Christ Church West incumbent Dr Maria Agard will not be censured by her political party for a recent Facebook post in which she made reference to biting “nobody clit”.
The United Progressive Party (UPP) said there was no reason to reprimand Dr Agard for the post, which some saw as highly inappropriate.
In fact, UPP leader Lynette Eastmond told Barbados TODAY there was nothing offensive about it.
“From my understanding clitoris is not a vulgar term, it is a part of the anatomy and you can speak about penis and vagina in public,” Eastmond said.
In what appeared to be a response to a critic on the social media platform, Dr Agard posted: “Whatever you know bout me boss man, publish it. At least I never bite out nobody clit.”
The UPP’s silence on the post led to accusations of double standard during a debate at the Barbados Community College (BCC) on Monday among the parties planning to contest the pending general election.
The debate was organized by the BCC student guild, and Jamal Slocombe, the guild vice president, asked why Dr Agard had not been punished while another UPP candidate, Charleston Taylor, was given the boot for a post on the same social media platform in which he called for the legalization of marijuana here, otherwise “blood will flow in the streets”.
However, Eastmond told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that both candidates were treated fairly, arguing that while Taylor’s statement went against the party’s position on the legalization on cannabis, Dr Agard’s comments did not mention anyone’s name and merely referred to a part of the female anatomy.
She further argued that Dr Agard’s statements could not be considered as mudslinging as she did not name anyone.
“It is not a matter of which post was worse or better, it has to do with the nature of it. We have a policy on cannabis and it is my view that Taylor comments conflicted with that view.
“We can only look at her [Dr Agard’s] statement literally because I have never known any of that to be true of any political figure,” the leader of the fledgling political party said.
Eastmond’s position was in stark contrast to that of the party’s candidate for St James South, Christal Austin, who represented the party at the event, and who, in response to Slocombe’s query, said she too was shocked by the post, and baffled as to why the UPP had not addressed it at the time.
“I, too, have to admit that I was taken aback when I saw the comment and I want to state categorically that it does not reflect on the tone, on the intentions or the directions that the general membership of the UPP [has adopted]. I know some people have been calling for some public response similar to what was taken with Taylor . . . .It does come across as a double standard, I must agree with that,” Austin, a public relations consultant, said.
After Taylor’s Facebook post, Eastmond had hosted a 12-minute broadcast on the social media platform confirming that her party had severed ties with the then St Philip West candidate. Eastmond said at the time the UPP had spoken with Taylor about his comment but he had maintained that he did not regret the controversial post.
Today, she denied that Taylor was kicked out of the party, arguing he had left by mutual consent.
The UPP leader also revealed this afternoon that Dr Agard had not been asked to retract the statement, nor had she been asked to apologize.
“You will have to speak to Austin about her comments and what she meant by them because I can’t tell you what she meant. All I am saying is that the candidates have been treated equally. I spoke to both of them and they have therefore been treated in the same way. She [Dr Agard] has not been asked to retract the comment and there is no one to apologize to,” Eastmond said.