Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On October 30

On this day in ...
... 1976, in Ottawa, Canada, the 1st woman sworn in to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police resigned in order to get married. Media well versed in the RCMP's motto could not resist the quip that the woman, 21-year-old Heather Ann Phyllis, had got her man. Not found was discussion of whether she'd been compelled to quit upon marriage, let alone questioning of her choice to leave the RCMP 2 years after joining it. In a journal article published just last year, former RCMP officer Bonnie Reilly Schmidt, a researcher and doctoral student in history at Canada's Simon Fraser University, wrote of the "highly gendered terms" in which the media covered Phyllis and other women who, in Schmidt's words, "disrupted the highly masculinized image of a police force that was closely connected to ideal Canadian manhood and the formation of the nation."

(Prior October 30 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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