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Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Perhaps, both major political parties here may subscribe in varying degrees to a version of male chauvinism no matter the camouflage; and given our legacy of patriarchy, it is not unexpected.

A natural corollary of that Chauvinism/patriarchy is “male paramountcy” in our political organisations which the political leadership may either equate to effectiveness or perceive as a “critical success factor”.

Let us for argument sake concede that Kenny (because of the perception or reality that he is in absolute charge) has consolidated his paramountcy in the SLP; let us also concede that Chastanet is trying to catch up with Kenny in that regard.

Let us also concede that we have no evidence to suggest that Kenny’s “paramountcy” has never been used to subvert the democratic processes or to alienate the hierarchy of the SLP.

Can we also concede that there is no such evidence against Chastanet?

According to voices of Richard Frederick, Michael Flood, Former Prime Minister Stephenson King, Dr Claudius Preville, and lately for AG “Doddy” Francis, the answer is bone-chilling!

The latest to join the chorus are the UWP Women in Action (WIA).  It does appear that the sabre-rattling inside the WIA about male chauvinism and paramountcy within the leadership hierarchy of the UWP is well-founded.

“Hats off” to the Sealy (WIA Secretary) for her courage not just to speak out but also to demonstrate against a dangerous trend in our politics. She has done it not just for the women in the UWP, but for all the women in St. Lucia and in the process, she has outshone even the Leader of the Opposition. Miss Sealys must be regarded as a trendsetter who is worthy of emulation.

Coincidentally, Ms Sealys’ allegations and action therefrom have surfaced at a time when a UWP-leaning Talk show host excoriated a young lady who made an “unforced error” on his show; and upon the realisation of the error, she courageously offered an apology but that didn’t pre-empt the talk show host from having his full pound of flesh.

The said talk show host has followed a precedent he set when the PM apologised to him for labeling him Media terrorist; ironically, he came out as a media terrorist with a vengeance against the obviously stunned young lady who probably felt molested by the host’s merciless pursuit and desire for a pound of flesh.

In retrospect, the talk show host clearly overstepped his boundaries. He didn’t do justice to his own professional ethics.

Will the media workers endorse that behaviour?

If male chauvinism is bad for politics, then it is even worse for journalism. Moreover, if it goes to the point of using “terror tactics” like the talkshow host did to intimidate a guest on his show, then we need to condemn in the strongest possible terms and to swiftly nip from the bud. What is not good for the gander cannot be good for the goose!

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