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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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  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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