At some point, after 1967, the all too accepted “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” way of life in the Bahamas, was turned around into a pointed ‘it’s all your fault finger’ against women in Bahamian society. Suddenly, it wasn’t the wayward wiles of Bahamian men, or racial history, or lack of economic opportunity, which were to blame for the breakdown in predominantly negro family life in the islands.

Bahamian men now began to inauspiciously blame Bahamian women. It was seemingly the story of Adam and Eve all over again, but with a decidedly conch salad type twist to the tale. Bahamian women, much like Eve, with her new found freedom and knowledge were branded as the cause of social decline and derelict men.


POST January 1967 Election Victory Attitude Change

Just after 1967, no sooner had Bahamian women, helped negro men gain social and political empowerment in society, than the Machiavellian male finger ominously began to point out all the problems women seemingly caused in society.

The first problem, the Bahamian male species attributed to Bahamian woman, was that of pure avarice. Bahamian women were branded as money hungry in order to fund the new found freedom, a growing liberal society, had somehow graciously afforded them.

It was all an unexpected and unanticipated turn of events, which would stand as the hallmark, for relations, between the sexes, in the Bahamas, for decades and decades to come.

(The Nassau Guardian, Wednesday February 12, 1975)


POST 1973 – A NEW FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION TAKES HOLD

A new freedom of expression swept across the Bahamas, as the years of racial tension, in the 1960s, gave way to a bell-bottomed trousers, liberation seeking, more expansive 1970s. The black power movement which was riding a wave of empowerment, in the years after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and John F. Kennedy, flooded over the shores of the Bahamas as well, just as a new majority rule government was completing its first decade of governance. Black men, in the Bahamas, more than ever, were feeling socially, economically, financially and politically empowered.

For the Bahamas, the black power movement, the workers’ movement, the fight for governmental control, all coincided with the women’s liberation movement. Women got the right to vote, in 1962, which, only further gave them more freedom in society. Surprisingly, it was this empowerment for women that more than a few Bahamian men did not agree with.

Within all of this, a minority women’s movement, a new female empowerment mantra, went from strength to strength. Women were going to higher education schools, voting, becoming successful heads of households in the absence of men, and earning more money, in better paying jobs, than any other period in history.

By 1975, a post independent Bahamas created a fertile environment for many things to flourish unabated. One of these many things, was the opinions of copious numbers of Bahamian men on their second favourite topic of conversation, Bahamian women. What was the first favourite topic of Bahamian men? Well, that would be themselves, of course.


1975 – MONEY THE KEY TO A BAHAMIAN WOMAN’S HEART says PR Executive P. ANTHONY WHITE

“If the salary’s not right,” he added, “she doesn’t get tight.”

In a post independent Bahamas, opinions and commentary, which, in all probability would have never made the back page of major newspapers in yesteryear, were now, slowly becoming commonplace, on the front pages.

On Tuesday July 11, 1975, PR Executive Paul Anthony White, speaking at a meeting of the Community Wanderers Club at Holy Cross Parish Hall, made the most remarkable and by any standards, sexist comments, regarding what he saw as the ulterior motives of the Bahamian woman.

“The Bahamian woman,” he asserted, “finds that in order to maintain her new-found liberation – clothes, travel, jewellery, etc. – she needs money, and since it is often unlikely that she earns enough to afford all these amenities she looks around for a man who can.”

“If she finds him and can get the money without marrying him, she takes it that way.”

“If the salary’s not right,” he added, “she doesn’t get tight.”

“Except in a few extraordinary cases,” he noted, “she’s not interested in his goals, unless, of course, he can show her how those goals will definitely be achieved in a given time, and how much extra revenue that achievement will bring.”

“Until the Bahamian woman understands that she much cherish, appreciate and try to realise her man’s dreams in the same way that she spends her pay check, we will be a country in social decline, divided homes and derelict men.”

“Well the history of Bahamian births over the past half century tells is that the Bahamian woman, too, has always been a highly-sexed individual,” said Mr. White “She still is, and I say thank God for that.”

“Show me one Bahamian woman involved in an extra marital affair only for love,” he challenged, “and I’ll show you a Bahamian nun carrying on an affair with a priest.”

(The Nassau Guardian, Wednesday February 12, 1975)
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