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Column 'unfortunate reflection of sexism'

If the Brandon Sun wants to live up to its “bright, progressive” mandate, perhaps in future the editorial page might avoid reducing women in leadership down to nothing but a “cutie” sitting in a manicurist’s chair.

It’s just an idea, but one that comes from a woman, so feel free to dismiss.

The comment to which I am referring — about Health Minister Erin Selby — was equally as regressive and offensive as Brian Pallister’s infidel atheist remark made over the Christmas season.

When trying to make a point about leaders who should listen to advice to avoid making costly, sexist, intolerant, discriminatory or offensive comments, it helps to not make the same types of comments in your rant on the topic.

Is the editorial page meant to read like a private phone conversation or something overheard being discussed between two old pals at the bar after one too many? Are Brandonites living in an episode of “Mad Men?”

As a reader and politically minded individual, it is difficult to take the Brandon Sun’s opinion page seriously when comments such as these are published so flippantly.

Minister Selby is Manitoba’s health minister. She is a rightfully elected leader. She may not be the Brandon Sun’s choice for health minister. But to say that the only thing she knows about health care is what she might learn in a manicurist’s chair is an unfortunate reflection of sexism on the part of the Brandon Sun.

This is not bright. It is not progressive. It is not in keeping with the newspaper’s mandate, nor is it appropriate language to use when discussing women in leadership in 1960, let alone in 2014.

When the Brandon Sun comments on elected officials’ decision-making and competency as leaders, most of those comments are considered fair comment.

But to write off an elected senior cabinet minister by focusing entirely upon her physical appearance is to toss out reckless copy that is simply unfit to print.

An apology is in order, but I doubt this political advice will be heard either.

I wish I could hope for better from the hometown of my youth’s newspaper.

Toby McCrae

Winnipeg

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 30, 2014

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If the Brandon Sun wants to live up to its “bright, progressive” mandate, perhaps in future the editorial page might avoid reducing women in leadership down to nothing but a “cutie” sitting in a manicurist’s chair.

It’s just an idea, but one that comes from a woman, so feel free to dismiss.

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If the Brandon Sun wants to live up to its “bright, progressive” mandate, perhaps in future the editorial page might avoid reducing women in leadership down to nothing but a “cutie” sitting in a manicurist’s chair.

It’s just an idea, but one that comes from a woman, so feel free to dismiss.

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