Despite the popular consensus put forth by Randy Simms and Trevor Taylor that ex-premier Kathy Dunderdale was harshly judged by the public as a woman in a man’s world, I strongly disagree.
The people of Newfoundland and Labrador were once very proud of Kathy Dunderdale.
We all wanted her to succeed and do the best she possibly could for the entirety of the province.
Instead, she failed miserably to connect with the public, and because she was the leader of the party in power, she was seemingly solely responsible for enacting many unpopular policies.
Ultimately, the end result of many debacles including limiting the access to information, pushing Muskrat Falls through without an independent review by the Public Utilities Board, laying off and eliminating hundreds of public service jobs, all while saying the province was experiencing an economic boom the likes of which has never been felt before, culminating with province-wide power outages and rolling blackouts — which, when combined with her absence, “crisis what crisis” attitude and denials, all contributed to her negative public image.
Bluntly stated, people of this province were very unhappy with her overall performance as premier.
All of these issues were further compounded by a continual lack of understanding and empathy displayed by herself and her government on all levels.
Dunderdale was not mocked by the public because of her gender, she was mocked because of her government’s policies.
All politicians are judged by the public and the media, especially when they perform poorly.
If Kathy Dunderdale had done well for the people of this province, she would of been celebrated.
Her portrayal in the media would have been above and beyond positive, no matter what clothing she wore or how her hair was styled.
It wasn’t gender that led to her negative portrayal, it was her
government’s actions and poorly received policies.