Friday, November 22, 2013

Emasculation can be defined as a raping of the male identity engaging in the stripping of dignity and integrity presenting irresponsibility and low productivity. As a Caribbean people we have been affected by the history of the pre and post-colonial periods
There is need to agree on a sociological framework that would support the definition and give credence for rehabilitation. We have to observe basic foundational perspectives that have been alive since the creation of man. Allow me to present the biblical perspective that is an acceptable worldview in spite of the many theologies and persuasions. Therefore it would be prudent to say that God made man and made him in his image and likeness. It would be also necessary for this presentation to say that He God made man male and female as two distinct personalities in the now sociological dimension of masculinity and femininity.

In the context of historical evolution we see that man has been exposed to several interpretations and experiences that have not allowed him to perfect his ideals, aspirations and in total his potentiality.
The eras have shown that male man had been caught in a pendulum swing showing their strength in the many wars that have been won, the many inventions, the scientific and technological discoveries, historical icons but yet in the home and in the community there is another cry. The world has greatly benefited from the wisdom of men, we cannot speak to the contrary; but alas there is a cry that we male have not achieved and to use the expression, ‘we are no good’.
In a Caribbean context we are even more so lamed. Yes, we have had great sons proving to the world that there is intellectual prowess, yet we have the other cry – where are the men?

In the post-colonial days, we see the struggle of the black man striving to survive in a foreign world, a world of opportunity but yet full of discrimination and despair. There has been the opportunity of skill but yet marginalized within a context of ethnic preference.

The period of slavery showed a definite mismanagement of the family members and created the need to redefine the terms of reference of the family. The abuse of the female slaves and the indifference to the value systems bore a dynasty of sexual abandonment which produced misappropriate behaviour. The institution was largely ridiculed by the slaves and eventually the sanction of marriage was almost unknown.[1] This phenomenon was experienced in the Caribbean and gravely affected countries like Jamaica which later showed the increase in prostitution and unstable relations thus further affecting the base of the family social structure.

The post-colonial period saw some distinct change in the structure of society where the matrifocal based homes were found and that man/ fathers were not at all significant in the rearing and caring of the child/children. The woman/mother usually assumed the role as head of the home making the man’s domestic routine marginal. This is consistent with the conflict perspective where the family becomes an oppressive institution – a status quo of unequal power relations between the man and the woman and also of people of different age groups. It also defines poverty rates between racial and ethnic groups upholding gender inequity within the family.

The structural functionalist is definitely appalled by this as his theory of the regulated family with proper sexual behaviour, protection of members, personality development and placement of members proposes to offer society control and stability.[2] This theory provided integration and a smooth working society. This explains the reality of economic stability and a balanced social structure which transcends the fragmented family structures within the society.[3] There is a fierce argument to show that structural functionalism has loop holes because the reality of the effects of colonialism has created other real situations which show that the family has gone through and is still experiencing injustices as cited before. There is a real world of divorce, separation, remarriage and battered children. Social problems are real within the context of the family and we definitely cannot support the functionalist theories. We need to present solutions to alleviate the pressures created and to sociologically discuss how to preserve the unit.[4]

[1] Patterson, Orlando – Mating Patterns, Parent-child relations, Kinship and the White Out-group
[2] Dolch, Norman and Deutchmann, L – Social Problems: a Case Study Approach (2001)
[3] Barrow, Christine – Families in Caribbean: Themes and Perspectives (1996)
[4] Smith, Raymond T. – The Negro family in British Guiana (1971)