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cartoon depicting the drama which goes on in Dominica house of assembly

Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

In another one of her dramatic attempts to instill order in the House of Assembly, our Speaker of the House mistook the evil umbrella of an unsuspecting journalist for a microphone. She subsequently had him escorted out of the House by a law enforcement officer-turned-modern day Joan of Arc. What a menacing umbrella that must have been, for the Speaker is notorious for her fearlessness! I dare say it must be taken to court for obstructing parliament.

I am even more struck by its bewitching paranormal qualities, at how magnificently it was able to disguise itself as a microphone on a RAINY DAY! I think that the most rational explanation to this is that this journalist is a warlock who was unable to conceal his mystical powers! Wouldn’t you agree that the House of Parliament needs a fine dose of Holy Water?

More importantly, I am deeply concerned about the probable repercussions that this glaringly petty incident and other similar ones which preceded it may have on the future of Women and Power in Dominica, and even the rest of the Caribbean.

It’s no secret that too many of our highly educated female leaders have sullied the track record of ‘the weaker sex’ in political, social and international affairs. I personally feel that it was ultimately inevitable that the 2008 Democratic nominee in U.S.A. would have been a Black man instead of a White woman. Why should anyone be surprised that a in a society where, just 53 years ago a black woman who refused to shift to the back of the bus to give a white passenger her seat was arrested- a Black man may soon be elected to the White House. It appears that most Americans feel Mrs. Hillary Clinton does not fit the profile of Commander-in-Chief to the World’s strongest army. Do I smell male chauvinism?

If so, it is not unwarranted. Even an intelligent Oxford graduate like Indira Gandhi is guilty of stifling democracy in India in her selfish lust for power. She has been hated by many for destroying the Indian economy while exercising blatant corruption and nepotism, while conveniently censoring the press. Great Britain has also had its fair share of womanly leadership- the dealings of the administration of Baroness Thatcher with the late Saddam Hussein are well known.

My point is that women in positions of authority ought to practice twice the amount of discretion as men in similar positions. This must be a subconscious duty, not merely to eliminate the stigma against female leaders, but to also build a fortress of patronage for their heiresses. If they continue not to, more of our male counterparts will continue to feel ‘woman doesn’t know her place’ and ‘woman too damn up’. And less of our Women will be able to progress and break gender barriers. I certainly feel that if the Speaker of the House had been a Man- whether red, blue or green, this ridiculous incident, and many others before it, would not have occurred.

Every Dominican is aware that our women have a reputation for being cantankerous lovers of ‘roe-roe’ and drama. If you are not, be sure to look at the next local Carnival Queen Show- or any other local pageant for that matter. Is the Speaker of the House not simply reinforcing this stupid stereotype with her preposterous and absurd behaviour?

I think she needs to ‘step up her game’.

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7 Comments »

Comment by Dan
2008-07-21 10:34:02

I couldn’t disagree more. How many men could withstand labor pains willingly and repeatedly?

Would the author have asserted that people of color must out-perform whites in order to obtain the same positions in life? Why should women have to?

And people keep forgetting that Barak Obama’s mother was a white woman. You know, it is just possible that some white racists would assert that it is the “white blood” that makes him somehow superior to other blacks.

Racism and sexism are stupid, stupid, stupid…and that’s all!

 
2008-07-22 12:16:42

The commentary suggests women in power where the real truth is that women are power. Petty incidents have nothing to do with the established fact. All one needs ask is “Just exactly who was it that raised you?” The answer becomes clear very quickly.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-07-22 15:37:51

Men are so much better: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse-Deng, Robert Mugabe…the list is practically endless & should include the not quite so bad but totally disastrous once in office trio of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, & G. W. Bush.

 
Comment by dani
2008-07-23 07:39:09

I think both mr Phd and Dan are missin the point, quite understandably so: they’re MEN.
THE POINT IS Many people in Society are totally and very must against Female Leadership, and mainly others have little faith in it, So Women who act without discretion are doing justice to their beliefs. The article’s hypothesis is based on the fact that a significant number or persons have little faith in leadership by the average female (i’m not talking about Condoleeza Rice). Women as well as men. IF ONLY THE WORLD WAS RICHLY BLESSED ONLY WITH MEN AS KNOWLEDGABLE AND INGENIUS AS YOU PRODIGIES! . Let’s face it, the only reason Mrs. Clinton stood a chance at becoming a President is because her husband preceded her. The same in Argentina with Mrs. Kirchner. I think its HYPOCRITICAL & JUST PLAIN IGNORANT to suggest that Women and Men have equal and even opportunities when contesting positions of Power today, because I know it’s not true.

“In Guatemala, South Africa, and Mexico, women’s ability to enter and remain in the work force is obstructed by private employers who use women’s reproductive status to exclude them from work and by discriminatory employment laws or discriminatory enforcement of the
law.”

(http://www.hrw.org/women/)- By the way this is quoted from A HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION. IT JUST MIGHT BE WORTHWILE FOR YOU MEN TO LEARN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT GENDER DISCRIMINATION Instead of acting like it doesn’t exist. Just like some people don’t want to admit that racism is alive as ever.

IN INDONESIA,

“There is pervasive evidence that women do not have equal rights in their roles in society, the bureaucracy, institutions, formal and informal jobs and many other settings.

Even though the General Election Law of 2003 requires political parties to allocate 30 percent of their legislative candidate lists to women, the fact is only 11.9 percent of the 550-member House of Representatives (DPR) is female, and only 20.9 percent of the 135 members of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD). Nationwide, female legislative members account for only around 10 percent of the elected representatives.

“http://www.planetmole.org/indonesian-news/why-women-are-discriminated-against-indonesia.html

DONT EVEN TALK ABOUT PLACE LIKE AFGHANISTAN WHERE THE TALIBAN (COINCIDENTIALLY A GROUP OF STUPID MEN) HAD RULES AGAINST WOMEN WHOSE FEET MADE NOISES WHEN THEY WALKED ON THE STREET.
I’M SURE THEY WERE JUST AS WARM-HEARTED AS YOU MODERN-DAY GENIUSES TO THE IDEA OF FEMALE LEADERSHIP.

In the UK:

“Over 70% of women feel as if they have been discriminated against in the workplace because they are pregnant or already have a child, a new survey has revealed. ” (bY THE WAY THIS STUDY WAS DONE IN JUNE 2008, JUST IN CASE MR. PhD & Co. LtD. have any qualms about it. )

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=184412&d=680&h=608&f=626&dateformat=%25e-%25h-%25y

AND,
“Women face potential discrimination in job interviews because over 50% bosses weigh up their chances of pregnancy when considering them for a role.” (another article written this year)

http://www.moneywise.co.uk/news-views/2008/04/21/women-discriminated-against-job-interviews

AGAIN,

“Muslim women in the UK are doing very well in schools and racing ahead of their peers in academic excellence and performance. But their run comes to an abrupt halt in the workplace which is rife with prejudices and discriminations.
Their ambitions are thwarted and they feel betrayed by a country and a system that touts equal opportunities for all.
……..Despite the fact that young Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women are achieving good academic qualifications at the same level as white women, and possess very similar professional ambitions to white girls; the reality these young Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women face in the labour market arena is very different to that of white girls.”……..
“Why am I suffering? Is it because I had a baby? Is it because I’m Asian? Or Muslim wearing a hijab? Or everything above? I feel I have been treated very unfairly.” The Equal Opportunities Commission stressed that action needs to be taken to remove structural barriers so as to reduce the discriminatory effects of generalisations, stereotyped beliefs and attitudes about ethnic minority women especially about Muslim women, or face the loss of the growing opportunity offered by these brilliant younger women to the labour market.

http://www.dominica-weekly.com/ramblings/why-women-power-wont-go-together/#comment-11770

AGAIN, THE POINT IS THAT WOMEN WHO ACT WITHOUT DISCRETION GIVE MEN JUST ONE MORE REASON TO BELIVE THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY.

SO, MR. PhD & Co. LtD, GUESS WHAT? YOU GUYS ARE JUST AS BAD AS THE REST OF THE STUPID MEN WHO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST US. YOU KNOW WHY?

BECAUSE YOU WON’T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE PROBLEM EXISTS. THAT’S WHAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DID WHILE GENOCIDE WAS TAKING PLACE IN CENTRAL AMERICA IN THE 1500’S.

THAT’S THE SAME WAY THE WORLD TURNED A BLIND EYE TO APARTHEID FOR YEARS.

AND THAT’S THE VERYYYY SAME WAY THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS JEERED MR. HAILE SELASSIE WHEN MR. HAILE SELASSIE COMPLAINED THAT MUSSOLINI WAS BOMBING HIS PEOPLE.

I GUESS YOU FEEL HIS VIEWS WERE STUPID TOO.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-07-23 10:22:37

I think that dani missed the satirical point I was making by citing bad men.

Men and women are inherently equal in ability to lead. Both men and women must exercise good judgment and discretion. The original author’s point that societies often demand more of women than of men in identical situations is both true and an unfortunate residue of sexism.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-07-23 10:28:33

For what it’s worth, I stumbled across the following on Slate today:

New Scientist, July 16
The cover story suggests there may be “not just one kind of human brain, but two.” Neuroscientists used to conduct most of their studies on male animals and humans—”the female menstrual cycle made interpreting results more complicated.” But new research on females attributes some dissimilarities between the sexes to differing brain structures. These variations could explain why men and women respond differently to medications, why women are more prone to depression, and why men are more likely to suffer from autism, stuttering, and dyslexia. … A piece notes that three new trials support the claim that circumcision could prevent the spread of HIV through heterosexual sex. But the studies have been criticized: Two were stopped early because of positive results and therefore “exaggerate the beneficial effect” of circumcision. Some critics also worry that circumcision “could encourage risky sexual behaviour by lulling men into a false sense of security, or even making them believe they are immune and so can stop using condoms.”

 
Comment by Crazy66
2009-10-10 13:34:29

Other developed countries also used foreign ownership restrictions to help them industrialize. ,

 
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