- The Unwanted
- By Barrington H. Brennen,
What you are about to read may change your life.
Making a choice
to read further will expose you to ideas that may cause you to think and act
Question: Dear Sir: A few weeks ago you wrote about the "Golden
Era of Virtuous Bahamian Men." It was good to know that there are some
Bahamian men who are noble and wise. However, I am observing that perhaps the
majority of Bahamians really do not want virtuous men. If this is true, why is
Answer: Dear Questioner: Your observation seems to be correct. Although
more Bahamian men are freeing themselves from the clutches of traditionalism,
yet too many are refusing to change. Similarly, society seems to glorify the
adulterous, drug pusher, womanizer, aggressive male.
Who is a virtuous man? For the purpose of this article, I describe the
virtuous man as:
- A man who keeps his zipper up when ordinary men would pull theirs down.
- A man who keeps his brain clean of mind-altering drugs.
- A man who can wait until he says "I do" while others say
"what’s the heck, let’s show it all now – now is the
- A man who does not cheat on his wife.
- A man who is not afraid to cry.
- A man who can say I am sorry to the child he hurts.
- A man who does not allow tradition, society, or friends to determine his
way of life, or the way he treats women, children, or his male friends.
- A man who is not afraid of being called a whimp or sissy, even when his
friends may laugh at him. A man who values himself more than how others
may commonly think of him.
- A man who is open and honest at all times, a man of personal integrity.
- A man who values and respects womanhood.
Do we really want such virtuous Bahamian men? Philosophically, we do. On the
other hand, our traditions and language say no. How do I know that we do not
want the virtuous Bahamian man? Here are a few reasons:
Men who "go against the grain" and "do not fit in"
to what is considered to be "normal behavior" by their peers are
usually not promoted on the job. It does not matter if they are the most
productive employees, or if they are always on time and respectful to
their superiors. If they do not play the "political games" or
join in the social rondeaux, they are out of the "good old boys
club" and their life are forever limited. (So they think)
Men who have lots of children for multiple partners are considered
"real men." In fact, we often find ways of excusing the
inordinate sexual behavior of our Bahamian men. A woman who goes around
and flirts with men will most likely be called a "bitch" or
"whore." But a man who can sweet-talk a woman, have sex with
whomever he chooses is "a cool brother."
If a single male executive gets a woman pregnant, we celebrate. We buy
cigars and chocolates for the "good old boys club." When a
single female executive gets pregnant, we fire her or cry "shame,
shame." Virtuous men get nobody pregnant so they cannot join in the
celebration. Most times they would empathize with the hurting females.
Traditional fathers are free to spend all the time they want after work
with the "good old boys club." They drink beers and smoke cigars
together. They play late-night-dominoes. These so-called
"faithful" fathers and husbands are free to flirt with other
women. They feel that their wives have no right to ask where they’ve
been or what they were doing when they come home after midnight each
night. The "true dad" who goes straight home from work, plays
with his children, talks with his wife, is considered to be a
"misfit." In fact most men feel uncomfortable around him.
Certainly, these are only few of the many ways I can think of that indicate
that the Bahamian society might not be ready for the "golden era of
virtuous Bahamian men." But we must get ready for this new bread of noble
men because the future of our nation depends on them. Too long have we rewarded
the morally starved, the mediocre, the power-crazed man, the pervert, and the
There are at least two outstanding ways of recognizing the virtuous Bahamian
man from the traditional Bahamian man. The virtuous man is firstly spiritually
astute. He is in a genuine search for his Creator, Jesus, the One man who was
sexually pure all His life, eternally prayerfully connected to His Father, and
deeply engrossed in the written word --- the Bible. The traditional Bahamian man
laughs at his fellow males who go up to the altar to surrender all to Jesus, and
would not be found reading the Bible even if the lights are out. Check out our
many churches today. Who are mostly filling the pews?
Secondly, the virtuous (Bahamian) man is developing himself educationally. He
believes that reading builds a person, and education is the door to truth and
life. He happily seeks ways to expand his knowledge through either formal
post-high school education or on the job professional development. On the other
hand, the traditional Bahamian man says that education is for "weak
men" or "sissies."
Barrington H. Brennen
Our nation is hurting for the need of men who can make a difference, men who
are not afraid of being laughed at. On the other hand, the loud voice of
traditionalism seems to be masking the pain of indifference. Since change is so
painful, the chances that the numbers of virtuous (Bahamian) men will increase can
only depend on the strength and the stick-to-it-tive-ness of the few who are
noble and pure.
Again I ask, do we really want the virtuous Bahamian man? Would we allow him
to be himself? Would we allow him to live freely outside the "box" of
rigid traditionalism? Are we willing to change our concept of what it is to be a
man? What type of man will take us successfully into the new millennium? Is it
the traditional (Bahamian) man or is it the virtuous (Bahamian) male? Think on these
things. To add a little more heat to the discussion, men take the Bible and read
Proverbs 31:10-31 and while reading change the gender of the passage from
feminine to masculine. See how it makes you feel. Next week my article is
entitled "The Unwanted Virtuous Woman," Reading it might change your
The Unwanted Virtuous Woman
Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and
board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your
questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or
write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or
call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002