Magazine through an arrack glass
I am a young man, but I know many old men who behave much more childishly than me. They spend more time on Facebook, chase the same women, party more and generally behave like teenagers. Except they’re not. I’ve done that and I’ve grown up, but it seems that some men never do. These men generally have wives that they’re cheating on, children that they’re neglecting and other lives that they wreck. More to the point, they have opportunities that others would kill for but they drink and dance and letch it away. It is as if both wealth and poverty make Sri Lankan men useless.
Note: This is of course not all Sri Lankan men, or even many, it’s just a rant.
In poor areas, the women seem to work more than the men. They work in houses, or make extra food to sell, or even go overseas and send money home. The men perhaps do day labor but many simply have a shot of arrack or kasippu in the morning, continue throughout the day, take money out of the household and beat their wives at night. This is if they hang around at all. Those are poor areas, and only certain families.
What’s strange is that men born into wealth often don’t behave much better. A Sri Lankan man does not really have to go out and find his fortune until he gets married. As such, some men live off their parents well into their thirties and then live of inherited wealth or their wife’s wealth and labor indefinitely. This creates no particular demand to work, so these men party and drink and womanize, all within tacit family acceptance.
At some point, however, it starts to just look odd. Many people (myself included) go through such a phase, but eventually grow up, work, take responsibilities and don’t go out so much. Some men never stop going out at all. They have income but no particular work, which makes them about as jobless and dangerous as a many that’s unemployed.
Instead of drinking bootleg liquor out of plastic bags, they do coke and ecstasy and run up bar bills. Instead of beating their wives, they prey on young women from broken families who are just trying to get out of the house. Neither takes actual care of their children, meaning time and attention, and money.
Just like men on the street make unwanted passes at women, I know countless married men who indulge in weekend lechery. Just like men on the street spend much of the day just hanging out, men in cosseted homes spend much of the day on Facebook. The drug and alcohol abuse problems are the same, just ecstasy instead of kudu (heroin) and whiskey instead of kasippu (homebrew). The societal problems, I think, are also the same.
Women have less opportunities and less security but they, paradoxically, often work harder. Many men take their privileges and use them not to be better men, but to be permanent teenagers. Which, after a certain age, is just gross.