Christa and me at the North Lanark Regional Museum
This morning I got up and saw this post from Christa Lowry the mayor of Mississippi Mills. I had to say something and stand up for all the women in Lanark County and elsewhere.
Someone sent me these screenshots today ( below). The post and accusations hit so far below the belt a response was required. For well over 4 years I have not responded to any of the ludicrous statements, or the fictitious (and sometimes vicious) assertions made about me. But these latest comments cross way over the line and are far beyond what could be considered political discourse. I respect myself too much to sit by and let someone attempt to body-shame me or suggest how I feel about my own body. No one speaks for me.
For the record, these photos were taken days apart and no photoshop was used. I don’t even have photoshop. The differences: on the left I’m standing in front of a big sunny window wearing makeup and used a flattering camera angle. On the right, my makeup and hair aren’t “done” and the photo is taken from a lower position. That’s it. (Although, I did notice this person altered the photo on the right – I was wearing a bright turquoise shirt that day but it has all been made to look grey…funny).
And you know what, I think I look great in both! One is planned and intentional, and in the other I was just happy to see my good friend Linda Seccaspina and have strawberry shortcake at the Appleton Museum. Both are awesome photos and neither make me feel even a drop less confident, beautiful or worthy. It’s about damn time we stopped telling women otherwise.
When did it become ok in our society to make baseless accusations and provide uninvited comments about women’s bodies? And what does any of that have to do with my politics or community leadership?
We must stop accepting this kind of behaviour in our community and in politics at ALL levels. We need to do so much better than this.
From her Facebook posting — See the postings here..Click here.. Christa Lowry, Mayor of Mississippi Mills
The postings aimed at Christa Lowry
From Facebook posting and comments see here.. Click here.. Christa Lowry, Mayor of Mississippi Mills
Mary Cook wrote in 1974- It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook
By Mary Cook Citizen special correspondent CARLETON PLACE (Special) February 22 1974
Those people who are directly-responsible for the welfare of the county of Lanark, the elected representatives, would concur the county is a beautiful place to live in, the urban centres modern and progressive, the people alert to new ideas and keenly aware of the need for continuing progress. In the most part they would be right, however there is one area in which the county is completely backward – that is in the electing or appointment of women to municipal or community office.
It is not easy being a woman in politics since this is predominantly a male territory. Women have to work harder. We have to prove ourselves more. We have to be more assertive. Politics is a man’s society– and most of the elected officials are men.
Many of the barriers women face right now have to do with the increased scrutiny that women are under generally. Women are judged much more harshly on social media. The internet gives people approval from a judging world.
Negative comments in terms of body image are the hardest thing that women probably struggle with. But I think the best thing that we can do as strong women is to take that negativity and use it in a positive way. There are so many young kids on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to not send the message of hate on to. Let’s pass on good words instead. This is my body- So Christa…. we love you and you are one of the strongest women I know…. and as you said, “What does any of that have to do with my politics or community leadership?”
Linda Seccaspina 8th female councillor of Carleton Place,Ontario since 1925 when women got the vote.
“Insecure people only eclipse your sun because they’re jealous of your daylight and tired of their dark, starless nights.”
― Shannon L. Alder