Women in Reggae & Rasta negativity

From: "MT" <Matts@iwwn.com.na>
To: "Forum" <raw@databack.com>
Subject: Reggae against racism .... but what about sexism?

Greeting RAWmassive,

after the recent request I had about women in reggae, it has turned out to be a kind of eye opener for me and after reading a couple of books I found the following article quite interesting and would like to share with you.

Article by David Kapp, Agenda No. 14, 1992

The music - No woman No cry

" Christopher Columbus is a dam blasted liar
Christopher Columbus is a dam blasted liar"

Reggae group, Burning Spear, in a song entitled 'Columbus'( on the album Hail H.I.M.), criticises the view that Columbus discovered Jamaica. The group asks: " What about the Arawak Indians and the few blackmen/who were around here, before him." But waht about the women who were around before Columbus?

While reggae does comment on society's problems and the struggles of ordinary people go through, it is quite on the question of the oppression of women. Love songs with a social message, yes, but i have yet to encounter any reggae tunes which (even) comment on the gender question." Food for thought .... reggae music" ( civil News, june/august 1983) tells us of a musically attractive song by the Mighty diamonds, called' No crying, No bawling'. but a closer listen reveals horribly sexist ideas, and apparently, this is typical of the rastafarian's attitude to women. the article tells further that:
" menstruating women are regarded as untouchable and are not allowed to prepare food" "most Rasta swearwords revolve around menstrual cycle."

Catch a Fire ( White, 1993) - a book on the life of the undisputed reggae ing bob Marley - says that the women's role in Rasta life is " clearly a restricted one"... " they are the childbearers, firebuilders, cooks and honoured servants" and quotes from Deuteronomy 22:5 and I Corinthians 11: 5 - 6 to justify their keeping women in their place.

And did you know that Bob Marley had nine children by different women( Civic news, June/August 1983) - and was regarded as some kind of super macho sex hero? Would the attitude have been the same if rita marley( Bob Marley's wife and a memeber of the backing group the I - three, why are women almost always in the backing group?) announced that she had had sex with their whole band, the Wailers.


Part two is short and will follow soon and it on New Music - Old story

Sun -
January 26, 2003 at 02:43 PM