Men beat up women because they are stronger

Cassandra's Candid Corner
Stabroek News
April 16, 2000

Lately, several items in the media have caught my eye. In one instance, two women were in front of Judge Mills Lane (the TV Judge) accusing each other of abuse and damage to property. The two women were fighting over a man who was cheating on both of them. The people in court loved the 'bacchanal' and were rooting for one or the other combatant. It dawned on no one that the two sisters should have been battering the man instead of each other.

Then there was the case of a lovelorn writing about her two-timing boyfriend. The answer to her problem by a 'Dear Abby' wannabe was to further belittle the letter-writer and not the man.

Just last week, Guyana's genuine resident sage was trying to explain that man's cruelty to woman was not based on religious scriptures. A week before that, a woman in frustration and desperation doused herself with kerosene. Her husband, no, the beast with whom she lived, promptly provided the match. She died subsequently.

And I have already alluded to the man who went to a wedding house and shot his wife. That is, after he had repeatedly beaten her during the years after he walked around the fire under the bamboo and promised to honour and protect her. An interesting side note to that episode was the opinion in the village, by no less than she mattie women, that she mussee did do he sumting first.

Even Ravi Dev, this great Hindu defender of womanhood, managed, in a moment of vexation, to let his guard down and lose my vote by telling us how the women of Uitvlugt demonstratively use their underwear. Why do men treat women this way? Why do they physically abuse and mentally torment the gender to which their mothers and sisters belong? I think I have the answer, or at least part of it.

Now, before I go one sentence further, let me refer to an experience with a student I once had. I asked him what I thought was a simple question with an obvious answer. That boy circumnavigated the globe, not in a straight line either. He posited peripheralities; he made parallels that were tangential to the main issue. The answer was staring him in the face. No matter how I led him back from his aberrations to the straight and narrow path, he could not zero in on that which would have been clear to a cretin. That great German playwright, Bertold Brecht once said "it is the simple that is so difficult to accomplish."

Well, I have encountered several people, not lastly academics, philosophers and thinkers, who were just like that student. Confronted with a problem, they analyse it and intellectualise it and write tomes about it. In the end, the problem remains, because they cannot grasp the fundamental simplicity of the solution.

So what does all this have to do with the enigma of why men brutalise women? Well, to me the answer is not to be found in some profound genetic anchorage; nor is it to be found in patho-psychological nurturing. For me the answer is simple: men beat up women because they are stronger.

What an anti-climax, eh? Sorry. I am sure you were expecting something Freudian, or at least Jungian. Something deep. Well, yuh ent getting dat from this pen. My hero is the people's philosopher, Josh Billings, who has this compulsion to bring everything down to its basest (good word that) denominator. Well, following in Josh's footsteps, I have to say that the human male is an unmitigated bully. And we can't get baser that that. He is physically stronger and he uses this physical strength to physically intimidate and subjugate women (now, please don't tell me that women are physically stronger, because they can iron more clothes and scrub more floors for longer periods than men. With all that clothes ironing and floor scrubbing, she buckles from a good jaw shattering, bone crunching, eyeball popping cuff).

So, sisters, if you run with me on this one and accept that the male uses his superior strength and behaves like the backyard bully, then you have to treat him the same way you treat the pompous, intolerant, self promoting, muscle-bound blowhard. What? You want me now to tell you what to do? You brighter than he, so go figure. Then go train your own girl children how to deal with threatening, strong arm bullies. Of course, you can instead read dem wise books (written by men) dat deal with sexuality, genderism and compatible human relations. But, sisters, dat is wat yuh been doin' all dese years. Come back to basics. Recognise the reality and work from there. Be revolutionary. Tell yourself that you will never again allow a man to use his muscles to disfigure your face, or that of his daughter. And mean it. Tell your son that he will not hit his sister again, and mean it. That's a start. Now, you've got to decide what 'mean it' means.

* Hey, enough o'dat. Let's talk cricket. I'll tell you what I found particularly funny (wryly so) about the Hansie Cronje affair. This holier-than-thou Christian with his WWJD ("what would Jesus do?) wristband is just another devout false prophet, a cricketing Shambach Swaggart. The average Caribbean man never, in a month of Sundays, would even have thought that an Australian or a South African or an Englishman could take bribes and help fix betting odds. In spite of the evidence against Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, collectively we wanted to believe that only Pakistanis and Indians committed such heinous acts. The WICB never protested that the meagre fines placed on Waugh and Warne were not only insignificant but encouraged further felony. The Pakistani cricketers were the international bete noir and accusations from ball tampering to bribe taking were levelled at them. Well the proverbial faeces hit de fan, and integrity (according to Cozier) get hit fo' six.

Of course, the obvious questions emerge. Who else, where else, when else. Did we witness the same thing in France in the last Soccer World Cup Final. Can you remember any performance worse than the Pakistani give-away at last year's Limited Overs Final? Have any West Indian players ever been involved? I want to say baloney, humbug and bull crap to all such questions. But I ent puttin' dis winkled head pun no block, no mo. Bad news ent got no end. Tucked away on page 10 of SN's April 13 edition was one of the most shattering reports I have read in a long, long time. Counterfeit (= fake) antibiotics were being sold to unsuspecting citizens. Jesus H. Christ, what sort of people would jeopardize the life of an infant by placing substandard medicine on the market. Greed and the relentless pursuit of profit combine to dehumanise people. Imagine that the proprietor of the store where the drug was found was unwilling to cooperate with the government Analyst's investigators. Imagine the traders pleading innocent. Did they ask themselves how they were able to purchase azithromycin so cheaply? How long has this practice been going on? How many people have died because the drugs were impotent? If somebody ent ketch jail for dis scam, den dee law is a true ass. Amen

Adieu, until next week.