All Woman

Women bring more to the table than men do

By Shornee Carnegie

Monday, January 27, 2014    

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FROM the comments on my most recent article, I am getting married for money, not love, I realised that many (male) readers were of the consensus that Jamaican women need to take something to the table and stop being gold diggers.

But my question to all you men is, what more do you want us to take to that table? The last time I checked, we owned the damn table!

Jamaican women bring more to the table than Jamaican men would ever want to admit. We wipe that table when nothing is on it, and we are stuck with that table even when it seems tattered and broken. All that most of you have ever done to that table is to take from it.

If most Jamaican women were not contributing and bringing stuff to that godforsaken table, I shiver to imagine what would have happened to most of the households in the country. Do not misunderstand me, there are some very good men in our society who take pride in their roles and do what they ought to, but they are few and far between.

If you really want to know how much Jamaican women put on that table, take a walk to downtown Kingston. There are more women selling and hustling for their families than there are men. They are pushing carts, doing hair on the sidewalks, selling in the market, selling from their vehicles to their co-workers, anything to send the children to school.

Take a stroll inside the classrooms. There are more women trying to capitalise on a higher education than men, because we cannot fully depend on a man to take up his responsibilities.

Take a look at most homes in Jamaica. More than half the men cannot be found, yet children are to be sent to school and bills have to be paid, and believe me when I tell you, I sometimes don't know how some women do it, but they do.

If you go to the bank and check the ratio of men to women having savings accounts, you will find that more women save than men because we understand that there will be rainy days and not everything must be spent at Sting or ATI or the bar or strip club. Men have more debt, more overdraft on their accounts, more car loans, more financial issues than women and it is not because they are trying to handle their business, it is because they often want to chase waterfalls instead of sticking to the rivers and the lakes that they are used to.

So if I write that I am not dealing with any financially disabled man this year, it is not because I am lazy and do not want to take anything to the table. It is because what I brought to the table, I owned, and it was stolen and I am not tolerating anymore of that crap.

We as women need to have more self-worth. Stop entertaining men who are not worth our time. Stop entertaining men who do not have any sense of responsibility. Let us give the men back their rightful role in the family and let them be accountable and responsible for their households and stop singing the independence song so loud.

Stop being baby mothers and girlfriends forever and be wives. Stop giving men who do not treat us like queens a free pass. Stop encouraging men to leave their families (wives and children) for our own selfish desires.

We need to expect more for ourselves and stop settling for mediocrity.

Shornee Carnegie is an adventurer who likes to give a comedic spin to intense issues. A single professional, she writes to keep sane.

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