By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Usually, this writer does not get involved in the opinion side of this news site. My main job is sorting through facts and offering critical analysis for complex investigative reporting. However, in light of last week’s revelations, I am compelled to make my views public.
When Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason played the gender card, I, like many of my professional female colleagues, was outraged. How dare she attempt to use gender to defend her indefensible actions.
During my professional career, I have worked hard — as have many other women — to excel in my career, to be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my male colleagues because of my intelligence, education and hard work. My career is based on ability, not gender.
That you didn’t object to your bosses sexually-charged cooing is beyond reprehensible, because it is stereotypical of the women, who throughout history, have climbed to the top by lying on their backs.
Your acquiescence, and even more so, your participation is a repulsive addition to the lexicon of shameless females who exchange their femininity for a lane on the fast track.
Mrs. Mason, you have just added an updated appendix to volumes written about your kind. You used your gender to purchase power, unlike women who have struggled and toiled long hours, sacrificing self and family to be the best in their profession.
Remember, it was less than one hundred years ago that women fought the gender bias of not even being thought intelligent enough to vote. Generations after selfless, brave women fought in the Suffrage Movement, we are still working diligently to be deemed as equals. Thanks to you, Mrs. Mason, we have just taken a couple of steps back in that perception.
Mrs. Mason, how can you pull out the gender card that you have not earned? How can you hold your head up and say that these accusations are because you are a woman? How can you encourage your employer’s spoken sexual advances to gain power, and then use your gender to cry foul?
The Bentley Administration was a milestone for the professional women of Alabama, and now, you alone have tarnished that accomplishment. Dr. Marquita Davis, first female Finance Director; Julie Magee, Commissioner of Revenue; Angi Stalnaker, who was the first female campaign manager to win a statewide election, as well as six female cabinet members, were to be its legacy. Instead you changed that narrative into something sordid.
Don’t insult us, women who have labored our entire careers while still fending off the stigma created by those who have taken the easy way up. You did not participate in the battle for equality, so you will not be counted among our ranks.
I am sorry that you are not a member of the team, but you have not earned the right to throw the “because I am a woman” card on the table.
It’s the women who put their lives on the line every day, like the Ironed-Jawed Angels, who fought this fight, not you. Mrs. Mason, you should be ashamed of yourself. God knows we are.
You have used your feminine wiles and not your intelligence and professionalism to gain your position. And what about the lives and careers that you have destroyed in your rise to power? What will be the final body count from your power lust? We will soon forget you, but those families will not.
Honest, professional men and women have worked years to attain their careers, and positions. You have stolen it all from them with the bat of an eyelash, and the removal of an earring.
Before this whole disgusting affair is played out, you will try and play another card you have no right to use: the sexual harassment card. You will quickly shove Governor Bentley to the floor, step over him and shout it from the rafters. Just know, the professional women of Alabama are watching.