santa gender neutral

For most of the world and most of history, there’s been no question about which gender Santa Claus is. Yet, this seems to be a point of controversy in at least one town in England.

A counselor named Arun Chandran in Newton Aycliffe, near Durham, England complained recently about a woman being cast as Santa Claus in the town’s Christmas parade. Chandran told The Times that the role should only be played by men.

“My understanding is that Santa Claus, otherwise called Father Christmas, is a male role,” Chandran said. “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.”

While many – most- would likely agree with Chandran, others disagreed.

 “We voted unanimously, there’s nothing wrong with the lady Santa,” said 70-year-old counselor Bill Blenkinsopp. “Does it matter who Santa is?”

Later, the council voted again and reversed their stance. The new ruling stated that “the role of Santa Claus should continue to be a male role.”

But what might seem like a clear decision concerning what Santa’s sex should be is actually less clear than ever according to recent polling.

“Does it matter who Santa is?”

The BBC reports:

Their see-sawing response reflects changing attitudes to Santa in wider society. A recent study has claimed that 27.8% of people in the US and UK would prefer Santa to be either a woman or non-gendered. Of those, 10.6% say they want a female Santa, while 17.2% want the character to be gender neutral.

Obviously, a clear majority still favors a male Santa Claus, but it’s sort of mind-boggling that Western culture has become so liberal that even this many would question St. Nick’s gender.

You can still be for women while recognizing that Santa should be a male role. That this is even a controversy, however great or small, says more about the times we live in than anything else.

Can’t we just let kids everywhere have a normal Christmas free of adults’ politics and beliefs?

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