Obscenities among city women

Editorial, Normal

The National, Monday, May 2, 2011

WE have a sick society when young women can get drunk and scream out their private body parts in obscene and degrading fashion without shame.
Already drunk men and sober youths in settlements across the country have degenerated into sub-humans by spitting abuse in graphic terms at their friends, parents and siblings and other relatives – both male and female.
The culture of swearing is growing at a frightening rate. It has become worse when the F-word and the C-word are used frequently, even in elementary schools.
Yes, one might argue that hurling obscenities is the least of the crimes that society is exposed to daily today but it does reveal the depth to which society has sunk.
People everywhere have admitted to their low station, with its cocktail of high unemployment, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, rape and murder.
This is compounded by ethnic diversity and rivalry.
To try to discipline a foul mouthed person from a different ethnic tribe would draw severe repercussions from a mob of wantoks.
The best option is to have a higher tolerance and let the matter die a natural death.
This high level of tolerance compounds into a bigger problem – it makes swearing become the norm. This certainly is no place to bring up decent children.
Decades ago, parents in cities and towns still held onto traditional Melanesian values, perhaps, because they were adults before coming into town.
Now their children, who were born and brought up in settlements, have thrown the values out the window. Their only hope remains in the bible and the morals and values it exhorts readers and listeners to.
The standards of decency, unfortunately, are not confined to the low station.
They are also lacking at the supposed higher end of society’s ladder.
Take, for instance, the situation reported by the highest ranking public servant in Morobe, administrator Kemasang Tomala. Tomala is normally reticent but was prompted into saying something.
He nipped the issue in the bud when he said last Tuesday that he was disgusted beyond belief when he heard his female neighbours swearing.
He said the previous weekend, a group of women, returning from a night out, began hurling stones and abuse at anyone and no one for no apparent reason. They were calling their private body parts without shame.
His statement was backed by his sub-ordinate, Huon district administrator Tony Ase, who also lives in the neighbourhood.
Both senior public servants found it hard to believe that such an attitude and appalling behaviour could be displayed so openly by women.
That is not to say that swearing ought to be the exclusive preserve of male members of society, but we are given to understand that women are often the better disciplined in hurling swear words in public. Not so, anymore.
What is, perhaps, more disturbing is that people living there would be highly educated, have a higher income and, it would be safe to assume, have a high standard of decency.
It obviously is not the case.
The foul-mouthed women have relegated themselves below the level of decency.
They may not have used the words and done what they did had they been sober. But, being fuelled by alcohol, they let loose with ease.
Reports from last week’s alcohol workshop, conducted for the Momase region by the Law and Justice Sector, revealed that more and more women are taking alcohol.
The number of women consuming alcohol is almost on par with men.
There are 15 out of every 100 men who take alcohol. And, there are 12.5 women in every 100 women in cities who take alcohol.
This is a shocking and sobering statistic.
Women who abuse alcohol are prone to give birth to children with defects.
This is the next generation of Papua New Guineans we are talking about.
Even when the births are normal, their ability and capability to raise the children as loving and caring mothers is not assured.
Amet Fongenmale, the provincial programme adviser for community development, said at the workshop that spending more time with and molding children will effectively reduce the culture of alcohol abuse in their adult life through sound thinking and reasoning.
Women – mothers – are our last hope in holding together the fabric of society.
For them to stoop will only spell more problems for a society that is fast losing its traditional Melanesian values.
The values of humility, prudence and sense of decorum by women is being held strongly back in rural hamlets – not so in cities.