Are we listening to Him?
February 24, 2021
Importance of women in agriculture
February 24, 2021

Woman, the masterpiece of God’s creation plan

By Hollis ‘Chalkdust’ Liverpool, ORTT

With the upsurge in the view that Trinbagonians comprise a violent society, and that most men in T&T have little respect for women, many friends of mine kept calling me for my views on the recent murders of women in the country, including that of Andrea Bharatt.

I disagreed with many, as I also did with the daily readers calling upon the Government and the Ministry of National Security to legislate new or aberrant laws to stop the spate of violence towards women.

I strongly believe – and there is so much evidence all over the world to show – that laws by Government cannot prevent crimes, and that no sustained blame-calling upon Dr Keith Rowley or Stuart Young will stop the genocide.

Pity the woman, who in referring to the death of Andrea, would exclaim that Dr Rowley has never shown respect for women. After marrying one, producing two, placing them into ministries of government and the Cabinet, appointing them as permanent secretaries and heads of departments, and even as President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of our State, a woman is killed, and, suddenly, according to a reader, Dr Rowley does not have respect for women.

“Oh justice, thou art fled to brutish beasts and (wo)men have lost their reason” (Julius Caesar, Shakespeare).

But who or what is the cause of crime? It was the German sociologist Max Weber who rationalised that crime is a must. For him, “the cause of crime is the law itself.” French social scientist Emile Durkheim theorised that crime is not only inevitable; “it is necessary.”

Yet, when I look back at my own motherless life and the lives lived by upright obedient citizens, I abhor crime, and I know for a fact that the main reason why we as young men were never jailed for sexual crimes, besides being blessed by the grace of God, is surely a reflection of our teachers, who, in their teaching, interpreted and filled our minds with the values that proceed from self-worth and the dignity of the human person.

In other words, we were taught from infanthood that a girl or a woman represented motherhood, beauty in perpetuity (according to the masquerade by Terry Evelyn in 1963), home building, family ties, and the manifestation of God’s way of keeping the earth filled with His souls destined for paradise.

Small wonder, Lord Pretender, in his Calypso of 1939 ‘The Virtue of a Woman’ exclaimed: “Woman, the masterpiece of God’s creation plan.” Similarly, calypsonians Destroyer, Creator and Sparrow called upon the nation to put mothers first.


Respect begins in school

When I attended Nelson Street Boys’ RC, I did not understand what headteacher Sydney Dedier meant about showing “respect for the girls next door,” but I knew very well that we would get the finest licking on our bottoms if we ever hit or told a girl anything untoward or dirty.

As I grew older and went to Tobago, under Lionel Mitchell, every boy in the village knew that the punishment for touching a girl in places covered by her clothing was severe.

At St Mary’s College, however, I truly understood morals, chastity and having respect for women. Thank God for teachers like Amoroso Centeno who moulded us with every lesson in Religious Knowledge.

I recall one day when we asked him what we must do when we see a woman and her sexy body stirs us to having vile, sexual thoughts and/or rapist feelings.  Centeno replied: “If a sexy woman does not move you, then something is wrong with you. But when her body moves you, give thanks to God.”

In other words, he reminded us that “a woman’s body was not made by God to lust upon or to rape, but for a purpose, that of filling the earth with souls via marriage.”

I recall, too, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Centeno explaining to the assembly, the beauty of virginity, chastity, celibacy, respect for women, and the meaning of the term ‘The Immaculate Conception’.

At St Mary’s, we laughed at a smelly vagrant sitting in front of the school, but we were forced to stop the laughter when Fr Pedro Valdez CSSp made us pick him up, bathe, clothe, and feed him. Thence, we learnt there is nothing in the world to compare with the magnificence of a human being.

And, in the 1960s, when I returned to teach at Nelson Street Boys’, after daily morning prayers, headteacher Eric Anatol would drum into the heads of the boys: “Snips and snails/And puppy dogs’ tails/That’s what little boys are made of.” Then he would smile and change his voice to say: “Sugar and spice/And everything nice/That’s what little girls are made of.”

As my body and my mind began to grow, I happened to be in touch with clerics like Archbishop Finbar Ryan OP and Fr Michael Moses; read the thoughts of African poets Margaret Burroughs and Bernard Dadie; and consumed the philosophies of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia; Timothy Winter, the British Muslim; St Augustine; Mohandas Gandhi; and Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam.

I also followed the outstanding roles played by Fr Leonard Graf and headteachers Dedier,  Anatol and ‘Skipper’ Mitchell; carefully observed the teachings of teachers like Centeno, Drs Edric Gift,  Brinsley Samaroo,  Reginald Griffith, and William Riviere; imbibed the works of carnivalists such as Rudy Piggott, George Bailey, Clemey George and Edgar Whiley; and sang the calypsoes of Lord Observer, Composer and Pretender.

Thus, from their notable lives, I grew to the realisation that sexual pleasure is meant by God, not for rapists and drug addicts, but for raising children within the bounds of holy matrimony.

All the above-named persons from whom I derived wisdom were sincerely and simply passing on to me, as true teachers do, the values of a responsible and God-fearing society. And what became more noticeable in my life is that my friends are of the same ilk.

Parliament must ensure the

police have all the necessary

resources for fighting crime. The laws of the State must be so drawn up to ensure protection for all and include apt punishment, counselling, and reformation for all lawbreakers. But the protestors bombarding Parliament and aiming their arrows at the government should truly aim at getting our teachers and learned adults in the public place, to interpret for children the laws and worthwhile rules of our nation.

This must be done with a view to passing on to them true education that includes the sanctity of God, the purpose of life and living, the reason for sexual pleasure, and the greatness of a human being which includes, naturally, the need to respect women.

Therein lies the eradication of rape and murder in our society, for any man who violates a woman smashes the masterpiece God has created.