The Trouble With Men III
15 June 2007
Royal Commonwealth Society
This was the third in a series of debates about men and their role in society. It was chaired by Comedian and Chartered Surveyor Amadeus Martin and the panel comprised Comedian’s David Mulholland and Donald Mack.
A selection of quotes from attendees.
“Hi Tiemo, I enjoyed the debate. It was definitely thought provoking and seemed to pose even more questions in my mind about some topics.
On the topic of absent fathers I felt the topic seemed to be quite touchy for some of the men in there and they did not seem to want to answer the question head on and talk the talk as it were. The women in there could only answer so far as to why so many black men feel it is okay to leave and to not have any input into their child’s life.
I have thought about why this seems to be the case for lots of people who don’t even know their fathers. I feel in this western society particularly, there is no consequence or shame for men when they decide to not stick around. Women who leave their children are often demonised and even ostracised. If the man leaves, the woman in many cases still shoulder the blame i.e why did you not wait for a ring on your finger etc.
There is quite simply no shame in not sticking around and taking responsibility for your actions. I think the solution simply is we as a community need to literally shame these men who do not take responsibility, and make them realise it is not normal behaviour. Even an animal would not leave their children so why do some men feel it is okay ? Children are being raised thinking it is normal to have just one parent around, it’s not.”
The article by the BBC referring to the House of Commons Select Committee report into ‘Young Black Men and the Criminal Justice System’, published 18.06.07, is in my opinion just another way to demonise Black people. We know what the issues are, so what was their motive for highlighting the issues ? They are certainly not offering any solutions or help. It was merely another way the media like to show us as imbeciles who can’t keep our house in order. There are definitely issues but we also have many good people who are doing all they can to help us up as a community but why are they never shown or highlighted ? Because it doesn’t go along with image or stereotype that they have of black people. Don’t always believe the hype, the media have a motive for always portraying the negative.”
“A very lively discussion that raised some important issues in relation to men. Positive efforts were made by all present to find solutions to the issues affecting men, predominantly young black men.
Some interesting and surprising statistics were quoted by David Mulholland, that mixed race people were more likely to be victims of crime, whilst young black men least likely to be. I disagree with these figures and am not sure they relate to urban cities like London.
We had some good examples from David and host Amadeus about dealing appropriately with disputes in public without disrespecting others and behaving aggressively in a way that doesn’t achieve satisfactory outcomes. Amadeus cited an incident re a youth behaving badly in public whereby he intervened to ask the young man to take his feet off the bus seat and not only that, once his request was met, explained the value of ‘respect’ for others property to the young man. A fine inspiring example of community spirit, something I often do myself.”
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1. The Trouble with Men – Tiemo review – 07.06.06
2. The Trouble with Men II – Tiemo review – 29.09.06