Belizean culture is a complex, colorful, and at times infuriating in its skewed views of women, and love, etc. I may have spent quite a bit of time bashing the Man Ho’s and quite honestly, I am sure any red-blooded male is starting to get his britches in a twist. Calm down pussycat; I also think that there is a lot to be said for women and their role in this messed up thing we call Belizean lurve.
The song I mentioned before is a duet, and the female vocalist says towards the end, “I would like you and my sweetheart to be friends!” Then the male, who I shall call Stanley, says, “Don’t you ever say that to me again!”
Isn’t that just like a macho? It’s like a guy telling his girlfriend he’d like to see her get it on with her friend, yet, when she tells him she’d like to see him get it on with his best male friend, OH GAWD, it’s a crime! She’s nuts, why the hell would she ask that? It’s all so typical, but I say what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.
Anyways, so Stanley’s lyrics embody the macho personality that flows through the Belizean man’s veins. I really think that the modern man has not arrived on the island in full force. There are a select few who are open to the female empowerment idea, but I honestly feel that most are way too set in their ways to ever change, especially in the areas of the sweetheart.
The concept of a man having a sweetheart isn’t quite the shocker that you’d think it was. I know of a seemingly happy married couple, deeply rooted in the community, with a beautiful, elegant wife (a MILF if you must), and an absolute toad for a husband (I mean he’s nowhere near as good-looking as her) who has a sweetheart. They’ve been married years, dated all through high school and everything apparently. They have teenaged children, and there seem to be no moves to end the marriage. She hasn’t exactly become friends with the sweetheart, but she doesn’t do anything about it either. The sweethearts is one of those women, you know the ones, that work in those dark, smoky, hole in the wall bars?
And here’s the clincher: apparently the father takes the teenaged son to the bar to hang out. And then, afterwards, it is a big family joke: “So, how’s your dad’s other wife doing? How does she dance for him?”
(Yes, the record just squeaked to a halt) What is this woman thinking? What the hell is that mentality all about? Whatever happened to dignity, to pride? Is it really all about appearances and money? If it’s about the money, lady, you just sold yourself way below asking price. At this point, the children are not even considered a part of the reasons to stay together, as they are all involved, and life goes on.
There are many women who know of infidelities, perhaps by picking up on the signs, or actually catch their man in the act. But what do they do? I tell you what, nothing, a big fat nothing. They nurse their wounded hearts as best they can, shrug and say, oh well, way of the worm, and carry on with life. On many occasions, my mother tried to leave her abusive husband, and every time she did, due to lack of funds, would go home, and her father, who was just as bad as her husband, would beat her and send her right back. Sort of the, “you made your bed, now lie in it,” mentality.
So, while I just compared physical abuse to emotional, in the end, I feel there should be change. I wish I could just grab a hurting woman by the hands and somehow make her see that enabling a man’s infidelities, by staying on, and being brave and strong, is actually NOT brave and strong. Leaving, and rediscovering herself, ensuring that she can stand on her own two feet, without needing to lean on another person, is what bravery and strength are all about.
In the song, Stanley may claim to be joking. The beautiful woman may be joking with her child about her husband’s sweetheart. But in the end, the sweetheart deal is all broken hearts, nothing sweet. And it is no laughing matter.
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