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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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    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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