Sunday, April 1, 2012
"Gender inequality is all around us," she said. Sometimes it's very subtle, and we don't immediately notice it. It's easy to spot once we start looking."
Fugelhorne plans to address the Bowie City Council at an upcoming meeting to present one of her concerns: deer crossing signs in the city. "The city is full of deer, but let me ask you one question," said Fugelhorne. "When was the last time you saw a big male buck in the city? When you see a deer on the side of the road, it's almost always a doe, yet all deer crossing signs in the city depict a buck with huge antlers. Is that right?"
Fuglehorne favors adoption of new signs with images of anter-less deer. "We were able to adopt gender inclusive cross-walk signs in the 70s, and I think this is the next logical step," she said.
Fugelhorne plans on referencing the city's diversity statement when addressing the council. "The City of Bowie Diversity Statement was adopted by the council in 2003," said Fugelhorne, "and it identifies gender differences as something to be celebrated."
Detractors, however, point to the Bowie City Code, which states, "whenever ... words or phrases are used denoting the masculine gender, they shall be taken to include the feminine gender." It may be up to lawyers to determine if that applies to the deer crossing signs.
Officials at the mayor's office could not be reached for comment.
City activist Ken Worthe vowed to fight Fugelhorne's proposal. "Frankly, I think Ms. Fugelhorne needs a reality check," said Worthe. "This is a tough budget year, and the council should be focused on working hard for the taxpayers. This deer crossing sign issue is a distraction and a slippery slope. What's next? Pink 'stop' signs? Should the Public Works Department access city's sewers through 'woman holes?' Should we rename the Belair Mansion the Belair Womansion?"
Long time Bowie resident Leonard Burstein had a lighthearted view of the initiative. "Antlers? No antlers? It doesn't matter to me. The city should really focus on moving some of these deer crossings because it's just not safe for the deer to cross these busy streets," Burstein said with a wink and a smile.
Posted by Bowie Mike at 8:36 AM