Declaring that she has no respect for any of the women in Jamaica’s Parliament, Tanya Stephens has also condemned the Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, contending that he should have been forced to resign for utterances he made whilst debating the Sexual Harassment Bill last year.
Tanya said that she was mortified when Chuck, speaking at a joint select committee meeting where the Bill was being examined, indicated that he believed sexual harassment should be reported within 12 months and laughed while saying Jamaica “should avoid bringing the #MeToo movement here”.
The After You singer made her comments close to the end of an Instagram Live discussion with Shannon Mack which included, among other things, her rape at the hands of a famous Jamaican artist when she was a teenager.
“We actually have a minister of Justice – they were looking at a law they were to add and he in Parliament said: ‘we don’t want what’s happening in America to happen. We don’t want anything like what’s happening in America to happen here so it you are in the elevator and somebody say suppm 10 years ago if you didn’t say anything then, cho no badda wid it,” Tanya paraphrased to Shannon.
“What! This is the Minister of Justice and let me tell you: Jamaican people, some a dem don’t understand di severity of this. He should not remain in that position. He’s still there. I already lost any hope for his party from a long time ago… now I don’t think they understand the confidence that the Minister of Justice needs to instill in the citizen of the country,” she added.
During his presentation on the Sexual Harassment Bill in June last year Chuck had said: “We don’t want the situation that now happens in the #MeToo Movement in the US, where 30 years later you talk about I was harassed in the elevator.” After chuckling he had added: “If you don’t complain within 12 months, please, cut it out.”
Chuck had apologized, to “anyone who found my remarks inappropriate” on Twitter and tried to appease the public in several other tweets.
If persons interpret my joviality as a lack of empathy, it was not meant and never intended to undermine the severity of the matter at hand. I do appreciate that sexual harassment is a serious and traumatic subject.
— Delroy Chuck (@Delroychuckjm) June 26, 2020
However, after the initial rejection of his apologies and the condemnation that rained on his head, he had to scurry to issue another apology after the ensuing outrage which saw persons going as far as to start an online petition calling for his resignation.
Kindly see the full text of my apology issued this morning to the media. pic.twitter.com/vl9Z4fGRgE
— Delroy Chuck (@Delroychuckjm) June 27, 2020
Tanya, in further castigating Chuck, said what made his behavior even more worrisome, was that many victims do not have the courage to speak at the time of the occurrence.
“The Minister of Justice thinks you don’t deserve justice because 10 years passed. So (hypothetically) 10 years ago I was violated and 10 years after it doesn’t matter anymore because I didn’t speak then. I was too weak. And this is the nature of this crime because when it happens to you yuh too weak to speak. Sometimes it takes therapy; it takes family if you have that. A circle, village to bring you back to normalcy, to then be able to speak,” she said.
“And when you can only speak in 10 years they tell you Statute of Limitations,” she added.
She said that she was even more disconcerted that many of the people who came out in defence of the Minister were women.
“Justice Minister,” she scoffed. “I have had arguments with people on social media who are defending him; women too. These are all people who are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, because we are held captive in a system that abuses us,” the St. Mary native stated.
“And overtime, we learn to love it and start to defend it. And that’s the only excuse I can find. This is Stockholm Syndrome on a grand scale…defending the Minister of Justice who says women don’t deserve justice,” she added.
Stephens then turned her radar on the 18 female Members of Parliament, declaring that their failure to frontally rebuke Chuck made them unworthy of respect.
“And the women in Parliament. There are women in Parliament and I am looking at them like: ‘I don’t have respect for any of you’’! Any of you! You should be like the first one fi call him out and be like teck him down; teck him dung,” she declared.
“Di bredda nuh ready. And den him come back wid a half-ass apology seh him wife and daughta tell him (to apologise). Listen it betta if yuh neva seh yuh ‘wife and daughter she’. You shoulda seh you thought about it. Yuh wife and daughter haffi tell yuh seh dat wrong bredda? You shouldn’t be Minister of Justice. You have no concept of justice,” a strident Tanya said.
She then went on to state how much she has come to abhor the Justice Minister.
“Listen, I want to go back in time and stitch up the birth canal he came down. I wanna stitch it up with a real needle and thread… use some f_king nylon and stitch it up so that nuttn caan go up deh and nuttn caan come dung,” she said.
“You can imagine yuh come outta one woman an talk like dat? Wi need fi start lock a leg an bruck a neck because dem man yah nuh deserve fi born. Yuh come outta mi and want to come stand up and deprive mi of mi very rights,” she stated.