web analytics
The Standard

Re-writing 2nd Wave Women’s Movement: Pat Rosier – h/t Hand Mirror

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, July 19th, 2014 - 7 comments
Categories: benefits, feminism, history, socialism, workers' rights - Tags:

There’s a must read post up on the Hand Mirror, acknowledging the passing of a woman who played a significant role in the NZ 2nd wave Women’s Movement: Pat Rosier.

I wasn’t in NZ during the crucial period of the late 70s and the 80s, but the post by AlisonM outlines a life well lived.  And it reminds me of how too many on the left and right have been re-writing the history of feminism, into misinformation about some narrowed, middle class version of the true diversity of feminism.

AlisonM’s post begins,

Pat Rosier died on 12 June. She was many things to many people and won’t be forgotten by any of them. Her death, from a heart attack at age 72, was unexpected, …

Pat is survived by her partner of 17 years, Prue Hyman, and her son, David.

As Prue writes, Pat’s early life was relatively conventional. Her dad was a railway clerk, and she grew up at a time when no one in a working class family, “let alone a girl”, went to university. She married, had two children and trained as primary teacher, which was her job from 1973 to 1985. Then, something happened. Pat found Simone de Beauvoir, the Women’s Liberation Movement, lesbianism – and reinvented herself.

Go to Alison’s post to read the extract that Pat wrote about her life in a series of bullet points.

Pat’s political concerns covered a vast range of feminist and socialist topics.  She became editor of the feminist magazine Broadsheet in 1985.  She edited and introduced a compilation of selected articles from the magazine: BroadsheetBeen Around for Quite a While: Twenty Years of Writing from Broadsheet Magazine, (New Women’s Press, 1992).

Also in the intro, she chronicles some of the discussions, debates and phases, for want of a better word, that both Broadsheet and feminism went through, from abortion in the 70s (and still!), contraception, marriage (and alternatives), child-rearing, equal pay, Māori women’s voices (and challenges to the WLM), lesbians (“with a ‘lesbian cover’ appearing in June 1973”), violence against women, rape in marriage, attacks on beneficiaries… and so it goes. In Broadsheet proper, Pat also wrote numerous feature articles, including in 1986 “Fighting Fat Phobia”, about “how hatred and fear of fat is used to control women”, and several in-depth pieces on reproductive technologies.

Alison writes:

Thinking about Pat these past few weeks also got me thinking about what an important role she played in the politics and culture of this country, and yet how invisible it probably is to those outside her circles. In turn, I began to wonder (yet again) how the WLM years will be remembered – or not remembered – given that we are starting to lose some of the women, like Pat, who were there.

I hope you will excuse the segue into a bit of research, but following these thoughts, I’ve started work on a longer piece about this question, (will, for example, our WLM/ “second wave” have to be “rediscovered” as the so-called first wave of feminism had to be?) and I’ve arranged a few interviews with older, middle, younger feminists. To that end, I would very much welcome any thoughts readers might have on these questions, just pop them into comments. (You can also email me directly at alisonmccull[at]gmail[dot]com)

More importantly, of course, do write about Pat. Reiterating Prue, the more people write and talk about Pat the better. (And for northern readers, a celebration of her life is planned for Auckland on Saturday August 30 at 1:30 pm . I will add location details to this post when they are available.)

This reminded me of my time in the Women’s Movement in London in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  I was surprised at the time, about how much a lot of the activities and perspectives of the 1st wave Women’s Movement had been written out of history. It was far wider than some narrow campaign for votes: it covered a range of social, political, economic and community-focused areas of activism and debate. At that time, feminist historians were working to recover and write about all that had been lost.

Sheila Rowbotham was one of those women.  Her 1999 book: A Century of Women: The History of Women in the Britain and United States in the Twentieth Century, is pretty comprehensive.  She chronicles the similarities and differences between the feminist movements in the US and UK: the US foregrounded racial oppression; the UK women’s movement had/s a strong focus on class oppression, underpinned by socialist principles.

I suspect that the NZ 2nd wave movement had a mix of both those elements: racial and class oppression.  Alison’s project to chronicle the NZ 2nd wave Women’s Movement seems to me to be a very important one.

Broadsheet cover Te Ara Donna Awatere Ripeka Evans

Broadsheet cover Te Ara Donna Awatere and Ripeka Evans: from Te Ara

Prue’s tribute to Pat Rosier is here.

 

 

7 comments on “Re-writing 2nd Wave Women’s Movement: Pat Rosier – h/t Hand Mirror”

  1. greywarbler 1

    I remember Pat Rosier and Broadsheet. Faded into the past as so many important people have although they have caused or made important advances in life for other NZs.
    And Prue Hyman, economist relating to the people’s economy, important too.

    Sadly the old will pass. I hope that what will follow are people into physical betterment for both themselves and others by doing real things, not just making a mass of electrical impulses pulsing through the air. And they must ensure that what they do is remembered and understood, so it’s not taken granted and forgotten., but retained and built on. Together we can do much, alone at our computers we are limited. The tech culture scares me.

    • karol 1.1

      I always think there are up and downsides to digital culture. But, one of the things it is enabling, is more access to documents, newspaper articles, and other material from the past.

      The NZ National Library is doing great work in that area: papers past, image databases, etc. Is why I added links to Te Ara for the scans of Broadsheet covers, in my post. Also Alison, in the Hand Mirror post, said that Broadsheet is in the queue to be digitised by the National Library.

      For those people who are interested, there’s an increasing amount of historical material available online – and for those of us with access from home, it’s enormously useful.

      But, of course, the corporates are increasingly trying to take over the web. And too many people are enticed by the seductively shiny things online.

      Agree also, that politics, and social movements, need to be conducted offline as well as online.

  2. Tracey 2

    Thanks for finding and posting this.

    • karol 2.1

      Actually, I saw it in the feed down the right side of TS. Thank Lynn.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        That is what it is there for. Makes it easier to find material across the blogs. I add them as I notice them, other authors can as well, and when they are relevant for the people who read this site.

        Did a bit of work when I put it in place to make sure that it should register as a click on the appropriate site’s stats as well.

  3. Lucy 3

    I remember Broadsheet as I was a teenager with a mother active in a number of movements. Like most movements it appears to made life easier for women now without leaving a legacy of how we got here which always leads to the possibility that we can go back to the start point at any time. We have already started on the slide with pay and conditions and a justice system that does not take women’s voices seriously. Even though we have women judges the gender balance is nowhere near correct. Media is disproportionally male as are our boardrooms and upper management. The road back down to the fifties ideas are being pushed by TV and movies to return us to an era when women have no power and are at the mercy of their male protector. If young women continue to claim to be feminists without understanding what that actually means then in one to two generations we will be back to the servitude of Victorian times. Unfortunately even though we have everything loaded in a digital age to learn the lessons of history we have to know our history and women as a whole have failed to do this

  4. greywarbler 4

    @Lucy
    Even though we have women judges the gender balance is nowhere near correct.
    I think the problem is that class and class culture are still very entwined with womens issues.

    If young women continue to claim to be feminists without understanding what that actually means then in one to two generations we will be back to the servitude of Victorian times
    I’ve watched the advance of one woman to try and get it all, good job on about $80,000, marriage, children, aspirational houses, outings in corporate boxes. She doesn’t live with her husband, he lives with his parents and collects the children after school if his work allows, his mother looks after them in the evening often and gets them to school, their mother may want to take part in corporate outings in the weekend, gets mother-in-law to babysit. Husband has invested in the house, but doesn’t live there. WTF

    I don’t think feminists were going for a missing, working. socialising mother to replace an unsatisfactory model of missing, working, socialising father. And the action now is for women to get on boards, where they are considered to bring valuable feminine insights yet many seem to be more interested in matching men’s sensibilities.

    The average woman is better respected than the 1970s and has more opportunities for work, and has the help of maternity leave, and in general can choose to go further in her individual plans than ever before. But the idea of females being the decorative species still maintains its grip, and the womens magazines are obssessed with looks, and shape, and celebrity and marriages to celebrities. The number of womens clothing shops are an indicator of being in thrall to appearance also though dressing for male appeal is denied. And most young women seem to wear make-up, which is nice for the profits of the cosmetic industry. And the tide seems to have swung from girls can do everything as a slogan for expanding work opportunities, to girls can do and drink anything and still remain teflon-dry. In fact young women had bolder aspirations in the early 20th century as I look at the rebellious and confident heroines of some old novels from family shelves. Well women had got the vote for the first time, and life was opening up. I think attitudes are closing down now, for many reasons that women’s studies courses would investigate although I don’t know how often that subject is available now at secondary and tertiary level.

    And a gamechanger would be if females were respected for the extra cares they bear because of their fertility, whether they are childless or not. Also feminists haven’t been able to break down that male arrogant tunnel vision attitude that child raising not being an important job, instead the male line is no that it is no more important than caring for a puppy.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Forestry death guilty plea proves case for reform
    A logging company’s guilty plea over the death of one of their workers proves the need to strengthen health and safety laws, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. Charles Finlay was killed in July 2013 when he was… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Daughter for the Return Home
    Christchurch East MP Poto Williams who hails from the Cook Islands, will be returning this week as part of the Cook’s celebrations on becoming self-governing 50 years ago.  Her family background is connected to the northern Cooks, the islands of… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Tiwai Point welcomed but strategy needed
    The  news that Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter will remain open is good news for the 800 workers at the plant and the people of Southland, but points to a need for a comprehensive regional development strategy, Opposition leader Andrew Little… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    3 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    4 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    5 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    6 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    7 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    1 week ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    1 week ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere