Shame on you Mara for ‘childless’ remark!

When the French existentialist philosopher, political activist and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex in 1949, it was one of the most important steps on the journey to women’s rights.

De Beauvior wrote of the difficulty talented women had in becoming successful, and the obstacles they faced, including their inability to make as much money as men who had the same profession, their domestic responsibilities, the lack of support from the wider society, and the fear that success would lead to an annoyed husband or prevent them from even finding one.

After women rediscovered the book in 1968 and began reading it again, it gave impetus to second wave feminism that lasted well into the early 1980s.

Since then, Barbados has made tremendous progress on women’s rights issues and many of our women have carved their names into immortality, including in politics, religion, education, sports, culture and entertainment. And not all of them have been mothers or wives.

Therefore, it was most disturbing and surprising when Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson, in an obvious attempt at embarrassing two members of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) over the appearance of a 13-year-old boy on stage at the recent March of Disgust, chose to criticize them for being “childless”.

In an obvious reference to BLP Leader Mia Mottley and Leader of Opposition Business in the House Santia Bradshaw, Ms Thompson charged that the Opposition party was being led “by someone who does not have children”, adding, that “she who sits beside her [meaning Bradshaw] was the same thing”.

“But I appeal to the parents among you, I really think that you should have guided your leader in that situation,” Thompson added.

It was the sort of comment that should cause a knot in the stomach of any right-thinking person, man or women, parent or not, and as many commentators on the blogs have said, it was an attack on every woman.

This is politics, we know, and unfortunately it is a profession that has sunk so low that senseless personal attacks and septic vitriol have become acceptable, and the Houses of Parliament have become marketplaces for tasteless bile.

However, there is no place – not even in politics – for such attacks on women.

Ms Thompson may be naïve. After all, she was thrust into a situation with which she was unfamiliar, forced into a role with which she seems uncomfortable, and may have wandered into a place she does not know.

Surely, she must have been unaware of one of most progressive, talented and inspiring women this country has ever given to the world: Dame Nita Barrow, who served as Governor General from 1990 until her death in 1995.

Long before Ms Thompson was riding bicycles as a 13-year-old on the streets of Castries, Dame Nita was blazing trails for Barbadian women and women around the world.

Whether it was through her service as an instructor at the West Indies School of Public Health in Jamaica, or as the first West Indian matron of the University College Hospital, the first principal nursing officer of Jamaica, or the director of a research project in nursing in the Commonwealth Caribbean, Dame Nita was an exemplary woman.

She was director of the Christian Medical Commission of the World Council of Churches, president of the International Council of Adult Education, and convenor of the conference marking the end of the United Nations Decade for Women in 1985, which led to her being nominated as the only woman on the eminent persons group set up to visit South Africa in 1986 and “encourage through all practicable ways the evolution of [that] necessary process of political change . . .”

Through it all, she was passionate about advancing the status of women and never missed an opportunity to do so.

And as an active member of UNIFEM and similar women’s organizations, her counsel was sought worldwide.

Yet, Dame Nita had no children.

Being from St Lucia, Ms Thompson must also be aware that just north of her, the Caribbean’s first female prime minister, Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica, had no children of her own, but was seen by her compatriots as their mother.

Ms Thompson must know that there are hundreds of “childless” women who mother thousands of students every day, there are many more who take on the responsibility to mother the children of relatives, neighbours and friends.

And yet. Somehow, Ms Thompson has managed to expose either her ignorance of the fact that we have long moved on from the days when women were considered little more than producers of offspring for the gratification of men, or her disregard for the rights of women to choose whether or not they will get married and/or have children.

Her attack on the two female parliamentarians was nothing short of simplistic incendiary rhetoric, and we hope she would wish her words had never been uttered.

We also believe that the man of the House – no, the men of the House – should have, and must condemn it. For this sort of behaviour can only thrive in simplicity and hollowness. Our representatives are not expected to be either.

21 Responses to Shame on you Mara for ‘childless’ remark!

  1. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 25, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Shameless is this entire DLP govt.

    Reply
  2. Khati D
    Khati D'Souza March 25, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Oh yes! Dame Nita…so loved and respected this childless woman. One of my mentors.

    Reply
  3. Joey St
    Joey St March 25, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Looking for political points….no comment no apology needed…just another storm in a teacup

    Reply
  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 25, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Both Parties have much to be ashame about. However Mara Thompson’s remarks is just a reflection of the low that she has allowed herself to sunk too. Then again, she is in a party that have sunk to an all time low.

    Reply
  5. Tony March 25, 2017 at 7:09 am

    ‘Simplicity and hollowness’ that aptly describes Mrs Thompson’s contribution in parliament.
    I think it is time the BLP mount a serious challenge to win that St John seat. Mara is ripe for the picking.
    Generally I think parliamentarians need to desist from such personal references

    Reply
  6. Ingrid March 25, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I have been seeing this trend of insults coming from this group of representatives of this island. ,Firstly

    Shameful and tasteless, Mother

    Reply
  7. Ch March 25, 2017 at 9:43 am

    She would still get back her seat those st.john people still voting for two dead men .up there to foolish and stupid can’t see any further.

    Reply
  8. Ch March 25, 2017 at 9:56 am

    The people of st.john will still vote her back in .they are still voting for two dead men them people .backwards and stupid up there.

    Reply
  9. Carson C Cadogan March 25, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Mara has nothing to apologise for . She said nothing that is wrong. If they are childless then they are childless.

    Why do some people have a problem with the TRUTH.

    Reply
    • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Then a puppet like you would not have a problem calling the late David Thompson a CLICO beneficiary of ill gotted gains. After all a Forensic Report says it so.

      Reply
    • BaJan boy March 29, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Sadly your mother isn’t Carson Cadogan…

      Reply
  10. Ch March 25, 2017 at 11:56 am

    You Carson c cadogen is the dlp puppet bunch of jokers

    Reply
  11. Ch March 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    This government will go down in the history of Barbados as the worst we have ever seen and the laughing stock of the Caribbean.

    Reply
  12. MARIA March 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    FORGET MARA LETS TALK ABOUT THE 143PGS OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL REPORT, MARA’S COMMENT IS MEANINGLESS

    Reply
  13. maria March 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Words are wind sometimes senseless things comes out of peoples mouth. This is nothing to make a mountain out of, there are more important things to be dealt with. SERIOUSlY, we want to hear about the large sums of monies that the PARLAMENTARIANS PUBLIC OFFICERS, REGISTERING OFFICERS AND STATE AGENCIES OWE BARBADOS and other friends of the parlimentariand owe the government. Without naming people here are some of the monies owing to the government: $349,946,649.00 this one is some of the same politicions that are fighting

    Reply
  14. Christopher h March 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Mara Thompson will win back that seat regardless.The people of St.John are to stupid and foolish voting every election for dead men.

    Reply
    • Sherlock Holmes. March 28, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Should they vote for you Chris? I think not and my dear boy your comments are a reflection of you.Poor fellow the people of St John do not need any advice from you.

      Reply
  15. Zeus March 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Can you reprint the editorial you wrote chastizing the female members of parliament when the domestic violence act was debated

    Reply
  16. Zeus March 25, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Who was absent during the debate

    Reply
  17. Nathaniel Samuels March 26, 2017 at 1:16 am

    Carson, the more you write, the more idiotic you show yourself to be. I rest my case.

    Reply
  18. David Hall March 26, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    A base senseless comment! demonstrating how low and depraved some can become in their claim to fame.

    Reply

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