as warnings to never expect without your efforts, “ Bridge naw build fuh crass river by ‘E’ self, fuh you, you got fuh cut wood and dig de dutty first” the reality is, that no one can be fooled if you pay attention, I’ve always been advised in going to a function, to eat a lil something before yuh go, because the old folks never went into explanations you learn from experience, that sometimes the good expectations of a host can stumble before internal conflict or a drunk cook.
On returning to the stress context between genders, the initial upbringing and in-house philosophical schooling will play a part either way, to counter the unprepared harsh lessons that life, will at times inflict. But nothing can prepare a perfect student to determine the response to hard trials. I’ve witnessed that failure to learn from precedents with one of my children, and another to a point, as new work in science enlightens us, that genes and culture beyond parents replicate that impact on inherent human behaviour, that go back further than parents can imagine, we, both sexes can just continue to persevere, shaping the cultural norms to overcome without losing self, rather than to be overcome.