Friday, May 15, 2015

Not all women are created equal as sexy, little foxes some can be stupid, unsexy little foxes!

New NDP MLA in album cover controversy

James Wood
Friday, May 15, 2015

A new NDP MLA who has already attracted criticism over photos on her Facebook page apologized Friday for being at the centre of a controversial image that one feminist academic called a “gut-wrencher.”

Deborah Drever, who was elected in Calgary-Bow in the May 5 provincial election, appears on the cover of the 2012 cassette “Fear of Attack” by Calgary heavy metal band Gatekrashor.

In the photo, Drever, now a 26-year-old Mount Royal student, is sprawled against a fence while a person appears poised to assault her with a bottle. Four men stand behind the fence, with one appearing to restrain her arm.

In a statement provided by the NDP, Drever expressed remorse for the picture, which has been circulating on social media.
“The photo I appeared in was in poor taste, and I apologize for its offensive content. It is not a photo I would appear in today,” said Drever, who was not made available for an interview.

“My priority is to represent the people of Calgary-Bow — a job I am proud to be elected for and excited to be doing.”

But Angela Pitt, the newly-elected Wildrose MLA for Airdrie, said she was “shocked” by the image and that Drever had no excuse for taking part in the photograph, even if it occurred before her election.

“It promotes sexual violence and that’s something we should all be fighting against,” she said.

Mount Royal University policy studies professor Lori Williams said the photo is problematic for both Drever and Premier-designate Rachel Notley’s NDP, which has been hailed for having close to gender parity in its caucus.

The image is “pretty difficult to reconcile with a party that stands for the equality and rights of women,” said Williams.

It also raises questions about whether the NDP vetted its candidates properly in the election, she said.

Neither Notley nor another NDP spokesperson responded to a request for comment. Pitt said she will be watching to see how new premier handles the issue but would not say what course of action she should take.

Drever has already come under fire for photos posted on her now deleted Facebook page. In one picture, she posed in front of a T-shirt promoting marijuana while in another someone is giving the finger to the Canadian flag.

Calgary Bow NDP MLA Deborah Drever is pictured in this Facebook photo Drever who says she doesn't use marijuana says that this photo was taken while having some fun with friends in a store. (Facebook)

Rebecca Sullivan, director of women’s studies at the University of Calgary, had defended the earlier photos but expressed dismay over the cassette cover, which she said is “using rape to sell records.”

“When we’re in the midst of an important public conversation about women’s engagement in politics, their right to work without discrimination or harassment, and their right to be in public without fear of assault, this image featuring a newly-elected MLA is a gut-wrencher. It reminds us of how far we all need to go,” Sullivan said.

“It’s just ugly old rape culture,” she added.

Drever did have defenders online though, with some commenters suggesting the controversy was overblown and that candidates should be allowed youthful indiscretions.

Responding to the controversy over her Facebook images last week, Drever told the Herald last week she does not smoke marijuana and it was not her in the picture with the flag.

But she said she intended to “lay low” for a while.

“It looks like there are a lot of angry people out there, and they’re attacking all the younger candidates.”

With files from Evan Radford, Calgary Herald

jwood@calgaryherald.com

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