When I take my daughter to pre- school, I sometimes talk to her classmates and I think about how some people see no evil in hurting someone else’s child.
I could never do that for when I look at another little girl, I see my own child staring back at me. I can never understand how men who have sisters, nieces and daughters can treat another person’s relative like that. There is a popular saying that these men should hope that their daughters, nieces, sisters and female families never encounter someone like them. The way in which these older men abuse and mistreat little girls is a call for national concern.
Some people say that the little girls are to be blamed for wanting “too much big man” and money to buy hype clothes. An adult should be responsible enough to protect our children and not harm them. The adult male should know better and make sound decisions if he is approached by a child with sexual advances. But instead too many grown men walk around telling twenty six year-olds like me that i am “too old for them” and what they really want is “Kiddie’s meal”. Just the other day, I was standing in a party and heard a young man around the ripe age of twenty three complaining that ” too many old women were in the dance” and when I looked around to see what he was talking about , I realized that he meant there were too many women with sagging breasts, big arms and broad hips.
I reflected upon what this young man said and came to the conclusion that men were attracted to little girls because young adult women had let themselves go. As soon as women have children and many begin around the age of eighteen or so, their bodies are not as slender, contoured and attractive as these younger men would have it. I shook my head. That was a fallacy, a flawed notion so I asked a couple older women what they thought of that purview.
” Make them go weh, a thru them know they cannot come to older women with no foolishness”
” Thru big woman have responsibility like bills etc and young girl only want lunch money and KFC”
“If these young girls think these men want responsibility them better think again. Make them get pregnant and or problem arise with them and see how quickly these so call men leave them to fend on their own”
It would alarm those from uptown when they discover the age at which some girls attend the ‘Dance-Hall’. I was never permitted to go out as a child and people said my father was “old timish” and a modern time now so he should make young girls go out and have fun. My father made it clear to them that he was guarding his investments and he would never put his assets in any market situation that could ruin his returns. Now i am appalled at seeing thirteen year-olds at parties, gyrating on older men, drinking and smoking.
Gone are the days when school girls would not want to be seen talking to a man in their uniform. Nowadays school girls readily associate, have intercourse and do all manner of slackness in their school garb. The number of viral videos online of school girls engaged in lewd behaviour underscores a trend, a subculture that is gaining momentum among our teenagers of debauchery and impropriety.
Many mothers unable to meet the financial needs of their families are realizing that nowadays men within the working class are more interested in much younger women and some have turned out their daughters to the world as “mi granny would say”. Now men can be seen picking up school girls for school from their homes in full view of their families in luxury vehicles and parked out side Mama’s gate at night for long hours courting their daughter while mama peeps through an open window to make sure they do not leave. Some mothers are rumoured to have slept in their sofas and given their beds to their daughter and her older suitors.
Where are the fathers?
Fathers are another scenario in the Ghetto when it comes to their daughters. Teenagers talk about the hypocrisy of men who will gladly sleep with an underage girl and yet protect their own daughters with everything but a chastity belt. When I was a teenager I overheard an older man telling my father that he protected his daughter and that other people should protect theirs too or else…Teenage girls refuse to listen to fathers who are involved with their peers and herein we have another problem. But teenage girls are not wise enough to understand that if a man is securing his child, has expressed the need to protect the innocence of his child and wants to exploit you then it means he could never possibly care about you.
Many older men express utter distaste at the idea of men their age having sexual relations with girls as young as their daughter. One male friend of mine said that some men could not confront a ‘bwoy’ who fooled around their daughter(s) because they are not in any position to question another man’s integrity when he is messing with someone else’s child. If more men would address young boys about rumours of them being involved with their daughters then we might alleviate the issue. But no! Girls allegedly get beat up by fathers for improper involvement with the opposite sex and mother’s tolerate older men in relationships with their teenage girls because they see it as some kinda gateway to financial security.Parents need to do better than that.
When it comes to sex crimes and abuse, girls often bear the brunt of social backlash and boys are treated with indifference or given a pat on the back. Girls who are considered “bad gyals” are not shown sympathy when “bad things” happen to them. Teenage mothers are looked upon with scorn. We have encouraged a culture that seeks to sink girls who are involved in known sexual offences. Once a girl is labelled “bad girl” then it is considered okay for men to exploit her. We need to motivate our girls, reinforce values among our young women, let them know that their behaviour affects the way a man treats them. Girls must be made to understand that there are other factors that define them than having sex with ‘money men’ and pulling up to parties in nice vehicles. Women are more than just orifices.
Parents should cut the aggressive approach that has always alienated their children, especially girls. I believe you must have a relationship with your child wherein if someone hurts them and makes them uncomfortable, they are not afraid to tell you. Instead of threatening our children, we must sit and “reason” with them. Many mothers are afraid to admit that they have made mistakes but it is okay to teach your daughter about personal convictions using yourself as an example. Albeit mothers may have been teenagers in a different time, the dating process has not changed much and teenage girls are grappling more or less with the same issues that their mother’s faced. It is a wise woman who learns from her mistakes but an even wiser one that learns from the mistakes of others. The time to sit with our daughters is now.
Our boys should not be left out. We must change the way our men see women, as mainly objects for gratification and recreation. It is also unfair that a man will want to be with a woman and when she gives into his demands, he will go back and label her as unfavorable, to discredit her among other men. We need an overhaul of values in how the average Jamaican male under twenty five thinks about females especially younger girls. The media has not helped in promoting images of girls with bottles down their throats as entertainment. If you should ask a man on the street why men treat young girls the way they do, you will probably hear, ” a it them want, a them want it inno”.
Our men need to take some responsibility when it comes to intercourse and not after pursuing a female lay all the blame at her feet.
In closing I leave you with a few words that my grandmother told us back in the day! “You cannot do what a man does and still be considered a lady” and remember if anything happens “a you ago lef with the baggage!”. Miss Blossom also said “kin teeth anno laugh” and “not everything that glitters is gold” In the words of one of my favorite black female writers. ”
“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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