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Guest post: Why the left needs feminism

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, January 31st, 2011 - 127 comments
Categories: equality, feminism - Tags:

I had set my mind to writing this article a few weeks back after IrishBill said some charming things to me on my own blog.

Then, because this is how the Universe works some days, the very issue came up on Kiwipolitico when Pablo sought discussion on where all the young left thinkers at. George D commented:

I know perhaps 20 or 30 minds as sharp as the ones you mention, all to some degree politically engaged. But absent a home – they are just speaking into the wind. Most prefer to save their breath. Many have deserted “left politics” for more direct forms of struggle/praxis: working class, union, and beneficiary activism; tino Rangatiratanga; environmentalism; feminism; and animal rights. Most engaged in at least one, with the knowledge that the structural conditions that enforce one enforce them all.
By this home I mean a space in which they can express their ideas and be taken seriously, at the very least by each other, and from which to develop a sustained and productive critique of society.

This really crystallized one of my key arguments: that the Left in New Zealand has been weakened by (among other things) the loss of activists and voices to other issues that aren’t specifically focused on class struggle or strictly economic leftist ideas. (I really focus on feminism here as that’s my baby.)

To put it in my more usual terms, the Left, and especially Labour, have screwed up by ignoring, cutting out and downright condemning feminists and other progressive activists and they need to get the fuck over themselves.

Also, it’s your own fucking fault.

Part One: history lesson

Second-wave feminism grew out of a lot of things. Yeah, there was dissatisfaction with horrific job discrimination and middle-class housewives were finally getting mad that their supposedly perfect lives left them feeling unfulfilled and directionless and women were haemhorraging to death in hotel rooms after botched abortions. And some women were feeling a wee bit angry about that.

But one thing that really helped kick things off? Leftwing men. Leftwing men who could talk your ear off about the oppression of workers but let the women volunteers stuff the envelopes and make the coffee. Leftwing men who were all about opposing men being drafted for a capitalist war but didn’t have time to think about how, war or no war, women got drafted into producing the next generation of cannon fodder.

Leftwing men who tried to tell us (and the people of colour, and the people with disabilities, and everyone else) that the problem was capitalism, obviously. It was all about class and once we got rid of that mean ol’ power dynamic all those other oppressions – those oppressions that didn’t matter quite so much – would just vanish.

Now could you please go make some coffee while the boys are talking?

And those angry women realised that relying on men to give a shit about issues that only affected the segment of the population categorised as “food provision/fucking” was about as good a strategy as deploying marshmallows against a Flammpanzer II.

Thanks, guys, I don’t know if we could’ve done it without ya.

Part Two: more recent history lesson

Nine long years of Labour, etc etc and oh, there was a lamentation and a crying of neckbeards, for women occupied a few powerful positions simultaneously and surely the end was nigh. And thanks to the 9th floor being transformed into a feminist lesbian cabal or something, we now have basic social support for parents (predominantly women) to take paid leave and not get fired, and The Gays can get almost-but-not-quite-proper-married, and you can’t just rape hookers safe in the knowledge that the cops, with their wonderful culture, will just arrest your victim because you’re a nice white pillar of the community etc. etc.

Oh, for shame.

Then our Beloved Leader smile-and-wave got into power, Auntie Helen handed over the reins and headed off to the UN just to let y’all know that the cabal is everywhere (or she could be immensely talented and qualified for the role) and lo, there was a great releasing of pant top buttons and a relieved round of burping at the caucus table and, well … the guys went a little silly.

Did I say a little?

These people have become the fervent champions of an indigenous culture they can never truly join because, fundamentally, they despise their own.

Yep, things got to the “white leftwingers who talk about Maori issues are race traitors” stage a little quicker than I might have expected…


Queen of Thorns

127 comments on “Guest post: Why the left needs feminism”

  1. just saying 1

    Awesome.

    Stoked you’re blogging here (or taking it to the i-streets).

    Getting the popcorn for this debate!

    .

  2. Janice 2

    Wow! Go Girl!

  3. Rosy 3

    “there was a great releasing of pant top buttons and a relieved round of burping at the caucus table and, well … the guys went a little silly”.

    Wow, that’s the first time I’ve seen that Chris Trotter article. What a romantic little notion he has of the Labour party being for the working-class man. I’d feel excluded if I thought all Labour men felt that way. Surely he’s dreaming.

  4. Linda 4

    Following your link I’ve just got a “page does not exist” message on Trotter’s blog. Hmmm … funny that.

    • Lew 4.1

      While Chris has a history of deleting — without warning — his more immoderate statements, he hasn’t seen fit to nuke this one. Just an error in the post: it’s here.

      L

  5. Brett 5

    Back in the real world

    don’t embed videos

    • orange whip? 5.1

      Aw, no videos? But that one had a GIRL saying “sexist” things which basically proves that they’re NOT.

    • NickS 5.2

      /facepalm

      Yes, because feminism is a monolithic group with no internal conflicts at all and they all hate teh pr0n and are rabid anti-sex spinsters…

      The porn wars in feminism are not a nice simple topic, the underlying reasons and arguments used by both sides are mostly value-judgements backed by anecdotes, some good social science work and too much bad social science work. And more annoyingly on the anti-porn side, word-salad post-modernism, which also provides a base for transphobia, and portraying all sex workers as “damaged”…

      And oh shitballs, that’s got to be the worse argument against against equal wages I’ve seen thus far.

      • QoT 5.2.1

        I’m almost sorry I missed it given this sum-up…

        • orange whip? 5.2.1.1

          Yeah almost. It was pretty much “Women don’t get paid less than men because of patriarchy, it’s just because women aren’t as good at stuff and don’t work as hard” etc etc.

        • NickS 5.2.1.2

          Well, I didn’t watch it fully, but I figured she’d bring up the porn wars as it’s one of the main reasons why people who’d otherwise be feminists reject it and she’s brought it up in the past in a video made with other current and former sex workers about the anti-porn/sex work crowd (making sex sell/work I think?). And ye olde “victim hood”, in which your totes not a victim if you ignore patriarchal douchebaggery….

          I’d watch it now, but I have gibbering horrors to turn into gore n’ gibs in Dead Space:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSdZlPKHpUQ

          Oh yeah, beware the comments for MRA-bags run rampant producing a brain-damaging echo-chamber of stupid and fail.

        • NickS 5.2.1.3

          Oh yeah, btw I’m looking forward to the next part, and are you going to bring up that abortion access map?

  6. A Nonny Moose 6

    Yay, QoT! It takes class to bring me back to The Standard these days, and you got it!

    And before anyone wants to get their knickers in too much of a twist, may I recommend
    http://www.derailingfordummies.com

    Pre-emptive? I’ve been around feminist blogs too long, I could write a script how commentary will go.

  7. Lew 7

    Great post, Q, although I think the second-to-last par (“These people have become …”) needs blockquoted. And the URL on the final link has a trailing quote.

    The fundamental takeaway is that the fragmentation of the left by the left is a problem for the left. Nobody else cares overmuch; to the extent they do care, most competing political movements are just happy that their opposition has chosen to neuter (or spay, if you will) itself. A NZ left movement where the traditional core of working-class white men, economically and politically marginalised as they are, goes out of its way to alienate others who are also marginalised — squandering the chance to double its support base — will never really amount to much. Nor should it.

    The left needs to hang together, else its various factions will surely hang separately.

    L

    • Carol 7.1

      I agree that the left needs feminism, but also that feminism needs the left. Or maybe, not so much needs, as that, in many ways they have links in the things they are struggling for and against.

      I totally agree with QOT, on the way 2nd wave feminism was stimulated by the white male dominance of leftwing politics – especially in NZ, Aussie & the UK. In the US, feminism had some stronger originating elements from within the black civil rights movement.

      In recent times I have seen a bit of revisionist distortion of history, scapegoating 2nd wave feminism (and other identity politics) as some neoliberal plot that destroyed the left. In fact neoliberalism drew on the popularity of identity politics to gain wider support. It did this by syphoning off a liberal, individualist version of feminism (that was also the most dominant form of feminsim in the US). This narrowed version of the feminist movement, also capitalised on some fractures within the left, between various identity politics movements and the white masculinist section of it.

      But this narrowed, individualistic version of feminism, mostly benefits white middleclass, developed world women. I think there are feminists that don’t really support the less individualistic, collectively-organised struggle against neoliberalism, as much as they could – some actively work against it. Women in the lower-socio-economic sections of society are in an intensely difficult situation these days, with unemployment and low wages hitting them particularly hard. Many men on low incomes also are suffering too much. I support a feminism that works for more income equality, while also struggling against individualistic, neoliberal-influenced analysis of gender inequalities and oppressions – analysis that leads to working for gender equality within a neoliberal system, without working towards changing that system.

      • Olwyn 7.1.1

        Well said Carol. I would add that one cause of division and bitterness is the fact that under the neoliberal model, “identity” victories are relatively easily won and worker victories are very hard to attain. Hence identity victories are trumpeted as left wing gains while the working class continue to cry over their power bills and try to work out ways of getting the family over to Queensland.

        Furthermore, at the prospering end of the middle class, liberation is often expressed by being a stay-at-home mum, having three or more children, along with a nanny to wipe their noses, and combining the attributes of the “yummy mummy” with a “high end” revival of domestic arts like knitting and baking. Meanwhile, at the least prospering end of the working class, prison has become the 21st century version of the work house for many women.

        A form of feminism that is able to sidestep the latter has a very limited conception of what liberation actually means.

        • Lew 7.1.1.1

          “Often” — and “nanny”? I suggest you check your premises.

          L

          • Olwyn 7.1.1.1.1

            I do qualify my comment with “at the prospering end of the middle class” and the phenomenon I describe seems to me “often” observable among a narrow band of people. However, I am willing to modify it to the more modest “sometimes.” It does not alter the fact that this too can count for some as liberation, and that it is empirically observable.

            • Lew 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Fair enough. But, by definition, that is a diminishingly small proportion of women and feminists.

              I’d also argue that the disdain shown to more mainstream feminism by the core of the Marxist left has granted others opportunities to hijack the feminist movement and redefine core tenets of it in rather disturbing ways. An example of what I mean is the Tea Party’s appropriative and question-begging ‘feminist’ discourse, examined in some depth here.

              If the left wants to defend feminism from the yummy mummies and Mama Grizzlies, it would be prudent to provide a viable — and inclusive — alternative.

              L

        • Hugh 7.1.1.2

          Well said, Olwyn.

        • QoT 7.1.1.3

          “identity” victories are relatively easily won and worker victories are very hard to attain

          These kind of statements are actually part of the problem I’m outlining, Olwyn. When you draw a hard line between “identity victories” and “worker victories” you’re making an implicit statement about who counts as being a “worker” – and apparently that’s not anyone with an “identity”.

          I also reject the notion that “identity victories” aren’t about work – because a huge number of feminist victories are explicitly work-related, from equal pay to equal opportunities to paid parental leave to modern causes like flexible working hours.

          As for “relatively easily won” … well I guess I’m just not sure what you’re talking about there since we’re still fighting for equal pay and work-life balance and the basic right to be judged on one’s merits instead of one’s genitalia.

        • Maia 7.1.1.4

          Could you name these ‘identity’ victories that you see as relatively easily won?

          Paid Parental leave – is both a workplace and feminist issue (see what QoT is saying). And is the most significant feminist gain under the last labour government (there were more significant feminist legislative steps forward 1990-1999 than 1999-2008 – although there were obviously also massive steps back under both). It was not easily won.

      • A Nonny Moose 7.1.2

        “But this narrowed, individualistic version of feminism, mostly benefits white middleclass, developed world women.”

        Indeed. There are some great blogs and writers out there who redefine feminism, or womanism, for cultural, religious, disability, class and queer reasons. If anyone wants to do some further reading on these intersections, there’s Womanist Musings, Alas a Blog, and Feministe has some good writers along those lines too (and remember to leave your privilege at the door).

        Any other reading suggestions welcome here too.

      • QoT 7.1.3

        Many men on low incomes also are suffering too much.

        Yes, but they don’t suffer from the intersectionality of being poor and women. They may well suffer from other forms of oppression too (being non-white, having disability etc). However, there are very specifically gendered reasons which keep many women poor which men do not face.

    • just saying 7.2

      “A NZ left movement where the traditional core of working-class white men,…”

      Just to be chrystal clear let’s say it out loud. The problem is not confined to working class men. I know you didn’t say it was but…

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Trotter is a known fan of the songs, and the ahem, soldarity, and the history of it all. But not to pick on him. He’s not alone

    As far as I’m concerned they can take this up with Woody Guthrie, circa nineteen forty fucking two. It is not some new complaint.

    Here’s Billy Bragg singing it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63UqDZOeMQ8

    (so just to be clear, Guthrie, (Woody that is), plus Bragg. Left enuff?).

    She Came Along to Me

    Ten hundred books could I write you about her
    Because I felt if I could know her
    I would know all women
    And they’ve not been any too well known
    For brains and planning and organized thinking
    But I’m sure the women are equal
    And they may be ahead of the men

    Yet I wouldn’t spread such a rumor around
    Because one organizes the other
    And some times the most lost and wasted
    Attract the most balanced and sane
    And the wild and the reckless take up
    With the clocked and the timed
    And the mixture is all of us
    And we’re still mixing

    But never, never, never
    Never could have it been done
    If the women hadn’t entered into the deal
    Like she came along to me

    And all creeds and kinds and colors
    Of us are blending
    Till I suppose ten million years from now
    We’ll all be just alike
    Same color, same size, working together
    And maybe we’ll have all the fascists
    Out of the way by then
    Maybe so.

  9. Bill 9

    ‘Why the Left needs Feminism’?

    Because if feminism isn’t an integral part of a left analysis and thinking in the way that class is, then the Left ain’t Left.

    When we are as thoughtlessly left ( on matters pertaining to gender, race, environment etc, etc ) after the fashion that we can be thoughtlessly racist or thoughtlessly sexist, then we might be said to be progressing or to have progressed.

    But the way it seems to me, whereas many women are people, far to many men are just men. And that’s immensely problematic.

    • Lew 9.1

      Couldn’t have put it better, Bill. But, in a way, Melissa McEwan did: “If you’re not a feminist, you’re not a progressive. You’re a fauxgressive.”

      L

  10. Thanks so much for this Thorny one, looking forward to reading part two, and engaging in the debate here if I get some time.

  11. i just hate how man hating lesbians give heterophobes a bad name and the fact that i’m too stupid to realise if that makes me homophobic or sexist or a tool for hegemonic oppression or whatever…

    …and now, because i’m a fulltime house husband doing the child care thing while my lady is the breadwinner and trucks off to work every day, whether that makes me new age, enlightened, emancipated, liberated and equal opportunist or maybe just pussywhipped and emasculated ?

    throw in the fact that i’m an underclass cyber pseudonymous half caste pasifikan cultural supremacist and it all makes for…

    …well i dunno actually but it doesn’t suck being me. I love the skin i’m in :)

    FEMINISM FTW !!!

    • Carol 11.1

      Pollywog, as a lefty lesbian and feminist, I ask… where are all these “man-hating lesbians”? I have never seen that many amongst women I know. Largely I think this a construction of some media fantasists, and anti-feminist myth-makers: the production of a stereotype based on the behaviour and language of a very small minority.

      I often hear heterosexual women making much more “anti-male” statements than I ever do… I guess largely because sexual/romantic relationships can involve many conflicting and intense emotions, sometimes giving rise to extreme anger and dissatisfaction.

      • pollywog 11.1.1

        they’re all up in da club just like the good ol’ boys…

        I went to a gay bar for lesbians once and the ‘hate’ was palpable, you could just feel it hitting you in waves as ‘they’ realised there was an alien in their midst

        just like the sport of brown bashing breeders and bludgers in the media at places like KKKiwiblog or KKKactus Kate’s, one only needs a sole example to perpetuate the stereotype and an audible dog whistle for the sheeple to start baa..ing in unison and suddenly we’re all the bloody same

        whatever meaningful dialogue after that gets whited out in the full frequency jamming of all extraneous noise

        http://www.derailingfordummies.com/ Pre-emptive? I’ve been around feminist blogs too long, I could write a script how commentary will go.

        sweet…so how does this narrative go again so i can assume the rightful position ?

        • Carol 11.1.1.1

          Dislike of a guy at a lesbian bar, may not be based so much in a generalised man-hating, as in a long experience & tradition of het male voyeurism – not something all men indulge in by any means, but in a lesbian bar women would hope to be able to relax and not be bothered by such things.

          It’s kind of similar to a woman walking down the street at night, feeling a little worried about any lurking male in the night. The one man may not be a problem, but how is a woman to know, if the man is unknown to them?

          • pollywog 11.1.1.1.1

            yeah nah, it was more like being the lone coconut at a strange fruit party…

            …i knew trouble was brewing if i’d hung around as some chose to be bothered by such things

            • Carol 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Hmmm, pollywog. First you say the problem was man-hating, then you hint at racism. What was the evidence for either or both? The way you slipped from one explanation to the other makes it seem like you’re guessing and that your conclusions aren’t based on any solid evidence.

              • pollywog

                …of course it’s not based on solid evidence, it’s based on instinct. You know that gut feeling that says you’re not welcome in some circumstances ?

                So you don’t think sexism is like racism then and metaphors for them can be interchangeable…sweet, i do.

                • SPC

                  You simply felt uncomfortable because they did – and here was it because you were a man, or because you were yourself in your own skin?

      • Hugh 11.1.2

        I think it’s simply because most men can’t tell indifference from hatred.

        • Boganette 11.1.2.1

          What were you doing in their space? What kind of dude goes to a lesbian bar then has a cry about it when he gets ignored? You’re breaking my face with the amount of eye-rolling I’m doing while reading your ridiculous comment.

          • mcflock 11.1.2.1.1

            agreed, Boganette. I used to be a bouncer at a bar that had regular queer/queer-friendly events. The basic idea was that it was a safe space for people to be themselves, i.e. no judgement/staring/etc and hetlife was the minority, not the assumed norm.

            The people who weren’t welcome were folk who just wanted to look at the freak show (or drunk rugby-jersey-wearers who didn’t notice that the lady who just trebled the covercharge when she saw them was 6ft tall and had 5 o’clock shadow). It was usually pretty self governing, with few problems that couldn’t be contained by the peer group.

            Guys (most common problem, although drunk women could be obnoxious, too) who just wanted to look at lesbians and stare at transvestites usually sorted their shit out or got told to leave pretty quickly – regulars were quick to let me know if I hadn’t spotted the jerks already. On the dividing line were new to the scene and “curious” as well as curious, and a few who just had the misfortune that their regular bar suddenly changed demographic for the night (they were pretty cool as a rule, though). But in general, it wasn’t intended to be “spectator friendly” (we-ell okay there were certain lifestyle exceptions, but you know what I mean 😉

          • pollywog 11.1.2.1.2

            heh..hardly crying about being ignored.

            it was the end of a drunken night out with some gay friends and i just coulda done without the heavy looks and sideways glances.

            just didn’t feel like defending my straightness ogling a hot chicca while her GF got her staunch on so i bailed.

            • McFlock 11.1.2.1.2.1

              You coulda done without heavy looks, they coulda done without you drunken “ogling”.
              Deal with it.

              One time I ended up in the wrong bar and was lucky to leave before blades were drawn. No, it wasn’t a lesbian bar. Let’s leave it at “different socioeconomic status and I was a drunken dick”.

              • pollywog

                I did deal with it dick…in the best way possible. I left

                thing is, i didn’t do anything different than if i’d been in any other bar.

                i get drunk, i dance, i ‘ogle’…uhh make that, appreciate the beauty of fine looking women and dapper looking guys too :)

                • Boganette

                  So… a woman didn’t like drunk asshole perving at her all night while she was trying to enjoy herself with her partner? Wow, fucking stop the press.

                  • pollywog

                    Nah you got it all twisted son.

                    Woman didn’t mind at all. Man hating partner felt threatened. Insecurity issues going on i imagine…

                    …and watch who you’re calling asshole bitch

                    jealous much, penis envy ?

                    • Boganette

                      The one with insecurity issues is you. After all, let’s face it: You’re emotional about being ignored/getting hostile vibes at a club you weren’t welcome at where you were being a drunk, lecherous, pervert asshole. I’m glad you felt intimidated. Maybe if you felt like that more, you might not make women feel the same way when you leer all over them and view them as entertainment. You’re not going to get any sympathy from women who believe they should be able to go out dancing with their partners without being drooled over by knuckledraggers.

                      Interesting that you brought up penis envy – good luck with that.

                    • Blondie

                      @ Pollywog

                      Dude, it’s got nothing to do with man-hating issues if some chick didn’t like you ogling her girlfriend. It’s got to do with you disrespecting them both, and them taking offense.

                      You wouldn’t blatantly ogle some chick who’s out with her boyfriend – so why can’t you show the same respect to lesbians?

                    • QoT

                      @Blondie

                      Absolutely! And then consider that lesbian couples are probably also extra-aware that drunk guys ogling them aren’t just being standard drunk-guys-leering-at-women, they’re part of a wonderful culture which tells lesbians their sexuality isn’t “real” (because sex sans cock can’t be ~real~ sex obvs) and that their displays of affection for each other just serve as fap-material for men.

                      I’d be fucking hostile too.

    • QoT 11.2

      You’re enlightened if you’re enlightened, pollywog. The kinds of people who throw around words like “pussywhipped” are misogynist douchebags with massive insecurity complexes about strong women. Other than that, not sure what you’re going for here.

      • pollywog 11.2.1

        The kinds of people who throw around words like “pussywhipped” are misogynist douchebags with massive insecurity complexes about strong women.

        …that’ll be a lot of my hiphop mates then :)

        s’pose what i’m going for is, like a lot of ‘isms echoing the whole middle class eurocentric steez, feminism kinda breaks down when you apply it to Pasifikan cultures…

        …dunno if we even got an equivalent word for it ?

        • QoT 11.2.1.1

          As an incredibly white girl I’m not qualified to comment on that one, but there are certainly similar situations like “womanism” which is frequently used by American women of colour who feel “feminism” doesn’t answer (or particularly focus on/care about) issues of gender/race intersectionality.

          • pollywog 11.2.1.1.1

            As an incredibly white girl I’m not qualified to comment on that one…

            Forget the qualifications and comment anyway.

            Imagine how it’d be if just because we’re not jewish or palestinian or whatever, we didn’t comment on anything outside our own ‘racial’/religious/whatever profile ?

            • QoT 11.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m just conscious of the fact that white people have a nice torrid history of decreeing How Things Are for other ethnic groups when they know fuck-all and should let oppressed groups speak for themselves.

          • pollywog 11.2.1.1.2

            oh yeah…what i meant was an equivalent word/concept in our own language

            uhh…how about ‘wahinetanga’ in Maori ?

            • Adele 11.2.1.1.2.1

              Teenaa koe, Pollywog

              The term is “mana waahine” and very likely there is an equivalent expression within your own pasifikan identity. Mana waahine is not an exchangeable expression with feminism or womanism as it derives from a different place.

              Belatedly, two excellent posts by QoT

      • hereyago 11.2.2

        Does that mean the people who throw around words like “misogynist douchebags” have massive insecurity complexes about men ?

        Or is everyone just a little too precious about themselves and what people say these days.

        • QoT 11.2.2.1

          Let’s pretend you’re not a massive troll.

          “Pussywhipped” carries clear connnotations of the “correct”/”orthodox” roles that should be played in a default-heterosexual relationship as well as the idea that women primarily gain power over men through sex.

          “Misogynist douchebags” refers to people who promote hatred and marginalization of women and as such are redundant tools of patriarchy designed to shame women’s sexuality.

  12. Sophia 12

    Excellent post QoT! Really hit the nail on the head. Looking forward to part two.

  13. Lew 13

    Full credit to Olwyn, Carol, and the misguided-but-honest-about-it pollywog and Brett. Must say I had expected less of a love-fest in comments. But I can’t help but feel like y’all Standardistas and regular lefties who’re generally quite forthright in castigating anyone who doesn’t yoke ’emselves tightly to the Great Marxist Wagon and haul in the direction of working-class utopia are going a bit easy on Q here.

    Is it because she’s a girl?

    L

    • pollywog 13.1

      heh…so guide me then Lew.

      given all that i claim myself to be in knowing F.A about leftism, rightism, marxism, feminism and intellectualism, what is my rightful position…

      …face in the corner with a hat marked ‘D’, silent while the grown ups talk ?

      as you were then :)

    • Bill 13.2

      Lew, ‘The Standard’ is fairly peppered with instances of sexism. And I’ve noticed that when any of those pepperings have come to QoT’s attention, that the floor gets wiped with the perpetrator. So either various people have learned or are learning from the error of their ways or them’s is nervous about sticking their heads above the parapet, or after the best fashion of self denial, they are nodding in agreement with the post, blithely unaware of their own contribution to the environment QoT is writing about.

      • just saying 13.2.1

        You’re onto it Bill.

        Have enjoyed the civilised debate but I’m looking forward to seeing the Queen in action when the boofheads and deniers have tanked up with a bit of dutch courage later on. Have popcorn on standby for that.

        By the way, do you want to expand on your man/woman/person comment Bill?

        • Bill 13.2.1.1

          By the way, do you want to expand on your man/woman/person comment..

          With difficulty and only partially because I know I’m going to tie myself in verbal knots (and probably get a whole pile of shit heading my way) if I try to think it through too far.

          I’m alluding to the fact that one aspect of feminism was a process of ‘deconditioning’, or transcending the social fictions women were meant to aspire to. Same for men.

          I’ve come across PI communities doing similar work, although they tend to refer to the process of evaluating their perspectives and the expectations that others have of them as ‘decolonising’ the mind. Same thing.

          If you percieve yourself as a person first and either a man or a woman second, I’d suggest you are less liable to fall prey to gender stereotypes as are constructed to apply to you and less liable to have stereotypical expectations of others. ie If being a person, rather than gender, is what is central to identity, then gender specific pressures or expectations are more identifiable and liable to ‘arms length’ appraisal. (And, where possible, subsequent dismissal)

          It’s a bit like religion. If you’re religious then you are open to all types of religious manipulations. But if you have rejected religion…not just a particular religious tradition, but all religion… then you are better able to identify it in all of its guises and avoid or counter its influences.

          • just saying 13.2.1.1.1

            Yeah it’s strange the title ‘identity politics’ because, as I understand it, ‘identity’ groups aren’t fighting for so much for an an identity, as to be able to take for granted the dignity, respect, and rights associated with personhood. And challenging those people and institutions who blindly or deliberately try and force members of particular groups into ‘their place’. Places which are inevitably somewhat less (at the very least.

            Still, an outsider perspective can be liberating in itself, can entail the freedom to chuck out a whole lot of heavy and unnecessary baggage, that those holding onto their privilege for grim life are usually unable to escape as The Way The World Is. Gender roles are just one example.

            • QoT 13.2.1.1.1.1

              I think you’ve got a really awesome point about “identity politics” there, js – I think I touch in the second part on how the “identities” which the term refers to, and which get castigated by Chris Trotter et al for being distractions from The Great Class Struggle, aren’t actually things we choose to have in a lot of cases, they’re aspects of our lives or personalities which capitalist/patriarchal society uses to oppress or distinguish us.

              By choosing to engage in “identity politics” as a feminist, as I do, I take the “identity” which society has forced on me and made very clear will always be used to pre-judge me, and turn it on its head. Like the contrary bitch I am. 😛

    • Ari 13.3

      Trolls don’t tend to wade into enemy territory as much, they prefer no man’s land. 😉

      • mcflock 13.3.1

        Ah, that would be why they live under bridges – territory that is neither one side nor the other…

    • QoT 13.4

      I’d like to think constructing a post full of pomo online-feminism jargon and supporting links kinda quashed any trolling opposition before it started … but let’s be real, they’re just confused and worried that lprent will be even harsher on all-caps “Y U SO FAT” comments than I am at my own place (and apparently don’t know how else to respond).

      [lprent: Like everything else, I tend to stomp on pointless abuse. But I suspect that one of the main reasons you’re getting less than usual commentary is because it was Auckland anniversary weekend. Close to half of the regular readers were probably aching from the annual post-holiday garden cleanup. ]

      • QoT 13.4.1

        This is true, lprent, as a Wellingtonian I totally forgot (and of course I doubt you noticed a similar quiet patch last week while we were all off getting boozed.)

    • Maia 13.5

      Apart from in Trevor Loudon’s head, where do ‘The Standard’ and Marxism interact?

      One area that I disagree with this post, and the way a lot of people construct this debate is that I htink the Labour party has as poor a record on class as it does on feminism – and feel like a false dichotomy is set up by many different people. When in actual fact the Labour party isn’t serving anyone’s interests, except their own desire to be in power.

      • lprent 13.5.1

        The Labour party is committed to peaceful change. To achieve that you either have to be in power or in a powerful position where you can influence those in power. As you indirectly point out there are compromises that get made to be able to get there and to maintain themselves in a position to be able to effect incremental change towards shared objectives. The NZLP has had 90 odd years learning how to balance the idealism with the practicalities of politics. The closer you look into politics the more you realize that is something that is a hell of lot harder do than it is to talk about*.

        The alternative to this type of incremental political change is revolutionary change in a response to the type of political stasis that the Nats and other conservative groups operate as being their core position. I found that to be a basically a very very bad idea, especially when I was looking at it from the viewpoint of being in the army in my youth. History has some interesting examples about how uncontrollable revolutionary change is and how frequently it descends into ineffective factionism or outright warlordism that is worse than the original problem.

        So in defense of the party that I choose to support. It has a pretty enviable record over the last 90 odd years of helping to slowly move the bounds of society. It does it within the framework of peaceful incremental change within which it formed. The usual thing that it is charged with is what you’re implicitly talking about – that is does things more slowly than some would prefer (including me).

        But if you look at both feminism and class changes since I was born in 1959, there have been phenomenal changes, almost all of them incrementally assisted into society by activists in and outside Labour, but ultimately with the legislative changes required pushed in by Labour – usually slightly in advance of the populations tolerance. It does this with a considerable amount of internal bickering between people with quite different activist priorities, which in turn reflects the varying opinions amongst the people that they represent and who they can’t move too far ahead of.

        * I usually refer to it as the 30 year push to move something from a nascent idea to full-blown reality. My most common statement to budding activists is to ask them if they’re prepared to sacrifice the next 30 years to push because convincing large proportions of whole populations doesn’t come at a easy price.

        • QoT 13.5.1.1

          lprent, you cover a lot and I have to dash to bloody work (curse capitalism for enslaving us all etc.) but my immediate reaction is just that there’s a distinct difference between peaceful change and not making change because the rednecks might not like it.

          Labour’s “enviable” record is a comparative one, and sure, compared to National, compared overseas to the fncking Democrats it looks pretty good. But I expect more.

      • QoT 13.5.2

        I do agree with you on this, Maia. It’s just that as Labour is the mainstream party ostensibly of “the left” it would be nice to see them not bail on progressive issues in the pursuit of votes. But then I can be an optimist!

  14. This is by far the best thing I’ve read on this website. Just sayin’.

  15. M 15

    Sometimes the biggest backward step for feminism is women themselves.

    If I say to women that I’m a feminist they look at me like I’ve just said I’m a fully paid up member of the National Front because they perceive feminists to be man-hating lesbians. They have no idea of the struggles women have gone through and died for so that they can enjoy the freedoms that so few women in the world enjoy today like freedom to marry or not, reproductive freedom, equal pay (in name anyway but not in practice), the ability to get loans without the OK of a male guarantor etc. They come off looking like ingrates.

    One of the scariest things I heard a while ago was a woman talking about another woman and her consternation that her husband had `let’ her do something. WTF – did she require his permission like a child or a dog? Or maybe this adult female was not compos mentis?

    Are men so fragile they need to constantly keep women in their nice little cages? Jack Nicholson put it succinctly in his soliloquy in `The Witches of Eastwick’ when he held forth that the reason men keep women down is because they’re scared they’re going to lose their hard-on. Even scarier is though are the women that allow themselves to be kept in their place equating control with love or being feminine.

    • J Mex 15.1

      One of the most over-reacting posts, I read in a long time, was this poster “M”, who wrote:

      One of the scariest things I heard a while ago was a woman talking about another woman and her consternation that her husband had `let’ her do something. WTF – did she require his permission like a child or a dog? Or maybe this adult female was not compos mentis?

      No. This is how people talk.

      Men sometimes say “the wife let me go fishing with my mates” Woman sometimes say “[Bob] let me have a weekend in Taupo while he looked after the kids”

      These are normal things for men and woman to say. It doesn’t mean that either of them are in a power imbalanced relationship. It probably means that you need to take some parts of life far less seriously – and probably take people far less literally. I think you do feminism far more harm by tilting at these windmills than tackling real issues.

      • QoT 15.1.1

        These are normal things for men and woman to say.

        “Normal” is not the same thing as “not sexist”.

        Men saying “haha the wife let me out this weekend” are participating in a culture which treats women as controlling, nagging, emotionally codependent bitches who feel possessive and jealous about their male partners.

        Women saying “my husband is babysitting the kids today” are participating in a culture which assumes women are always the “natural” caregivers of children and men actually assuming sole responsibility for their offspring are somehow doing their partners a favour or can only be doing so on a one-off, unusual basis.

        I think you do feminism far more harm by tilting at these windmills than tackling real issues.

        I happen to think the casual, everyday reinforcement of sexist gender roles is a “real” issue but there you go.

        • J Mex 15.1.1.1

          Overhearing someone use the phrase “my husband let me” is purported to be one of the scariest things that the poster (M) has heard? And you don’t think it is an over-reaction, QoT? Oh, let me guess, “One of the scariest things” is just a saying? The poster wasn’t actually chilled to the bone and frightened beyond belief? And we shouldn’t waste our time over analysing the possible meanings that an innocent turn of phrase has? – My point exactly.

          By M saying that an everyday phrase was one of the scariest things she has heard, is she actively participating in a culture that treats woman as emotional, fragile, anxious, feeble creatures who need the protection of a patriarchal society?

          • Jum 15.1.1.1.1

            One of the idiotological religos attached to United Future, Larry Baldock I think, in his maiden speech in Parliament stated that he ‘let his wife work’. Wasn’t that nice of him.

            That way of thinking went out with the 60’s didn’t it when it was no longer seen as bringing shame on the man for not being able to provide? Oh no. Seems the blokes have some evolving to do, not to mention letting go on the control mania.

            Yes KJT. You are right about consulting your spouse/partner but the final say must be the person wanting to go for the job or take a trip. With Larry Baldock it was nothing of the kind. He allowed her; quite a different meaning.

          • QoT 15.1.1.1.2

            Its very casualness and every-day-normal-ness are what makes it scary, J Mex. Because some of us are sincerely worried by the idea that casual reference to one person having authority over another person’s actions is “just normal” and “nothing to worry about”.

    • KJT 15.2

      I ask my wife before I do things and she asks me when she is doing something. Common courtesy to your partner. What are you trying to say?

      Havn’t noticed consulting my wife has any effect on the hard on.

    • QoT 15.3

      Sometimes the biggest backward step for feminism is women themselves.

      Not the most feminist of statements there, M. Blaming women because they have been socialised into accepting negative associations around the word “feminist” is an exercise in futility. The answer as far as I’m concerned is to be open about being feminist, talk about why I’m feminist, and confront that stereotype.

      That being said, there are women who identify as feminist who do hate men and advocate political lesbianism and separatism. And that’s absolutely their choice.

      • M 15.3.1

        QoT, I take your point re women being socialised into accepting negative associations around the word feminist but maybe my take on it stems from a feeling of exasperation. I do understand that some women are pretty beaten down in subtle and not so subtle ways but would hope curiosity would spur them on to do some investigation about gender expectations.
        Often if a woman says she’s a feminist you can hear a pin drop and then get a barrage about being a bra-burning lezo. Btw the intersectionality link has given me a whole new thing to read up on.

        One of the ways I tend to talk about feminism is how it has given women the opportunity to move into jobs once held to be the preserve of men like being a fire fighter or plumber and have been met with replies like “Why would a woman want to do such an unfeminine job?” but why the hell shouldn’t she if she has the nous and strength requirements?

        • QoT 15.3.1.1

          The thing is, any natural kind of curiosity around WHY we have particular gender expectations is pretty roundly answered, every day, with “it’s natural”. Women are “just” more “nurturing” and men are “just” stronger and even women with the physical capacity of Dot Jones must deep down just want to be romanced and treated like objects. (Do not start me on that episode of Glee.)

          It’s the defence so often used but which is so baffling: “but we just want to protect women because you’re so special, so how can it be bad?” which a lot of us have been well trained to take as a compliment instead of a pile of condescending bullshit.

          Then you just add the universal social pressure to conform and go along with the crowd, plus the fact that a lot of women to this day are dependent on men and on conforming to their assigned gender role for basic survival, and there just becomes too much risk in questioning the status quo.

          As to the firefighting thing, that’s a whole other pile of issues – including the notion that men and women can’t really socialise together as workmates because we’re “just different” or that even women who can technically meet the physical requirements of a role still won’t be able to hack it because they are still, deep down, pretty princesses who just want to have babies.

      • Jum 15.3.2

        QoT,
        Isn’t there a name for man-haters? The opposite of misogynists. Let’s separate out these groups so that those poor precious men who can’t keep up with women can tell which is which, BUT, never allow all those women and girls who comprise New Zealand’s female population to ever forget that without supporting one another first, all women will continue to be seen as secondary to men.

        I certainly blame women and a lot of blokey haters of women leaders for helping this government to destroy any sense of self in New Zealanders or New Zealand. NAct’re out there now, selling off more farmland, having secret meetings to sign away NZ’s right to make its own decisions for at least the next 100 years and what’s worse Labour is doing nothing to promise to reverse it as an incoming Government.- rust never sleeps.

        This is the last year for New Zealand being saved for our children’s children and beyond as a sharing, caring country. If Labour doesn’t prove itself to women then women should advocate for a central women’s party. As a political group women would be feared because they would consider the good of the country’s children, then the country, then the adults. Like the good food, heaps of, and the bad food, less of, pyramid. Like the Maori party, everyone can join, but unlike the Maori party and every other party, any policy decision-making will be made everytime for the benefit of the children, first, and will involve keeping the women strong to manage. If women don’t believe in themselves the children will always suffer.

        This time let’s not make the mistake of telling women WHAT they can choose, but rather support them to choose their life, be it staying home with children, having no children, etc.

        Next year, if NAct continues in government, privatisation will happen, the TPPA will be in place and it will be too late for our country’s men and women to decide anything for themselves. Elections will mean nothing. Our taxes will go overseas to corporates and our children will be endentured to the global owners of the world. Don’t laugh; it’s happening. Only idiot NActMU supporters think what JKeyll’s doing is okay.

        • QoT 15.3.2.1

          I really don’t see a “women’s party” as a feasible option, Jum. Women aren’t a hivemind and aren’t necessarily bound by common heritage/ideology the way other groups may be (I would say “eg. Maori” but I think that Party is providing a pretty good example of how the theory doesn’t even necessarily work for specific ethnic groups.)

          I must say I’m also a tad squicked at the notion that a women’s party would “consider the children first”. Plenty of women don’t want to have children and plenty of women reject the notion that we are inherently more caring/nurturing/emotional than men.

  16. big bruv 16

    Yes!!!

    Just what the left needs, more deep voiced, man hating, ugly and un groomed Feminists.

    Just what Labour needs to grab back middle New Zealand.

    Tell me…what ever happened to the NZ Labour party?, they used to be about families and the workers, they believed in a decent days pay for a decent days work, not now it seems.
    Modern Labour believes in handing out (other peoples) money to stay at home, it believes in keeping parasites on the dole so they will keep voting Labour, when the numbers on the dole become a bit embarrassing they just shift them over to the sickness and invalids benefit.

    Labour was once the party of the working man….yes and the working woman as well, they were a party of honourable intentions, they had no time for the lazy, they expected every man and woman to pull their weight………….and then came along the first wave of man hating feminist Labour party activists, one became the speaker of the house (the worst in our nations history) and one became PM (who led the most corrupt government in our nations history) many others were placed in positions of power.

    Eventually the people of NZ woke up, they could see the damage these men hating feminists were doing to their nation, even a Labour MP was brave enough to tell a journalist the entire truth about Labour under a feminist PM, the people kicked her out, they had had enough.

    And now you people want to introduce the second wave……well bring it on, a second wave of man hating feminists will consign Labour to the opposition benches for eternity.

    It can’t happen soon enough.

    • Megapope 16.1

      …are you serious? I can’t tell any more.

      • r0b 16.1.1

        He isn’t, and probably never was. He only comments here to get a reaction. I think he’s lonely.

        • Jum 16.1.1.1

          No, big bruv is having a melt-down. It all started on the Laydeez thread. He’s got very upset because women are voicing an opinion and actually saying they are not satisfied being paid less than men for the same job, being discussed by misogynist prime minister JKeyll with Leitch, woman basher and back breaker, in terms of sexuality and little else.

          I honestly believe big bruv doesn’t want any women in positions of power in Labour and then he might return. How about that? Doesn’t that make him a NAct supporter?

          But, really, he’s just wasting our time when we should be getting out and about spreading the truths about JKeyll’s lies to New Zealanders.

          • big bruv 16.1.1.1.1

            Sigh….

            Woman do not get paid less for the same job Jum, that would be against the law.

            You do not help your case by telling such blatant lies.

            • QoT 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes they do, bb. If their scumbag employers are particularly clever they just assign them basically-the-same-but-called-a-different-thing roles which happen to be paid less.

              But then I suppose you agree with Andrew Talley that women are better suited to some jobs, like pole dancing.

            • Jum 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Black lying from a black heart, bb.

              WINZ around the time Tony Ryall stopped the investigation for pay equity were paying men more than women – there was a case about it.

              You are the blatant liar. I’ve caught you out so many times – tsk tsk.

          • RobertM 16.1.1.1.2

            Women aren’t in postitions of power in Labour anymore. Clark’s left for the UN. Wilson’s in retirement in Tauranga. Goff a mans man, ha ha is leader with the potential rivals Cunliffe( beautifully arrogant) and Shane Jones. Meg Bates lost the Mt Albert selection to a man. Annette King is long by her use by date.
            A few words of praise from the respectable leader of National and Jum is outraged. Jum comes on like a firm of football hooligans from South London with stalanist one eyed venom.
            Increasingly when they have economic security, I would think women are selecting men for sex and their handsome body. A lot of women probably don’t want a husband or a reqular faithful partner. Thats surely the idea behind Corkerys much trumpted establishment. And even if it dosen’t work it dosen’t disaprove the increasing reality.
            Today if you want to get ahead regardless of whether your a man or a women you need both brains and body. Thats the reality of the 21C. Both men and women are often on the scrapheep in their 40’s and in many cases the men are the least desired by employers.
            The blog is exactly what feminists have been saying since the late l970’s. It was the same message from the women when over interested men first took an interest in feminist forums in the early and mid l970s. Like a lot of Labour it seems a reiteration of the debates of the l970s and l980s without any understanding of what has happened in middle class hetrosexual society in Australia or America over the last 30 years. Most of the sociology and history of LA i read would suggest Californication is only a slight exaggeration. No middle class women has done the washing or done the garden in LA since the mid l980s. They have maid and third world people to do it for them. And no one complains.

            • QoT 16.1.1.1.2.1

              They have maid and third world people to do it for them. And no one complains.

              Only because people don’t tend to listen to the “maid and third world people”. Who don’t want to risk their jobs given their extremely vulnerable positions. Kinda making a lot of my points for me there, Bob.

      • Eddie 16.1.2

        I love this from bb:

        “And now you people want to introduce the second wave…”

        you wouldn’t write something like that as a parody because it seems too ignorant to be credible

        BB, for your education: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism

        captcha: ‘he’ – lolz

    • QoT 16.2

      I think I’m going to have to ask people not to engage big bruv, especially with his outstanding debts.

      But we should all note the extent to which he completely proves my point by suddenly coming on all defensive about the Labour Party as soon as non-white-hetero-male interests are involved.

      • big bruv 16.2.1

        OoT

        Who is being defensive?, it seems that you are the one unsure of your position give your lack of desire to debate the issue.

        I simply asked what has happened to the old Labour party, the one that cared about families. sadly you seem to think that it is all about men v women which was not my point at all.

        But…you knew that anyway, once again the left refuse to debate an issue with anybody who dares question them.

        • QoT 16.2.1.1

          Nice try, bb. I’m happy to debate the issue … with people interested in debate. Unfortunately, kicking off your comment with some classic “dur hurr hurr feminists look like men” abuse made it fairly clear you just wanted to show your ass to everyone.

          • IrishBill 16.2.1.1.1

            Nice work QoT. It’s not often I get to see the words “IrishBill” and “charm” in the same sentence.

            I must say I’m a little concerned about how there seems to be a theme in this thread that you can’t be a Marxist man without being a chauvinistic pig.

            • just saying 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Just went right back up through the thread and I have to ask. Where exactly?

            • QoT 16.2.1.1.1.2

              I don’t think it’s as simple as that, IB. I think you can easily be a Marxist man and not a chauvinist, you just have to avoid whinging about Helen Clark being a lesbian who ruined everyone’s fun and paid too much attention to the damn gays.

              • IrishBill

                I was thinking of Lew’s comment: http://thestandard.org.nz/guest-post-why-the-left-needs-feminism/#comment-293299

                Maybe as an old marxist man I’m being a little too sensitive.

                • QoT

                  Nope, I think Lew is pointing out the fact that a lot of regular commenters hadn’t put in their 2c at that point and wondered why. Pretty sure “is it because she’s a girl?” is tongue in cheek … but then perhaps a very pointed tongue.

                • Lew

                  IB, while the last line is a bit of snark, overall I mean what I wrote. Usually there are a good number of lefty regulars quite happy to put the boot in and squeal ‘sidetrack’ whenever the discourse strays outside classical materialist analyses.. Few better examples than recent threads on here about Jared Loughner or Julian Assange. Those folk are very scarce in this debate.

                  But you, personally, weren’t the target at all. My overarching point, and I think it’s similar to QoT’s, is that one can be a Marxist man without being a chauvinist; and, indeed, that one should; and that we’d all be a great deal better off if more were.

                  L

    • Jum 16.3

      Tch tch big bruv,

      “when the numbers on the dole become a bit embarrassing they just shift them over to the sickness and invalids benefit.”

      Another black lie you just told. The sickness and invalid figures were proved to be far less than the unemployed numbers reduction. Labour cares about their workers, big bruv.

      “Labour MP was brave enough to tell a journalist” that would be JohnTamahere, the man grovelling for a place in NAct pretending he hadn’t seen the recorder sitting on the table by Ian Wishart – another lying little NAct toad, who also said in another interview that he didn’t like women being leaders in the family. He certainly didn’t like one leading the country.

      Well, big bruv, you lied. Tamahere lied. You are now circulating those lies. Shame on you little bb.

      You hated what Douglas and co did in the 80s but they’re back in your beloved NAct this decade doing exactly the same thing – stealing our assets and selling them off, with the collusion of your beloved JKeyll. I hated what Douglas did too and can’t understand why people like you are now supporting his and JKeyll’s behaviour.

      • big bruv 16.3.1

        Tamihere did not lie, he told the truth and for that he was demoted.

        As for what Sir Roger did in the 80’s, I loved it, he did the right thing then and he would do the right thing now if given the chance.

        The government has no place in business, they lot should be sold of completely to the highest bidder.

        Labour do not care about the workers Jum, they care about their votes, so much so that they saddled this nation with the two most expensive bribes in living history namely the WFF and interest free student loan bribes, for that all Labour supporters should hang their heads in shame.

        • IrishBill 16.3.1.1

          I actually agree with you about WFF, Bruv. All it is is a wage subsidy for employers. Much better they’re forced to pay a fair rate through an award system and we get to use those tax dollars for better things like free tertiary education.

          • big bruv 16.3.1.1.1

            Free tertiary education….yes, like the world needs more social workers…duh.

            Mind you, I am all for fully funded (including a bursary) medical students, all that I ask in return is that those students are bonded to NZ for ten years after they become fully qualified.

            If they decide to go overseas before the ten years are up then they must reimburse the tax payer the FULL AMOUNT of their training including their bursary.

            As for WFF, how about just doing away with it, lowering taxes and teaching people that they really need to think about how many brats they can afford to have.
            While they are at it, we could do away with the DPB as well.

            • IrishBill 16.3.1.1.1.1

              Lol.

            • KJT 16.3.1.1.1.2

              Did I just hear an idiotological burp!?

            • Jum 16.3.1.1.1.3

              Priceless how those who fed at the tit of mercy and received free university education, state house care, plenty of monetary support to raise 10 year olds who then went on to remove it from everyone else. A prophecy if NAct gets in again.

              I’m not sure I want more doctors here; the only people who will be able to afford them under the privatising NAct will be NActors; why on earth would we want to keep them going for?

              When this government that seems to have little idea of what the TPPAgreement will do to New Zealand, or more frightening if they actually do know, sign it in November drug charges will go up, our right to be a sovereign country will be signed over to corporate America – no, no more doctors thanks. They’d only need to service the 1% that’ll be able to afford them.

              You must be terrified bb; you must have heard the chilling Turia speak about the browning of New Zealand and knowing that you blame everything on Maori and want to lock ’em up, castrate the fathers, have the mothers working three jobs so they haven’t got time for brown babies.

              Keep all women behind closed doors, with no recourse to advocacy or funding through DPB and then totally dependent upon men. Where did Douglas find you bb? He must be so proud. Actually, come to think about it, he does have an older brother…

  17. the sprout 17

    Great post QoT, I agree with everything you’re saying.
    Much needed

  18. Descendant Of Smith 18

    “These people have become the fervent champions of an indigenous culture they can never truly join because, fundamentally, they despise their own. ”

    By that definition men champion womans’ issues because they despise being male, people without disabilities champion disability issues cause they despise their healthy bodies ( or minds) and so on.

    That’s certainly not my experience and in my view is a pretty screwed up way of looking at things.

    I’ve seen plenty of people champion causes not because they despise their culture but because their culture (which may very well incorporate left wing notions) is what sets them the groundwork to think like that.

    To consider european, or male or in fact any other group as having one distinct amorphous culture may be a good sound bite but ignores the reality that many have a cultural diversity that goes beyond that – including a cultural diversity influenced by women and feminist thinking.

    We act not because we despise – but because it is the right and fair thing to do.

    So what’s your point – do you need the left or not?

  19. Carol 19

    I think this comment:
    “These people have become the fervent champions of an indigenous culture they can never truly join because, fundamentally, they despise their own. ”

    Was not QOT’s views but something she was quoting, but didn’t add the quote code.

    • Lew 19.1

      Carol is correct. In fact it’s Trotter’s very own work.

      Nice analysis, DoS. I agree with every word of it.

      L

    • IrishBill 19.2

      Fixed.

      • Descendant Of Smith 19.2.1

        The link below the quote did not work – that may have highlighted the fact it was a quote.

        It was interesting however fighting battles in the 80’s as a male union delegate over issues such as telling crude jokes in management meetings, displaying semi-naked posters and reading playboys etc during lunch hours, complaining about interviews being held for female staff with the person being interviewed being positioned so that the guys sitting behind the interviewee could hold up scorecards out of 10 ( I worked for two employers who did this), promoting people on their merits, not expecting the women to automatically be the one to make the cup of tea and so on.

        The raising of these issues did make some men change their thinking while others did see you as some sort of traitor. There was also a group of women who partook in this type of behaviour in order to get where they got and to the end sided with the men.

        It was interesting times indeed and to some extent it did take men standing up and challenging these “norms” to push things along a little more quickly.

        Sadly in the last 10 or so years there has been some retro-fitting of that old universe in quite a few places.

        • Jum 19.2.1.1

          Yes, I didn’t think I was imagining the backlash against women who don’t want to be treated like doormats.

          It’s amazing that either wars or depressions come along when workers (and women workers especially when it comes to comparable wages) are enjoying an independent lifestyle and there is low unemployment.

          • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1.1

            The rich can’t afford for us to be independent – then nobody would work to make them richer.

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