Nanaimo Women Deserve Better
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Women of Nanaimo, elected officials or no, must be treated with respect regardless of their political views. Commenting on gender, appearance, perceived ability or lack thereof because of gender, sex characteristics, and dismissal based upon these ideas will not be tolerated.
On November 21st, 2016, in a recorded City Council meeting, Councillor Jim Kipp released a verbal tirade upon Councillor Wendy Pratt, who has since resigned.
"You're pretty. You're such an aesthetically pleasing person. You turned your back when Bill was talking. The man's harmed and you don't give a shit woman. You are the biggest bully I've ever met, under a little sheep's clothing. What is it? It's an attack on you (Pratt), just like it says in here (the mayor's letter)."
In a news article that followed, Coun. Pratt stated that "this isn't the first time, far from the first time" and indicated that "there have been other situations just like the one on Nov. 21st."
It is essential that elected officials critically engage with their own sexism and oppressive behaviour as well as that of their colleagues. There must be support for those affected by sexism as much as there must be a shared responsibility for officials to be a part of a zero tolerance space for sexism. This council has failed to be accountable, both individually and as a united body.
We, the citizens of Nanaimo, call upon Councillor Kipp to publicly apologize immediately to the women of Nanaimo or to resign immediately. His behaviour is part of a culture at Nanaimo City Hall that is both openly and quietly hostile to women, and we will no longer by represented by such aggressive and misogynistic behaviour.
We expect that apology at the May 15th* Council meeting.
*date changed to accommodate provincial election
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