Letters & Opinion

To Serve and Protect – The Female Response

By Little Black Girl

THE crime rate is a bitter song sung by everyone these days and even the off-tune singers receive raving reviews due to the almost one hundred percent rate of agreement. More important than the rate itself is the seemingly slower rate of redress or crime resolution and in some cases the rate of cold case files freezing into oblivion. Writing from this perspective is a sad occurrence but if I didn’t put my fifty-cents, then I would have to stay silent without suggestions and look, listen, and be at the snail-slow mercy of our security-setting and crime reduction initiatives. So no, here’s my big mouth again. I must insert a quick caveat here though, because once there’s a conversation of criticism, one must be ready for the baptism of the two political colours existing in St. Lucia, so you dun know. We can no longer use our intellect to suggest the best for our fair Helen, as concerned or sometimes proud citizens. This is notwithstanding that all disclaimers are swiftly thrown out with the baby and the bathwater in tow.

Infacol doesn’t seem to be working for my current gripe but maybe it’s because I am a hardbacked woman, since last I checked the babies with colic at OKEU seem to get relief from that same Infacol. I am deeply perturbed with the female cohort both in parliament and at the helmed of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSPF). Now you may ask me if I know any of them personally and I would be quick in the mouth to let you know that I don’t know them personally at all. I am simply perturbed based on their public demeanors and eyebrow-raising responses given to the Populace  as they navigate their positions.

I will graciously cushion the blow by saying that there may be one that stands out above the rest but awah, I dunno. At the first introduction of the top cop, I was excited and optimistic. I was thinking of the no nonsense whip that female police commissioners generally dish out. To my compassionate regret, the top cop looked tired and sounded even more tired when she addressed the nation. It looks like she has worked way too hard over the years in policing affairs and administration, and she had nothing left in her tank. As you very well know, one cannot operate on empty, and she looked empty. I mean I am a strong advocate for women, after all my bias comes from a feminine perspective due to my lucky birth species, but when women take on certain roles like the ones I speak of, they are usually strong and powerful women with two strong imaginary balls to match.

We would normally hear the undertones of a few good men and the chauvinist representatives disagreeing with the appointment, but they could never deny the impact that she makes. Now don’t get me wrong, the police commissioner may have made an indelible mark on the force in a holistic way, but I do not understand her presence, nor am I feeling it. Additionally, if her introduction was more quantitative than qualitative, I suspect that the average St. Lucian would have had a clearer narrative of the need for her presence at this critical juncture. Pardon me again and I insert another caveat to say that I am no way in agreement with the ex- deputy commissioner from Anse La Raye who claimed to be her friend yet in the same breath threw her under the non-having-specific-commissioner training bus.

All I’m saying is that the commissioner should have been allowed to proceed on her long-awaited retirement so that she could enjoy the investment of time that she has already given to the RSPF. With the present crime load, she may need periodic effleurage around her temples to wrap her head around what’s going on. You mean to tell me that in the wake of the hanging an allegatory (my word) pendulum over the current deputy commissioner, there’s no other person in our supposed esteemed police force who can come in like a raging bull to shake things up? That we now must first tap into our non-succession planning barrel to design, through artificial intelligence, I’m assuming, a new man or a new woman? According to the youth these days, shaking my head (SMH).

In the meantime, and between time, I am not sure that the yearning-to-retire-cop will make a difference, but that’s me being afraid and pessimistic for the first time in my half-a-century life. Let’s see if a change gone come in that year, after all she’s in the seat now and who am I to not give my opinion.

On the flip side, I don’t mean any ill will, and I don’t want to give Pee-Kong to older folk, because I’m considered a senior citizen myself; but our two female parliamentarians are a trip. Notwithstanding that they are both purported to be intelligent and experienced working women, when it comes to advocating for the rights of women, the elevation of women, the respect of women and the voices of women, they both are falling flat. Alas, the young Jawahir is the only one who gives me hope and I have a feeling that with her, hope is not a motto-boat.

With these two brilliant minds, with one going as far as doing great research to earn her PhD, one would assume that they would respond more prudently to all necessary questions pertaining to the safety and justice for women. If memory serves me right, and that sometimes it is wonky, I thought that the Minister for Gender Affairs is or was an advocate for the rights of women. However, I was very much ashamed of her response when she was asked about the situation of the nation, in which the deputy commissioner has sexual allegations swirling over him. I couldn’t believe how abrasive and dismissive she was and how she quickly passed the buck to the person whom an email was addressed to since she was merely a see-seed party on said email.

Who is protecting my interests in parliament if not for the gender affairs minister? To add insult to injury, the commerce minister didn’t help her failed colleague but was vague and dodgy in her own response as well. I need more from my female parliamentarians, period. If you are tired, (and please note that there’s nothing wrong with giving up the working ghosts), it may be time to offer silent guidance and wisdom from the back. To convince the reader that this is not a political jab, I haven’t been impressed with the past representation of women in parliament for a long time either. But when a local veteran journalist/newspaper owner said that women are not doing much for women in the house of parliament, I was aggravated only because I was wearing my defensive woman hat; but when I calmed down, had some water and was thinking clearly, I had no real and solid evidence of their house advocacy, so I kept quiet and had to agree with him.

I am not discrediting all female parliamentarians in history, just for the last few administrations. Yes, I said it and still love a female leader that’s going to bring in the noise and the change. In conclusion, I am happy that we live on an island with many women in leadership positions and that as a woman, most times it seems like the sky’s the limit save for a few industries that are still female deprived. However, when it comes to women in government and public life, the standard needs to be higher and their voices need to be louder and far reaching. Quick question, are the boots of your male counterparts on your necks? A rhetorical pitch to ponder. I cannot end this if I don’t suggest that following the political life of Mia Mottley may be a yardstick on how to use your charisma, your presence, your intellect, and your power as a woman.

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