Male stance/Female narcissism
Date: Sunday, January 26 @ 22:33:49 UTC
Topic: Trinidad and Tobago

by Bukka Rennie, January 25, 2003

Important issues have been raised by two very keen readers of this column. Both good friends of mine. One male and at present living and working in T&T, the other female, at present living and studying in Ottawa.

In response to my contention that generally in relation to the Graeco-Roman, Western, white-controlled, global military-industrial complex, the black male has a "natural stance" of subversion and revolution, this is what he said, inter alia:

"...I was particularly struck by what you said about the 'natural stance' of the black male. I am not sure what you mean by 'natural' in that sense. If natural is normative, then most males are in fact either unnatural or some might claim to be supernatural. The stance you describe demands engagement and few black males are really 'engaged' with our reality, in my opinion..."

The point is that black or African people were the only human element that found themselves forced into a relationship with the Western world and its military-industrial complex in which they were made to be "property" and "socialised labour" on a hemispheric scale.

It stands to reason therefore that every form of their resistance, passive or active, conscious or subconscious, was meant to transform that relationship and in the process attack and destroy this white-controlled global superstructure.

All the historians that have examined the Caribbean experience, for example, will tell you that the struggles of the Afro-Caribbean people have always been geared to destroy the property and property relations engendered by the system of plantation slavery and to make themselves the "new masters of the islands".

Non-white colonised people around the world have the same experience to one degree or another and in all their struggles of decolonisation, we see similar responses from below.

Embodied in the very being of their "blackness", this, their "natural stance", became over time the very antithesis of the global white status-quo and establishment. With the objective being unconditional "freedom", they could only be about subversion, ie on an individual level, and revolution which is on a collectivised or social level.

There are of course various levels of engagement by black people, both male and female, in this regard. These levels are determined by the levels of self-consciousness and social consciousness that may become generalised from time to time. I chose to describe them as levels of combativity that have their moments of highs and lows.

In modern times it is the black male who in all ways, in demeanour, and almost out of habit, who bears the brunt of this "natural stance" to the hilt.

To the white social leaderships the "black dude" is always a "trouble-maker" or a potential trouble-maker. It is why prison in this Western Hemisphere is comprised consistently of a 75 per cent black male population. To the white leaderships that is where black males are supposed to be and black males do not disappoint them.

The statistics on a hemispheric basis have not been compiled but it is obvious from mere observation. Black males, both politically and culturally, hold pride of place on the front lines as all males per se are nurtured to be.

So today when you have a human complex that is both black or non-white and Muslim, given the 1,000 years of battle between Muslims and the Western Christian world, you in fact have a "double-whammy" as was said before.

That's why we agreed with the contention of WEB Dubois that the problem of the 20th century, and beyond, we may add, is the problem of the colour line. If the Western world does not come to terms with this by reformation, it will eventually be destroyed by implosive force.

My female reader friend from Ottawa took issue with my criticism of what women have brought to the Carnival agenda as a social force. This is what in part she said:

"I have to pick a little bone with you on this article... I agree in principle with your points, but really feminine = narcissistic? Apart from the etymological twist (narcissus being that exceptionally vain man) I really can't agree with that concept. Of course, it may be that my female role models, friends and relatives are exceptional, but that's for another time...

"The banality of commercialism dictates to the lowest common denominator this is pretty obvious. But I think that the role of exhibitionism is more to do with economics than otherwise. Having convinced generations of people that looks matter most, then rewarding exhibitionism by having the least-clad females 'selected' over the others, the inevitable progression then becomes the need to exhibit more in order to maintain the status quo.

"You had pointed out in an earlier column that the violence done in society was in part due to competition for sex...

"This is also why (to my way of thinking, anyhow) the proliferation of the 'party tune' has escalated. It's not that it's superior, but it gets the attention quickly, and is rewarded... money talks, ent? So the grousing about the banal, offensive, boring exhibitionism will continue as long as there is money flowing towards it..."

I agree but there is still to be addressed that element of females themselves being overwhelmed by the tremendous power of their own sexuality and the need to utilise this very power to make a positive statement in and through Carnival since women are now the greatest social force in Carnival outside of capital (ie accumulated wealth still controlled by male investors).

The extracts from the poem "Red Hawk" were meant to indicate what black males at the bottom of society did with Carnival when they were the greatest social force in Carnival... they transformed themselves into "Geronimoes". Again, the natural stance, ent?

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