Do Women Work in the Afternoon in Madison County, a Short Investigation

A couple of weeks ago, “a crowd of more than 100 people gathered on the Madison County courthouse lawn in Marshall to participate in an anti-abortion rally organized by local pastors.” This was infuriating to me because:

  1. Roe v. Wade was already overturned at this point. I know abortion is still legal in North Carolina, but this felt a little like rubbing the noses of those of us who care about the lives of others in shit. 
  2. I enjoy visiting Marshall and Hot Springs, and this does make me want to go there a little less. 

*Editor’s note: Why do all these non-mega church pastors dress like Kevin Malone? 

I briefly covered this gathering in a piece I recently did for the Citizen-Times on the unAmericanness of pushing your religion on others but didn’t have the word count to address the part of the original article I couldn’t help fixating on.

Allow me to excerpt and elaborate. From the article:

“Coates said the rally marked the third event held by Madison County’s National Day of Prayer chapter. 

According to Coates, the July 13 event was moved so that churches are able to move their Wednesday evening services to downtown Marshall.

‘Several had mentioned to me that it was hard to come up here at noon on a Thursday because men work,” Coates said. “These men are working men, and they can’t come here on an afternoon on Thursday. So, we decided to do it on Wednesday nights so that area churches can gather here at the courthouse.’”

The Coates in question is pastor Brian Coates of the Arrington Branch Baptist Church in Marshall, and it seems like he forgot what year it is because last I checked, it’s 2022, and men and women are both typically working at noon. 

Confused as I was, I reached out to Coates via email to ask him if women in Madison County worked (amongst several other choice questions). Unsurprisingly, Coates didn’t answer me, so I took this investigation into my own hands. 

Here are my findings:

  • When I visited the Mad Co. Brew house last year around noon, both bartenders were female.
  • I stopped in Marshall earlier this spring and had lunch at Zuma Coffee. A woman took my order. 
  • I was at Big Pillow Brewing two consecutive afternoons in June. One afternoon one of the bartenders was a living, breathing woman. The next day it was a man, but a woman was setting up an event there. 
  • On one of those days, I had breakfast at Riviere Provisions, and both the counter workers were women.
  • I went shopping at Bluff Mountain Outfitters later that morning, and a woman rang me up.

Now, Pastor Coates specified that men work on Thursday afternoons, and in all fairness, all my Madison County shenanigans took place on weekends. Not wanting to report inaccurately, I called Riviere Provisions and Zuma Coffee on a Thursday afternoon, and both times women answered the phone. 

That concludes my investigation.

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