Outrage for “Warning by Minister responsible for Gender Affairs” seen as Bullying, by Margaret Gill

Dear Editor:

I read with dismay the words from the Minister responsible for Gender Affairs which threatens Bureau of Gender Affairs staff. His warning of “a word to the wise is enough” is directed from the floor of parliament at Bureau staff who take their personal activism on behalf of women seriously enough to recall that they are not only staff of anywhere but are private citizens first and foremost.

I am certain that when Steve Blackette reflects, he will realize he was wrong and he needs to apologise to this staff immediately for not supporting them in public, and indeed for threatening their jobs from the floor of the house. I know the lawyers among us will tell me I am reading beyond what he actually said. Forgive me, I am a Bajan who knows what a word to the wise is enough means, and I am a poet and language teacher who understands that words are often meant to carry sub-texts.

I am certain that when Steve Blackette reflects, he will realize he was wrong and he needs to apologise to this staff immediately for not supporting them in public, and indeed for threatening their jobs from the floor of the house. I know the lawyers among us will tell me I am reading beyond what he actually said. Forgive me, I am a Bajan who knows what a word to the wise is enough means, and I am a poet and language teacher who understands that words are often meant to carry sub-texts.

Could the Bureau of Gender Affairs Minister and Minister Steve Blackette stop for one moment and consider this? The members of the Democratic Labour Party do not work in synergy with the members of the Barbados Labour Party, despite the fact that they both occupy the same sacred space of the Parliament of Barbados. Though they have different job functions, both are the queen’s representatives - one being her government and the other her loyal opposition with the job of both serving the people of Barbados – that includes me. Why should MESA and NOW (if they do not) agree with each other and work together on anything if the DLP and the BLP do not? {Editor’s Note: Wake up, Maggie! They don’t - MESA and NOW are just as spiteful as Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber!}

When Bureau of Gender Affairs staff defend women by laying their lives and jobs on the line, they defend me. As a female Barbadian and voting citizen, I do not want to hear them threatened from the floor of Parliament. This is the foolishness to which length MESA and Ralph Boyce has brought this country. I strongly protest it and ask for an apology from the Minister responsible for Gender Affairs on behalf of his staff.

Guidance, for real,

  • Margaret D. Gill

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