“My Story” Chapter 04

“My Story” – by Randall Butisingh.

(Reminiscences during my life beginning 1913)

CHAPTER FOUR

It is a terrible thing to teach little ones about hell fire and make them conscious of their petty lapses as sin.  We were taught, not to do this or not to do that, or we will burn in hell fire.  We were never taught the sin of omission – not to withhold help when it is needed, to share what we have with another, to protect the weak, so a sensitive mind like mine was always in fear.

As children we were taught that it was a sin to use foul language.   We could not at home or at school.  It was a serious offence.  To my mind the four letter profanity was related to a dirty act, and it was inconceivable to me that good people like our teachers and ministers would perform it.  As far as I can remember, I never uttered the f -word.   It also did not appear to me that the natural functions of the evacuation of the bladder and the bowels were performed by them and so the words related to them were taboo.  We used terms like number one and number two in school and various euphemistic terms were used at home.  I held these beliefs until I got older, especially as I never saw any of the teachers enter the outhouse when in school.

As children in those days, we saw animals copulate, but with our upbringing, we thought it was only bad people who did it.  In those days, sex was taboo and Sex Education was inconceivable even to boys and girls who have reached the age of puberty.  Even the monthly period was withheld from girls who have neared puberty and who were in a state of fear when it did occur.

Sex, which in my schooldays had the connotation of gender, now takes on the meaning of copulation.  The taboo has been removed and it has become synonymous with the dirty four letter word which has also become synonymous with love.  What a degradation of the hallowed word.

In the early years and middle of the twentieth century, women chose to retain their virginity until marriage, and the young man would wait patiently until the day arrives.  Even after marriage in some cases, the bridegroom waited a day or two before he consummated the marriage.  That gave authenticity to the word ‘honeymoon’, a blissful beginning of the sexual experience.   It was not that, in a few cases, the man would not sow his wild oats with a woman of easy virtue or have encounters with women of the oldest profession.   Gonorrhea, called “clap”, a venereal disease was sometimes the result of such encounters; but those incidents were rare, especially among East Indians who married early, sometimes by arrangement.

Love, in those days before women’s liberation meant affection, respect and loyalty to the individual.  It inspired chivalry in the male and modesty in the female.  The meeting of two such people in love and the stolen kiss at the door which was not lascivious, but a token of loyalty and affection, was blissful and memorable.  There was a certain lay preacher, an ex- sergeant of police, who would tell us young men to be chaste:  ‘two years me coaten  (court), me nuh sample”….. Translation …For two years I have been courting; I never sampled Sex.

As civilization advances or declines, the latter seems to me to be a better word, and as the sexes have easy access to one another, many words have been added to the language in connection with the sexual experience; safe sex, birth control, willful abortion, the pill, condom, wife swapping, genital herpes, HIV and AIDS.  The words chivalry and modesty have become defunct.   There can never be true love, except by the small minority.   The result,   divorces which were non existent in my youthful days.   What a shame!

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1 Comment »

  1. Vi said,

    Factual and candid.


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