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EDITORIAL: Disturbing picture of girls


BARBADOS NATION

EDITORIAL: Disturbing picture of girls

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IT HAS BEEN said more often than one cares to remember that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.

This statement immediately recognises the critical role that girls and women play in our societies, and it is nothing short of astonishing to discover that up-and-coming generations of females in our country are starting to demonstrate the same level of deviant behaviours that one has become accustomed to seeing from some young men in our midst.

This critical role earmarks the females among us, by nature and by civilisation, for the roles of mothers and nurturers of our future populations.

But on Wednesday last, manager of the Council of Substance Abuse, Betty Hunte, disclosed that marijuana use should no longer be automatically linked to boys on the block. Her statement discloses a festering problem which portends major sociological difficulties for our society if it is not corrected in a timely manner.

Speaking from her office at Belleville, after one of her council’s programmes, she asserted that her council’s major concern was trying to reach out to the girls in our population. Drug use, she said, was linked to many of the offences young women found themselves facing in the law courts.

Coupled with the number of young men frequently appearing before the courts, this is a disturbing picture being painted of a large swathe of our youth, of both sexes. But the fact that girls are following their male peers has wide implications. For some time now we have heard that while the boys were occupying the blocks and behaving in an unsociable manner, the girls were pursuing higher educational opportunities. We wonder if this trend is changing.

Moreover, given the traditional cultural and biological differences and perspectives, females are more associated with the orderly rearing of the families, and history draws  favourable pictures and other images of the sterling matriarchal contributions to the nurturing of family and home life.

But this important role of our females, especially mothers and grandmothers, which bonded families and promoted the traditional bedrock values of thrift, honesty and working for what you want may now be in jeopardy.

We cannot close our eyes to these new antisocial developments, since Miss Hunte’s professional work has brought her face to face with a type of aggression in girls which she says is difficult to understand.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is to hear that girls between the critical ages of 12 and 18 years present most of the problems although some issues started at the primary school level.

What Miss Hunte has presented to us is a situation in which the bedrock and foundation of our culture is slowly but steadily being eroded beneath our feet. It is an insidious and creeping cancer aided by cultural penetration, but fertilised to a large extent by the failure of parents, both male and female, and the wider community to enforce those values of which we know.

Time was when the spoken disapproval of one’s neighbours or condemnation of the village was a more potent restraint on antisocial behaviour and deviance than the law itself.

Now Miss Hunte is warning us that her job and that of her organisation are being made more difficult because “unfortunately the criminal acts of the female youngsters are becoming more commonplace”. Some may choose to ignore Miss Hunte’s disclosures at our peril. We regard it as a call to action!

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