Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Are women the key to curbing the drug lifestyle?

I wrote this article for my column, The Chronicles of Nesta, at da-finest.com but the site has been under maintenance for a while now and I just can't sit by and wait anymore so I’ve decided to share the article here on my blog in the meantime - good thing I have a blog too :p.

The article speaks to the drug culture present in Dominica and maybe in other Caribbean countries and how women can probably curb the lifestyle. As always, comments are always welcomed:

Are women the key to curbing the drug lifestyle?

Now before I am attacked by all the feminists and activists, I must tell you that this article isn't against women or a part of the blame game. It is merely an insight into the mind of men, more particularly disadvantaged and marginalized young men.

The Caribbean has been plagued with an increase in crime and violence, something that has been outlined in numerous reports and more recently in the Eye on the Future Report - a report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development supported by the United Nations Development Programme in January 2010. A significant portion of those negative actions have been targeted towards and perpetrated by youth, and more particularly young men. A statement in the report indicates that in 2005, Dominican youth were 46 percent of homicide victims, yet represented only 38% of the general population. So in truth and in fact, we are hurting our own selves.

Many academics have spent many an hour and much money delving into the reasons why young people get involved in criminal behavior and it has been ascribed to a number of issues including socio-economic background, peer pressure, influence of American media, etc. However the role of young women and their acceptance of deviant behavior haven’t been exposed as a contributing factor to this phenomenon.

Young men, and more importantly Caribbean men, have always sought acceptance from young women. I would go as far as saying that their every action is directed at attracting the opposite sex. In the tradition of things, young men go to school, to get an education which would lead to a secure job in other to attract their partners but now with modernization and the “fast” money lifestyle, young men have been magnetized towards drugs and crime to fulfill their lofty ambitions. The end-goal though, is still the same – to attract the female partner(s).

Our society has shifted a lot of its core values; more “deviant” behavior is accepted than would have been the case several years ago - for better and for worse as well. The acceptance of the “Papas” into our society has created a certain security and economical gateway for the “ghetto” youth but for only a few. However it is that few, that seems to be the greatest influence, marshaling the onlookers to want to emulate them. The drug lifestyle in itself has brought a wave of crime and violence, like something out of the “New Jack City” movie where Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown, easily turned a New York City block into his own drug fortress. Our own versions of this television character now runs our communities, maybe not with the precision and tenacity as in the movies, but from all indications this is what it is developing into right before our own eyes.

However in New Jack City, we saw how Snipes had a change of heart, influenced by his love for the female gender and how that love was even greater than his love of the criminal lifestyle. He ended up being wheelchair-bound but still with the love of his woman and son. Maybe that should be the lesson we learn from that movie, the role and influence of a woman on man’s ambitions.

If our women, our young women disassociate themselves from the criminal element, this could prove an eye opener for them and spur them to change from this negative lifestyle but that is a big IF, because the young women themselves seem to love and flourish from the gains thereof.

It’s a vicious cycle, this drug problem and more complex than could be tacked from a mere article but it is my hope that I have raised some level of awareness and opened up an area for discussion.

1 comment:

Kereem said...

Funny, because as your article rightly say, guys do all these things just to attract women...Are they the cause or can they be the solution?