ANNA MARIA MORA
THIS IS the 21st century; we need to understand that education is the key. Now that we have come through a long period of mindlessness, which fed our animal nature, we must now focus on the human and divine in us. We must do as much as we can before the next “silly season” comes upon us.
We can build all the fancy highways, and other infrastructure that our politics demand, but these will come to naught if we remain in our mindlessness. Yes, we say that music and laughter can be the best medicine and we will laugh at dotishness. However, please understand that a country with a literate population, which can “pick sense out of nonsense,” will rise out of chaos and debt, and earn a healthy GDP.
It is imperative that we begin to help our young people to develop their critical thinking skills so they can make choices for their good. There is the school of thought which suggests we must use our “culture” in our schools’ curriculum as a teaching tool. I would like to give some suggestions to our social studies and health and family life education teachers.
How we can use Hooking’ Meh with our teen male and female students as a subject of discussion on gender relationships. All schools (co-ed or single-sex) are perfect for these discussions, debates, projects, poster presentations, dramatic presentations and so much more.
Here are some definitions:
Dat: Trinidadian dialect for the English word “that;” neuter gender of the definite article; designating something or someone not described but easily recognisable: sometimes with implications of disparagement.
Neuter: Neither masculine nor feminine; neither active nor passive.
Trophy: 1 (a) In ancient Greece and Rome, a memorial of victory erected on the battlefield or in some public place; (b) orig. a display of captured arms or other spoils; © something taken from the enemy and kept as a memorial of victory; (d) a lion’s skin or deer’s head etc displayed as evidence of hunting prowess; (e) a prize, usually a silver cup, awarded in sport contests or other competitions (Webster’s New World Dictionary).
Trophy wife: an informal term for a wife, usually young and attractive, who is regarded as a status symbol for the husband, who is often older or unattractive, but usually wealthy. The term is often used in a derogatory or disparaging way. The term trophy husband is the male equivalent, although this is rarer. A trophy wife is usually a second or later marriage.
Referring to a spouse as a trophy wife usually reflects negatively on the character or personality of both parties. For the husband, it has a connotation of pure narcissism and the need to impress other men, and that the husband would not be able to attract the sexual interest of the attractive woman for any reason apart from his wealth or position.
It can also be used to imply that the trophy wife in question has little personal merit besides her physical attractiveness, often unintelligent or unsophisticated, does very little of substance beyond remaining attractive, requires substantial expense for maintaining her appearance and is in some ways synonymous with the term gold digger (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
We are all aware of high performing athletes and entertainers who make millions of dollars. Many have trophy wives, and when their “business hits the road,” there is a “mistress” who only “the boys” know. When the ---t hits the fan, they are “taken to the cleaners,” and the “trophy” wives and children live very, very comfortably for the rest of their lives.
In the video of this very popular 2019 calypso, his “trophy” wife says to him: “I cannot do this anymore” and he does not stop what he is doing and attend to her statement. It is as if she were talking to the wall. The “actress” is very good, her eyes are empty and there is no emotion while he is “begging.” There is a hint of contempt. Husband does not acknowledge her feeling of frustration.
This is why his things are packed “in a garbage bag and put by d side ah d road.” She realises she is nothing but a well-dressed and manicured maid.
Reminds me of situation when a couple separated and divorce was imminent. Husband sent some friends to wife to try to convince her to reconcile. The reason he gave for wanting the reconciliation is “who will bring a cup of water for him when he is ill.” She calmly showed the potential mediators to the door.
These issues must be discussed with our young people, who at puberty begin to focus on relationships with the opposite sex. They must learn empathy, respect and how in TT today, intense at most times, fatal domestic violence is perpetrated, because husbands consider their wives “a prize to be displayed as evidence of hunting prowess.”
Long ago, I understand there were notches on belts when a man “caught’ a woman. The man with the most notches was a real man.
When frustration and emptiness overcome the women in their fight to survive, they realise they are just maids, caregivers to the children and (remember the calypso Hairy Bank?) they wake up to the fact that they are human beings with hopes, dreams, talents, and that there is more to life than this.
The feeling most described is “trapped.” Many husbands do not understand why “yuh want to mash up de t’ing jus’ so.” Then the attempt to show them who is really d boss results in the violence to which so many women are subjected. Many meet their deaths.
We really need to help our young people to become critical thinkers in this issue of relationships. We hear all the time that art imitates life. This is so true but we continue to jam and wine on serious issues.
Anna Maria Mora is a counselling psychologist
Anna Maria Mora