Councillor wants to ban female Santa Claus, claiming it’s ‘a male role’
A Labour councillor from a town in County Durham is trying to ban female Santa Claus impersonators from taking part in the annual parade.
Councillor Arun Chandran has said he will put forward a motion stopping women from performing as a female Santa Claus at Newton Aycliffe’s winter parade, which he described as “a form of political correctness,” reports The Times.
It comes after a sub-committee at Great Aycliffe Town Council recently voted unanimously to allow female volunteers to perform as Santa Claus, following a request from two women.
Santa Claus has toured Great Aycliffe’s streets, giving out sweets to children, every Christmas Eve since the 1960s.
Councillor says Santa Claus must be a man
Chandran is set to put forward his proposal to ban female Santa Claus impersonators at the annual parade during a recreation committee meeting on Thursday night (November 29), reports The Northern Echo.
“Santa Claus being a man is a long-held tradition accepted by the vast majority of society.”
— Councillor Arun Chandran
“If the council was unable to have enough male volunteers to act as Santa Claus, I would have no objection to women volunteers undertaking the role, rather than deny the presence of a Santa on a given tour, though I would have to be convinced that the council had given plenty of notice and sought publicly for male volunteers and not left thing to the last minute,” Chandran said at a meeting, reports the local news outlet.
He added that his motion would state that “if there is no shortage of male volunteers to act as Santa Claus, we do not permit a female volunteer to perform the role.”
Chandran continued: “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 vast majority of society,” reports The Times.
The councillor added: “I believe that children in particular will be expecting a male Santa, and that it may well reflect badly on the Council if we were to deliberately introduce a form of political correctness just because a Labour Party member turns up at a Events Sub Committee meeting to demand women’s rights to be Santa Claus,” reports Metro.
The council clerk has said that a final decision on the issue will be made on December 12.
Talk shows debate if there can be a female Santa Claus
The local news has attracted widespread attention in the national media, becoming the focus of debate on ITV’s Loose Women on Wednesday (November 28).
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Loose Women panelist Linda Robson argued: “Father Christmas is a man as we all know, and I think the kids would be confused if they got to see Father Christmas and it was a woman, so I think we should keep it as it is.”
Fellow panelist Stacey Solomon counter-argued that so long as the costume resembles Santa Claus, it does not matter who gets to wear it.
“Is this female Santa wearing a beard and hat? So what does it matter what’s underneath?” she said, adding: “They’re playing the part of Santa. Sometimes there’s not enough people around who look like Santa. So does it matter whether it’s a man, woman or whoever?”
The issue was also discussed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, with co-host Piers Morgan insisting that Father Christmas is “male.”