Thanks for Speaking Up
I’m grateful for Gwyn Lurie’s “Candid Condescension” in calling Ed St. George out for his condescending, patronizing attack on City Councilwoman Meagan Harmon. St. George felt entitled to tell Councilmember Harmon that she should be focusing on her children and husband rather than serving in public office and working. Really? It’s 2021 and we still have men who think they can tell women what to do with our lives, just because they are men, and we are women? He didn’t offer the same advice and concern regarding Barrett Reed, who is running in another district, who is the same age, and who also has young children and a full-time job.
Here’s my question: where are Councilwoman Harmon’s opponents in all this? The Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee issued a statement (see below), objecting to a mansplainer’s presumption to tell a woman — any woman — how to live her life. Nearly 40 current and former elected officials signed it, along with nearly 70 additional community leaders. Harmon’s three challengers, one a woman herself, are conspicuously absent.
I expect public officials to take public positions on issues that matter — and how men treat women matters. I expect public figures to act on their values, and speak out against outdated, patriarchal treatment of women. If these challengers do not object to sexist condescension, then they are not my kind of leader. If they object, but refuse to speak out, they are also not my kind of leader — or a leader at all, truth be told.
Thanks to all who spoke up against sexism and misogyny, and for a world where we respect the rights of women to lead their own lives unencumbered by the unsolicited advice of entitled men who think they know better.
A Statement of Solidarity
On a recent local podcast, a well-known private developer and commenter on local politics was given a platform to share offensive and sexist viewpoints about women in leadership, condescendingly urging a local woman in elected office to “take a pause” on her career to focus on her children and husband. The following statement is issued in solidarity:
“Women belong at every table where decisions are being made and it is not up to men to be the arbiters of a woman’s personal decisions or ambitions. When women lead in government and other sectors, they are far more likely to work collaboratively and forge effective policies in support of the well-being of children, families and all people — especially the most marginalized.
“We stand with all women in our community and recognize that Black, Indigenous, Latina, and women of color are disproportionately impacted by sexism and barriers to leadership. Misogyny, in any form, has no home in Santa Barbara County. And no, the women of Santa Barbara will not take a pause.”
President, Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee
Thank you, Sean Hutchinson for saying it like it is.
I call what’s happened in the “rarefied enclave,” the “Instagramification” of Montecito. But hey, welcome to the world in 2021.
My own humble abode in westside SB has its own version of “influenced” reality. The “Dickensian pathway” continues to separate the haves and the have nots and I join in your embarrassment for the direction our world is headed. Few in this brave new world of ours treat it with the consideration it deserves.
Guilty as Charged
A claim of misogyny in the event of concern for the development of children seems misprioritized. Minors have little leverage in pursuing a superior up-bringing when dealt an over-committed parent. If the upward mobility of women takes a backseat to the development of children, call me a misogynist. And no, children and parenting won’t be a closeted topic. If you see something, say something.