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Thursday 18 July 2019
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Activist hits back at ‘prime groomer’

Hazel Brown, Coordinator of the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women
Hazel Brown, Coordinator of the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women

COREY CONNELLY

Head of the Network of Non-Governmental Organisations for the Advancement of Women Hazel Brown, yesterday, described as “offensive and demeaning,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s comparison of a golf course to a woman.

Adding her voice to a growing chorus of condemnation at the comparison, Brown insisted the Prime Minister’s comment must not be taken as a mis-speak.

“He really does mean that,” she said in a statement. “That is his true vision of the worth and capacity of women, ‘Mout open tory jump out.’”

Brown said Rowley also probably thinks the comparison is a clear image.

“We may ask what number iron was that.”

In his contribution to the budget debate in the Parliament on Thursday, Rowley, while defending a $3 million allocation for the Chaguaramas Golf Course, told members that a golf course was like a woman.

“You have to groom her every day otherwise it turns into a pasture,” he had said.

The comparison has drawn an incensed response from the Opposition United National Congress, women’s groups and social media users.

Brown said she had taken the trouble to google “golf course grooming.” The outspoken activist found that while a golf course needed grooming, it cannot do it for itself.

“That is where Rowley comes in as prime groomer,” Brown said.

“To mow properly, he has to check the equipment and make sure it is in good working order, hence the check-ups.

“He needs to mow frequently and also to top dress it regularly. No two greens are alike or need the same amount of grooming. After you reach the level of playing quality you desire, you do not need to groom as often.”

Brown said Rowley needed to be taught a thing or two about women as autonomous beings.

“It is a shame that the Prime Minister has such a poor and depraved view of women. But what are we, women of Trinidad and Tobago, as a thinking, empowered collective, going to do about it?” she asked.

Brown said an apology from the Prime Minister would not do any good, “Because that is who he truly is. “The irony is that important matters of policy related to women and girls in Trinidad and Tobago, who they are, and what they can do, come under his direct power and control.

“Just when you think the language and disrespect could not get worse, it does.”

The Prime Minister has yet to speak publicly about the criticism.

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