“Sacred vessel”?

| 13/05/2011

Steve McField’s reported summation in the Dwayne Seymour case is so mind-boggling that, were it not for reading it online (on CNS), I would have sworn we were living in the dark ages. No, I am not talking about the hocus-pocus argument he presented that the crown had conspired against a hard working, successful Caymanian to facilitate a foreigner to "run around" with his wife.

Nor am I referring to all the hypocritical mumbo-jumbo he spewed that “as a Christian nation Cayman had higher morals … (Really? Than what? Or whom?)

As defence counsel, I’m sure Mr McField can go to any length, within the law, to vigorously represent his client and in so doing to discredit his courtroom opponents. But I simply cannot believe, or stomach, his argument that Dwayne Seymour’s (or any man’s, for that matter) wife is his “sacred vessel”.

Well, by Mr McField’s argument, it seems we are back in medieval times, yea, rather the dark ages, when it was quite OK to consider women as chattel – the property of their husbands, to be treated as they wished.

It is precisely because of beliefs and arguments such as Mr McField’s that women become victims of all sorts of abuse – mental, emotional and physical – at the hands of their husbands and male companions.

No, Mr McField, a wife, a woman, a girlfriend, is not a vessel, sacred or otherwise, for her husband, partner or boyfriend. She is her own person, possessed of reason and the ability and authority to decide her own life and the conduct of her relationship, whether in a marriage or any other form of partnership. She is not a vessel that is simply beholden to her husband, just because he provides or contributes to a house or car.

Those are material things that cannot, and should not, be measured against a woman’s humanity. Nor should her humanity be diminished by ridiculous and archaic notions such as the ones Mr McField spouted in his closing argument.

Mr McFieldmade heavy weather of his client’s action against the man supposedly having an affair with his wife – by Mr McField’s account his client was only protecting his home and family.

Protection? Oh, no, Mr McField. That might be a nice argument in keeping with the demands of outrageous courtroom drama, but it does not wash in the real world. Men who choose to behave in certain (violent and aggressive) ways when confronted with infidelity, real or imagined, are simply acting out of anger and negative emotions fuelled by an oversupply of testosterone, because their almighty egos have been bruised.

The only thing they’re protecting is their fanciful notion that they own a woman and therefore she is not “allowed” to relate in any way to another man.

Thankfully, at least in this side of the world, we have moved beyond Mr McField’s rather archaic and sexist definition of a woman as a vessel of her husband. And yes, Mr McField, we women understand you have to go to the nth degree to fight for your client in the courtroom. But for God’s sake, don’t try to set women back with these medieval notions!

It’s the 21st century, after all and women have some hard-won rights. And as one very accomplished woman and advocate said many years ago, “Women’s rights are human rights.”

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Comments (116)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So where does it say that the people of Cayman will be the Premeirs "sacred vessel"

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wife: You have to stop calling me your sacred vessel!

    Husband: Bring me another beer. DEAR!

  3. Janice says:

    People, humorously, this has become a closing argument by a defense attorney that has now become interpreted as a public insult to women from the simple use of the phrase "sacred vessel." Like a work of art, to defend a client, is freedom of expression. Are we going to be so partisan and feminist as to turn the attorney into a scapegoat to vent our political frustrations against the Dwayne and the UDP. I say, that would be very immoral, and would be more reason why I would never vote for PPM supporters spinning this propaganda on this site. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Most posters here have not taken issue with either Dwayne Seymour or the UDP.  The fact is that Mr. McField made a PUBLIC speech which was, in fact, INSULTING to women and expatriate members of this community.  So yes, it was a public insult.  The term, the idea and the ideology has been spoken into the legal public record, and allowed to stand there as representative of Cayman's culture.  I know, and you know that most Caymanians do not feel this way about women (or even expatriates, despite the vitriol we see posted here), and yet these statements were allowed to stand.  It has nothing to do with propaganda.  It is Mr. McField's speech to which most posters are objecting — and rightfully so given its official nature and bearing.  

       

  4. Anonymous says:

    Redneck proverb.

    A woman's place is in the kitchen. And she should go there directly after work!

  5. Just Commentin' says:

    I hate to be the one to tell ya this if you do not already know it but, Christian morality – as archaic and Dark Ages as it might be – is enshrined in the Constitution of the Cayman Islands. Therefore, we must accept the woman as the weaker "sacred vessel", who requires her husband's protection and is submissive to his leadership to be a complete and righteous person (as is taught by the Bible).

    Puleeze! The Bible (and fundamentalist Christianity) is about as misogynistic and male-dominated as one would want outside of a culture that stones and mutilates the genitals of its women.

    All babbling and circumlocution to the contrary by Bible-thumpers notwithstanding, the Bible portrays women as little more than valuable chattel. And this is what we enshrine in the Constitution? What a joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your ignorance is showing. The Bible, and certainly the NT, does not teach that women should be treated as chattels at all. Neither does the Constitution.

      Gal 3: 27, 28 "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus".

      "Husbands, love your wives, JUST AS Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church – for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife AS HE LOVES HIMSELF, and the wife must respect her husband" Eph.5:25-33

      • Anonymous says:

        Phooey.  Even in the New Testament, women are commanded to accept an inferior role, and made to feel shamed by the very fact that they are women.  Consider:

        1 Corinthians 11:3 (New International Version)

        3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,[a] and the head of Christ is God.

         

        1 Peter 3:7 (New International Version)

        7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the WEAKER partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

         

        1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (King James Version)

        34Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

        35And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

        Is the language a little softer?  Perhaps.  But the ideology remains — women are demeaned and their contributions unappreciated.  These cannot be the words of a god who loves and values all his creatures equally.  These are the words of men.  And because such words were allowed to stand, we have later Christian writers, like Tertullian, saying things like this:

         

        "In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With whatease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die. . . . Woman, you are the gate to hell."

        And then we have modern barristers, like Mr. McField, reducing a woman's role to that of a container for children and sperm.  Nice.

        • Anonymous says:

          1. None of your quotes proved that the NT teaches that women are to be treated as chattels.

          2. The quotes you have produced do not teach that women are inferior. This is what happens when you look for proof texts for a preconceived position and don't bother to understand the context and true meaning of what is being said. Text without context is pretext.  

          Men and women have different roles. Christian theology says that Christ is equal to God so then clearly this verse cannot be taken to mean that since man is the head of the woman as God is the head of Christ means that woman is inferior to man. It refers to headship. Two persons can be partners in a firm but one is the managing partner. It does not mean that as an individual the other partner is inferior to the managing partner.

          "Women must be silent in the churches". This is not an absolute prohibition on women speaking in church, but rather that the women in the Corinthian church were creating a distraction with constant chatter. This is proved by the fact that in chapter 11 of the same book Paul recognises that women may pray or prophesy in church. But of course you would miss that because it would not show up on your proof text search. 

          "The weaker vessel". Here you miss even the immediate context that a man must show "RESPECT" to his wife as the weaker vessel. Had it said "disrespect" it might have suggested inferiority. The truth is that men and women are constituted differently. Women do tend to be more emotional which may be an asset or not depending on the situation. A man may sometimes speak harshly not realising the impact of his words. Words that a man may brush off will deeply wound a woman. These are wise words that I wish more of us (including myself) would heed more often.

          Equality does not mean sameness.

          • Anonymous says:

            I can appreciate that your faith means a lot to you, and understand that it is important to you to defend it from detractors.  I would do the same, if I believed, as you obviously do, in your god.  I grew up in a religious home but was never comfortable that the bible was speaking to me or for me, as a girl or as a woman.  I can only speak for myself, but for me, the interpretation is not at issue.  The terms "vessel", "weaker", "submit", "silent", etc. seem to me to be fairly clear in their meaning, and if it is true that they are coloured by historical cultural norms (as in the Corinthian church), it must also be true that they are no longer relevant in today's world.

            To me, the word "equal" does, in fact, mean the same, and I post a dictionary definition here for you:

            e·qual/ˈēkwəl/
            Noun: A person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality.

            It seems clear to me from the above that women are not considered, even in the NT, to be the same in status or quality.  The fact that the church embraced writings like those of Tertullian suggests to me that historically, the church also interpreted these quotations and others to suggest women's inferiority.  

            You embrace a different interpretation, and while I am glad that we agree that women should be valued as much as men, I find I cannot agree with it.  

            And for the record, I have read the bible in its entirety not once but twice, and was well acquainted with these passaged before this morning.

            • Anonymous says:

              We'll have to agree to disagree. I think it is patently obvious that men and women are not the same and that those differences have implications. E.g. no one would suggest that a man should have paternity leave equal to a woman's maternity leave.    

              • Manly men says:

                Why on earth not?  Men don't get to help raise the children and help the family?  No wonder your all messed up.  Grow a pair and help raise your children!

                • Anonymous says:

                  Now you are making assumptions.

                  Because the nurture that a newborn requires can best be provided for by the mother and men are less equipped to deal with it. He cannot nurse the child, for example. Of course we provide support. I have changed many, many dirty nappies and risen at night to deal with crying babies.

                  As the children grow my role in their lives changes.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Exactly.  Your contributions are different in nature, but equally valued and important.  Your wife is not "the head" of child-rearing in your family simply because she can nurse your children and you cannot.  Rather, it is a shared responsibility with each partner contributing his or her individual strengths.  Equality.

              • Anonymous says:

                Thank you for your courteous response.  I appreciate it.   

                About paternity leave, though, many people are suggesting it worldwide.  Fathers in Sweden, for example, are eligible for to split parental leave equally with their wives.  In the UK, a recent law makes 26 of an available 52 weeks of parental leave available for men.  In France, mothers and fathers share 104 weeks, or two years.  Many other countries are reviewing their laws with a vocal segment of the population demanding equal rights for fathers.  

                This is equality.  Differences may exist in form and nature, but status and value are the same.  I agree with you that men and women are different (how can I deny it, given the physical body?) but we are not as different as the bible makes us out to be.  Anyonewho has ever enjoyed a kindred companionship with someone of the opposite gender knows that instinctively.  

                Yes, I can agree to disagree.  Disagreeing is human nature, and what makes the world interesting.  I do appreciate your civil reply!

          • God Promotes Sexual Slavery says:

            God not only uses women and children as deliberate targets of war crimes, "god" also promotes sexual slavery.  Take, for example, this verse:

            Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. – Isaiah 13

            Or this:

            Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open. – Hosea 13

            Or this:

            Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. – Numbers 31

            REALLY?  "But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves"??? 

            God is saying kill them all but go ahead and keep the virgins "for yourselves".  What do you think god intends the men to do with those young girls? 

            The answer is simple: God Promotes Sexual Slavery.

            • Anonymous says:

              Yikes.  I have read these before, but the violence never fails to shock.  The Good Book indeed…

  6. Equality says:

    A man who says that a woman is a vessel to contain the seed of man is himself only a vessel that is already full of xxxx.

    Will you people kindly join the 21st century and recognize women as fully equal and independent people, not property?  Holy xxxx!

  7. Kwik Kwestion says:

    McField and Asscoiates advertise themselves as "Barristers-At-Law (London, England)" – look at the their window.  But there is no member of that firm listed on the Bar Council Directory when I checked.  Just because someone was called the bar does not entitle to hold oneself out as a practitioner. Am I missing something?

  8. An International Lawyer says:

    What an embarrassment to the Cayman legal community that this closing was allowed to stand, and what an embarrassment to the Island that this circulates the globe via the internet as a statement of how Caymanians view women and the rights of women. 

    I am particularly distressed by the that Mcfield represented Cayman at the European and Overseas Countries Territory Conference, where he refused to sign an agreement that Cayman shared values with Europeans.  I am going to look for what he refused to sign, because I expect it contains a statement that women have rights, or something equally problematic for someone with misogynist tendencies.  What a disgrace.

    • another lawyer says:

      Nah…you think you are clever… that agreement has nothing to do with really protecting women. I am glad that Steve didn't signed the document! I understand they tried to persuade him to sign it without bringing it up before the Legislative Assembly and the people of the Cayman Islands. I am glad he didn't, because if he did signed it, it would have portrayed the Cayman Islands before the Untied Nations in a negative light! The UK wants us to sign it, but it will change our status and allow the UK/EU to justification to do as they please to these islands. You should know, "you can fool the people sometimes, but not all the time!"  We will be made vunerable by signing a document before consulting our own people!  How dare you use this forum for such a cause! You think you are clever!  I may disagree with Steve on alot of things, people may not like him XXXX, but let me tell you one thing, you are hitting very low when you use this forum to discredit him from defending our safeguard status under the protective umbrella of the United Nations Committee. Steve didn't signed the agreement, because Steve realized that he is not the CAYMAN ISLANDS!!!  XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't be ridiculous. How could the closing statement of defence counsel in a criminal case be said to speak for Caymanians generally.

      Incidentally, there are many values that Europeans have that I would not care to share. Because it is European does not make it superior. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Could you be more specific about which European values you find objectionable?  Just curious…

        • Anonymous says:

          Thumbs down for asking a question??  I guess we're not interested in honest dialogue here.

          • Frosty the Snowballs says:

            It's true.  A lot of people seem intent on perpetuating ignorance, so legitimate questions are frowned upon. 

            Fortunately, CNS allows a voice for all so the perpetually ignorant can thumbs down everything whilst the legitimately inquisitive can ask legitimate questions for the perpetually ignorant to give the thumbs down to… and itworks for everyone!

    • Anonymous says:

      I read the closing statement, and saw nothing that would indicate on how Caymanians view  treatment of  women, and im sure the world can read for themselves…

      XXXXX

      I do not blame him for not signing the  European Treaty, look at England today…a total mess, by following all those European laws…which they are now trying to come away from. As i see it, the  French has more balls than you all.

      Morals…do you know the Europeans are listed as th lowest on the list  whenever it comes to morality , look at your marriage and divorce report. freedom to the criminals, freedom for radicals to stand on a soap box in Hyde park and preach and shout ….kill all the English devils! that is the hight of embarrassment and disgrace to the English people. and guess what profession keep those extremist and criminals on the streets of England?

      And you got nerve to talk of how Caymanian treat their women.

      • Jamba Laya says:

        I read the statement and it screamed of "women are property and that's how Cayman likes it".  Maybe you were reading something else?

        If McField can talk about it, why not everyone else?  Does he (or Caymanians generally) have an exclusive on that?  

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm.  I believe it was just this year that the UN identified the Cayman Islands as having the 5th highest divorce rate in the world.  Cayman had a rate of 4.2 divorces in 1000 people, while the UK had a rate of 3.08 per 100 people, according to nationmaster.com.  And that is despite the fact that obtaining grounds for divorce is more difficult here than in most countries.  Check the link below for more details:

         

        http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/03/01/Local-divorce-rate-high/

         

        It is also interesting to note that you approve of France, which is known for its staunch secularism and strict separation of church and state, quite unlike Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oops…the UK's rate was 3.08 in 1000 people, not 100 people.

        • Anonymous says:

          "I believe it was just this year that the UN identified the Cayman Islands as having the 5th highest divorce rate in the world".

          Mostly a reflection of the high expat population many of whom think they will save their failing marriages if only they could get away from the in laws and their hum drum existence and go to paradise.  

          • Anonymous says:

            This is a rather large supposition, since the figures are not broken down in that way.  It is still instructive that the UK's figures are lower.  After all, that is where so many of your expats come from…

            • Anonymous says:

              Not supposition at all. Based on common experience. Then they "Blame it on Rio". 

              I am not sure why you think it is instructive that the UK rates are lower.  Wouldn't that follow if they are leaving their humdrum existence there to save their failing marriages?

               

        • Anonymous says:

          Would it not be more meaningful to state the number of divorces per 1,000 of marriages? I believe the statistic for the U.S. is that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. A divorce rate per 1,000 people may be low simply because many people may choose to remain unmarried in the first instance. Instead, there are unmarried partners who may change partners at will without being included in this statistic. I suspect this is the reason the rate for Jamaica is as low as it is.   

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm glad that Steve McField did not sign any agreements. Not because I disagree with the contents, more than likely I would be in favour, but because Steve has no authority to agree to anything on behalf of the Caymanian people.

      He might have been McKeeva's appointed lackey to the UN Conference, but like the appointed Chairman of the Port Authority Board, anything he agreed to could be conveniently ignored. Hell, McKeeva doesn't bother abiding by his own agreements.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It's surprising that among these blogs there is no mention of womens' violence to men, which seems commonplace in Cayman. It was only a couple of years ago that a woman stabbed and murdered her husband in Cayman Brac.The knife pierced his ribs and  penetrated his heart. Her defence in court was thet she didn't mean to kill him, and she informed the court that she only meant to, "give him a little 'jook'".  Men do not hold the monopoly on violence, by any means. And if there are bruises, there is always the presumption that it must be the man's fault.

    • kay-k says:

      That's because a high percent of men are easily prone to becoming physical. Women use the tongue and are not open with their sinister agendas. Sorry guys, but there are laws against being physically abusive – not against verbally abusive or just being plain smart!  😉 

      • anonymous says:

        men we do not haveto be violent towards women,that will only land us in jail,we must help to take care of our children and pay our half of the bills but what we can do is hold back the $$$ towards our women and give them back some verbal abuse,(women tend to forget that if you live in a glass house don't throw stones and if you can't take blows don't throw blows) they will cry and shout abuse,but guess what? there are no laws against that…….STOP THE VIOLENCE!!

  10. sandra says:

    I've known Steve for years. I honestly don't believe he looks down on a woman! He is married and he knows too well that without the women in his life, he would not have aspired to the man he is now. Steve is one of the best local lawyers, selected amongst others to represent Cayman before the UN. He was paid to defend not just some ordinary person, but an MLA, and to do it well. I don't understand feminists, "men haters" who find a small hole in a court case and try to paint the character of a defense attorney based on his closing arguments. There is no law prohibiting a lawyer to use persuasion in his closing arguments! He is free to speak and make attempts to influence the jury!  Steve knows too well the island's Christian affiliation, and used such words as "sacredvessel" to his advantage. In order to arrive at his goal, he could care less as to what he said. All I have to say to the feminists, "come with something better," if you want to write an article attacking a lawyer, look for something in his personal life for God sake!  But not a closing argument to win a case! 

    • Anonymous says:

      "In order to arrive at his goal, he could care less as to what he said". So true.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem with people who will do anything to win is that they will do anything.

        Can't be trusted, ya know?

         

    • Jemima Puddleduck says:

      "Steve is one of the best local lawyers" – have you ever considered stand up?

      Advocates have an obligation not to argue irrelevant points and it was hard to find relevant parts of what was a disgusting and offensive closing.  Chewbacca defences have no place in a court of law.

      • anonymous says:

        lol… chewbacca?!  Sorry lad, but a defense is a defense!  If I want someone to defend me and my career is on the line, I want that lawyer to be as disgusting, vulgar, offensive as they can possibly be in order to win the case!  Who are you to tell somebody's else defense attorney what they must say or not say!  Thank God for Democracy and Rule of Law!

        • LegalChicken says:

          The Chewbacca Defence is actually entirely improper.  You personally might want a lawyer to be dishonest, but the rest of society needs any such lawyer to be disbarred.  Justice only works when the participants in the system behave justly. The Chewbacca Defence is a blatant attempt to deceive a jury into rendering an unfair verdict, and its use should lead a barrister to be disbarred.  You are not allowed to win by lying, and a deceptive Chewbacca Defence is nothing short of a full-blown lie.

          • Rorschach says:

            Sorry old boy…it's not a "lie"…it's a "scheme or a plan"…haven't you heard??

    • Sarah says:

      I think if I were  on the jury and heard that closing statement, he would have been successful in influencing my judgement …….against his client.  Nice lawyering.

    • LOL says:

      Steve is one of the best local lawyers

      Seriously – 2 drops of pee came out when I read that I was laughing so hard!  You are hilarious!

       

  11. Facts of life says:

    Old Chinese proverb:

    "Men who treat women like objects tend to find their significant others in hotel rooms with other men."

  12. M says:

    "His" Sacred Vessel  – In a way, no one owns no one; however, after living with someone for a very long time and being intimate with this person, because the other allows you to love them, there is a sense of entitlement to freely love them without asking questions. So in a way, that person, male or female becomes a part of you. Of course, a woman or man is not someone's else private property like a car or piece of land, but over a matter of years living together, a part of you is meshed with that person, that if the person should ever behind your back cheat with another person without you knowing or your consent, it would be like a partof you being torned by what happened. No one can tell me that they will feel no way if their spouse disrepectfully cheat on them. The marriage bond is too intimate, and although people's individuality should be respected, no one can say that you are the same single person, and can continue doing the things you use to do when you were single. In marriage or prolonged committed relationship, a part of you goes into the other partner. If you can't accept this fact, then I recommend you live a single life, because I am sure that a woman would not allow or approve for her man to see another woman. She will to a degree, make claims to the effect, "that is my man!  and he disrespected me! " 

    • Q6 says:

      So what you're saying is, I can't own my woman like a car or some object, but I have the right to react and complain when she disrespects me by cheating, because apart of me is meshed with her over a period of time?  LOL… you're philosophy is mixed-up!  There is nothing wrong with cheating!  If my woman wants to cheat, she can cheat, because I do the same!  F%%%k family!  No one owns no one or has a part of them in them!

      • Anonymous says:

        It is precisely this sort of immoral mindset that is the problem. If that is your approach why bother getting married at all.   

      • M says:

        So I guess you don't know what is marriage nor what is commitment, because when you are married, you contribute, you are willing to sacrifice and invest in a marital relationship as well as contribute for your family. Is not a part of you in those things you work so hard to maintain?  If you and your socalled wife cheat on each other all the time, I suggest, you were never married. It is better to have someone who does not cheat or want to cheat, because you can go home, knowing that there will always be someone there for you to keep the night lamp burning. You wouldn't have any worries of finding another person in your house or contracting a sexually transmitted desease. And it is sad that you reflect the attitude of the younger generation, because you would really have to be a content and a happy person to satisfy yourself without a stable partner, having an off and on relationship with someone who may just decide on leaving you for another person. That, my friend, just don't make any sense!  What is the point of chasing after another human being just for temporal pleasure, when they are not stable enough to love and understand you, your feelings, your wants, your dislikes, your beliefs, and what's in your heart?  It is a waste of your time, life, and energy.  The meaning of marriage and commitment, is not a mixed-up philosophy! 

        • Anonymous says:

          That is not restricted to the "younger generation".  I know a lot of older people are swingers. 

    • Anonymous2 says:

      Thank you!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Seriously! ! You have written all of this based on the words of attorney's closing arguments, in trying to persuade a jury to return a not guilty verdict?

    XXX

    Are you suggesting the vast majority of women, and men in this community truly believe in the 'sacred vessel ' reference made by Mr Mcfield in this case?

    What really is your point? Is it that you are hoping to modernize the thinking of the community?

    THIS WAS THE CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN A COURT CASE!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not the original poster, but the fact that such divisive comments were allowed to stand as part of the official legal record — despite the fact that they were arguably irrelevant to the charge at hand — is what worries me most.  

      • LOL says:

        "divisive comments"???  so now are we talking about a political speech directed at dividing the country???  Jesus!  This is a court room setting, man!  A LAWYER IS DEFENDING HIS CLIENT FOR GOD SAKE!!!  This should be no worry to anyone but the prosecutor's side!  PLEASE DON'T PUT CAYMAN ON THE STAND!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          First of all, don't call me "man".  Secondly, stop shouting; it's uncivil.

          I did not say anything about a political speech.  But yes, his comments were most definitely divisive, and as part of the legal public record, Mr. McField's speech has clearly had an impact on the community.  The fact that he made these comments in a courtroom setting, and was not challenged, is exactly the point.  As another poster has commented on another thread about this case, defence lawyers have a duty not to mislead.  His comments about foreigners, church, values etc., not being relevant to the charge at hand, were misleading.  They were also extremely provocative and insulting to a great many people.  These comments may not have been political, but they were certainly public.  If Mr. McField insists on making public statements of this nature, then he can certainly bear the criticism he may hear from the public afterwards.   Surely as a professional, he should stand behind any comments he might make?  Or is not quite as concerned about the erosion of values in Cayman (kindness being a loudly trumpeted one just now) as he pretends?

  14. Jacky boatside from oldbush says:

    Looky ya our UDP boys on top again and all the men haters can do is complain some people have short memories i can remember when certain ppm members had some “domestic issues” and they had “rough up” partners to show them who is the boss. I guess they were just rumors so no court dates to resolve those situations. Takes a licking to keep on ticking oooh yeah

    • Ebanks says:

      I agree, unfortunately, their are some here (probably PPM supporters) who are trying to conjoin this case with party politics. This case had nothing to do with party – it was all domestic! 

  15. Whodatis says:

    Male chauvinism and female 'feminazism' both belong in the same "Trash" folder of life.

    All I want is a reasonable, loyal, pleasant and peace-loving partner for life.

    Life is too short. Anything less is not worth the stress and deserves a trip down to the divorce court. Simple.

    As for Mr. McField – his comments and perspective regarding male / female relationships do not necessarily represent mine as a fellow Caymanian.

    Steve McField is but one man. Does Rush Limbaugh speak for every American or Nick Griffin for every Brit?

    Only I can represent myself when it comes to my perspective on the opposite sex.

    Some of the broad sweeping comments on this thread thus far are simply demonstrating that many others are just as 'guilty' as he is when it comes to controversial perspectives and conclusions.

    However, that being said I will admit that similarly to most other jurisdictions, Cayman did have an issue with equality between the sexes in yesteryear. (Although this was almost inevitable due to western societal / socioeconomic norms at the time.)

    However, I honestly cannot identify any degree of an epidemic in this regard within my generation. I believe the same can be said about most other (western) countries today. (On the contrary, we may very well be witnessing a complete reversal of inequality between the sexes when it comes to western male / female relations – but that is for another day.)

    In regards to "Sacred Vessel-gate", Mr. McField's comments were quite controversial and cringe-worthy to say the least. This is but yet another example of my resistance to the (conveniently utilized) "super Christian / biblical" element of Caymanian culture.

    Hopefully we as a collective will examine ourselves as we are under the spotlight and identify whatcould very well be our shortcomings in certain regards.

    "God's word" does not have to be overtly injected into every prickly predicament that life presents. As it often leads to a further complication of the matter in this modern day. (Yes, I am aware that my final statement pretty much goes against everything that was drilled into our heads back in Sunday School – I'm standing by it regardless.)

    • Ebanks says:

      "In regards to 'Sacred Vessel-gate', Mr. McField's comments were quite controversial and cringe-worthy to say the least. This is but yet another example of my resistance to the (conveniently utilized) 'super Christian / biblical' element of Caymanian culture."  OH PLEASE, there is nothing for you to "resist"!  This speech was not directed at you… but a JURY and on behalf of a client!!!

  16. My Sugardaddy says:

    Caymanians need to keep their mouths shut they went to the poles and vote these people in power and if they think the other set are any better kid yourself. Women in their minds are here for comfort and at their convienence and for some moral support. You all were given choices in the last election you chose parties. Now repeat after me I am woman hear my meow! Errryting alright so long as we on a shopping sprees and at the beauty salon & spa boy they sure love to spend them dolla$$$$$$$$$ eh.

  17. The Beaver says:

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.  The Beaver

  18. The Beaver says:

    The Cayman Islands does not suffer from a shortage of courtrooms but rather from a lack of accountability.  The Beaver

  19. TennisAce says:

    Unfortunately Mr. McField's views are shared by many men in Caymanian society.  You only have to think about the fact that in a jurisdiction as small as this, the incidences of domestic violence are astronomical.  Those of us who work along with women who are the victims of domestic violence have all heard the same thing.  The man thinking that he owns the woman and refuses to allow her to move on with her life.   As an expatriate and someone who works in the legal profession I was outraged at Mr. McField's summation.  I could not for the life of me fathom why the judge did not make a decision to declare a mistrial.  XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      TennisAce, I have read many of your posts and you never lose an opportunity to insult Caymanians. The truth is that the status and treatment of women in Cayman is better thanin your native country to the southeast.  

  20. Lee says:

    The world is a sacred vessel. It should not be meddled with. It should not be owned. If you try to meddle with it, you will ruin it. If you try to own it, you will lose it.

    -Lao Tzu

    • S.T. says:

      You commenters amaze me!  Even your arguments on ownership is irrational!  So you mean to say that if I work hard and purchase a piece of land, I am not entitle to that land?  Rediculous!  I've been married 10 years now, and I can tell you, if my woman should cheat on me and disrespect me in a disrespectful way, claiming she can do whatever she want to do because I don't own one inch of her, she can pack her bag and hasta la vista. Because I am certain what she has done to me, no lady would want the man to do the same to them!  Wake up!

      • Anonymous says:

        She's still not YOURS!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course no one would want it to happen.  That does not change the fact, however, that your wife — anyone's wife, or spouse — should be free to make her own choices.  The trick is to be careful who you marry, and why.

  21. Anonymous says:

    When the Estella was raped and murdered I thought the country's view of women would change and move toward the 20th century but the statements made by the defense in this case speaks otherwise.

    The term "sacred vessel" is most offensive and all the push button stereotypes were used in this case.

    Steve McField won the case,XXXX but some changes occured.

    A politician was charged for misconduct while in office which is almost unheard of. His future political career is over, as are any future political aspirations held by the defense attorney.

    But I may be proven wrong, it depends upon Caymanian voters.

    • Anonymous2 says:

      Umm I don't know if it is me, but why are we bringing Estella up in a defense attorney's closing arguments? He accomplished his goal!  Leave him alone, and please respect Estella!

  22. Legal Beagle says:

    The closing speech was a disgrace to the legal profession and would probably have lead to professional conduct issues in onshore jurisdictions.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is my sense too, but I am not a lawyer. Could you explain precisely what kinds of professional conduct issues would have been identified?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps our "modern society" is backwards because womens progression is unnatural.  So as they become professionals they can no longer provide the cohension in the family unit hence, a breakdown in society.  Perhaps just perhaps, Mr.Mcfield was on to something…food for the mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      The last time I looked, children usually had TWO parents and, let me put this in caps so perhaps you will get it, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BOTH PARENTS TO RAISE THE CHILDREN – NOT JUST THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FEMALE.

      XXXX

       

      • typical women says:

        Some of you females ought to raise children and bear the burden!  You already have influence the courts to have men pay alimony whilst you all file your pretty nails at the hair salon. Nobody knows what happens to the money, you keep the daddy's away, and cry Justice serve to the detriment of the innocent children, you love to use as your pawns.  You are all responsible because you have made the law to hold you responsible! Luckily, the men just have to pay maintenance and live their lives without hearing your nagging voices and complaints about not getting enough money!

        • Anonymous says:

          Whoa, dude, you need some anger mangement and to stay away from women for awhile.

    • A man says:

      It is a weak man that cannot meet an equal woman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow.  It is not often one runs into this kind of antiquated nonsense in the modern world.  Do you actually know any women??  If you do, you need to sit down and talk to them.  If you do that, I think you will find they are whole people, with dreams and ambitions and passions just like yours.  The cohesion you speak of can just as easily be provided by two parents; it is not the sole responsibility of one gender.  I sincerely hope no daughters have had to live under your roof.

      I think you will find, with a little research, that the "breakdown in society" you speak of is less advanced in countries with more, not less, progressive attitudes towards gender equality.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Mr. McField's comments have nothing to do with misogyny, medieval times, condoning domestic violence or men owning women as chattels. The purpose of these red herrings appears to be to condone the wife's conduct on the basis that she is her own person and has authority to make her own decisions.

    His comments have to do with the sacred nature of marriage. That is why sacred vows are exchanged. When we are given in marriage our bodies belong to each other; the husband's body also belongs to his wife. 

    1 Cor. 4:3-7 "A husband should satisfy his wife's sexual needs. And a wife should satisfy her husband's sexual needs.

    4 The wife's body does not belong only to her. It also belongs to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong only to him. ****It also belongs to his wife****. 5 You shouldn't stop giving yourselves to each other except when you both agree to do so. And that should be only to give yourselves time to pray for a while. Then you should come together again. In that way, Satan will not tempt you when you can't control yourselves".

     

    Marriage should be a sacred institution: that is why sacred vows are exchanged and I think you know that was Mr. McField's real point. I do not claim to be without sin but his point is valid.   Whatever the legal niceties this was the right result.

    • Anonymous says:

      My hat off to you 17:23 you hit the nail on the head.

      It shows by the large amount of thumb downs that the world is moving away from morality, we are  DOOMED…

      1 Corinthians  4: 3-7 says it all, she was eager to take those sacred wows, she should live by them.You must admit, some of you women can carry on, with some of the most discracefull acts, while you are married to your man.  

      Sc@xe all you thumb downs, you all were hoping to bring down John John, but the jurors disappointed you all. Can't you see this is bigger than you.

      • Anonymous says:

        The world is not moving away from morality.  It is simply moving away from the "morality" condoned by the bible.  As it enshrines, amongst other things, slavery, rape, ritual sacrifice, torture and misogyny, it is generally considered an unfitting ethical guide.

        It might be worth wondering whether, in fact, Mr. Seymour's wife did take traditional vows.  Many couples now write their own vows, and we cannot know what Mrs. Seymour actually promised — unless you were present at the ceremony??  

        It also strikes me that men are fully capable of their own "discracefull" (sic) acts and until recently, women have had no legal choice but to accept these without complaint or recourse.  That is why the laws were changed in most modern countries; it did not seem fair or ethical to insist that a woman remain in a relationship that was damaging or unbearable to her.   

        I am quite sure you do not support slavery, although your god says it is just.  I would feel fairly confident, too, in suggesting that you would  find it unethical for a father to offer his daughters up for multiple rapes, although that is also condoned by your bible.  Why do you, then, refuse to allow Mrs. Seymour her right to choose to exit a marriage that, for whatever private reason, was intolerable to her?  Seems like cherry-picking to me, and rather intolerant of another person's humanity.  Perhaps we should simply accept that we cannot know anything about the private relationship between two people — and then allow them each to make their own adult decisions.

        Having said all this, and after noting that my husband and I wrote our own vows to avoid having to promise antiquated "obedience" etc., I have to say that had I known "sacred wows" were included in the traditional ceremony, I might have gone along with it!  Exactly what kinds of wows are we talking about here?

    • Anonymous says:

      The key word is "SACRED" by Mr. McField and  Emmeline Pankhurst is obviously a staunch FEMINIST PRANKSTER!!!!!

      Our values are in question because of foreign invaders contininually eroding our moral and cultural values. How dare people come to these islands and want to change everything to be like where they originate? If things were so great there then why bother come to the Cayman Islands. We need to hang on to our values and cultural and moral religious beliefs.

      Whilst I am sorry for the individuals dirty laundry to be so washed in public in such a test case, it is definitely time that this issue is exposed and such home breakers be made PERSONA NON GRATA.

      Let us weed such persons out.

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Judging from what I have seen after living here for more than 10 years, Caymanians do not really want to cling to outdated "moral and cultural values".  Divorce is just as common here as in other countries, and has been for some time.  Even prominent and well-respected members of your society (including some politicians) have left their marriages and gone on to other relationships.  Are you really saying that you would give up your right to exit an alliance that was unbearable to you, and by extension, to deny your children the same right?  

        Foreigners cannot force you to behave in any way at all.  Regardless of outside influence, Caymanians have always chosen their own path — just as they have done in this trial.  This does not seem to have reduced the number of divorces, single parent families, spousal abuse, child abuse etc. evident in Caymanian society at large. 

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Good morals are timeless, never outdated. Your sort of thinking is why Cayman moral fabric has suffered so badly.

          • Anonymous says:

            I don't disagree with your first sentence.  That is why I cannot follow the bible for ethical guidance…so much of it just doesn't wash in the modern world.  

            I mean, YOU don't condone slavery, do you?

          • Anonymous says:

            I am describing what I see around me in Cayman.  It has nothing to do with "my sort of thinking".  Cayman's moral fabric suffers from its own difficulties, and these have nothing whatsoever to do with me.  For the record, I have been faithfully and happily married for 15 years.  I am not the problem.

             

      • Still Waiting says:

        Furriners made me do it??? Is that what you're saying???? Get a grip bobo.

      • Boffo Dude says:

        How dare people come to these islands and want to change everything to be like where they originate? Answer: Because our ways are better and yours don't reflect the requirements of basic human rights and modern decency.

        If things were so great there then why bother come to the Cayman Islands.  Answer: Sun, sand, beer, no income taxes, beer, and to have our way with your women while you are yapping on the phone with Rooster (if the women want to that is, because we respect things like that).

        We need to hang on to our values and cultural and moral religious beliefs.  Answer: No you don't.  They're broken and can't be fixed.

        And you guys are in no position to be talking about weed.

        • Anonymous says:

          You must be talking about a different kind of weed than I did. Hence there is an erosion of our values.

    • Anonymous says:

      This was not a trial about the sacred nature of marriage.  It was a trial about a man using unlawful means to force someone else to do as he pleased, and then trying to cover up his actions.  He was found innocent of the charge.  As for the rest of McField's speech, it was nothing more than a cheesy attempt to distract the jury from the actual charge.  It seems to have been an effective strategy…he flattered them, told them they were by definition more ethical than those from other countries, and then left them to decide, in public and before a slew of the most powerful people in the islands, whether they they should be seen to uphold Cayman's Christian heritage or not.  Clever…but not necessarily ethical, or just. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not a UDP supporter and I did not vote for Dwayne, but in all of the circumstances I think some prosecutorial discretion ought to have been exercised not to pursue this case. “Security, you didn’t see anything”. That’s it?! That’s the big case?! I had expected to hear that someone had been threatened or bribed. Not every matter which may conceivably constitute an offence should be prosecuted. Certainly there are far more serious matters that are not prosecuted. The public humiliation the man suffered was enough punishment.This was a waste of the court’s time. People please forget the political points to be scored and see the bigger picture.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, I tend to agree with you.  I don't object to Mr. Seymour's having been found innocent, but I do find Mr. McField's speech objectionable.  he is certainly no Atticus Finch.

    • Anne T. Cris says:

      Ah yes… the bible being quoted as good authority.  In the bible's book of exodus – the same book that contains the ten commandments – the bible tells you what to do with everyone who breaks the fourth commandment. Exodus 31:15 tells you exactly what to do:

      For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.

      That's right. The Bible commands the death penalty for anyone who works on the Sabbath, and we should obey. Right? This means we have to kill everyone who has to work on Sundays.  So every Sunday we need to go on a good old-fashioned redneck rampage and shoot everyone we find working. (Oh wait… is doing the lord's work on Sunday, well, "work"?  Bring on the shoot-out in the Cayman Corral!).  Now really: is this good authority?

      Next, and right to the point on this one… If you commit adultery you are to be killed:

      If a man commits adultery with another man's wife – with the wife of his neighbor – both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. – Leviticus 20:10

       Let's see what Caymanians do with this one.  I'll stand by.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't think you're allowed to shoot them. The villagers have to stone them, then display their heads on pikes.

    • Anne T. Cris says:

      The Book of Numbers tells of the good word of god: 

      32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day.  33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord commanded Moses. – Numbers 15:32-36

      Man it sucks to be cold on a Sunday – god will murder you using religious puppets as assassins.   

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bravo!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I am a Caymanian male and I am very pleased indeed to see a woman write this articulate, sensible and heartfelt comment. Whatever the motive, McField's performance in court was outrageous and near demented and was an embarrassment to all of us who consider ourselves above his bigotry and xenophobia. We should never forget the old saying: "The Devil can cite scriptures for his own purpose".

    • Anonymous says:

      I am an expatriate female, and I cannot thank you enough for this post.

      • senior citizen says:

        I am a local elderly man. My dear, you can accused us of xenophobia adn trying to keep people off this island, but I am sure no one wants a spouse that cheats on them. If marriage is not "sacred" enough for you, then you better not marry, because I can tell you, it won't prosper without commitment and a "sacred" respect for the other person. The wife to a husband should always be a "sacred vessel" all reserved for him and him alone; or else, from experience, I can assure you, he won't be happy, and she will never experience that stability and satisfaction if she want her way alone. Vice versa – a married man will never be happy if he cheats on his wife and regard her as trash. Wouldn't you agree that he should regard her as HIS SACRED VESSEL?  Perhaps you are still young and don't know what that means.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you for your comments, sir.  For the sake of clarity, I am well over 40 and have been happily married for nearly 20 years.  I have never cheated on my spouse; nor, to my knowledge, has he cheated on me.  We are entirely committed to one another and to our children, and our family partnership is something I value above all else.  To answer your question honestly, though, I do not considerit "sacred" in the biblical sense.  I consider it a cherished personal decision, and one I honour (and am honoured by) every day.  I simply do not see that it serves a religious purpose, and that is where we differ.  My morals in this equation are, I assure you, beyond question, and I have not argued that cheating (in marriage or any other situation) is acceptable.  Please do not assume that I am without morals simply because I cannot believe in your version of Christianity.  

          Likewise, I do not consider myself a "vessel" or container of any other sort, a description that, to me, suggests I am good for not much more than sexual congress.  I assure you that I bring much more to our partnership than that, and I am certain my husband values more in me than that one thing.  If the term "vessel" also suggests the carrying of children, then again, I must assert that the time I spent as a "container" for my children is nothing in comparison to the time I have spent loving and nurturing them.  I am sure my children would say the same.  Childbearing in and of itself is awe-inspiring, but it is only the very beginning of the job.  Using the term "vessel" to describe a woman's role in a lifetime of marriage is, to my mind, quite meaningless, not to mention unappreciative of the full measure of my value in marriage.  

          I am sure that, when you consider it fully, you will agree that you do not see your own wife as merely "a vessel".

        • Anonymous says:

          I must also add that I did not accuse anyone of xenophobia; that was the poster above, and he has only accused Mr. McField, in this particular speech of xenophobic comments.  I do not believe he is addressing the Caymanian population at large.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well said – and thank you!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I don't think women have been terribly setback by McField's "sacred vessel" remark as women are generally better educated and more intelligent than men in Cayman society.

    One of the things that McField did in his xenophobic summation was to show the world what the UDP really are like as he played to his puppet master.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well said!!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    No visible morals anywhere in the whole scenario including the spectator seats.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Emmeline, sorry, nice attempt but you lose.

    • The Beaver says:

      You can be sincere and still be stupid.  ~Charles F. Kettering

      In other words you lose.  The Beaver

    • The Beaver says:

      And by the way, this article was not written by Emmeline Pankhurst – Emmeline has been dead close to one hundred years now…  The Beaver

    • Right ya so says:

      Actually, she won!  google her.

       

       

  32. Anonymous says:

    Very well said.. thank you.