UWI Guild rep caught in firestorm for catcalling tweets

UWI’s SoSci student rep, Jovaughn Bailey (Photo: Instagram @realjovaughnbailey)

Member of the University of the West Indies Mona campus guild Jovaughn Bailey was the recipient of fierce backlash on Twitter for tweets deemed predatory and insensitive towards women on Monday, January 13.

Bailey, who was among hundreds of Twitter users in a conversation about catcalling in Jamaica, made the assertion on his profile that women make the situation unnecessarily unpleasant, as in his mind, if they accepted a man’s compliment gracefully, they would avoid being disrespected.

“Some woman don’t know how to act and that’s why they get disrespected,” Bailey began.

“There’s a difference between a man calling to a girl and giving her a nice compliment and she smiles, says thank you and continue on her way than not responding and actin like you better than the compliment,” he tweeted.

See tweets in full below:

The Social Sciences Faculty-student representative faced a tidal wave of criticism almost instantly and proceeded to delete the tweets and his profile @realjovaughn.

The damage was already done, as screenshots were made of the tweets and circulated online for everyone to see.

The tweets were intercepted by @WechangeMona, a student-based subsidiary of women’s advocacy group WE-Change Jamaica, which called out Bailey for his controversial views.

@WechangeMona then tagged Bailey’s second account, @realkareemb, and brought his inappropriate takes to the attention of the UWI Mona Guild and the faculty he has represented since the 2019 guild elections.

Photo: Instagram @realjovaughnbailey

Bailey’s backup profile was changed to ‘private’ amid the backlash.

“Hello @realjovaughn. We note you sit on the @UWIMonaGuild as a faculty representative for @uwimona_fss. This is a shameful, harmful and nonsensical stance to take and in doing so you’re further perpetuating a social problem that many [women] face even on the campus,” @WechangeMona tweeted.

Bailey’s tweets were especially controversial as UWI struggles to safeguard female students at the institution, with @WechangeMona highlighting the fact that most attacks on campus are against women.

“Note this @realjovaughn, if a woman does not want to respond to a ‘compliment’ she’s entitled to do so. Not only is this position entitled and rude, it’s unbecoming of a student leader who should be championing a better way for students to relate across genders,” The Changers tweeted.

“Women are dying and this is the sentiment coming from one of our leaders; someone who may go on to be a country leader soon. Women on campus have been hurt in front your very hall because they’ve refused advances. Only some have made the news,” the group added.

The Changers further slammed the UWI Mona Guild for being soft on its approach to campus security, and as a result, leaving women “extremely vulnerable because of it”.

“Women are not going to feel safe coming to you to report harm done to them if this is what’s perceived to be the prevailing sentiment. And yes, MOST ATTACKS ON CAMPUS ARE AGAINST WOMEN!” @WechangeMona argued.

The group noted that Bailey changed his name and picture and expressed its hope that his caustic attitude of entitlement towards women will follow suit. “You’re a leader and frankly one of ours, we implore you to think and act better — if not for yourself, for the post you hold,” The Changers tweeted.