To flaming youth
Let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire.
— Shakespeare, Hamlet 111, 4
I can just imagine virtue being like wax, and melting in its own fire. And we know how rapidly wax melts and burns hot as it does too.
It would seem that virtue and young girls do not go hand-in-hand as they used to many years ago. Back in the days of morality, discipline, honour and virtue, young girls were known to treasure their virtue, and indeed, took pride in holding on to it as long as they could. Well, not all girls, mind you, for there were always the loose ones who stood out as the bad apples in the barrel.
But they were easily identified, and were the low moral standard that mothers warned their daughters to steer clear of, and certainly not emulate. They were the bad company that parents often warned about.
Now it seems as if the tide has shifted, the table has turned, and the good apples in the barrel are in the minority. Many young girls have taken a deep plunge into the abyss of immorality, and it's shocking to many adults looking on.
"These young girls don't have nutten bout dem, and will fight you off and take away yu man." What an indictment, what a revelation, what a decline in morals of many of our young girls nowadays. We'll explore this right after some responses to 'Man mistakes'.
Men have been making mistakes for centuries, and it's what makes them so special. They blunder through life and think that their wants are a woman's needs. They think that we all want long, everlasting, rough sex, when all we need is romance. They think that we all want money, when what we need is the value of a moral commitment. They think that we all want hardness, when what we need is tenderness and kind words. They will continue to make these mistakes.
Regarding your footnote on tourism, while I do not agree with the overall view of that young lady, she may have a valid point on the hierarchy of remittance versus tourism. I believe that tourism plays a very important role in Jamaica's economy, a contributor to the gross domestic product and foreign exchange, which is vital to trade.
Without tourism, the services industry and the economy in general would be negatively impacted with thousands more out of jobs. Methinks that young lady may have had a bad experience with a tourist or the industry, which may account for her views on the industry.
But it would also be a boon to the country and the economy if there was expansion in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, leading to less dependence on imported goods and an increase in exports.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not on the case of young girls in our society, but I have been exposed to certain situations that I really have to share with you, plus many people have expressed their experiences and observations of young girls that have really disturbed them.
A few weeks ago, I was in the company of some young girls on a training exercise, and it was quite an eye-opener. True, I have been privy to working with and interacting with young girls over the years, as I have filmed many youth organisations and camps, but this was a very large group and I was intrigued by the behaviour of the group in total.
First of all, how they dealt with boys of their own age was a far cry from young girls of days gone by. There was no shyness, coyness or any hint of being demure. Now, if they see a boy who they like, they let him know and pursue him like a mongoose chasing a chicken. Needless to say, most of them don't really want boys their age, at least not for the long term, but prefer males who are older. Even so, they go after what they want.
On one occasion, while walking in their midst, one who was no more than 15 years old, pointed at me, then beckoned with her index finger that I should come over to her. I stopped dead in my tracks and indicated that if she wished to speak to me, then she should come over to me instead.
She then languidly arose from her repose and sauntered over to me. I cannot imagine me calling to an adult woman like that when I was 15 years old, but the times sure have changed. It turned out that she really had an innocent question about martial arts, but her approach to an adult certainly left much to be desired.
But then again, she may have mistaken my youthful good looks to be that of a much younger man. Hey, don't snicker, young girls come on to me all the time, and they don't call me Pops or Dads either.
One parent who was involved with the group was scared witless for her daughter as she admitted that she never experienced that sort of behaviour in young girls before. She exclaimed, "As the music started to play, they all began to wine up themselves as if on cue. It was like being in a giant go-go club."
Many mothers only drop off their kids to school then pick them up later without taking the opportunity to really observe the behaviour of young girls nowadays. Living in denial, existing in a bulb and burying your head in the sand is a recipe for disaster. Many of these young girls are out of control.
There are stories of young girls just hoisting up their skirts and having sex in public places, or as is now common knowledge, having intimate relations with bus drivers, conductors and taxi drivers. No wonder some people declare, "They are a lost generation and nothing can be done about them."
Stories of young girls sleeping with their mothers' boyfriend and even taking him away are not uncommon. I personally know of young girls who did that to their moms, which resulted in physical fights with police having to intervene. And, oh yes, they were from 'prominent high schools' too, as the cliché goes.
If you read the relationship advice columns or the medical ones, you will see the many letters, either from young girls, or from aggrieved wives who have lost their men to them and don't know what to do. They are no angels. In all my years in high school, I don't think I can recall even one instance of girls from neighbouring schools being involved in serious fights involving weapons. Now they fight as much as the boys, using knives, icepicks and other dangerous weapons. Talk to the cops, they will educate you.
But where they have struck a new chord is in the babymaking department. Here they excel at an alarming rate, making the term 'babies having babies' becoming a cliché. They have children for young boys, and, of course, for big men too, some old enough to be their fathers and grandfathers.
They see nothing wrong with running away and living with a big man. Police have told me that many of those missing girls have, in reality, gone off to live with grown men, eventually becoming pregnant and having babies that they can scarcely take care of, as they lack proper parenting skills.
I have known a few, and they broke their mothers' hearts. "I gave her everything, everything, and she still run away and got pregnant for that big, old man," this mother cried to me. And trust me, some are from privileged homes too.
The age of consent is 16, which means that if any boy or man has sex with a girl below that age, he can be arrested. Clearly this law is not fully enforced, if it were, three quarters of our male population would be behind bars. The USA calls it statutory rape, and it's quite common there too.
There's something about young girls that let grown men risk everything. At times though, it's hard to tell their age, as they are masters of disguise. "But your honour, I thought she was 20 years old." If you check out the nightspots you will be fooled too, as these young girls nowadays are prime before their time.
As old time people used to say, "Dem force ripe." Still, some men do not care, and I was amused to read of this case where a man in his 70s, accused of having sex with a minor, said in his defence that he waited until she was 16 before he had sex with her. But the trend is spreading, and many young girls prefer the company of older men for obvious reasons.
"Dear diary, I met a nice older man in his 50s who has everything that I have always wanted. He owns his home, has a nice car, good job with a big company, and promises to send me to school. Oh, he's planning to leave his wife soon. I think I can love him." So goes the diary of a young girl.
But guess what, at times these girls have the blessing of their mothers who actually encourage them to be with a man of means. It's not in the majority, mind you, but enough to be of concern. I remember writing about this years ago and this guy from foreign wrote me a scathing letter saying that was impossible as no mother would ever pimp out her daughter.
The reality is stark, and frightening. So many people live in bulbs and do not know the workings of the world that exists right under their noses.
It is now a common occurrence, and both the men and the young girls are shameless as they parade their romance publicly for all to see. Each sees the other as the ultimate prize as the question is asked, "Hey Norman, yu nuh get a young girl yet?" or "Hey Winsome, yu nuh get a big man yet?"
The diary of a young girl is most revealing, but you may not like what you read. No wonder some people say, "They are a lost generation, God help them."
Footnote: This patois and English debate will just not go away, and my views will not change despite the opinions of the learned ones who insist on pushing patois as opposed to English. The percentage rate of English passes has dropped dramatically in CXC exams, many UWI graduates cannot construct a proper sentence, and even many of our younger TV and radio announcers are woeful in their English grammar, syntax and pronunciation. And yet, the brighter heads cannot see the correlation.
English has to be taught as a language, while patois does not. No one taught me patois, yet I am fluent and love it cyan dun. I am fluent in English too, and also love it. How is it that many children from deep rural areas grew up learning and speaking proper English? What was different then that is different now? Only the excuses.
Why are all the proponents of patois all degreed people who do not live with the masses and whose children do not even speak patois? And why do they speak proper English when they're on media shows or in public forums? Why do they write in standard English?
I love patois, as it's beautiful, colourful and unique, and it should be maintained and treasured as a part of our culture. But it's English, Spanish, Italian, German, Mandarin that will open doors for you.