McDonough Brown: Suzanne Wylie owed apology after dehumanising comments

Alliance Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown has hit out at the ‘sexist and dehumanising’ comments aimed at Belfast City Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie on Monday night.

During a debate over cycling policy, a series of inappropriate comments from Councillor Graham Craig targeted Belfast City Council’s highest employee, with one occasion seeing him describe how ‘his pace quickened’ when he saw Ms Wylie on her bike.

“Suzanne Wylie is a highly capable, skilled chief executive and civic leader; she is responsible for managing a large and complex organisation and delivering an ambitious agenda for the city. It was nothing short of disgraceful that she was treated in such a way tonight. She should not have had to sit in the chamber tonight and hear herself described as a source of pleasure for some, without being able to fight back. I was appalled.” said Emmet.

“Suzanne is excellent at her job, something Graham Craig may have failed to notice while he has been busy focusing on her appearance. In 2017, as ever, what a woman looks like has no bearing on her professional performance. This would never have happened to a man in her position.

“While Graham Craig may have thought this was all a big joke – a laughing matter – it says more about his regressive attitude to women, who he obviously prefers to consider on aesthetic rather than professional grounds.

“I hope Graeme will stop laughing long enough to recognise he owes Suzanne an apology – and a very public one at that – and realise that in an era of equality, not a single, solitary soul is laughing with him.”

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