Jamaican single mothers responsible for neglectful fathers ?

Our Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller yesterday finally made the speech many Jamaican women have been waiting for her to make since her inauguration on March 30.

She lambasted fathers who don't take care of their children financially or emotionally. Nothing new here, and her speech is unlikely to be any more effective than any previous such calls for male responsibility….
Images-1-1 Father Ho-Lung Images-6 Barry Chevannes, of Fathers Incorporated

Fathersdayg20050619Ia Father's Day, Palisadoes, 2005

The Prime Minister and the media continue to maintain the pleasant fiction that men are primarily, if not solely, responsible for (1) pregnancies (2) neglecting their children.

Whereas, many men cannot go near their children for fear of the barrage of abuse they will receive from their baby mothers.

Many times this abuse is a consequence of their having moved on to another woman.

And many times this is a consequence of them being exactly the same man that the lady got pregnant for – i.e. not working; not minding any of his children; not responsible for himself in any situation, sexual or otherwise…

Women in other countries are often accused of harboring unrealistic expectations that they will be able to change their husbands after marriage. In Jamaica, we harbor strong expectations that we will be able to change our men after the baby is born….. Marriage hardly ever being on the agenda for straight Jamaican men and women…

When the same nice talking, good looking man the lady wanted to sleep with turns out not be a responsible father, no one remonstrates with her. This seems to be because (1) having a child to take care of for the next 18 years is seen as punishment enough (2) it is assumed that any woman will marry her baby father, if asked nicely……(altho' as any Pastor/counselor/baby mother knows, this is not true)

I don't know what a man is supposed to do if he lets a woman know he is "wutless and wukless" upfront (and many do), and yet she still gets pregnant for him.


"Learning to Be a Man: Culture, Socialization, and Gender Identity in Five Caribbean Communities" (Barry Chevannes)

Whatever happened to that wonderful National Family Planning campaign of yesteryear called "Choose Your Baby Father" ? Was it abandoned because the men didn't like it ? Or because the women didn't ?

And if having to put up with irate baby mothers isn't enough disincentive for men intending to be "proper fathers", then the sheer cost of responsible parenthood should put them off entirely.

In fact, if the Prime Minister really wants to do something about 'neglectful men' she should ensure that the proposed Maintenance Bill to require both men and women to support their ex-spouses (including unions made under the common law) is rushed through the House. Nothing is more likely to give women pause (before getting pregnant that is) than the prospect of spending their life "minding" that lithe young man sporting gold chains and chatting nice lyrics.

It is true that some men are worried that sharing men's legal responsibility to provide for their families will make things worse, not better.

But we can't continue to pretend that in Jamaica we are living in the same gender culture as Americans or Brits. Here the fact that a man may have many children by many different mothers and is not supporting any of them does not prevent other women from deciding to have a child for him.

Similarly women who have several children by several different men do not consider that they have any obligation to maintain a cordial relationship with the fathers of their children, if the fathers have not lived up to their initial expectations i.e. regular child support.

We have tried many things – from Lady Huggins sponsoring mass marriages in the 50's to outlawing bastardy to the Family Court to DNA testing. The marriage rate has continued to fall, the number of children being registered without even their father's name on their birth certificate has continued to rise.

Maybe legally recognising the fact that the majority of Jamaicans will never marry and that the family is largely a female enterprise (with visiting males) as per the proposed Maintenance Bill is the sensible option.

And once women start taking responsibility for choosing their baby fathers, who knows ? All kinds of fathers may start popping out of the woodwork….


"Training a Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life" (Earl Woods)


"My Boys Can Swim!: The Official Guy's Guide to Pregnancy" (Ian Davis)


"The Black Man's Guide to Parenting: 50 Ways to Be an Effective Father" (C. F. Gipson)


"Fatherhood for Gay Men: An Emotional and Practical Guide to Becoming a Gay Dad" (Kevin McGarry)


"Becoming Dad : Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood" (Leonard Pitts)

[posted with ecto]

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14 thoughts on “Jamaican single mothers responsible for neglectful fathers ?

  1. Fathers in Jamaica need more rights. We are treated so badly in family court when trying to get visitation or custody. A bad mother is given preference over a good father. We are treated like second class citizens and must “sit at the back of the bus” and just shut up and pay child support. Dont bother the mother and “her” children by trying to see them, muchless spend time with them or get custody. I was one of the fortunate ones that got custody of my son, i’ve been raising him by myself for 13 years now and he is a very outstanding young man at the top of his class. I shudder to think where he would be now if i left him in the mo-bay ghetto.

  2. Fathers in Jamaica need more rights. We are treated so badly in family court when trying to get visitation or custody. A bad mother is given preference over a good father. We are treated like second class citizens and must “sit at the back of the bus” and just shut up and pay child support. Dont bother the mother and “her” children by trying to see them, muchless spend time with them or get custody. I was one of the fortunate ones that got custody of my son, i’ve been raising him by myself for 13 years now and he is a very outstanding young man at the top of his class. I shudder to think where he would be now if i left him in the mo-bay ghetto.

  3. Maybe Jamaican women are getting exactly what they deserve from Jamaican men. They are the ones who shun and isolate them when they marry an American woman and father her children. Yeah, I think the men are just a product of the women who raised them.

  4. Maybe Jamaican women are getting exactly what they deserve from Jamaican men. They are the ones who shun and isolate them when they marry an American woman and father her children. Yeah, I think the men are just a product of the women who raised them.

  5. I agree Jamaican women are probably getting what they deserve. Many of them know exactly what they are getting int0 and dive in head first mainly for financial reasons no matter the situation married, enagaged, occupied. The males are only following their example. Women need to protect themselves (condoms) men are dogs and you are not different from the last woman.

  6. How can a man refusing to take responsibility for his child be what a woman deserves. What about the children. Do the children also deserve to be treated that way and left to feel as they do not matter. A man and a woman do not have to be together for the man to be a good father. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Jamaican men have been playing the fool for too long.

  7. I married a Jamaican woman, had a child and soon realized her mother had 4 children from 3 different fathers. She (the mother) did not speak to the two. One (my wife’s father) went on to marry a white woman in the U.S. and is still married looking after his children.

    Me, I am a white male from a Greek background. I have had a HORRIBLE relationship with my wife (it was great in the beginning but mummy got involved and is a gold digger and I say that not out of spite), but it has gotten better due to the fact I no longer speak to this woman.

    Divorce accounts for 50% of failed relationships in North America, but drops when it comes to children. That said, we have nothing to brag about but I have to say my experience has been brutal. And it was only so when after we had the child and mummy decided to act as a stand-in parent.

    We are still together, but boy, nothing like be treated like a man when you bust your ass all day to provide. My other relationships with white and asian women were never like this, and their families were lovely. Her mother treated me like a heal. And it mattered not the money I made.

    Jamaican men need not strong mothers, but strong fathers to teach them not to pro-create with such women. And had I known my wife’s mother’s past, no matter how beautiful she is, I would not have had a child with her. Simply, the sins carry forward.

    J

  8. Jamaican women are gold diggers. Take it from a Jamaican woman. I am always amused when listening to women speak about how they trap their men. It is notoriously well known. Jamaican women look for men based on the size of their wallet, their popularity, how well the man can elevate them in their social status and how well the man can maintain them. They don’t mind sharing the man with other women as long as they are in the picture. And what better way to remain in the picture than by having a child for him. Permanent citizen in his life. The disgusting part is that they are so silly that they didn’t stop to think that if the man has 12 children that he ain’t looking after, why they think that the 13th will be any different?
    These women are trained by their mothers and grannies to evaluate a man by what he can give them…..if you ask me most of them are unglorified whores.

  9. Yes, Jamaican women are golddiggers and will do anything to keep their so called money man. They will even lie about other childern they have just to keep their man. One golddigging Jamaican woman refused to acknowledge she had a son just to get this wealthy Jamaican man. She stole an American woman’s Jamaican husband, got pregant by him just to make him stay with her. They kept the American wife in the dark for 11 years. Then the Jamaican man found out that the Jamaican whore had a son in Jamaica that she refused to acknowledge. The Jamaican man was so in love with the other woman that he was in denial about her having a son that she let a grandmother living in Jamaica keep. Whenever the on calls his mother she refuses to talk to him. The Jamaican whore is very rough and swears like a sailor.

  10. Yes, Jamaican women are golddiggers and will do anything to keep their so called money man. They will even lie about other childern they have just to keep their man. One golddigging Jamaican woman refused to acknowledge she had a son just to get this wealthy Jamaican man. She stole an American woman’s Jamaican husband, got pregant by him just to make him stay with her. They kept the American wife in the dark for 11 years. Then the Jamaican man found out that the Jamaican whore had a son in Jamaica that she refused to acknowledge. The Jamaican man was so in love with the other woman that he was in denial about her having a son that she let a grandmother living in Jamaica keep. Whenever the on calls his mother she refuses to talk to him. The Jamaican whore is very rough and swears like a sailor.

  11. I have a child with a Jamaican man, Carlos Samuels from Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth JA. Although, he is very interested in his child and he likes to keep in touch by phone, he does not pay chid support. In fact he hasn’t sent more that 100 Us in 10 years. Culturally, I think Jamaican men are extremely irresponsible. He always has an excuse for not offering financial support. I wouldn’t recommend that any American woman have children with men from this country. They do not make good fathers in the sense that we would be used to here. If you see Mr Samuels somewhere on the island please remind him that he has a child who needs his support.

    1. This is for Aasha shepherd its people like you who will make it bad for other american women because i would never ever date another woman from the united states…..

  12. I have read most of the comments written here, some i find harsh towards the women.I do agree that there are many good men out there that make really great dads, so I will try not to generalize. I am a single mom of a 9yr old boy whose father is a police officer here in Jamaica. Our son was the result of planning and mutual agreement. After I conceived, he decided that he was still in love with his previous girlfriend and he chose her over his child. I had to take him to court for support and out of pride, he took me to court for visitation which he already had. The court ruled and yet he has not taken up the visitation as ordered and has stopped paying child support. Family court is not pleasant as some of the Judges are rude. It can be emotionally devastating and not worth it. However, we have to do what we have to do in the best interest of our children and we all must be heal accountable. Some men don’t realize that they are getting old and when they have done having their fun, they may very need to be taken care of……no body likes to feel rejected and we will certainly reap what we sow. It is the mercy of God why some children are taking care of the fathers who abandoned them. Everything is all in God’s time!

  13. my baby girl’s father is jamaican ,I am european (white ) ,we two have a beautiful special baby girl….father had to be sued for paternity ,for child support etc…in mean time he marries some US citizen and keeps saying how amazing that lady is …I mean what kind of woman will marry a man who’s neglecting his new born child?now the child is 5 years old …and he keeps neglecting her….he has a permanent job ..but he just doesnt want to support the baby.he is such sad character.

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