Letters: Councillor comments meant to shame women

Dear Editor,

As a lifetime resident of Langley and having worked with women for over a decade in the health field, I would like to offer a response to White Rock Councillor David Chesney’s comments on pregnant women’s clothing choice.

Once again, someone in a position of power misused his voice to shame women.

And in case he is wondering what all the fuss is about over his radio interview – it’s about shame.

Shame is a common response when somebody is told that who they are or what they look like is bad or wrong. It puts the blame on someone to change who they are, in order to please another’s preferences.

Because he made reference to pregnant women changing their appearance to suit his preferences, Mr. Chesney shamed women.

For many years, women’s bodies have been the subject of many a decency battle.

She should cover up her cleavage in the workplace.

She shouldn’t breast-feed in public.

Young girls should not wear yoga pants in schools.

Mr. Chesney’s opinion adds a new bullet point on my list: pregnant women should wear clothing that does not draw as much attention to the fact that they are pregnant – as if pregnancy is something to be hidden, as if a pregnant belly is disagreeable.

I have worked closely with women and their views on their bodies for over a decade in my work, and I can tell you that we, as women, have a long way to go ourselves for accepting our bodies as they are.

But for Mr. Chesney to pick on our pregnant sisters is not OK. That time in woman’s lives is sacred – they are creating new beings.

They need our support, and he chooses to shame.

Kathie Marshall, Langley

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