Letter: Support Candidates on Merit, Not Gender

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To The Editor:

Ms Reilly (letter to the Editor 2/16) has made gender an issue in the upcoming Reading Selectman contest. I do not recall any gender warnings attached to Marsie West, Gail Woods, Camille Anthony, Sally Hoyt or Mollie Ziegler’s campaigns. For those new to Reading, these women have been the only women to serve on the Board of Selectman in the last thirty years. Bill Brown, please check for accuracy.
As Freud said, “there are no negatives in the unconscious” so saying gender shouldn’t matter is perhaps more conflicted on closer examination. Gender, race, religion, and yes, even size, unfortunately, does matter in the real world. Obese folks suffer a much higher rate of discrimination.
Gender equality should be a political goal on both local and national levels and in all political parties. I believe however Ms Reilly is confusing gender quotas with gender parity. Reading does not have a gender quota, just look at the gender make up of any precinct, board, or committee in Town. I applaud Ms. Alvarado decision to run for Board of Selectmen as I do any interested engaged citizen who seeks to work for the benefit of all Reading residents.
So I am supporting a candidate that as Ms Reilly has stated is the “best candidate, based on merit, and past work product-with brains and character” who happens to be a woman and has no control over her gender.
Nancy Docktor
371 Pearl St
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