From The Publisher
Sex is a very serious and very important aspect of our lives as human beings. In most human beings of reproductive age, this is an extremely powerful urge. The sex urge is extremely powerful because this is how we reproduce ourselves, how we express our demand for self-preservation. All of us want very much to live, even though we will certainly die.
One of the attractions of religion is that almost all the various faiths promise eternal life for their disciples. That eternal life involves a spiritual concept usually referred to as the “soul.” But, there is another form of eternal life, in the sense that if you could be assured that your children and your children’s children and all their generations would go on and on forever, that would be a form of eternal life. There is no such guarantee, however, though the sex urge represents, whether we are conscious of it or not, our personal quest for forever.
Belize is a small place, and there is and has always been a lot of tension amongst families involved with the question of who will have sex with whom. As a people, we are divided by color, ethnicity, religion, and class. Ideally, people who are going to mate with each other are not encouraged to cross these lines of division, because they will encounter problems additional to those which life presents in the normal course of things.
And yet, it is true that opposites attract. Human beings are curious, and curiosity often gets us into trouble. Then, this love business can throw everything rational out of whack. Once curiosity kicks in and opposites start attracting and love enters the picture, then things can get crazy. Lovers start behaving as if the traditional lines of division don’t matter. All they know is that they are in love, and that they want each other, and they want to be with each other forever and forever.
As human organisms, we are probably most vulnerable to the recklessness and vicissitudes of the love experience during our teenaged years. These are years when parents are greatly challenged, because they have to control their children without confining them. There are some immigrant families in Belize who actually send away their children when they reach the dangerous teen years. This is because they don’t want their children to become romantically and sexually involved with us Belizeans. It is their children, and so that is their right.
The playing of sports in public places is a sexy exercise. The performers wear fewer clothes than one would wear on the street, and so members of the opposite sex can see more and find more to admire in the bodies of those who are performing than they would on the street. In the modern era, there are also members of the same sex admiring each other, but that is not what we are discussing at this time. We are discussing the sex dangers involved with age-old heterosexuality and sports: young girls and young ladies entering arenas where they can see and admire the physiques and gifts of young men.
I think the most serious divisions amongst families in Belize City have to do with class, the other areas of division such as color, ethnicity and religion being complicating factors. In practical terms, what this means is that if I have fought my way out of poverty into a higher standard of living, I wouldn’t want my prize daughter getting hooked up with your poor-a— son. This is real in Belize, as it is all over the world, I suppose.
The class divisions and the sex factors translate into a situation where certain Belizean families refuse to support sports where lower class youth may become heroic, and, as a result, sexually attractive to their children. Belize is small. In America, there were a whole lot of young ladies, millions and millions and millions, who would have wanted to get close to Michael Jordan. The individual American father would not feel a personal danger involved with his daughter going crazy over Michael Jordan, because Michael (apart from being rich) had so many other ladies chasing him. But in Belize, if a Belizean version of Michael Jordan emerged as a hero, this place is so small that it could be my daughter or your daughter, and the thing is that everybody would know about it. The place is small. People are scared.
The starting lineup which ran on to the Civic court to represent the Kremandala Raiders in the inaugural semi-pro basketball season in 1992 featured two high school graduates, a high school dropout, and two primary school dropouts. By the second game the Raiders played, one of the primary school dropouts had become a city sensation because of his great gifts. He was not in a financial position to give any young lady a solid life, but his fame meant that young ladies wanted to be with him. This is the nature of many young ladies. They want to be with stars. If they themselves were not stars before, being with a star makes them a star.
The rulers of this society, therefore, are nervous about programs which may end up as a vehicle for lower class youth to ride to stardom. It’s too dangerous, because our upper class young ladies would start becoming interested in lower class males. Not good.
When other options for upward social mobility are not available, sports is supposed to be a way for talented individuals from oppressed situations to move upwards. It’s not happening in modern Belize, because the place is too small. I know that what I’m saying is true, that there are powerful and wealthy Belizeans who do not support sporting programs because they are afraid of creating what they consider “Frankensteins.” Guiltiness rests on their conscience, oh yea.
Power to the people. Power in the struggle.