I was disappointed to read in the Cape Breton Post that one of the mayoral candidates has been judged by her gender and her status as an expectant mother. There is simply no place for this type of discrimination in the 2020s. At all. Whatsoever.
It defies belief that in this day and age people would judge a person because she is a woman – and make no mistake, passing judgement over someone because she is an expectant mother is the same thing as passing judgement over someone because she is a woman. The two are inseparable and such judgement has no place in today’s Canadian society. It is not only ignorant, it is harmful to democracy and it risks hurting the future prospects of Cape Breton. Women make up half of society and their role in procreation does not and should not restrain their ability to fill positions of leadership.
I do not know Ms McDougall, and this is not an endorsement of her campaign, but I do know that politicians should be judged on their ideas and their character. The fact that Ms McDougall is an expectant mother should not enter the decision making process.
Cape Bretoners need to listen to what the politicians are saying and make a judgement based on the ideas they are presented, rather than ill-informed, bigoted assessments based on gender and other irrelevant factors. No matter what your political inclination, there are examples of strong women in leadership positions. No matter someone’s gender, status as a parent, or sexual orientation, each candidate deserves to be dignified by judging them on their platform and nothing else.
This commentary was originally published in the Cape Breton Post on Wednesday, 1 October 2020.