Thursday, January 22, 2015

An open letter to a Northeast Avalon Times columnist

Dear Ms. McGrath,

I believe what you were trying to write about in your January 2015 Column in The Northeast Avalon Times is gender and the harms that gender causes in our society. It's a pity that you obfuscated this very relevant topic with your thinly veiled hatred against girls/women with a particular hair colour and eye colour.

As someone who is blonde (and blue eyed) and has raised a blonde (and blue eyed) daughter I would like to point out a few inaccuracies in your article.

First of all, I am still blonde and I'm 47. Yes it did get darker and now it has grey throughout but I did not 'resort' to artificial products to 'restore' my natural hair colour. And neither has my now 20 yo daughter.

Secondly, and I know I can't speak for all blonde blue eyed women BUT my own personal glory was found by completing not one but two degrees, the first one majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Computer Science and the second a graduate degree in Engineering. I've got other glories lying around too and none of them have to do with the colour of my hair and/or eyes. My 20 yo daughter is currently accumulating her own set of glories that (shock!) also have nothing to do with her hair or eye colour. She is in her third year double majoring in International Development and Economics and is on the Dean's honour list. She is going to India on a placement in May. She backpacked Europe last summer. She volunteers. She is in the Student Leadership program. And (another shock) she wore pink as a child, as I did. I myself was not into the whole princess/doll scene but, alas, she was. But she also liked books. And interactive games. And swimming.

Thirdly, your attempt to determine whether me, my daughter, and others of our ilk are repulsive is, in a word, repulsive. It is also repulsive that you question how you would have treated your own daughter if she herself was blonde and blue eyed. It is also repulsive that you compared blonde and blue eyed people to albino bugs. It is also repulsive that you are given a public forum to voice these repugnant views.

Fourthly, apparently you know my Mother. How do you feel about her now, knowing that she raised not one but two blonde and blue eyed girls? Is your opinion of her diminished or does it remain the same since she herself is not blonde? Does she get demerit points for occasional buying (or making) pink items of clothing for us? Or letting us see a princess movie? These items need to be clarified.

And lastly, and most importantly, you realize that hating people on sight might be indicative of needing to see a psychiatrist? It's called being a sociopath. Unfortunately the prognosis is not good for this type of ailment. Maybe, with encouragement, you'll get the help you need.


Orla Hegarty BMath MASc

P.S. If you wanna read up on the whole gender issue thing I'd recommend Gender Hurts by Dr. Sheila Jeffreys. It's available, for free, in our provincial library system.


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