Councillor Not Happy At The Thought Of Woman Playing Father Christmas
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A British town is embroiled in a festive row over whether it's OK to have a woman play Santa or not, with one council member saying that by opting for a woman the town could bring negative publicity on itself.
A quick spoiler alert here, if you still believe in the magic of Father Christmas...
He's not real, but traditionally, the fictional character has always been male. However, in the town of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, two women have volunteered to play Santa as part of its festive tour, which sees the big fella travelling around the town on Christmas Eve.
One of the women who volunteered was offered the role; presumably thinking that it was no big deal. But she was wrong, because in the town of Newton Aycliffe it is a big deal. So much so that the committee decided to hold a vote on the issue, where it was unanimously decided to permit the woman to don the costume and take part in the event on the 24 December.
However, not everyone is happy with the decision and one member of the local council is attempting to overturn the vote, saying that a woman should only be used as a last resort if there are no males willing to offer their services.
Labour Councillor Arun Chandran, is not in fan of the idea of having a jolly St Nicola, he said: "There is no shortage of male volunteers to act as Santa Claus, so we should not permit a female volunteer to perform the role.
"My understanding is that Santa Claus otherwise called Father Christmas is a male role.
"I have no issue with a Mrs Claus. But Santa Claus being a man is a long-held tradition accepted by the cast majority of society without question and change just for the sake of that will only serve to attract negative publicity."
He added: "I remain open if members can convince me that the Rotary Club and other councils are introducing women Santas everywhere, but they are not."
Meanwhile, village councillor Bill Blenkinsopp sits on the other side of the fence, he told The Times: "We voted unanimously, there's nothing wrong with the lady Santa. Does it matter who Santa is?"
According to Andrew Bailey, a clerk at the council, a formal and final decision will be made on 12 December.
Thank God the country doesn't have any bigger problems than this, eh?