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Woman a help meet for man, and vice versa

By their fruits  you  will know them. Do you  gather grapes  (rom thorns, or figs from  thistles?

-Matthew 7:16


If there’s one thing that won’t help prevent domestic violence, it’s the “radical” approach that Marilyn Rice-Bowen of the National Organization of Women (NOW) has threatened- presumably against men. We,of course, are not unmindful of NOW’s essential role nor constituency, but do not hold that anything useful will come of its president’s invective.

Next, the Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA), among whose

remit is “to champion the cause, and to safeguard the right of men enshrined

in the Barbados Constitution and to identify and effect positive change regarding key issues affecting men” will be responding to this air of perceived bitterness, and the matter of breaking the cycle of gender violence will have seen no hope.

Clearly, it is not enough for a perpetrator of death in a personal relationship

to be arrested, charged, prosecuted, found guilty and jailed. Though the killer

will have ostensibly fully paid his debt to society – since we no longer hang murderers – his usually temporary stay at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds does nothing to alleviate the pain of surviving relatives, or to dull their trauma

or erase horrific memories.

Neither NOW’s acidity nor the  likely shouting match between NOW itself and MESA’s Ralph Boyce will land us anywhere solid and firm. Their level-headedness is needed now more than ever. In the last quarter or so we

have had nigh half-dozen domestic killings – all by the hands of unthinking or

unthoughtful men. What indeed brought them to this degenerate state? Is it true that men can’t take “a done”, as some women advocates are apt to say?

Or is it that neither woman nor man can, but their reactions to their dilemma are drastically different? While the woman will subtlely make her former spouse’s life ever miserable, the man will rashly take that of his former partner in a hurry?

Obviously,we do not support domestic or gender violence of any kind; but we do not see finger pointing as any remedy to this madness and calamity. And so while we aver that there is no excuse for the domestic killing of another over a difference of opinion or position, we need to get to the root cause or causes of this recent rash of intimate partner murders.

And we note that not all of the domestic violence has taken place between spouses,or former spouses, at home. There has been as well the example

of stalking and killing.

This ruthless and brutal taking of life just will not do, and with that stand

alone we empathize with NOW and Ms Rice-Bowen and share in the outrage, but righteous indignation will bring us all diddly-squat. Evidently, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, celebrated in October last, has not galvanized enough attention, interest, or emotional commitment to the resolution of its

cause. It behoves us therefore for the benefit of all Barbadians, from now, to dedicate the next year – all of 2014 -to the campaign of non-violence in intimate relationships. And we will do so incorporating and expanding upon the courses and workshops NOW itself and other gender-related organizations currently present in the community.

At the heart of this, though, will be a coming together of NOW and MESA on this troubling issue of intimate relationship violence and its elimination. If these two representative bodies of genders cannot settle their differences and come

to common ground on the solidification of relationships and their preservation through compromise and mutual benefit, what message of encouragement could they themselves be sending to individuals and unions in this country?

By their deeds they shall be judged; not by their words!

That we are not as violent as our CARICOM neighbours is no comfort to the families of the comparatively small number of our women so savagely taken from us – who could be a mother, aunt,sister, daughter, granddaughter, cousin of

any of us. If NOW and MESA would do what we request of them, then all

right-thinking Barbadians would give them their utmost backing – by moral support, time, sweat or financial gifting, or all of the preceding.

We cannot save our women by waiting until they are killed. We can do so by preventing the circumstances that lead to such savagery. We can do it by standing together , interacting with and teaching families, counselling and guiding couples, presenting the values of anger management, considerateness, compromise and peace.

There are some emotional dynamics we surmise contribute greatly to

intimate relationship violence: notions planted in the heads of partners, such as “you’re not a man if you can’t control her”, or “he ain’t no head over you; you equal to him”, or “she is making a fool out of you”, or “he has another woman with you” or  “she/he is controlling you. Don’t let her/him” . …

The samples are virtually endless.

These need profound resolution. Just maybe NOW and MESA can get their hands to it- and their heads! Peace and love!

13 Responses to Woman a help meet for man, and vice versa

  1. Cheryl Inniss
    Cheryl Inniss December 4, 2013 at 3:07 am

    A help what?

  2. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler December 4, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I’m still trying to figure out what that mangle sentence means

  3. Nikki Brown
    Nikki Brown December 4, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I think that is a biblical term. It means a help mate.

  4. Shaun
    Shaun'El Brathwaite December 4, 2013 at 7:25 am

    lol the people quoting Genesis.

  5. Nikki Brown
    Nikki Brown December 4, 2013 at 7:36 am

    While we preach and evoke Je-sus another woman is being beaten, stalked, raped and killed. We turn to a broken church who tell women to go back to their husbands who are abusing them. I have known of a woman who was told this by her pastor she is no longer with us. Abusers are not un-thoughtful or unthinking abusers know exactly what they’re doing I find that sentence distasteful. Not everyone is a Christian and being a Christian does not make one a good person. I believe men and women are equal but different. The head of the household role should be undertaken by the person who has the best skills and leadership knowledge and that is based on what decision is being made at the time in regards to your household. Simply head of house hold duties will be shared by both partners and are situational. No partner should make the final decision based on gender.

    • DURING VISIT July 4, 2012 United Nations offered to assist with implementing policies. Now, it seems as though everything is just beginning as if there was never awareness and attention on the work that has yet to be accomplished in stopping DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE in Barbados.

      “The authorities need to #adopt #more #effective #legislative #measures to #combat these very #destructive #forms of #behaviour and #crimes, and to undertake #public #awareness #programs to tackle the underlying #discriminatory #attitudes that #permit them to #continue,” Ms. Pillay said.

  6. Tarisha Carter
    Tarisha Carter December 4, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Sentence structure

  7. Alx Edg
    Alx Edg December 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Please read your Bibles and stop posting the first thoughts that come to your brain. Read Genesis 2:18 -25.

  8. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler December 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I shouldn’t have to be a reader of the bible to understand what the headline is trying to say

  9. jucifer December 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Ah yes the minute I saw that this mess started with a Bible verse I knew where it was going. Religions, especially the desert 3 (Judaism, Islam & Christianity) all HATE women. No please don’t come to spin about this and that. They hate women they’ve done nothing but run women down from Eve, no wonder they’re so many male/female relationship issues all spiraling out of that Bible/Koran/Torah. Put those incarcerating pieces of garbage down and THINK. The author of this nonsense is a sick misogynistic piece of TRASH….I don’t need to go on. Nikki is right the church and religion are broken and haven’t had answers for CENTURIES!

  10. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley December 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Looks like you have someone from The Nation writing for you now !!!!!!

  11. Jay Butcher
    Jay Butcher December 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Biblical B.S

  12. Sylvester Smith
    Sylvester Smith December 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.


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