The Dictator and his Darlings in Parliament?

In any other country in the world if your coworker or employer calls a woman darling at the workplace that would be grounds for filing a sexual harassment complaint. But in Dominica all women in Parliament are the dictator’s darlings.

It was quite a feat, a historic milestone to have eleven women in the Parliament of Dominica, seven of the Government side, and four on the opposition side. Yes

Dominica you made history. However you could not anticipate not even in the wild, wild West of Dominica that your women Parliamentarians would be the dictator’s darlings. 

In another recent survey of 3,000 female workers by market research site OnePoll, “love” was revealed as female employees’ most hated pet name. Second place went to “darlin'”, followed by “babe”, “mate” and “hun”. The survey revealed that almost three-quarters of women think pet names in the office are “unacceptable”, while one in four say it makes them angry. And male bosses or colleagues are most likely to address a woman with one of the terms of endearment. 

Are the women in Dominica’s Parliament OK with that? Except the dictator’s wife and others he may have reason to call darling they should take offense to it because first of all, it is patronizing, and it is highly inappropriate in this chamber. It should not be acceptable but obviously the little darling speaker himself took no objection to it. He can’t. This is just a glimpse into what’s to come in this circus Parliament of Dominica.

While some may see that as simply a term of endearment there seems to be something more sinister to a PM referring to women Parliamentarians as darlings.  It shows number one, that he does not see them as equals, he just sees them as little darling pets that he can play with.

Women are sometimes participants in causing that disrespect to occur especially in a situation where they believe they owe that PM something for them being in that position, so don’t expect to see any resistance. The dictator does own the women he brought to Parliament, they are his possession so he feels he can call them whatever he likes. Keeping them in check, but it also amounts to sexual harassment.

Not only will they not resist his terms of endearment, they will not oppose anything he proposes no matter how detrimental it is the constituents he said paid them to “SERVE”  

Just in case the women in Parliament, the speaker or the offender himself needs some guidance, please permit me to offer them some international standards of conduct in the workplace, and what can be considered as sexual harassment. 

Examples of Sexual Harassment

 Any of these elements may constitute sexual harassment or discrimination. These          examples are not meant to be all inclusive.

  • Physical contact

  • Squeezing a worker’s shoulders or putting a hand around his or her waist

  • Gestures, such as puckering one’s lips suggestively or making obscene signs with one’s fingers or hands

  • Telling off-color jokes

  • Pictures of al sexual nature

  • Pin-ups, particularly those of scantily-clad individuals

  • Verbal or written comments of a sexual nature

  • Terms of endearment, such as calling a co-worker “honey,” “dear,” “sweetheart,” or some similar expression. (The effect is the primary issue rather than intent. Even if the person “means nothing to you” or you have “used the term for years” you should be aware that such expressions are inappropriate.)

Be guided accordingly, have some level of decorum in the honorable house for Pete’s sake!  

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