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Saturday, September 3, 2011


An unfortunate scenario seems to have reared its ugly head in Fair Helen, where a Minister of government seems to harbour a pathological aversion to high achieving, female Public Servants in his department and also to the lone female MP in the House of Assembly. 

Min. Guy Joseph
The Minister is on record as having leveled disparaging comments at the female MP, as well as having insinuated unnecessary and unprofessional claims against two of his top-level female administrative staff. Whether this attitude is incidental and represents only errors of judgement  or are symptomatic of a larger malaise is a matter that time will tell.  

The CHOISEUL POWERHOUSE briefly examines the scenario in a sociological, political, economic and developmental context.

Professor John Figuero, a noted Caribbean writer, described our Caribbean society as “matrilineal” but “patrifocal”. And he was perhaps right that while it was our child-bearing women who ran and managed the family, it was the men who generally and unfairly got all the recognition largely because of the patriarchal orientation of the society and that men turned out to be the breadwinners.

Is it perhaps that false recognition that may have turned Guy Joseph into the anti-feminist, the male chauvinist creature and bestowed on him the license to turn around and disrespect and abuse the fairer sex with impunity?

But things have largely changed. Our productive female workforce has significantly changed and a growing number of women have now become their own independent breadwinners; and that may have changed the patrifocal-matrilineal configuration - or least our perceptions of it.

Contrary to Guy’s anti-feminist ranting, the international community has made gender a major cross-cutting theme in the development process, just to ensure that we don’t marginalize or discriminate against human beings based on gender. Women form an indispensable development asset and discrimination against them is simply atrocious. 

Studies on gender-based performance have revealed that throughout the development cycle, women have been toe-to-toe with men and even outshining them in many spheres.  We have had a rich legacy of distinguished women in all spheres of life who have made their marks.

At the national level, we have produced many super-high achieving females like Mrs Marjorie Thomas, Lusca Theophilus, Dr Hazel Simmons, Mrs Laurent, Joyce Auguste etc who broke the glass ceiling and helped shape the direction and development of St. Lucia in one way or the other. There is an equally strong and perhaps more vociferous emerging cohort - Rose Marie Anthony, Gail Rigobert, Virginia Poyotte, Emma Hippolyte, Flavia Cherry etc. – who are equally – if not more - dynamic and competent and will no doubt carry the baton with pride.

Indeed, our women have a lot to be proud of and can walk with their heads high in the air, irrespective of what Guy thinks of them; they are known to succeed in areas where men have failed. They are less corrupt; they subscribe to an ethic of care and responsibility and are far more advanced in intimacy; overall, those attributes have made them far more socially competent and socially responsible human beings. They have also been known to pick up the slack that the men have left behind and make success stories of them. For example, when men desert their homes and leave them broken, it is the women who do all the fixing and turn these homes around.

Our prison is now populated by mostly males; most of our homicides and crimes are attributable to males.

The question is: Why would a minister of government have problems with women and embark on a collision course with them?

It is reported that this Minister has serious issues with his current Permanent Secretary and has gone as far as to seek to replace her. There has been ample evidence of this in his utterances. He is also known to have been subtly bashing the Chief Transport Officer who is also a woman.

Lately, he has shifted his attention to Janine’s back, meting out to her the worst form of disrespect imaginable!

The women of St. Lucia deserve a profound apology from Minister Guy Joseph for his implicit/explicit, overt/covert disrespect of them; if he does not, then our women should stand up to him and his government and begin to mobilise en masse to register their profound dissatisfaction with his male chauvinism and anti-feminism.

Let us begin to clean the UWP Augean stables of injustice with the clean waters of righteousness before it’s too late. Today, it’s Janine, Mrs Jean (Permanent Secretary – MCWT&PU) and Mrs Augustin (Chief Transport Officer); tomorrow, it may be any of our women including Dr Rigobert who now sits in the same Cabinet with Guy Joseph!


  1. "Whether this attitude is incidental and represents only errors of judgement or are symptomatic of a larger malaise is a matter that time will tell"
    I remember this same GUY saying that the UWP was as united as ever and that time would tell! Well, we all know the fate of this facade.
    What time has also shown us is..."put a HOG in a palace you still have a PIG"... I am not so ashamed that a DIS-honorable Guy made such an utterance publicly (globally via internet etc) since I did not expect anything better....but there are people defending him!!!!

  2. St. Lucia is rapidly going down the drain. I say this Guy on a show with TP and it was a national embarrassment. He should apologise to the ladies of St. Lucia

  3. This man might be gay. Who knows? He may be King's woman or man. Not that I am sharing an opinion on the Gay subject but I do believe that it is wrong under our laws, so why should this seemingly pregnant dwarf be so damn sexist?

  4. You know what amazes me here? why should we even be discussing "why did Guy disrespect Janine?". My empathetic heart goes out to all the women of Saint Lucia who are subjected to such abuse. Even more so, I feel pity for the PS and Transport Officer who are both qualified and professional women who MUST at this time put up with the likes of a bus driver who has no formal education and who is their "boss". That MUST in itself be extremely painful to deal with on a daily basis. But you know what? It says so much about us as a people, as Saint Lucians to have gone to the polls and elected the likes of Guy Joseph, Rufus Bousquet, Richard Frederick and Keith Mondesir to political office in our country. We indeed registered, in the most painful way, the hatred and scorn for Kenny Anthony and the Labour party. Now we are made to suffer not those who voted ALL OF US for the cruelty that was unleashed on Saint Lucia. Well, elections soon come and the same women who Guy disrespected will register a vote for him AGAIN....... what a tangled web we continue to weive.