To ‘rip’ or not over Strippendales

by Charmaine McCarthy
Barbados Nation
June 21, 1999

I GOT A CALL last week from a reader who asked me if I was going to “rip up” Reverend Lucille Baird in my column this week.

“Why would I want to do that?” I asked.

But I knew where he was coming from. His, “Didn’t you see what she said about the newspaper and those women?” only confirmed it.

The reverend had criticised the women who had attended the show two weekends ago of the Chippendale strippers, (a.k.a Strippendales) and, at the same time, had voiced her concern that the DAILY NATION had given front page coverage to the event.

“But what are you going to do? Aren’t you going to deal with her?” insisted the reader who I know is an ardent fan of the paper often calling to praise or criticise when he sees fit.

“No,” I said.

He couldn’t believe me. “You’re going to do nothing? You’re not going to deal with her?” he asked again.

“No,” I repeated, “the newspaper has a job to do and Reverend Baird has one to do too,” I told him. What I didn’t tell him was that I had had a call from Baird herself. She wondered why her response to the Chippendale Dancers story wasn’t given equal coverage, that is, that it was on Page 4 compared to the front page coverage of the same event.

And, I had explained that the news of the day determines what goes on which page, that her story had been considered for an earlier page, but was overtaken by others.

And, she too made a statement that I had to clear up.

She said, “I am sure you totally agree with me on this matter.”

“I can’t say that,” I told her. “I can’t say I totally agree with you.”

No I was not at the show. I never planned on going, but while I think that the good reverend is totally in her place to criticise the paper and the women for going to that show as she sees fit, I can’t in all honesty, sit back and say that those women shouldn’t go if they wanted to.

After all, they are adults making choices.

Did some of the women at the front of that group get carried away? From what I saw of the pictures, particularly the ones that weren’t printed, I would say yes. But, I’m sure there were some women at the back who got as close as they wanted – at the back – with no aim nor desire to touch the entertainers/strippers.

What I can say is that we can expect women, or men for that matter, to make decisions not necessarily in keeping with the strict morals of the church; that newspapers will make decsions based on news and editorial judgment, and that church leaders keep a watchful eye on things.

Somewhere in this we hope to find a happy balance.


Yesterday’s World Cup final between Australia and Pakistan may well have seemed a bit of an anti-climax following the match on Thursday between South Africa and Australia.

That day found me sitting on the edge of my seat for that last over and while I regretted that one of those teams wasn’t the West Indies, it probably saved me a heart attack.

It was a Tanty Merle finish. Lance Klusener looked set to win the match for South Africa. In the end it took a stupid run-out of South Africa’s Allan Donald (who ended up running without a bat) to see Australia through to yesterday’s final with Thursday’s match ending in a draw.

I had hoped Pakistan would have pulled off yesterday’s match, but the truth is, I think the best teams are really Australia and South Africa, and though Australia won yesterday, I would still give the edge to South Africa.

Pakistan, sadly, reminds me too much of the West Indies and how we play now. It’s a better team than ours, but they have similar characteristics and you can’t bet your last pay cheque on them if you really want to eat the next day.

They come good one game, but the next, God help them! They prefer to bat first, we prefer to chase; it’s the same thing just turned around.

This separates the ordinary from the great teams. You go in and win, no matter what side the coin falls.


HAD A GOOD LAUGH reading Al Gilkes’ column [please note: link provided by LOSP web site] yesterday morning.

Entitled Bajan Men Down For The Count, he said he was now convinced that Barbadian men were in crisis.

Why? You may ask. Because their women (wives and girlfriends) had gone to see the Chippendales.

One reason why this show might have caused such a stir is because it is so unusual in these parts.

So, Al, does this mean that women were always in crisis? After all, men have gone to see women strip from time immemorial and Bajan men have been no different.

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