Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 9th 2018 Contents A18
Monday, April 9, 2018
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In our salute to Colin Laird, we cannot escape the fact
that this Brit came to the Republic and made an indelible
mark on our landscape.
He embraced this country like none other and showed
that Trinis could be masters in the world of architecture.
He was an architect with a keen sense of the value
of beauty, form and purpose that was translated into
edifices and pathways that grace and embrace.
Just look at the National Library Building which drew
on the past but also merged with the present and created
an environment for modernity.
The Brian Lara Promenade transformed what was a
blighted cityscape into a thoroughfare that generated a
new life and purpose for the capital.
And that is just two of the contrasting ideas that Laird
set before us as a testament to what could be achieved in
shaping our own architectural features.
In our travel abroad to major cities, our tours often take
in the structures that bear the stamp of their architects
and the historical landmarks that they record.
A fitting tribute to Colin Laird would be a renewed
effort not only to admire his handiwork but to seriously
complete the important work on those edifices which
have become unsightly features of our landscape.
Let’s save them now so that we can benefit from the
joy and admiration that they can generate for us and our
visitors from generation to generation.
Facebooking our fears
Those who grew up with computers have had less fear
of the online world of Facebook, Twitter and other tools.
These have become an everyday channel to the world of
their friends and family.
Business has embraced both of them and more in an
effort to tap into the customer preferences and to be
able to encourage them to purchase their products and
services. While much of this has been successful in a
number of instances personal information and that of
your family and friends has been stolen.
The recent revelations that Facebook has been used
to gather information about people without their
permission raises fresh fears.
Facebook has moved to address the gaps in their
technology platform and have pledged to do even
more to ensure that the information you post is not
compromised. We should not let this situation prevent
us from enjoying the new ways of communication and
The smashing performances of Dwane Bravo and brother
Darren in the IPL tournament makes us wish that we
could get both Bravos back in the Cricket West Indies
team. We need to be winning again.
What’s our response
to domestic violence?
sation isn’t only by mothers, but
by all family members, media,
peers, educators, neighbourhood
members, and more. It is also
learned through specific experi-
ences such as witnessing or expe-
riencing familial violence or child
But, at the heart of all these is
a resilient belief in the notions of
manhood and womanhood we
take to be normal, and in the kinds
of respect women should have for
male authority and power that we
take to be natural. The police can-
not transform these beliefs.
As Cabinet is dominated by
men, I can legitimately say that it
takes balls to decide to go against
what falsely appears to be God-
given, and instead wake up to
what ending this problem really
Somewhere in Trinidad and
Tobago, there’s a woman who is
going to be the next one killed.
It’s just a waiting game until we
know her name. We don’t have an
urgent, coherent, cross-sectoral,
national strategy to prevent or
even systematically reduce this
violence against women. I’ll be re-
lieved—but surprised—if we do by
the time we hear that news.
against all national data, includ-
ing the numbers of intimate part-
ner killings, argue that women are
more violent than men. Already,
there’s a backlash to women doing
well in education and employ-
ment, with many bringing all this
empowerment back to a mythical
marginalisation of men, and the
necessity of making women ac-
count to men’s feelings about their
goals for autonomy.
This wider societal backlash to
women wanting a life beyond male
control plays out in relationships
too. Containment of women’s
empowerment explains intimate
partner physical and sexual vio-
lence (the male backlash model),
such as when women are earning
more than men or pursuing quali-
fications beyond men’s own. Men
also don’t believe women have a
right to leave relationships when-
ever they chose, and deal with
feelings of rejection and failure
with a reassertion of masculinity
These dynamics get established
in childhood, through big pro-
cesses such as the socialisation of
children to differences between
women and men, and their mean-
ings and their value. Such sociali-
tine Chuniesingh lost
her life to intimate
partner violence this
week. She won’t be
the last woman for
the year to die at the hands of her
A month ago, the National Se-
curity Minister reported to the
Senate that police were focusing
on responding to violence against
women through a visible pres-
ence, marked and unmarked ve-
hicles, town meetings and more.
These steps are good news, but
as the State Minister for National
Security in Jamaica pointed out
last year, violence against women
is not a police issue, it’s a national
issue. This should be kept in mind
by the AG and the National Secu-
rity Minister when they want to
put this problem in the hands of
cops instead of recognising that
approval of a coherent strategy is
So, the question is, what is our
national response? And, how is
this national response rolling out
through the school system, the
health care system, collaboration
with the private sector, and more?
Is the State’s position that it has
no idea how to prevent deaths
in these numbers, given that we
are already at 50 per cent of the
women murdered by their part-
ners for all of last year?
It’s well-established that inti-
mate partner violence is founded
in our current ideas about mascu-
linity and femininity, and the as-
sociation between manhood and
power over women. Violence is
simply a way to keep this in place
when it’s being challenged in in-
Already, there’s denial of this
association by representatives of
the men’s rights movement, who
Participants walk around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain during the
Trinidad and Tobago (TTPS) Social and Welfare Association walk entitled “Last
Man Standing-Lets Walk Over Cancer” yesterday.
PICTURE KERWIN PIERRE
DIARY OF A MOTHERING WORKER • ENTRY 278
Dr Gabrielle Hosein
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