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The policing of women’s bodies

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 6th, 2013 - 116 comments
Categories: act, activism, capitalism, child abuse, class war, democratic participation, education, feminism, greens, internet, john banks, Metiria Turei, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

John Key’s government hasn’t been kind to large numbers of women, especially those on benefits, and those working in relatively powerless  low paid jobs. For them the top jobs mostly go to men, with women largely fronting on lower status and less powerful portfolios/positions.  Jan Logie’s speech yesterday in response to the government’s budget, laid out many of the inequalities gender inequalities that the government has failed to address, include the gender pay gap and paid parental leave. A couple of days ago in the NZ House, members of the “old boys’ club” provide a demonstration of one of the ways threats to masculine crony capitalist are countered by policing of women’s bodies. Given similar situations in many countries, it’s not surprising that feminism seems to be on the rise internationally.

In the final reading of the Charter School’s legislation this week, Metiria Turei drew parallel’s between the enabling of unscrutinised private enterprise to profiteer from Charter Schools, and John Banks attempts to hide his (allegedly) dodgy funding from SkyCity and Kim Dotcom.

John Banks, supported by another member of the “old boys’ club” Speaker Eric Roy, immediate response was to attempt to undermine Turei by policing her body.  With Turei in his sights, Banks said that critics of his Charter schools legislation:

… get dressed up with their lipstick and make-up on t.v. ..

In response to points of order, Speaker Eric Roy allowed Banks’ sexist comment, claiming it was on the “same plane” as Turei’s attack on Banks.  Towards the end of Banks speech, he repeats his offensive sexist comment.  In the mode of making-it-up-as-they-go-along, and in contradiction of his earlier ruling, Roy ordered Banks to withdraw the statement. Banks’ withdrawal of the statement was halfhearted and insincere. The repetition of the offensive line came when Banks was attacking opponents of the Charter Schools legislation. He said,

They can wear the lipstick and look good on TV and make a big impression and don’t like it.

Implicit is the suggestion that Turei usually looks unattractive without make-up, presenting a false image on TV. This strategy of countering threats to masculine power and status through the policing of their bodies within “late capitalism”, is explained extremely well by some recent feminist writings.

A recent Guardian article argues that feminism is a rising and significant presence in the digital age, which includes a reference to “socialist” Laura Penny. The introduction to her 2011 book, Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism, promises a new socialist direction for feminism in the 21st century.

During the late 20th century there was a strong backlash against the significant gains made by the largely left wing second wave women’s movement. Socialist feminism had extended a materialist class analysis to incorporate the role of women as a reserve army of labour, and unpaid domestic workers, necessary to the maintenance of capitalism.   The rise of technologies of reproduction in the last few decades has resulted in a society saturated with images: images that had a profound impact on our society and politics. The sexualised commercialisation of (potentially) powerful women serves to limit the extent of that power.

“Neoliberal” propaganda fractured socialist feminism, narrowing feminism’s range, commodifying it and reducing it to the (often dismissive) label of “identity politics”.   Laura Penny provides a new direction whereby the legacy of a materialist Marxist analysis is re-connected with feminist analysis of cultural activities in the digital age. The introduction of Penny’s book contemplates the way, since the 70s, feminists critiques of body policing have been undermined, resulting in an intensification of that policing through all the realms of women’s lives.  Penny characterises our society as one where now:

Whatever our age, race, physiotype and social status, women’s bodies are punished and policed.

She then goes on to provide an argument as to why this is happening:

Modern economics rely for their very survival on women’s paid and unpaid labour, purchasing power and reproductive capacity. That women should have this much power cannot be borne; the treat of revolt is too great.

In contrast with the late 70s, more women are engaged in or looking for paid work, while many also making significant contributions to society through unpaid work. In NZ, a collaborator presented as an archetypal “Westie” leads the attack on beneficiaries, with single mothers being a major target.

A review in the Independent, outlines the significance of Penny’s book, and the range of its analysis of the ways female potential is denied:

Penny discusses women’s sexualisation, eating disorders, gender stereotyping and the labour market, covering prostitution, housework, the marketisation of domesticity as a kitsch hobby, the prevalence of class delineation as a form of control and the positioning of the Playboy Bunny as an emblem of manufactured desirability. …

Penny’s critique helps explain Banks’ response to Turei’s critique of him and his dodgy crony capitalism: an attempt to undermine her threat by an attempt to police her body.While some may see Banks and Roy as fading relics of a bygone era, Penny shows that the underlying strategy is still strong, although it may have become more subtle and slickly marketed.

A revived socialist feminism can also be applied to the way Sue Bradford critiques the failure of Owen Glenn’s inquiry into domestic violence and child abuse in her post yesterday, ‘Glenn Inquiry Implodes: highlights deepening colonisation and corporatisation of community sector’.  Bradford speculates that the failure probably is a consequence of,

…  the fundamental contradiction between people who are used to working in a highly values-driven part of the community sector and a corporate power holder used to operating bluntly and decisively in the business world.

Bradford further surmises that Sir Owen is not approaching his inquiry from a feminist perspective, but is more like a traditional Patriarchal capitalist in contemporary corporate clothing: one focused on

…   ‘helping those poor deserving victims’ rather than being driven by a community development approach of involving, empowering and conscientising those most affected.

I welcome the apparent revival of socialist feminism that also incorporates an increasing feminist presence online, of which NZ websites like the HandMirror are part.  A recent post there by LudditeJourno, reports on a recent and significant  feminist event in Wellington .    It provides an insight into the range of issues that are the focus of investigation and activism within NZ.

116 comments on “The policing of women’s bodies”

  1. Ennui 1

    Saw the Owen Glenn “task force” headlines in the paper, appear to be loosing “top end” women…hand over mitten.

    I don’t have a feminist perspective on this, or even a socialist one. My problem is who the hell Glenn thinks he is to put his cash up to drive social policy? Citizen Kane, too bloody self important. Democracy Glenn…whats that?

    • farmboy 1.1

      Just throwing it out there, metiria turei looks unattractive with makeup on as well, just to clear that up.That julie ann genter could go along way though.

      • karol 1.1.1

        Ah. I see the body police have arrived already.

        • farmboy 1.1.1.1

          Dont be so precious that is the reallity of being a human.We all get judged on appearance,just like you wouldnt role up to the black power at 12 at night to have a chat would you.Do you disagree about julie.Are you saying we dont pick our partners on appearance when your a guy you always go for 1 of the hottest woman in the bar,thats the way it has always been and always will be.

          • karol 1.1.1.1.1

            We are not in the business of auditioning MPs as potential partners.A person should be judged in their jobs on performance. Did you read the post? If you did, did you understand it? Do you not see why your body-policing approach is part of a wider practice of keeping women in line?

            The black power reference is obtuse.

            • farmboy 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Put it this way if you had Julie ann genter out front with norman that would do wonders for there image,that is the power of attractive people,and she could say the excact same thing as turei.Do you agree

              • karol

                Turei is excellent as a leader. She is sharp smart and draws on her Parliamentary experience to have Key and co squirming. She articulates well on TV, and is always well-presented. A high performer.

                Julie Ann Genter is also a very able politician. She’s made an excellent entry into politics in her spokesperson area. I have not evidence as yet as to whether she is leadership material.

                • tracey

                  please don’t buy into his comparrison argument.

                • Jimmie

                  Tony Ryall wasn’t exactly squirming when she was questioning him with all the fury of a wet paper bag about nurses in schools

                  • karol

                    Tuei does often have government MPs squirming.

                    But Green MPs tend not to use the aggressive posturing style of NAct and some opposition MPs. As mentioned in the video fatty links to below, many women (and quite a few men) are put off by the macho, competitive culture of western politics.

                    The Green MPs oppose the government through reason- & evidence based questions. Turei is especially sharp in the way she does it. If you’re looking for obvious macho point scoring, you’ll have missed how she puts government MPs on the spot.

              • fender

                May be a strategy to attract shallow voters like you but these positions are best awarded on merit (not looks).

                Besides, then you will be saying the party is lead by an Australian and a Canadian blah blah blah.

          • just saying 1.1.1.1.2

            So you’re picking a partner from the pool of current woman parliamentarians?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.3

            Farmboy’s success rate with drunk women is no doubt a source of considerable pride, and after all, if John Banks can lift his behaviour to the level of a pissed agricultural worker that will be some improvement.

            • farmboy 1.1.1.1.3.1

              It is I was above par and it was alot of fun what the fuck is wrong with that , we didnt all spend our youth havn a cry about everything with the curtains closed on friday night at home.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Oops I think I may have touched a nerve :)

                Friday night? You must be pissed, mate, it’s Thursday afternoon.

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.4

            …your a guy you always go for 1 of the hottest woman in the bar…

            Well I guess if you are damn shallow and have nothing much to offer in the conversational line and are trying to find a like minded person then going into a noisy bar, sucking down some drugs to lessen your sense of discrimination, and targeting some makeup would be your best approach.

            Most of us other males aren’t archaic grunts with social habits that sound like a bad scene from a 1970’s porn flick. Please don’t try to associate me with that kind of antique crap.

            • farmboy 1.1.1.1.4.1

              Oh so your a pussie is that what your saying, cause thats what it sounds like.Lessen my sense of discrimination hahaha yea thats the one.

          • tracey 1.1.1.1.5

            Actually we might not all be judged (or judge) on appaearance but the judging is harsher for some than others.

            That you don’t see that speaks volumes about you, not Karol.

          • fatty 1.1.1.1.6

            when your a guy you always go for 1 of the hottest woman in the bar,thats the way it has always been and always will be.

            That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard. Maybe its the people I spend time with, but we don’t go to a bar and ‘go for the hottest girl’.
            Why would I want to spend time with someone based on whether or not their bodyparts/features correspond with the latest hollywood ideal?
            I hate it when rednecks try to speak on behalf of me.
            Fuck you’re a moron farmboy

          • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.1.7

            “when your a guy you always go for 1 of the hottest woman in the bar”

            What about the times when you’re not a guy?
            We do not all get judged on appearance, or else Brownlee (for example) would not be a minister. I don’t even know when to start – equating your chances of finding someone drunk enough to sleep with you to the selection and appraisal of politicians? Wow. Some of us have come a long way, some still shouldn’t be allowed out of the top paddock until they find the missing sheep.

          • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.1.8

            “We all get judged on appearance,just like you wouldnt role up to the black power at 12 at night to have a chat would you.”

            Neither would I roll up to a Mafioso meeting, at noon for lunch, even if they were dressed in shirt, tie, and tux.

            So your point doesn’t really stack up, Farmboy.

            Appearances count for only a small part of our perception of people. Spend longer than 5 minutes with someone, and their appearance becomes immaterial to their personality; intelligence; behaviour; charm (or lack of); etc.

            One of our best prime ministers was Norman Kirk – because of who he was, not what he looked like.

        • prism 1.1.1.2

          Just give him some hay and say see’d you later.

      • Ennui 1.1.2

        WTF Farm Boy? I could define “unattractive” as your comment about Metira. Get a brain cell.

      • fender 1.1.3

        Stick to your farm animals dropkick.

        Metiria Turei is gorgeous.

        • Ennui 1.1.3.1

          The sheep find him too ugly. And the cows would kick him into touch.

          • fender 1.1.3.1.1

            I could be tempted to partake in the kicking of farmboy cowpat eater too!

            • farmboy 1.1.3.1.1.1

              You couldnt kick shit ,you limp wristed little bitch I live in otorohanga you want to come find me tell me the day I am more than happy to met.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                This is a bit sad, really. I mean, I know Farmboy probably finds the subject matter a bit threatening, but to this extent? Backed into a corner all duked up mouthing threats? He won’t get near the bar at this rate.

        • farmboy 1.1.3.2

          holy shit dude, holy shit your fucked

          • fender 1.1.3.2.1

            What you write on TS is fucked, am pleased you are hopefully miles from a major centre, you belong in a backwater away from humans.

            • farmboy 1.1.3.2.1.1

              Comn to a town near you

              • fender

                Oh good I’ll keep an eye out for you, don’t bother carrying a farmboy sign, the Neanderthal appearance will give you away.

                • farmboy

                  And then what

                  • fender

                    First off give you a water-blasting to remove the animal excrement you swim around in. Then I’d have to battle my testosterone fuelled desire to make you a necklace out of Millsys’ piano wire with the greater need for you to receive some education on how to view and treat woman.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.3.2.2

            Scratch the surface, and what do you find? A jumped up little dictator trying to tell people how to look and what to find attractive. He’ll give us all a lecture about freedom and responsibility any time now.

            The image that springs to mind is the bleating, thrashing, humiliated Farmboy being dragged outside by the bouncer for a lie down. :lol:

            • NZ Femme 1.1.3.2.2.1

              Really? I thought he was telling us he would only vote for a woman who gave him a hard on.

              While he certainly has the freedom to do so, it really isn’t very responsible.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                cf his 1.1.3.2

                Freedom and responsibility being the ideals the Right pretends to, while failing to live up to either.

                • NZ Femme

                  Yup. And FB’s contributions here in Black and White make him such a great living example of that. :)

              • farmboy

                your name just gave me a hard on

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Come back Derek and Clive. All is forgiven.

                • NZ Femme

                  Waste of a hard on FB. You’ve got the wrong gear in your undies, and a remarkably deficient space between your ears for any reciprocation on my part.

              • farmboy

                I gave you the town mate tell me the day and I will come meet you,my family dont need to see.

                • vto

                  ha ha i had a goose like you raging on at me recenty in some demented drunkeness like you here. Like you he was a piece of shit – when he finally backed himself to back his shrill calls and ran at me he fell over spread-eagled at my feet. Didn’t even have to lift a finger. Ha ha ha – you dopey drunken rural hicks are all the same. Pathetic. Why don’t you just fuck off. Nobody needs you. Or wants you when you behave like you do. Cock sucker.

                  • farmboy

                    Real convincing story,so you do leave your computer.Nobody needs or wants me on here, yet hear I am hahahahaha

                    • vto

                      yeah, so you are. Got anything decent to say?

                      What about how this government gives handouts to bludging farmers who are unable to get funding for their own private business? Or who are unable to get what they want using normal processes so they get this government to sack democracy and simply thieve it?

                      Bludging thieves on both counts. In Canterbury at least.

                      Or, why do farmers think they should be able to dump the shit from their business in the public estate when nobody else can?

                      Or the sheer gall of claiming that they are the backbone of NZ when it is quite clear that farmers do not pay their share of tax (instead hiding their wealth in tac-free capital gain) and instead rely on city wage and salary earners to pay for their roads, their kids education, healthcare.

                      Useless thieving bludgers you lot.

                    • ghostrider888

                      an aside vto; recent commentary on the opening presentations from the New Zealnd Climate Change Conference being held; “New Zealand economy rests strongly on agriculture, forestry and tourism, all of which are dependent on the climate” (and it’s effects on the environment). Still, dairy-farmers will continue intensifying until the mud slips in their own back door.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Base, filled with hate, soiling yourself as you no doubt soil the rivers, and not even the smallest sign of understanding the topic, you nonetheless provide a remarkable example of its subject.

            • farmboy 1.1.3.2.2.2

              I dont tell people how to look some look ugly others look hot,do you deny this.
              You people have no trouble comenting on the look of John Key, do you.

              • vto

                some say beauty is skin deep and that upon further time spent listening to and being with someone a true measure of their beauty emerges

                and you are doing a wonderful job on that part farmboy.

                hands up who finds farmboy a beauty?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I find him the embodiment of everything the National Party represents: ill-mannered, brutish, unoriginal and imbecilic.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, making pejorative judgement calls on the subject both vacuous and ill-mannered in equal measure. Do you deny this?

                I can’t recall a single remark I’ve made about John Key’s appearance. Feel free to show otherwise.

              • NZ Femme

                Can say that I’ve never commented on John Key’s appearance. Because, unlike someone I may be interested in snogging, his appearance is entirely irrelevant to his role. Just as female MP’s appearance is irrelevant to theirs.

              • Is there a reason why Farmtroll’s welcome was outlived after 2.44pm?

                Mods?

                [lprent: I was busy chasing a sporadic SIGSEGV from about 1500 and not really able to moderate much. But when I last looked he was on pretty thin ice. ]

                [karol: I was watching fb yesterday closely before I went out for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I was close to issuing a warning. fb was very close to crossing the line between addressing the topic of the post and trolling/derailing.]

          • prism 1.1.3.2.3

            What say we give farmboy the freeze? Not the creamfreeze either. The words he strings together don’t advance the blog in any way. He is just playing around, filling in time with us, would be better if we left him to play on his own. He just infuriates us into taking notice of him – pathetic interaction results.

  2. just saying 2

    The rise of feminist socialism has been one of the few bright lights in current left-wing politics. A cause for some optimism.
    A real momentum seems to have grown through the alternative media including the blogosphere (and tautoko Karol and QoT), and now the discourse has even started to be heard, if tentatively, in the msm again after being shut out for so long.

    • tracey 2.1

      yes, it won’t be long until the word feminisim is associated with lesbian again to try and deflect from its point of view. For the ignorant, men can be feminists too.

      • QoT 2.1.1

        You say “again” like feminists aren’t already constantly getting homophobic shit thrown at them (because of course being a lesbian is the worst thing ever.

        I’ve had some fucking doozies on those lines right here at The Standard.

        • Populuxe1 2.1.1.1

          When I wake up in the morning, I frequently don’t know whether to wear my patriarchal white privilege hat or my economically and homophobically oppressed low earning gay hat. So confusing.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2

      +1 @JS

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    One of the best things to ever happen to capitalists was the flood of female workers who appeared and wanted full time jobs, skilled and unskilled, and would accept lower rates to get those jobs. This massively increased the labour pool, eliminated the very tight labour supply of the 1950s and 1960s, and once unions were destroyed a decade later was another factor that helped capped labour’s ability to demand decent wage increases in both skilled and unskilled roles.

    “Neoliberal” propaganda fractured socialist feminism, narrowing feminism’s range, commodifying it and reducing it to the (often dismissive) label of “identity politics”.

    The powers that be are always happy to give you a few gender politics and social liberalism wins as long as they still achieve their profit and capitalist objectives. For a while plenty of feminists seemed satisfied with that.

    • just saying 3.1

      One of the best things to ever happen to capitalists was the flood of female workers who appeared and wanted full time jobs, skilled and unskilled, and would accept lower rates to get those jobs. This massively increased the labour pool, eliminated the very tight labour supply of the 1950s and 1960s, and once unions were destroyed helped capped labour’s ability to demand decent wage increases.

      Apart from the basic human right to be in the paid workforce, for the vast majority, the money earned was essential for supporting themselves and their families. Most also continued to do the lion’s share of housework and childcare.

      Women have been particularly hard-hit by neoliberalism and are overrepresented in poverty stats. Gender politics are socialist politics

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Of course. As individuals people can do anything that they want. But when they do the same thing together in the millions, the whole political economy of a society is changed, and there are plenty of unintended consequences.

      • prism 3.1.2

        JS
        It seems to me that Colonial V wasn’t making comments that disagreed with anything you said. It is important to understand the background and effects of feminist changes to understand how women have got to present conditions.

        The wealthy men and women, are beginning to think of the underclass as being servants as they did in earlier times. This actually can be a good job, but so often not, with poor wages and little time off. The Filipino women who do so much of this work know what it is like to be at the whim of employers.

        So feminism here has to think about women who are in the strugglers group and will not be able to lift themselves with education as a rule. (Poorer Benefit is an exception that proves the rule.) That women have been able to break through to top jobs with lots of money in greater numbers is good. But with high-flyers the place of feminism in their rise will probably be denied. The self-made woman is as smug as the self-made man.

        Getting conditions and support for all women, but particularly for the low income group, to a vastly improved state to assist with their gender-specific role of child bearing and usually, rearing and that remains unfinished business in NZ. And encouraging employers to make some jobs part-time so parents can work in the morning till say 1.30pm and then go off and have their lunch and be ready for their children homecoming from school for instance. Perhaps offering such women a grant that is a subsidy to go to the part-time employer would be a practical help. It is important that women are able to earn and not just have to stay a dependent on a partner. Also there is respect for people who have a job and skills and just looking after one’s children at home is a hidden job, and without social interaction in the wider community which is important for a healthy life experience.

    • karol 3.2

      So women should just have kept to their place, doing unpaid labour inside and outside the home, servicing the workers that capitalism required?

      And you ignore the changing social, technological and consumer context, with increased labour-saving electronic equipment in the home, and the increasing pressures to consume.

      You make it sound like it was women’s fault for daring to aspire to financial independence?

      Socialist/left wing feminists as a whole were not happy with the changes brought about by the “neoliberal” revolution. Large numbers were out on the streets, and in the unions, etc protesting, and debating the problems associated with the rise in the such things as the “double shift”, the casualisation of the workforce, the attacks on social security and the welfare state. They were no more happy such crumbs and limitations than left wing men.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Greatly increasing the size of the labour pool at the same time technology, automation and global outsourcing reduced available jobs was a very profitable circumstance for big business and greatly reduced labour leverage.

        I’m not saying “what women should have done” I am saying that is what actually happened.

        • rosy 3.2.1.1

          Greatly increasing the size of the labour pool

          The story doesn’t start in the ’50s & ’60s though. The labour pool was always there – it was just utilised as the Capitalists saw fit i.e. hiring women when the men were off to war in the previous decade. The difference was that this time, for a variety of reasons, women who found they wanted or needed to work in paid employment refused to put back in the home.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1

            The labour pool was always there – it was just utilised as the Capitalists saw fit i.e. hiring women when the men were off to war in the previous decade. The difference was that this time

            The difference this time? Well, the capitalists are still utilising the labour pool as they see fit.

            • rosy 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, the capitalists are still utilising the labour pool as they see fit.

              That they are.

              But for a while there we gave them a run for their money ;-) … an still do, in some places, clearly NZ is not one of them anymore.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.2

        You make it sound like it was women’s fault for daring to aspire to financial independence?

        You spoke of the effectiveness of “neo liberal propaganda” before. The cult of individualism and self actualisation through career and money were central tenets of that propaganda. So no, I don’t “blame” women, the aspiration was very loudly and widely promulgated at the time through society.

        • just saying 3.2.2.1

          How was it “communal” having men predominate the paid workforce? Or is it just women who should be less selfish?

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.1.1

            Do you know what happened to US families when both subrban parents went out to work? American families bought two gasguzzlers not just one. No problem if that just happens once or twice. But it happened tens of millions of times across the nation.

            Massive unintended consequences for oil demand, greenhouse gases, pollution, mining, etc.

            You speak of what would be more selfish etc, I’m just telling you what happened as a natural result of these societal changes.

            • karol 3.2.2.1.1.1

              That is part of what happened. It also increased the burden of the double shift for many women: working outside the home as either a main breadwinner or to supplement the main wage, while still taking the leading role in domestic duties. Meanwhile, large numbers of women and their families have been increasingly subsisting on low incomes in part time or low paid jobs, with increasing pressures on beneficiaries.

              Women continued also to be employed in large numbers in the public sector, and to be engaged in community work.

              Of course, if the most powerful capitalists hadn’t moved to reassert their dominance in the way they did, we could have taken a different route: technological changes and efficiency gains could have led to less hours in paid work, with a more egalitarian distribution of incomes, and less focus on competitive, status-driven consumerism.

              The solution then, is not for more of the same, but a shift away from consumerist lifestyles, and more focus on collective, in-equality reducing, sustainable values.

              • Colonial Viper

                How can you ask people to have less individualistic/ consumerist and more collective lifestyles while still extolling the virtues of having your own decently paid job (which you need your own car to get to) so you can have the good things in life and be financially and materially independent?

                That doesn’t sound like less consumption to me.

                Also, women got conned into believing that going out into the workforce was going to be good for them. And for some it was. But as you point out, many just ended up wage serfs like everyone else. More of the propaganda in action.

                • karol

                  How can you ask people to have less individualistic/ consumerist and more collective lifestyles while still extolling the virtues of having your own decently paid job (which you need your own car to get to) so you can have the good things in life and be financially and materially independent?

                  This is not what I was saying, especially not the bits I’ve put in bold.

                  For some women, being financially independent meant being able to escape for domestic violence and/or servitude as was in the current context.

                  Everyone should have access to a living wage. I’m not extolling the values of individualism but looking towards more collective solutions.

            • just saying 3.2.2.1.1.2

              Two gas guzzlers meant both adults had freedom of transport.
              You do seem to me to have made a value judgment, CV. If women having what men had led to a more selfish society, how was it better that just men were able to enjoy the money, freedom and independence of paid work, and the power that gave them? There does seem to be a assumption that things were better when women sacrificed themselves in various unpaid capacities for the benefit of their husbands, their kids and their communities. Better for who?

              • Colonial Viper

                Of course in the US having your own car means “freedom”, and of course so does having a gun. But liberals over there want gender equality in the workforce, don’t want guns and want to stop greenhouse gas emissions but you still need the freedom of your own petrol consuming car to get to work. Good luck with that melange.

                • Populuxe1

                  Having a car also means being able to leave an abusive relationship and move to where there is work. I don’t see why you think that’s not important.

                  • karol

                    Also, for many women, it feels safer to travel by car at night than walking to and from public transport. For some women it’s the difference between going out at night and staying home.

      • Ennui 3.2.3

        Karol,

        I think that is to oversimplify the issue. I will try and paraphrase what CV alludes to….women came into the workforce, which enabled capital to squeeze wages. “Traditional female” roles were not back filled by “liberated” males. Families then had to pay for these household domestic “services”. Capital sold a lot of “whiteware” etc, childcare centres flourished…..the laws of unexpected consequences kicked in.

        To be contentious, I don’t think males have bought into the concept of being able to fulfill what were “traditional female” roles. And whilst males have to a high degree accepted the idea of women in the workforce, my personal perception is that the converse of accepting the concept of men in the home is problematic. Capital meanwhile does not give a flying fuck so long as they can keep up consumerism and low wages.

        The whole thing may have been a huge improvement for women ( as it should be, no problem there), it has also been retrograde for all the domestic activities and linkages that construct a cogent society. So how do we (as in males and females together) clean up the mess?

        • just saying 3.2.3.1

          ..it has also been retrograde for all the domestic activities and linkages that construct a cogent society. So how do we (as in males and females together) clean up the mess?

          Well said, but not what I heard CV as saying.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1.1

            Well, I was being a tad more provocative to get the ideas flowing :-)

          • just saying 3.2.3.1.2

            In my opinion is the precariat – sometimes paid a pittance, often unpaid, is increasingly being conscripted into trying to plug the gaps. Meagre scraps of funds are backed-up for workers with inadequate benefits. NGOs are becoming corporatised, social services, privatised and exploitation increasingly abounds.

            • Ennui 3.2.3.1.2.1

              All you describe is true: we all drift toward becoming precariat, even those of us who have our own businesses. The concentration of wealth and power toward the corporates is killing us all. We can no longer afford social services because the buggers dont even pay their share of tax.

  4. Sosoo 4

    A recent Guardian article argues that feminism is a rising and significant presence in the digital age, which includes a reference to “socialist” Laura Penny.

    In their dreams. Feminism in the sense used in this article is a marginal ideology, which most of today’s university students not only do not support, but do not even understand. I’ve lost count of the number of papers I have read where women claim (quite sincerely) that they don’t really know anything about it. And these are people who you would expect to be exposed to such ideas on a regular basis.

    I don’t personally think that this is good at all, but it’s nevertheless true.

    • karol 4.1

      Maybe the university is the wrong place to look for those currently actively involved in feminism?

      Being on the rise, doesn’t mean it includes the majority of young women.

      • Sosoo 4.1.1

        The answer is that it isn’t really on the rise. It seems to have been in a steep decline for years. I’d wager that more young people are involved in playing Magic: The Gathering than in feminist activism.

        Feminism is now about as popular as communism in New Zealand, which is to say that a very small number of active people care, but the impact on society at large is virtually nil.

        The concerns of feminism appear to have either been absorbed into the mainstream or jettisoned from popular consciousness in people under 30. It’s not that they are actively hostile. It’s just that they see a bunch of greying people going on about some old folks’ stuff that they don’t really care about (just like Dylan or the Beatles).

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          There has been a noticeable rise in feminist websites internationally. Check some out. Feminists these days includes people of diverse ages. And some of them are students (albeit the minority amongst students.

          The internet provides a connection and sense of engagement with a community. Also, as with post at the Handmirror that I linked to, it helps with the promotion of offline events.

          You are representing another stereotype of feminists as being increasingly aging and irrelevant.

  5. tracey 5

    If you want to train as a police officer, you do 3 months (paid). If you want to train as a teacher or a nurse you do 3 years (unpaid and with a debt). Which of these is dominated by women.

    It’s about the value society, through our politicans places on these roles. As much as things have changed int he last 30 years, much has stayed the same.

    • Saccharomyces 5.1

      If you want to train as a doctor you do 6 years of training (unpaid). If you want to train as a primary teacher you do 3 years training (unpaid). Which of these is dominated by men?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Med and law school close to 50/50 these days. Some intakes there are even more women than men because women are outpacing men academically.

        • fatty 5.1.1.1

          women are outpacing men academically

          True, however this is just one part of addressing the pay gap.
          The problem is that once women move into a traditionally male dominated profession, the relative wages of that profession drops in comparison to other male dominated industries. I don’t think its just coincidence that since females have moved into academically trained industries (such as law and medicine), then other male dominated industries (such as engineering and construction) have moved up the pay scale at a fast pace.

          I remember reading something from Michael Kimmel a couple of years back about how money follows male dominated jobs. He gave the example of dentistry in USA compared to Europe. In Europe where female dentists are more common, their wages are not that high compared to other medical professions. Whereas in the USA, where male dentists still dominate, their wages are much further up the medical pay scale. (That’s off the top of my head, I’m having trouble finding the text as he’s written so much)

          So, although women becoming more educated and moving into high paying jobs is balancing things out, capitalism has a natural tendency to move higher wages away from women. There needs to be more equality across all industries if equal pay is going to be a reality. Men have to move into women dominated industries – to help push the wages up. And women have to move into male dominated work. (Of course women will still get paid less, but that’s capitalism for you)

          • prism 5.1.1.1.1

            fatty
            good points. What I’ve read too.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.2

            So, although women becoming more educated and moving into high paying jobs is balancing things out, capitalism has a natural tendency to move higher wages away from women.

            the presence of women is a risk factor for the undermining of pay structures and prestige of established professions?

            Incomes in an industry fall for many reasons, but one will be because there are far more workers than before when women join the labour pool for an industry. Another is that women aren’t as good at demanding more pay from employers to match what they are worth.

            • karol 5.1.1.1.2.1

              CV, while your are on he money in some ways that capitalism under-utilises women, @8.20pm you seem to be implying that women should stay away from high paying male-dominated jobs because they will only cause them to be devalued. ie you put the emphasis on the negative impact of women’s behaivour rather than on the way well-paid males and/or capitalists behave.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, I think we know exactly how “the bosses/capitalist owners” behave. And when the women become “the bosses/capitalist owners” we know exactly how they behave, too – the same way. Our fabulous mining billionaire from across the Tassie comes to mind. So does Brooks, formerly of the Murdoch empire.

                We also know from over a century of collective labour experience how you get workers to be valued the way they should be valued by the bosses and capitalist owners: worker power in the form of strong unions able to limit the labour pool, able to threaten effective strikes, able to threaten serious business disruption, able to remove politicians, and able to take other industrial action.

                In my recollection, using harsh language, finger pointing and indignant stares against the bosses and capitalist owners was never very powerful.

                @8.20pm you seem to be implying that women should stay away from high paying male-dominated jobs because they will only cause them to be devalued.

                I make no judgement on what women should or should not do (they can suit themselves) but the second half of your statement saying that male dominated professions get devalued (is from the standpoint of remuneration), a proven matter of record and a well known pattern.

                • karol

                  Well, they end of your last comment points to, or opens the door to a better way – and end of this system that bases status on money and level in an individualistic and competitive hierarchy, and more focus on collective action, and doing jobs or activities that make a contribution to society.

                  Collective power by unions or other organisations is a way to work towards that. Although, Unions tend to strategise around working for the best outcome within the present capitalist system.

  6. Winston Smith 6

    “… get dressed up with their lipstick and make-up on t.v. ..”

    – I don’t think he was making the point about her being attractive or not but rather trying to “dress up” the message they’re saying instead just in his usual ham-fisted way

    -

  7. fatty 7

    Just last week on 10 O’Clock live Laurie Penny was in a debate about gender equality in the workplace. The other two debaters really struggled to understand how class intersects with gender (in)equality)
    The debate can be viewed here.

    Although the debate was interesting, its worth viewing the next segment where Jimmy Carr shows no shame. He has no problem spewing out his predictable sexist jokes. I don’t think Charlie Brooker is too impressed at the end

    • karol 7.1

      Thanks for the link. Gee that red haired woman is a bit unbelievable – let’s hate on woman seems to be her line.

      Laurie Penny looks suitably unimpressed, and says her piece when she can get a word in edgewise.

      And the other two women are pretty middle-class and, maybe not an excuse, but they seem comfortable not empathising with women on lower incomes.

  8. ghostrider888 8

    Embodied cognition
    and the Embodiment of gender ; people ‘police’ their ‘good ol’ selves’ just fine without any help from chauvanists of any gender.

    • Ennui 8.1

      Truly spiritual Spooky. Be good (metaphorically of course).

      • ghostrider888 8.1.1

        it’s a dilemma; what next? not more of the same. sigh, what’s a poor boy to do.

      • ghostrider888 8.1.2

        some ars from the old man’s vinyl collection;
        Spooky
        (sad really, that ‘old man’ was such a chauvanist bastard too, “Polly want her housekeeping?”)

  9. joe90 9

    Just mooching around the webs. This:

    “Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions.. for safety on the streets… for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.”

    If someone says ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist,’ I ask ‘Why? What’s your problem?”

    Dale Spender.

  10. millsy 10

    Farmboy probably looks like one of the characters from the 1972 movie Deliverance.

    Not talking about Burt Reynold’s character.

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    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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