To The Minister of Social Security, The Hon. Fazila Daureeawoo

Avec le soutien de

There are moments that the myths and legends of the gods appear more believable than Mauritian politics. Athena being born out of Zeus’ head seems almost normal by comparison. That happened after Zeus had developed a terrible headache and, to cure it, Hephaistos split his skull open. Even Dr Anil’s health service might find that somewhat primitive.

Political splits are nothing new, but the latest one is particularly confusing. What’s got into the X Factor? That trip to Italy? The Romans have always caused trouble. I thought this was meant to be the season of goodwill to all men. Funny there’s no mention of women. I feel they might like to feel included – yet, as soon as I raised my stylus, Mrs Aurore ran off into the karo kann. As far as women go, that’s only left you and Miss to listen to my inner soul – and Miss has gone off on a nine-year holiday.

There may be difficulty in convincing you I’m a feminist. After all, the Ancients expected their women to stay at home and run the household. Thank goodness today’s Mauritian males are so much more enlightened! As I remarked to Zeus, “We have to move with the times if we want to influence the modern world. As most other religions are stuck in the past, we’ve a real chance to make a breakthrough. We need to accept that women are our equals.

He harrumphed, of course, but even he has trouble controlling Hera, his main wife. She’s also his sister, although you and Miss might not approve of children learning about such sordid details when even the word ‘sex’ is still taboo – ironic when youngsters are more precocious than ever. The gods did misbehave a bit but that’s no excuse for the way some men carry on. All these women massacred outside prisons and elsewhere out of jealousy. Grinders may be used infrequently but the way women are treated, it’s amazing there’s no Code Femme to define their chattel status. Men might reflect on what would happen if women massacred their husbands every time they have an affair. How many men would there be left? Mind you, as a way to solve the Baby Doc problem…

How about some new forms of social security – like karate lessons for all women from the age of twelve, including pensioners as even they’re not immune from male incontinence? Not that all men are so dominating. Some women clearly wear the trousers even if they’re often an inconvenient invention. It’s bizarre that modern men find wearing skirts so distasteful. The Scottish kilt and Greek fustenella are rather splendid – and that’s without mentioning dhotis and lungis. Why cover only women from head to toe? A fine pair of male legs are enough to awaken the most despicable passions.

You must find these outward distinctions between men and women rather outdated, although surprisingly a lot of religious leaders wear skirts or dresses of one kind or another. Perhaps that’s to compensate for the few women who head religious or socio-cultural organisations. With such macho institutions, isn’t it time for more religious equality? Even the Assembly sets a better example. To support the feminist movement, you might even indicate an interest in becoming PM, should a vacancy arise.

By the way, seasonal greetings and all that! Dionysos wants me to encourage everyone to overindulge but I’m sure you won’t. Just avoid too much kozé, kozé.

Yours sincerely,

Epi PHRON

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