It was in 1971that the first discussion on the “Trinidad Male” began. Now fifty years later, it remains topical for different reasons.
Back then it was our happygo—lucky, laissez faire, enjoying life with liming and the main activity of drinking therein, a level of self-centredness, putting ourselves first and even throwing caution to the wind attitude, that attracted attention.
I do well remember my Principal at Port of Spain Teachers College, Mrs. Ahilya Mohan, who first mentioned the male crisis concern to the student body, remarks that she does not believe in re- incarnation but if there is such a thing, in her next life she wants to be a Trinidad male, as she has never seen anyone to so enjoy life!! Debatable, perhaps, as to whether it was complimentary or an indictment on us male.
It is certainly preferred to the perception that many of our males are today disrespectful, female bashers, rapists, murderers, child abusers, deserters of family responsibility and devils.
How much blame is in order for the family school, church, community and the entire nation should be addressed to end this undesirable situation.
We males form a large part of the society and that brings a responsibility to be exemplars to transmit to the nation for our youths to follow. We must teach by example. The male crisis is real, yet we have not sought to face it in any reasonable any meaningful way.
As a Principal at the Primary school level, I introduced at my school the Adventurers, a boys group similar to the Scout Movement to address the male crisis.
Well do I recall the Family Planning Association’s commendation to that programme and pledge of support. At the Joint Select Committee of Parliament meeting with Denominational School Boards, it was suggested that our schools have Scouts and Girl Guides groups. That was not implemented.
As long as we continue to fail to act on problems we face, we will have them escalating to crises.
Too often we begin by tolerating small concerns, only to find them too big to fix and lamenting our inaction.
There is in our country, advocated by our citizen Dr Jerome Teeluchsingh, a World Men’s Day, November 19, with tokenism of activity and observation as if we are like “burying our heads in the sand” when we should be putting it on the front burner.
Shall we continue to turn a blind eye or awake to reality? Let the male crisis not become another or larger national disaster to our detriment.
The country and future generations depend on us.
Lennox Sirjuesingh Patriotic Organisation of Trinbago.