Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Letter to Editor: Men and women should stop the blame game and work together

Letter to Editor: Men and women should stop the blame game and work together

“It is my firm belief that until we find a way to make an intervention in the homes, and until the overwhelming majority of Trinbagonian homes are wholesome, functional, nurturing places for children, we are engaging in mass self-deceit if we believe anything will change significantly anytime in the future.”

The following Letter to the Editor on the recent violent attacks on women and the discussion surrounding it was submitted by Donnel Cuffie of Chaguanas:

Photo: A female victim of domestic abuse.
Photo: A female victim of domestic abuse.

The late Ras Shorty I has a lovely song titled “Change your attitude”, and part of the chorus goes like this:

“When you train a child how to go,
When they get old they ain’t moving so;
When the tree young and you bend it wrong,
It hard to straighten when it old and strong.”

Simple and yet so profound.

I’ve been observing the passionate cries following some of the latest, horrific crimes against women calling for men to change how they treat women, and the backlash in response to the recent gaffe by the Prime Minister brought it up again.

What has struck me about a lot of the commentary was the abstract sort of way “men” were being spoken about; as if we all just happened to drop from a breadfruit tree somewhere.

These men were once children, in that critical formative part of life when they could be set right or set badly wrong. And many of them were, as Ras Shorty I poignantly observed, “bent (badly) wrong” by the adults in their life, some of whom were women—especially their mothers.

Photo: Young Matura football fans enjoy some 2015/16 CNG National Super League Premiership Division action at the Matura Recreation Ground. Matura ReUnited edged Petrotrin Palo Seco 3-2. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Young Matura football fans enjoy some 2015/16 CNG National Super League Premiership Division action at the Matura Recreation Ground.
Matura ReUnited edged Petrotrin Palo Seco 3-2.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Now, when these men are “old and strong” and the society is reaping the results of generations of domestic and communal dysfunction on a large scale, we are conveniently pointing accusatory fingers at a veritable forest of old, hard, crooked trees that we as a national collective did nothing to try to straighten when they were young, pliable saplings.

It is my firm belief that until we find a way to make an intervention in the homes, and until the overwhelming majority of Trinbagonian homes are wholesome, functional, nurturing places for children, we are engaging in mass self-deceit if we believe anything will change significantly anytime in the future.

And oh… in order for that to work, both sexes—men AND women—have to quit the mutual blame game and work in partnership with each other. Both helping to carry their fair share of the burden of change, TOGETHER.

There’s no other way.

Photo: Two spectators take a selfie during Trinidad and Tobago's 2016 Independence Day Parade celebrations. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Two spectators take a selfie during Trinidad and Tobago’s 2016 Independence Day Parade celebrations.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your blog between 300 to 800 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation.

Check Also

Kamla Persad-Bissessar

MEDIA MONITOR: Property tax and personal positions before patriotism?

I want to begin with a confession: I voted for the PNM in 2015 and …

3 comments

  1. excellent commentary. Well said Mr Cuffie

  2. Earl Best

    Donnell, A solid commonsense stance and statement based on experience and observation. But I think you fail to make explicit mention of a very important fact.

    Where, oh where, have our fathers gone?

    Here is your paragraph: “These men were once children, in that critical formative part of life when they could be set right or set badly wrong. And many of them were, as Ras Shorty I poignantly observed, “bent (badly) wrong” by the adults in their life, some of whom were women—especially their mothers.”

    I submit that an essential point can be powerfully made by rewriting the last line as follows: “…by the adults in their life, MOST of whom were women.”