The mysterious Jamaican woman

“JAMAICAN WOMAN love to suffer!”

So I’ve heard many men declare, and at times it’s hard to disagree. When we see yet another Jamaican woman make a rationally inexplicable romantic choice, we male onlookers can only shake our heads and murmur ‘Bwoy dem like hardship!”

In the sport of love nice guys everywhere finish last. But Jamaican women have taken the “nice guys get screwed, or rather they don’t” concept to new heights. Though thankfully the “if he doesn’t beat me he doesn’t love me” mindset is fading away, most men here learn the hard way that showing too much concern about a woman’s welfare often leads to rejection.

Of course ‘too much’ is a judgement call. And since we can’t read minds and females never say what they mean, many confused men play it safe and take the advice of the old reggae hit Woman Is Like A Shadow – “Never let a woman know how much you love her, for she will only hurt you”. A self-styled ‘less is more’ authority tells me the keys are cool indifference and occasional tenderness. “What they really want is a sensitive Mr. Bad. So be one.”


In classic romantic lore declaring “You are my only love and I desire no other” always melts a fair maiden’s heart. But in Jamaica it’s a recipe for amorous disaster. As one veteran in the field puts it, “Jamaican woman don’t want you if you don’t have other woman. Them not giving you the work without a reference. But you can’t flash it in them face. They want other women to want you, but they don’t actually want to see you with one.”

some women love when men beat them(Some upfront disclaimers. Every woman, like every man, is unique and no generalisation ever applies to all. And there are many females here in happy relationships to whom all this is irrelevant. Also this piece is based primarily on conversations with others, so the opinions expressed are not necessarily mine. I personally believe that if you treat women with respect they will usually respond in kind.)

Now many Jamaican males not only find the concept of fidelity incomprehensible, they revel in ‘mongrelity’. Some now reportedly respond to the ‘You’re a dawg!’ charge with an unapologetic ‘woof!’. But I’m not sure all ‘old dawgs’ are necessarily that way by inclination. Bitter experience has caused many a ‘one woman by nature’ man to adopt the ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ approach. For complain about them as they may, a lot of Jamaican women clearly find ‘dawgs’ irresistible.


(Some connoisseurs, though, say it’s young single girls who seek ‘tame the stallion’ bragging rights. Married women, in their opinion, find illicit sex the most delicious of all, but prefer the challenge of getting a man who is married to someone else to cheat with them. It’s a matter, they assure me, of conquest and the reassurance that she’s still got it. Plus he goes home to wifey and she to hubby and safety, so there are no complications.)

But then a lot of females here seem ‘dawgs at heart’ themselves. I’ve heard young ladies excitedly exclaim “Me would have nuff gal if me was a man!”, and some boast about the number of girls they’ve seduced. Apparently ‘girl on girl’ is all the rage these days and you hear “at least 75% of women have done it” claims. Whatever the true figure, female intimacy is a very hot and increasingly acceptable subject.

To some liberated souls this is another feminist victory. Only benighted chauvinists, they claim, could not admire the women who have freed their minds and emancipated themselves from the mental slavery of patriarchy by uninhibitedly expressing their affection for each other.


Recently I asked a female acquaintance if she thinks Jamaicans are in general happy. Well, she replied, she couldn’t speak for men but a lot of the women are not. Why? Because of the troublesome relationships they are in. But don’t they choose their partners? Yes, she agreed, but there is such a man shortage that sometimes you can’t do better.

This ‘man shortage’ thing has always puzzled me. Women claim there’s a ‘five to one’ disparity, yet statistics show there are only slightly more females than males. Apparently to Jamaican women 80% of Jamaican men don’t count.

Now women here are generally better educated than the men, and females usually prefer mates of a similar or higher academic background. So there is perhaps some educational mismatch. Yet it’s so common to see Jamaican women reject quite eligible suitors in favour of unmitigated mongrels that there’s got to be more to it than that.

Now just as men want the prettiest women, so do women desire ‘alpha’ males – or as one lady puts it ‘big wallet, big foot man!’ But most men, and I daresay most women elsewhere, generally accept the ‘beta’ mate if the ‘alpha’ is already taken. But I’ve been told that “We Jamaican women prefer to have 10% of a 100% man than a 100% of a 10% man!” Naturally these are the same women who sit at home most nights pining that ‘man a dawg’ while their ‘donman’ is checking one of his six other women. (Although a friend says that “Any man with more than one woman getting help whether him know it or not.” But that’s another story.)

And so, as men always do when we discuss our favourite topic, we come back to Sigmund Freud – “The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?'”

Written by: Kevin O’Brien Chang

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