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A triumph for all Vincentian women

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Fri, Jul 13. 2012

Sion Hill Euphonium, Blondie Bird and Friends and Fya Empress are the big winners for Vincy Mas 2012. Searchlight salutes them and offers congratulations to all the winners.{{more}}

However, without taking anything from the achievements of Sion Hill and Blondie, 2012 would undoubtedly be remembered as the year when Fya Empress created an inferno and blazed her way to multiple victories in the calypso and soca competitions.

We have had female Calypso and Ragga Soca Monarchs before (Joy C, Princess Monique and Daniella Ollivierre), but what a memorable year 2012 has been for Ragga Soca Monarch, Calypso Monarch and Road March Winner Lornette ‘Fya Empress’ Nedd!

It has not only been a good year for Fya Empress, but for Vincentian women as a whole, in relation to our carnival celebrations.

Fya Empress’s achievements speak for themselves. Indeed, there are some who feel that she could well have achieved an unprecedented sweep of all the titles, had the judges come out in her favour in the Soca Monarch competition. As it is, she had to settle for the runner-up position, her only step down in a year that saw her sweep everything else before her.

But her victory was not just a personal one. For some time now, commentators have been calling for soca and calypso artistes to be mindful of their lyrics, especially in relation to how women are portrayed.

This year, we were treated to a rich diet of respect for our women on the biggest calypso stage of all, locally that is. The repeated emphasis in song of the worth of our women is a welcome change. That manifestation bucked the trend, all too common, where women are mocked, ridiculed and made out to be sexual objects.

It was therefore so gratifying to hear, not just from the women involved in the calypso monarch competition, but also from several of the male competitors, positive messages about women in our society. That included lauding their achievements, replete with electronic images of some of those who represent the pinnacles of achievement.

Calypso does not have to be degrading to women, it can be a powerful force for good, can be uplifting and inspiring, was the clear message. It represented a strong riposte to those women, who, either in dress or behaviour, continue to succumb to the negative images of women ‘on the loose’, only out to ‘wine and grind’.

To see some seasoned mothers and grandmothers, exhibiting this kind of behaviour in public and in view of their own offspring is very depressing. Fortunately, our calypsonians have reminded us that all is not lost.

We have a long way to go, nevertheless. Our fragmented and out-of-focus women’s movement must now take up the gauntlet thrown down by the calypso bards and build on the platform created by them.

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