Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says he loves and respects women and never intended to demean them by his statement that “a golf course is like a woman, you have to groom her everyday otherwise it turns into a pasture.”
He has apologised to those who have been offended by the statement.
Rowley insisted, though, that his words were taken out of context.
“The way that statement was meant concerning the grooming of the golf course, it was not meant that a woman would turn into a pasture, it was the golf course that will turn into a pasture if it is not cared for the way you care for a woman,” he said during an exclusive interview with CCN TV6.
“The fact that it has been used to give the impression that I'm demeaning women, I regret that and if there are persons who were offended, I apologise for that because it was never my intention to offend anyone,” he added.
Rowley admitted that in making the statement the word “groom” may have been the wrong word to use, but the point he was trying to make was that women required care, respect and attention.
“And any man who has a woman and doesn't give her the attention on a daily basis will get into more trouble that I got over the statement,” he quipped.
Rowley said considering the backlash he received from the statement, going forward he will be very careful about what he says about women as there is a “battery of people here who are hell-bent on portraying me as being anathema to women's interest.”
“I know even the people who are making an issue out of it know what I meant. That statement gave them an opportunity to get on a high horse and start to prance and make it look like I have done something so horribly wrong against women.”
Asked why he did not phrase his “golf course” statement in a different way, Rowley made it clear that he had a right to express himself and he was not going to give up that right.
“Permit me the opportunity to express myself. I'm saying this now openly, if I express myself and in so doing offend anyone, it's not my intention to do so and on that basis I apologise.”
He went on:“What I observe is that some people will not miss an opportunity to portray me in the worst light and I have survived that in the political arena for 30-odd years and I have every reason to believe I will survive maybe for a while longer”.