International Women’s Day: Say No To Quotas!

Re-blogged from Veritas:

Today is being celebrated the world over as International Women’s Day; a day to celebrate the achievements of those of the fairer sex, while highlighting the work that is still to be done on behalf of women in some of the forgotten corners of our world. Perhaps inevitably the conversation today will turn to towards finding solutions to the real and perceived inequalities facing women. That conversation will undoubtedly rest on quota systems. In fact, a member of the Jamaican Senate has already raised the issue, arguing that it would compensate for the disparity between men and women in the Parliament.  I’m no expert in these matters, and I do not pretend to be – these are my opinions having thought about the issue. I have no doubt that the Senator has good intentions, but I cannot support quotas on the basis of gender, especially in political representation. Here’s why.

women leaders

Quota systems in politics exist to solve inherent or structural inequalities. That is, the state engineers what is thought to be a desired result by allocating or reserving a certain amount of seats in the parliament for women, on the basis that they are women. That would be the first qualifier. While advocacy groups here in Jamaica such as the 51% Coalition have argued that the women who would occupy these reserved seats/spaces are to be qualified, they do not deny that the basic qualifier would be gender. It raises the question, is there inherent and structural inequality in Jamaican politics? By this I mean, are women prevented from running for, and holding public office simply because they are women? Of course not. A female colleague of mine only this morning tweeted that she is thankful to have been born and raised in a country where being a female was not a deterrent or an impediment. We must then question why we need to engineer the democratic process to reflect what we think it ought to look like. This betrays our impatience with the democratic process. We believe the pluralist society we consider ideal is taking shape too slowly for our liking, so we must necessarily meddle, engineer and interfere to suit or preferences. That is dangerous. That is to be rejected.

Quotas amount to affirmative action, and just as any other beneficiary of affirmative action is seen as less than, or only having attained the position they occupy because  whatever predetermined trait commended them to it, and no matter what their independent qualifications are, we run the real risk of them being shadowed by the quota system. It is my considered opinion that such a move would set back the process, rather than further it.

By favouring one sex over another, we are creating an atmosphere of resentment and animosity; the state will be playing favourites. That is not the role of government, that is not the role of the state. We diminish the capacity of women to make advancements on merit, and single them out for special treatment and remedial action. How would this be in their best interest? How would we have advanced the cause of women by using their gender as the predominant qualifier? Am I the only one who finds that offensive?

Finally, there is an inherent problem with quotas which allows for manipulation. The state ought not to play favourites, as mentioned before. Therefore, if we create quotas on the basis of gender, we may have to do it on the basis of race, then religious persuasion, or political persuasion, and possibly even sexual orientation. Only that would be fair. My question is, where would one draw the line? There is an inherent problem with seeking to adopt a strictly pluralist society, and that problem is chaos. While I can appreciate the good intentions of those who propose quotas, I believe it complicates the problem, rather than fixes it. Democracy was not intended to be engineered or manipulated by the state and its agents; it was intended to unfold at the ballot, by the people, through their vote. If the people want more women, Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, Rastafarians, blacks etc. in Parliament, let them vote them in. Do not reserve seats for them because of predetermined characteristics. I cannot support that.


ImageToday is being celebrated the world over as International Women’s Day; a day to celebrate the achievements of those of the fairer sex, while highlighting the work that is still to be done on behalf of women in some of the forgotten corners of our world. Perhaps inevitably the conversation today will turn to towards finding solutions to the real and perceived inequalities facing women. That conversation will undoubtedly rest on quota systems. In fact, a member of the Jamaican Senate has already raised the issue, arguing that it would compensate for the disparity between men and women in the Parliament.  I’m no expert in these matters, and I do not pretend to be – these are my opinions having thought about the issue. I have no doubt that the Senator has good intentions, but I cannot support quotas on the basis of gender, especially in political representation. Here’s why.

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Salute to Jamaican women on International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day however women should be celebrated every day. They are the pillars and corner stone of our homes, communities and society. They are the ones who often shape us as individuals and provide unconditional love.

Being a strong role model and nurturer, women play their roles selflessly. They sacrifice to ensure that their children and all those who are around them are cared for and loved. We know our mothers to be some of the strongest people on earth. They steer us and teach the guiding principles that we often live by, as adults. They are always there even as adults when we need refuge and support.

I take time out to salute the women leaders of our country and industries; for being no less than any man, but continuing to excel and launch new endeavours in the business world. To our women doctors, lawyers, ministers, auxiliary workers, farmers, nurses, police, bus drivers and every other woman in the centres and outskirts of our island Jamaica. I salute you.

Thank you for being the shoulder we can cry on

Thank you for putting food on the table

Thank you for your sacrifice

Thank you for teaching lessons of love;

Thank you for being that kind face in the hospital

Thank you for being that understanding and gentle teacher in the classroom

Thank you for enforcing and protecting our rights

Thank you for your hard work,

…as you continue to toil, every day and night.


Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Denise N. Fyffe

Love’s Story: I want to be your husband

She smiled. Words had deserted her like traitorous fiends. She drew his head to hers and held him, with every bone, muscle and flesh. They had stepped into forever.

…never letting go.

Denise N. Fyffe

403846291555091452_81fiwvjg_f“I want to be your man.”

“I want to be your husband.”

She could feel her breath escape her nostrils in a flare. Her heart skipped a beat and the pores of her skin opened. She felt faint. Thank God she was lying down. Her fingers tingled, numb. All sensation disappeared.

Fear. The urge to run, kissed her lips and beckoned her to come in that second.’


“I want to be a better man for you,” he continued.

“I want to be with you. I don’t want to be far from you.”

The intended meaning sunk into her heart and her brain registered their intention. She could feel his hands in her’s, his cheek on her cheek, his breathe caressed the base of her temple.


‘God, I am a lucky woman’, she thought.

His love felt like exquisite chocolate caressing her esophagus. It was all she could do not to run to the hills, leaping with joy and fear simultaneously.

“Hey,” he said. “Did…

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Jamaican Weddings: Ways to use doves in your wedding ceremony

White wedding doves courtesy of wdrelease-com
White wedding doves courtesy of wdrelease-com

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise Fyffe

White wedding doves courtesy of discover-southern-ontario-com

White wedding doves courtesy of discover-southern-ontario-com

Prince, who is a singer, songwriter, multimillionaire, from the 1980’s did a song called, “When doves cry”.  We all know that this is not so, but these lovely creatures are symbolic of love and unity. Thousands of wedding ceremony have incorporated them because of this symbolism. Couples add in white doves into their wedding ceremonies; hoping that it adds meaning and says to their partner, how they feel about them. It also indicates to their guests how in love the couple really is.

People experiment with their Jamaican weddings more and more. They believe in including the many facets that they as a couple enjoy; especially with the theme and music.  They still keep the older tradition of throwing rice and jumping the broom; but they have included new traditions more. Therefore weddings now include doves, bubbles and anything else the couple can think to add.

The use of dove is very varied. Couples come up with different methods of setting them free or adding them to the wedding ceremony. The trend is to use white doves. They can be released usually at the end of the ceremony from the chapel or loft. They can be released just before the couple drives off, or even after they say their I dos, depending on the wedding venue. The release indicates or represents the couple branching out into the world, and starting a life together.

White wedding doves courtesy of beetreetrail-com

White wedding doves courtesy of beetreetrail-com

The reference to doves can also be included in the ceremony. This can be stated by the minister, priest or officiator. He or she will draw reference to the symbolism or it can be included by the couple in the vows; especially in the exchange of rings section. The decision as to when these references are made, or when to release the doves, lies with the happy couple.

You also need to consider the holding areas or cages for the doves. There are many ways to incorporate them, and also how to display them. They can be keep close to the venue or ceremony area; just as long as they won’t be a distraction or noisy. You can think about the color or type of cage to put them in; whether white, gold or silver. You can have a handler there who will see to their food and comfort needs. Because of what hey symbolize your guests will be touched and many awed by their presence and inclusion into the ceremony.

When, where and how to include the doves, does not have to be complicated. The couple can decide whether to include them in your nuptials, at the reception or after the nuptials. You can also dictate the number of doves to release. This can be two or more; and reference can also be made to this in the ceremony.


Jamaican Weddings: Avoiding a Wedding disaster

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2015, Poetess Defy, Denise Fyffe

destination-wedding jamaicaYou think about your wedding ceremony from you were a little girl. Planning on what type of wedding dress you will wear the type of cake and how many bridesmaids you will have. You choose your partners based on your romantic notion of prince charming and then one day you find him. He proposes to you, and you have a wedding to plan and it will be important that you take every detail into consideration. Having a disaster on your wedding day is never something a couple plans for. That is why it is important for every detail of the wedding to be looked over, and not overlooked. This includes the location, time of year, theme, invitations, cake, food, wedding party, attire, wedding dress fitting and many other miscellaneous areas. Be prepared for all the tension that comes with planning a wedding and figure out how you will handle them.

One of the main things you can do is get a wedding planning workbook. Ensure it has all the resources, steps and guides that you can use to plan a wedding ceremony and the reception; from day one until the execution of the event. You will use this planner to keep track of all the details, and it will help you to remain organised. A workbook will also stop you from forgetting some of the minor details that may slip through the cracks and you won’t wake up on your wedding day, dreading that some minor detail was forgotten. You should also keep all invoices, bills and receipts in this workbook.

There are disastrous things that happen on a wedding day. Some you may not learn about until after the wedding ceremony; such as getting horrible or low quality pictures of your wedding. This would be devastating for any couple as it was the only way you could capture such a precious moment. Therefore ensure you get a professional and research them to the hilt. Make sure you have seen samples of their work, meet with them on a couple of occasions, do they show up early, how is their personality and do they respect your opinion. You have to look out for all these things. Make sure they have more than one person taking pictures or doing the video recording. Some couples ask their friends or family members to take pictures as well just to make sure.

You have to do wedding planning for other disasters like not getting your wedding location. You cannot leave this detail until the last minute. It is one of the first things that you have to take care of; a popular wedding location goes like hot bread, especially in the peak wedding, spring, or summer season. Once you have decided try to get the venue booked and contract signed. Make sure you have alternative just in case that it is booked. Not having wedding dress is a disaster of epic proportions to most brides; especially if they have lost weight, gained weight, or had some accident. There are thousands of options to getting a dress online, research websites and stores in and around your area. Make sure you take a trusted friend and family member on your hunt, to give you constant honest feedback on how you look in it. The dress of your dreams might not be the best dress for your body.

Jamaican Weddings: Summer wedding favors

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2015, Denise N. Fyffe

People always throw away wedding favors, eventually, that they have no use for. You do not want this to happen wedding budgetafter spending so much money on them. Your efforts and planning would have been for naught. But if you come up with ingenious and simple options; things that people can use on the day or even when they go back home, this minimizes the likelihood of them being added to the wastebasket. You can sit and discuss with friends and family who have been to many weddings; finding out what their best wedding favor was and the worst. This is a simple and easy way to generate new ideas.

Giving guests hand held a fan as summer wedding favors is a popular practice. These months are known for their unbearable heat, and if your wedding is held outside, it could be a simple solution to the problem of heat and coming up with an idea for wedding favors. Fans are a casual as well as fun solution, and depending on the type of design, can translate to a casual or more formal theme. The wedding date, couples name, and other odd bits of information can be printed on the handle of the paper that makes up the fan. Putting the picture of the bride or groom can also be done. Oriental fans are a favorite choice of many. They will also be able to use the fan in other locations, at other times. If the fan is very sturdy, it can last for years and be a favorite of many people; possibly something they can take back at an anniversary celebration. You can also use manageable, small motored fans that can be easily carried and fit in ladies bags. These fans can also be embellished with silk, or lace.

For a long lasting wedding favor, think about giving plants. People can use them to add to their garden, or place in their homes. You will have to decide on a plant that most people can manage, doesn’t require a lot of care and can be transplanted if your guests wish to do so. Or you can have a mixture of plants. They can be fruit or flowered plants. Many people are environmentally conscious and there are foundations and groups that can have packages for the replanting of trees in deforested areas. This would be a nice memento for the occasion.

Packets of seeds are another perfect, environmental summer option for weddings. Your guests will be able to take these and plant them in the fall, or even on the wedding day. Again this can be done in gardens, or in areas identified for reforestation. You can add cards with little notes and other keep sakes if you wish with instructions for planting the seeds and what type of plant they are. You can choose seeds for your favorite flower or fruits.

Jamaican Weddings: Wedding Day tips for the groom

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2010, Poetess Defy, Denise Fyffe

destination-wedding jamaicaMany people who tattoo their skin have the areas that display the tattoo waxed or shaved; especially if it is very hairy, like their arm. Manscaping is a novel idea for some men; the thought of removing hair from places such as your chest, arm or back is just an intolerable thought. But, this might be very considerate if you plan to vacation one an island and strut your stuff on the beach. It will also be considerate to your new wife. Women shave, pluck and wax almost every part of their body; men may consider doing this for some parts of theirs.

Removing hair is a serious contemplation for men; especially those who are macho and are highly against it, but will consider it for their spouses. If you are going to shave or wax certain areas, keep in mind the need to moisturize and use sun block to both protect it from sunlight and keep it moisturized. If you plan on venturing to the Caribbean or any tropical area this is even more necessary. Here is another great reason to remove unsightly hair. It will look horrible and repulsive on the beaches or in public. If you have back hair or an immense over growth of chest hair consider, waxing. As men, you should be even more tolerant of pain; as it does not last forever. Your newlywed wife will be very appreciative, receptive and might even reward you for your actions.

A lot of people shave their armpits. Seeing a bushy forest from under a man’s arm is truly a put off and might be a huge turn off, if you are planning on wearing tank tops on those tropical getaways. Another benefit is that, once removed, you will not have to worry about your odor or perspiration so much; as the deodorant will be applied directly into your skin. The occurrence of sweat marks and stains on your shirts should also lessen. This act is both beneficial to you and your partner.

Removing hair from your man bits; now this is a tricky topic for some. You do not have to go as bald as a new-born baby. You have different alternatives, like just trimming. Remove the excess. If you choose to shave all off, then you have to maintain it, as anywhere you remove hair, there will be stubble. This can give our spouse razor burn or chaff her skin.

Tanning is another consideration for those all white and milky men; especially if you are coming from the colder regions. You might not want to glow when you visit the tropical islands. You don’t have to do excessive tanning in tanning salons. You can choose to go to a spa and allow them to air brush you. Choose a nice shade that will compliment you and not make you look like an orange human.