Beckles-Robinson: Carnival vulgarity part of societal immorality
By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, March 9 2014
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People's National Movement (PNM) leadership candidate, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, left, shares a word with former Chairman of the Tunapuna/Piarco Reg...
This was how People’s National Movement (PNM) leadership candidate, Pennelope Beckles- Robinson, yesterday summed up recent complaints about the vulgar conduct of many female masqueraders during the recently-concluded Carnival season.
“I think there is a lot of hypocrisy in the society in dealing with this issue. We need to deal with some of that hypocrisy,” Beckles-Robinson told Sunday Newsday during a rally to commemorate International Women’s Day in Arima.
Lamenting that the issue of vulgarity surfaces only during Carnival, Beckles-Robinson said the topic should be discussed throughout the year within the framework of a general societal breakdown in morality with respect to corruption, white collar crime and discipline.
Citing advertisements for escort services in the newspapers “for people to have a good time,” as a glaring example of hypocrisy, Beckles-Robinson said: “We seem to be shocked that this (vulgar behaviour) is going on.”
Beckles-Robinson said highlighting the issue of vulgarity in isolation, strictly during Carnival, diminishes the level of concern that should be ascribed to it.
“When we do that (speak about vulgarity during Carnival) the real issue is lost because some of them (masqueraders) will not listen,” she said.
Beckles-Robinson spoke in the wake of concerns raised by the nation’s religious leaders about the high level of vulgar behaviour displayed by masqueraders during the Carnival season.
Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris, speaking during an Ash Wednesday service at Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church in San Fernando, said the behaviour exhibited by some masqueraders was symptomatic of pervasive lawlessness in the society.
Harris’ observation was supported by secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Sat Maharaj, who said mas was now seen as a “sex thing and an alcohol thing.”
Yesterday, Beckles-Robinson, in a clear reference to some masqueraders’ conduct during Carnival, said people must be cognisant of the choices they make.
“I have looked at the way some women behave and I cannot even distinguish who is mother and who is daughter,” she said.
“And, with all of the problems going on, we have to ask ourselves how did we get to where we are today, where there is almost an acceptance of a comfort level that it is okay to do wrong things.”
Using bullying as another example of the breakdown in society, Beckles-Robinson said: “Society is in crisis.”
She said proper codes of behaviour must be taught in all strata of the education system, especially at the level of early childhood.