City should update titles

Publication YearIssue Date 

Editor, the Gauntlet,

[Re: "Where are all the feMLAs?" Editorial, Sep. 20]

Thanks for the two columns on the need for more women in politics and the article on the importance of voting at the forthcoming municipal election.

One issue that warrants mentioning is the way that Calgary's City Council clings to the out-of-date title "alderman" for its elected officials, some of whom are women. The title harks back to an era when women were precluded from running for municipal office and is definitely not congruent with the City's own Guidelines on Achieveing Equity in Corporate Communications. It's embarrassing on the Canadian scene to be the only major city that chooses to disrespect women by misnaming their gender.

Use of inclusive language is one of the many factors that may encourage women to run for political office. On this note, your editorial headline was very catchy with the term "feMLAs" whereas the "Ladies in Legislature" promotes the image of white-gloved women who are too dainty for the daily work of politics.

-Mary Valentich
Professor Emerita
Faculty of Social Work
University of Calgary