It's no secret that I think feminism is a failed ideological concept. Any ideology that seeks to privilege one thing over another or to assert itself into a position of superiority over another ideology is dumb. Which is why I also don't believe in any form of ethnocentrism. Nothing wrong with being proud about being African,Amerindian, Chinese...you know the drill. Nothing wrong with being proud about your mammary glands or your testicles either....although personally i get tired of the constant dick stroking and milk duct fellating that I see being practised as gender positive stances nowadays. But everything is wrong when you pit one thing as superior to another.
It's also no surprise to any one reading this blog regularly that I think PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the worst thing to happen to the National and Caribbean Vagenda. To me, the PM's antics are like taking Sex and the City, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour, Elle, Bazaar, Vogue, MTV, Ladies Home Journal and a copy of What Every Woman Should Know, tossing it in a blender and then heating it up in a crack pipe. The shit is toxic!
But worse than the PM's antics, it's the larger ideologies of the party that's toxic too; because part of their 2010 campaign was the subliminal "Give the Woman a Chance" that had the Hazel Browns, the Gabrielle Hoseins and the Merle Hodges all eagerly batting in Kamla's corner....and now almost 2 years later, that feminist lobby remains so mum on so much abuse of women and female-centrism that I'm convinced they batting for the other team.
If you ever bought into the stereotype that woman are weak, given to frivolous things like clothes and shopping, love to party, prefer the men around them to take the lead, use their gender as an excuse to get out of sticky situations, have a bad head when it comes to money and financial issues, and aren't particularly good at disciplining naughty children or negotiating firmly, then this government under Kamla Persad-Bissessar provides all the raw data you need.
If, even worse, you believe the stereotype that Hindu women are docile, ruled by their men, given to secret drinking, turn a blind eye to the abuse of their children and secretly are curious about inter-ethnic relationships well the current PM and her inner circle entourage don't do much to dispel that notion either.
There are a few moments that have occurred under the People's Panchayat reign, that, if I had bought into the feminist agenda, would make me ashamed of this current government.
It's no secret that Sat Maharaj, head of the Hindu organisation the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, wields great power in this government. Upon the PP taking office, Sat, a private citizen to the best of my knowledge, called for a ministry of multiculuralism. From inception to 2010 the ministry was always ever called Culture, and whatever else it was attached to. The Maha Sabha argued that it should be called Multiculturalism and quicker than you could smudge a tika onto your third eye the PP Government changed the name, and then as a concession held a few public consultations to pretend to seek consensus about the name of the ministry, all the while already calling the ministry multiculturalism and revealing to the entire world that they have no idea what multiculturalism really means, or further, how it is applicable to our space. So, from day one, both Sat Maharaj and this government revealed how skewered and inept their policies on culture and multi-ethnicity are, and in my honest opinion this government has turned out to be the most divisive and prejudiced when it comes to issues of gender and ethnicity.
But it seems, for whatever reason, maybe his caste, Sat Maharaj can do no wrong. His months-long vendetta against the principal of the Tunapuna Hindu Primary School, his advocation of her harassment by the PTA and security officers on the compound, and his justification of the firing of a clerical employee at the school because of visible pantylines would be enough to have the feminist lobby in any sane country laying his body to rest under a wreath of incensed vaginas. But in Trinidad you don't get a whiff of protest from the pro-Kamla feminazis. Nope, not a word. Instead there were a slew of blogposts about breastfeeding and using the word "cunt" creatively in lectures. Even I began to think I must be hallucinating and that the attack on Sita Gajardharsingh-Nanga was a figment of my imagination.
But shortly thereafter, during the 107 day suspension of Citizen Rights, fondly known as the State of Emergency, and the only idea Kamla had for decreasing criminal activity in this country, more and more women were being brutalised by police officers as part of the daily raids of "hotspots". Now we all know how our local police service renowned for its politeness, civility and customer service; now, imagine a police service that unrestrained by the Constitution and think about what happened during that 107 day period to women who happened to live in hot spots? Some of the reports made it online and they weren't pretty. The only protests I saw coming from the pro-feminist spokespersons were blog posts about how the SoE made sitting on their front porches to breastfeed that more possible and comfortable. By the time these posts came around I had to glue my eyelids to my browline to prevent the violent eye-rolling that seemed to come as a matter of course.
Earlier this year when the PM cited her "special needs" as a female Prime Minister as justification for her very illegal acts of nepotism where her sister Vidwattie Newton was concerned, I was sure that the pro-Kamla feminazis would see that even this was crossing the line. There's no way you could justify nepotism...i mean isn't this one of the reasons we wanted to get rid of Manning? And then lo and behold, not one but two prominent members of the local feminist movement in newspaper reports and a letter to the editor came out in defence of Kamla as a female Prime Minister having "special needs". Which was their quiet way, I can only imagine, of endorsing the Prime Minister's spending of $.8m of public funds on a sister who allegedly functioned as a travel assistant and nurse to the PM. Mind you, it would be revealed later that there is no legal cabinet position for a travel assistant to the PM, nor is Ms Newton a registered nurse. Further, for the last three state trips the PM took she suddenly didn't need her sister and was managing with a state appointed assistant. I wonder if any of the defenders of the "Special Needs PM" felt like an ass? I know I would have.
Further to the abuse of public funds is the PM's constant misspeaking, which in the normal world is actually called lying....but Kamla real clever, she never admits to doing wrong...she just finds a new word for describing wrong doing and admits to that instead.
Vernella Alleyne-Toppin is another member of this cabinet who has totally messed up the good name of woman with her spending habits and bad accounting....and don't forget that as far as she is concerned her abuse of public funds wasn't wrong. She just wasn't properly informed.....imagine that...a black woman who spends more than she earns, can't balance a budget nor account for the money she spends. Vernella more than let down the side, oui. Tobago should revoke her citizenship!
Then there was the case of Cheryl Miller. I wrote about Miller for an entire week on this blog because I couldn't believe what was playing out before my eyes, couldn't believe the PMs silence on the issue and further couldn't believe that the Minister of Feelings Verna St Rose-Greaves, whom every one holds up as a bastion of activism and pro-femaledom, could be at the centre of such a shitstorm. Here was a pure case of bullying. There is no other word to describe what happened in Tower D that morning. Minister St. Rose Greaves, her Perm Sec and other state personnel basically played a game of circle the misfit and terrorise her. If it wasn't for the outrage of her colleagues at work and eventually members of the wider public, Verna, Sandra Jones, and the Perm Sec from the Ministry of Health along with the people at St. Ann's would have gotten away with one of the most blatant abuses of power that I've had the opportunity to read about in our local news. To date, the Minister refuses to give a comprehensive statement about what happened in her office under her watch that fateful morning. I wish Cheryl Miller all the luck in the world with her litigation against the state. And I still think that the Minister should make a jail!
I don't think women have made any strides in the last 24 months under this regime. If anything, they've regressed horribly. Kamla hasn't given anyone a reason to trust in female leadership. She struggles to look like a leader. Most days she looks fragile and sickly beyond belief while either lying or sidestepping the issues. There is no initiative taken under her government that is properly seeking the interest of women. Last year's debate on the DNA Bill for instance, saw Herbert Volney take a stance so chauvinistic and medieval about rape victims that I was sure Volney was a character from the series A Game of Thrones. Volney was advocating violating the rape victim not once, but twice! And saw no problem with it. Come This Thursday May 24th, I feel certain that the PPG will blow it's own horn about giving pregnant women an extra week of maternity leave....mind you, real first world nations like Norway and Sweden give either spouse as much as 2 years with full salary. But we not interested in being first world in Trinidad, just pantomiming it!
Under this government, there's be no grounds for saying poom poom rule, and it's the women in powers of position who are undermining their own selves.
De Vice Cyah Done!