Men and Women – the world over

Posted: 5 December 2015 in Cultural, Haiti
Tags: , ,

An elderly man accompanies his wife into the consultation room. One of them is seriously ill.  One tells the doctor “we have been married for xx years, and we have only ever had one fight.  It is still not finished!” Old gag?  Perhaps, but an elderly couple in rural Haiti knew it to crack it.

I was asked to preach in Hospital and the topic before me was men and women.  Hot issue anywhere, let alone in a place like Haiti where things are so different.  So I asked a local doctor, a pastor, a community nurse, and some experienced expats for a little background, during chit-chat or after meetings.

Machismo is here.  But not like I saw in Uganda.  There is not the same tradition of polygamy.  But nor is monogamy or partner-exclusivity seen as a big deal.  Quite a lot of men will have one wife, then leave for another woman.  I asked “What do the pastors preach?” “Monogamy of course”, I was told.  I noted “I have heard about men working at a distance from their family having a second women in their work location. What do people think about that, and what do the churches think?  After all, the churches speak out against homosexuality.  There are a lot of hurt and abandoned women here, and probably very little of a gay scene.”  “Ah, but there is the idea about that there are lesser sins and things that are an abomination.”  “Really?  Isn’t that the Roman Catholic concept of venial and mortal sins?” “Yes, but the protestants have something similar.” “But this is not how it should be?”  My Haitian colleague agreed “no it shouldn’t but this is how it is thought of”.

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