Sexism Is Alive And Well In Pat Farr’s Chairmanship

Four concerned citizens provided in-person public comment in front of the Jan. 24 Lane County Board of Commissioners to express disapproval at the way 2022’s board chair, Pat Farr, delivered himself an extra year in leadership instead of handing the gavel to the vice chair, as is the custom. These comments focused on how Chair Farr pulled a fast one two weeks earlier at the first meeting of 2023, with the help of the two new commissioners from West Lane and Springfield, Ryan Ceniga and David Loveall, which left Farr in charge for another year with “continuity” and “momentum” as dubious justification.

When called out for this brazen, sexist stunt, each man in turn said they were offended and shared that they loved and respected the women in their lives, naming wives and daughters, implying that they therefore couldn’t possibly be sexist. Their defense of the unvarnished power grab was to tout their personal relationships with the women, but they missed entirely the fact of structural sexism and the harms it causes. 

What is offensive is their deliberate indifference, as if to wave away this betrayal of public trust by saying, “Some of my best friends are women.” Sadly, unearned gender-based privilege is alive and well, and there’s still much work to be done to dismantle it.

Debra E. McGee


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