Haiti Stigma Interferes with Friendship

I believe it socially unacceptable for women in Haiti to walk around with foreigners; it may also be unacceptable to talk with them. It is not easy to learn this, I must first feel positive that a girl is my friend, and then slowly realize she is avoiding walking with me.

This stigma exist in many countries, Thailand, Uganda, Kenya, India, etc, I have never made a list, but these I know these countries off the top of my head.

There is a woman with two children who lives next door to the Executif Hotel here in Port-au-Prince. She was married to a man from Dominican Republic, the country connected to this island, and she speaks good Spanish. She says her name is Juanita, I suspect it is something else in Creole. Her mother, children, cousins, practically anybody she socializes with sits out in front of her concrete apartment selling water, drinks, cracker and other snack foods. It is a typical family in Haiti, without the husband, I am not sure if this is normal, I do believe there are many mothers without husbands.

Because she speaks Spanish, she is one of the few Haitian people I can talk with, Creole is not French.

Stigma of Coming to Haiti
Hmm, I realized as I typed the title to this post that going to Haiti is socially unacceptable by the mass readers of this travel journal. Unless they came here to volunteer, a person is not going to visit Haiti and brag about it to his workers in the office, it does not elevate social status.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Wednesday, December 23, 2009
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com
Travel Gear
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Stigma Defined:
sign of social unacceptability: the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable.

Sociology, is the study of behavior of people in groups, I remember taking a Sociology 101 class at Indiana, University in Bloomington, Indiana. I got an A’s; I never took an easier class in my life, truly a walk in the park easy class. (Hobos are not supposed to be educated.)

It is Time for Deleted Comments

Notice how I wrote:
“This stigma exist in many countries, Thailand, Uganda, Kenya, India, etc”

This type of statement infuriates people, it is a generalization, and invariable people know many exceptions to the generalization. Therefore, in their twisted sense of logic, one exception makes a generalization or stereotype wrong: not only that, because they have been told since kindergarten to not generalize or stereotype, they obey their parents or teacher and start bullying, it is their opportunity for mockery.

Fun stuff, and truly anal, but it is the world; I must accept that on the internet a small man, thinks he is a big man.

Concentrate --- Focus

Stigmas are problems; they sabotage our ability to understand another culture. When a person feels shame, they do not just say, “I am ashamed.” They are supposed to be leaving the situation. Please get ready to leave, you are not suppose to talk about this. For example, say you are in the USA; there is a child molester who lives on the street. There is a reporting system that says, this man is stigmatized, the system by law says; he or she should not be allowed to escape it.

Can you talk with this person?
If you are wise, the answer is no, it is taboo, truly talking about this is taboo.

I am Alcoholic
Yikes, I should say, I am a recovering alcoholic; I have not drank alcohol for 22 years. Yet, there is a stigma, I know as soon as I say this, I have been labeled weak. Somehow, in the twisted logic of the world, a person who drinks like a fish is stronger than I am.

Stigmas are enforced by mockery, in primitive society mocker is overt, in highly developed societies they are more covert, but often more difficult. The rules are generally confusing for stigmas, it overtly acceptable to attack me for generalizing. It is ok for the Political Correct police to open the door without a warrant. Freedom of speech is not acceptable to this group.

I try to understand this stigma in Haiti, I live in a Hotel, generally on planet earth, a girl cannot walk into a Hotel with a man. It is socially unacceptable, the world assumes we are together for boom boom; this is the general opinion of planet earth.

I cannot invite a girl to my home here in Haiti and talk. Trying to find a quiet location in this country is next to impossible.

THE DEFAULT IS: I can only talk with Haiti men, macho, competitive, uneducated men.
…. Or they want to sell me something, in someway use me.

The women are uneducated, but if I want to tone down the testosterone levels, it is nice to talk with women. Truly a softer conversation, not full of test, retest, challenges, overt body language that wants to dominate. The women want something, but less than men.
…. Or they want to sell me something, in someway use me.

Shadow, grey areas, nuances, this is life, there is no absolutes for a Traveler, just a feeling what is generally a good idea, living on the edge. I never know what is acceptable, I little uncomfortable is normal. It is sad when having a conversation with your neighbor is a problem.

Haiti Stigmas Interferes with Friendship

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