Kate Scott’s nationally recognized editorial ~ We’re still struggling for gender equality


Our resident sports reporter, Kate Scott, recently won second place in the Local Editorial category in the national Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, for the editorial below.  Congratulations Kate, for the well deserved recognition.

Monday morning was a dreary one. There were much needed periods of rain, but Mondays are already dark enough. On this particular Monday, a senior gentleman graced the presence of the eight women whose cubicles are in the front of The Saint Croix Courier newspaper office.

Upon greeting, he said to the receptionist, “I’ve seen a pile of women today! I just came from the bank and there were a lot of women there too! Shouldn’t you be home having babies, or something?”

His jolly laughter accompanied the statement. We didn’t laugh back. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, it was a joke; but it wasn’t a funny one.

It was an incredibly offensive one. As women continue to struggle to gain any ground in the face of gender equality, it’s comments like this that set us back decades.

The excuse, “that’s how it was in his time,” is just not valid anymore. It’s 2016, which is the response given by Prime Minister Trudeau when asked why he appointed so many women to his cabinet.

Aside from the smart, successful women at The Saint Croix Courier office, there are more than a handful of women in Charlotte County who have done more than just stay home having babies.

It’s a well know fact women can multitask.

Bryana Ganong immediately comes to mind as not just the face of the Ganong Bros., Limited company, but the CEO and president.

Come the fall semester and the beginning of a new school season, St. Stephen will have a new principal at St. Stephen High School, as Krista Amos, a woman, takes the helm.

And at St. Stephen Middle School, Bronwyn Tanner, and Cheri Russell will become principal and vice-principal of the school – both women. All these educators are more than capable of doing a bang-up job.

Last season at St. Stephen High School, there was a young woman on the Spartans football team, who played with a team of young men.

Lisa Aronson – yes, a woman – is the head chef and owner of the soon-to-open Five Kings Restaurant slated for the former train station in St. Stephen.

A veterinarian who has recently opened up shop in St. George – Dr. Melanie Eagan – is, you guessed it – another woman!

There are strong, courageous women who grace the team of RCMP officers in Charlotte County, and there are even two women in the county, Terry James and Crystal Cook, who lead their communities as mayors.

Karen Ludwig, another woman, represents our region and serves as our Member of Parliament.

The list of successful women not only in our county, but across the world, is a lengthy one. Neither gender is superior, but it is unfair to claim one gender should be “home having babies,” joking or not.

It’s attitudes like these that have led to a growing movement across the country for more recognition of the contribution women have made to society.

In Nova Scotia, the Halifax Women’s History Society is working to erect a monument in the city to honour women volunteers from the Second World War, citing a need for more female statues, as fewer than a dozen of the 280 statues in the city portray women.

Nearly all of those female statues, by the way, are of fairies and nymphs. As parents, educators, and community leaders, it is becoming clearer that we need to work harder to educate about gender equality.

It’s 2016, and it’s comments like this man’s which spit in the face of women who work hard to be successful and contribute to our society.