web analytics
The Standard

The Sexing of Politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, March 30th, 2013 - 59 comments
Categories: Conservation, energy, john key, Judith Collins, national/act government, newspapers - Tags: , , ,

Fran O’Sullivan is most usually a fan of John Key, except she can show how she thinks Judith Collins does it better. In today’s column, O’Sullivan argues that, Key’s ministers are using dubious tactics in dealing with Rio Tinto over Tiwai Point:

The problem is Key’s Cabinet ministers – particularly State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall – have become so captive to the Budget forecasts which Finance Minister Bill English wants to make good on when he unveils the next major numbers in Parliament on May 16, that they are prepared to sacrifice the integrity of the State-Owned Enterprises model for short-term gain. Cabinet ministers are not supposed to bypass an SOE board when it comes to negotiations between the company and its customers. Yet Ryall – without even a blush – has done just that.

On top of this, O’Sullivan argues that Key has lost his edge in the negotiations with Rio Tinto, and suggests an alternative:

If they had strong guts they should simply call Rio Tinto’s bluff (as Key originally signalled would be the case). If the aluminium company walks away the price of electricity will come down (no bad thing) and Meridian will have the potential to market renewable power to attract other energy-hungry international users like data centres instead of a company which just adds to our carbon emissions profile.

However, in critiquing Key, O’Sullivan can’t resist the attention-getting ploy of drawing on the mainstream style of sexing politics.  In so doing she equates sharp, savvy and successful  deal-making in business and politics with masculine dominance and prowess.  Her column begins:

John Key earned himself a fabulous reputation as one of the “big swinging dicks” of the international foreign exchange business. But in going toe-to-toe with Rio Tinto over the Tiwai Point smelter electricity negotiations, all the signs are his Government is about to be screwed by a major player with plenty of form in the tough world of international brinkmanship. Cruel observers of this political game would probably say it’s just another example of the “swinging dick to limp dick” syndrome which afflicts too many business people when they enter national politics.

That kind of thinking also spills over into Judith (Crusher) Collins style, who does a slightly feminised version of macho bullying. This is in keeping with many studies of gender in politics, which show that it is a dilemma for women as political leaders because they need to portray feminine characteristics, while embodying the dominant (masculine) ideals of leadership.  For instance, in Women and Politics: The Pursuit of equality (2012) by Lynn E Ford (pp 192-3) women politicians in the US tend to be more into consensus building and collaborative approach as politicians and leaders.  In contrast, men tend to be

strong, directive and oriented to power and control. (p.193)

O’Sullivan collaborates with such sexing of political leadership styles, right to the end of today’s column. She finishes saying:

Meridian’s board has not been cut into the Government’s secret negotiations with Rio Tinto’s representatives. The Meridian directors include some tough players: chairman Chris Moller formerly chaired the NZRU for five years and also chairs NZ Cricket; Mark Cairns runs a tight ship at Port of Tauranga and Jan Dawson, formerly head of KPMG, and Ballantyne’s chief executive Mary Devine weren’t brought down in the last shower. So far, they are remaining a cone of silence. They should simply resign – as they have been neutered.

Ultimately this does no favours for women inside and outside politics.  It creates a major challenge for those who don’t want to play the macho game;

men,

Green MP Gareth Hughes sleeps rough to highlight homelessness

Green MP Gareth Hughes sleeps rough to highlight homelessness

Mana Party president Annette Sykes

Mana Party president Annette Sykes

women ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

those who cross traditional boundaries a sex and gender

Ex-Labour MP Georgina Beyer

Ex-Labour MP Georgina Beyer

and all those who want to contribute to a more collaborative, nurturing and inclusive society.

59 comments on “The Sexing of Politics”

  1. geoff 1

    “…Rio Tinto’s bluff…”
    That’s about right.

  2. handle 2

    When politicians describe themselves in macho terms, it is not surprising for a mainstream newspaper critique to echo that. Inclusive, nurturing languge is unlikely to bring full-of-themselves men down a peg or two.

    • karol 2.1

      It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing. And it’s wider than politics and the MSM. The qualities that have traditionally been attributed to good leaders tend to be based in the qualities associated with masculinity.

      MSM journalists have a tendency to draw uncritically on such values/qualities.

  3. Crusher’s a real woman. So is John Key.

  4. mac1 4

    Ex-Labour MP Georgina Beyer. Has Georgina Beyer left the Labour party? Or is she the former Labour MP or is she a Labour former MP or is she the ex-MP for Labour?

    There is a difference, and it’s why we must be very careful with that precious taonga, language.

  5. QoT 5

    One especially has to love the way O’Sullivan puts quotes around “big swinging dicks” so she can simultaneously use the scary!!! edgy!!! sexualised!!! language!!! but not actually take ownership of it because hey, she’s totally quoting someone else.

    • Tigger 5.1

      My thought too. She gets to be ‘dirty’ by quoting the deniable ‘they’. Fran’s mouth would never have ‘dick’ in it…

      Great piece Karol. Would love more from you on gender and politics.

  6. Populuxe1 6

    Now imagining Helen Clark and Jenny Shipley having a cry on each other’s shoulder because Fran Wilde’s use of a childish cliche may, if deconstructed to death, imply one needs a penis for politics. Also imagining Georgina Beyer rolling her eyes at the idea that a silly phrase or two in a Fran O’Sullivan column could have in any way inhibited her amazing political achievements any more than her actual hard knocks life and marginalised status as a transgender woman failed to. I wonder how Gareth Hughes feels about apparently not being “macho”, whatever that actually means any more? Has the empowerment and equality of women finally reached a point where we can shift attention to picking apart stupid colloqualisms as if they suggested anything more significant than that Fran O’Sullivan can’t write? If so, glorious utopian day!

    That politics and language is rife with culturalised gender bias is hardly a surprise revelation, but moaning about Fran O’Sullivan noting that the Old Boys Club is a pack of dicks isn’t very high on my list of things that need fixing. Pay equality would be, or perhaps official condemnation of the treatment of women in countries where rape victims get stoned to death for not screaming loudly enough.

    [RL: Edited to correct Fran’s name.]

    • Populuxe1 6.1

      Oops, that will teach me to be working on two things at once. My apologies. All Frans referred to should be Fran O’Sullivan. Good thing I wasn’t watching The Nanny.

    • karol 6.2

      Under NAct watch, we have seen a backlash against women with and without power: for instance against single mothers on benefits and women in politics. The backlash against women in politics began with the right attacking Clark via her sex and sexuality. There are similar moves in the Aus MSM and politics to use Gillard’s sex and sexuality as part of the way to undermine her.

      I could have picked several male Green MPs. Green MPs generally don’t participate strongly in macho political game playing and aim more for engagement and co-operative approaches.

  7. ianmac 7

    Solid Energy: Key/Joyce/Ryall blamed the Management for the Solid Energy SOE failure problem. Clearly they restated their alleged helplessness as politicians could only advise. Not their fault!

    Meridian: Key/Joyce/Ryall deal directly with Rio Tinto bypassing the Management of Meridian SOE.

    Surely this is such a glaringly hypocritical position by Key/Joyce/Ryall and is a huge crime which completely contradicts their Solid Energy position.

  8. Pete 8

    From Urban Dictionary:

    1. the financial industry’s term for a rainmaker; a Wall Street executive who brings in enormous amounts of money for the firm, possibly because he has just screwed a customer.

    An expression made famous by Michael Lewis in Liar’s Poker, published in 1989.

    2. a mover and shaker in any organization

    Calling some one a dick is an insult.
    Calling some one a big dick is a bigger insult.
    Calling some one a big swinging dick is a term of respect.

    Not a nickname for a large gorilla named Richard.
    But Dick Perle didn’t want to be a mere influence peddler. He wanted to be a businessman, a venture capitalist, a Big Swinging Dick.

  9. fender 9

    A Justice Minister with a gun and weapons fetish is way less than ideal IMO.

  10. xtasy 10

    This “big swinging dicks” comment raised my eyebrows.

    Yes, Fran has been a convinced Key fan for years now, but reading this piece in the NZ Herald online today left my jaw sink rather low in total astonishment, almost shock.

    I could not work out what she was suggesting. So she was earlier all for selling and part privatising the SOEs in question, now she gets all upset about Rile (I think he is also known as “Ryall” by the way) and Key directly interfering in negotiations between a “hated” SOE (as no business should be run by the state, ahem) and the local part of Rio Tinto, to “rescue” the operational survival value of Meridian, which is supposed to be part SOLD also.

    Yes, it raises questions, for sure, but what is Fran throwing around a fuss about this now? Is she getting all worried about the “PURITY” of “market operations” being interfered with? Or is she now really not rather shit scared about the so much fanfared “asset sale plan” now likely to fall to bits???

    There is a touch of hysteria in her column piece. And then going on on “swinging dicks” and “limp dicks”, I was wondering, has she perhaps been “missing out” too much on some “fulfilling” actions herself recently? Surely, this is language I never heard from her before. Happy women do not moan about “limpness” of certain male body parts.

    And then she concluded the board of Meridian have been “neutered” and should resign. The reason is supposed to be that Key and Rile have interfered into SOE negotiations, but perhaps the reason is another, perhaps just “limp dicks”???

    It is time for Fran to take a walk on the wild side, to check out the exciting offerings on K-Road in Auckland, perhaps, or to explore many other services on the internet. There is ample stuff to get her fixed, if she has some lack of something. Fran, take a walk on the wild side, perhaps?

    • karol 10.1

      Or O’Sullivan buys into the way our culture attributes traditional masculine qualities to good leadership. And she has decide Key is on a downward slide and is moving to switch her allegiance to Collins (as indicated by her fan-girl rave about Collin’s toughness in the Dec 2012 article that I linked to in my post).

    • karol 10.2

      xtasy, I also think it’s not helpful to bring O’Sullivan’s imagined sex life into the issue – it’s getting into ad hominem territory.

      The issues are all about how O’Sullivan embraces the dominant intersecting discourses on leadership and sex/gender/sexuality. It is most evident in the Collins’ article that, for her, the best female party leader/PM, is one that has “tough” masculine qualities.

      js below: was pondering my reply.

      • just saying 10.2.1

        I struggle to imagine the response at 10, to the same piece written by a male columnist.

        Karol – I’m often in awe of your equanimity in difficult terrain.

        • xtasy 10.2.1.1

          I blame it on Fran O’Sullivan, using bizarre descriptors and words, which I never expected to come from a leading journalist in her position.

          So it may in part have been over the top and distasteful what I commented, but I found O’Sullivan’s article rather distasteful, hence my comment at a lower standard level.

  11. The Al1en 11

    Wish this was a caption contest topic.

    Drew Barrymore in Charlie’s Angels 24 – Granny get your gun.

  12. tc 12

    Can’t have the ‘value’ in MRP moving through market forces now can we, or because the hand picked SOE’S board may do its job properly. CEO bins hasn’t even done a year there.

    they are now rubbing the noses of their own core supporters (boards and c-level) in it as they are so desperate to keep up the charade that flogging power generators is a great idea.

    Even o’shillivan is wagging her finger….bit late now Franny, too little way to late go and have a cry with all your other NACT fan club members at granny. It’s a big enough club. Can’t even call it for what it is, power abuse and hypocrasy but dress it up a gender issue. Weak and dishonest journalism.

  13. Ad 13

    Both O’Sullivan and this post confuses gender with political force. Fran definitely has a problem that she wants the Government to do something, anything, but this time it isn’t the flimsy and glamorous film industry. She is simply aghast watching this government’s moral hazards move quickly into full on highway smash.

    This time it’s the moving parts of three major forces colliding: one of the top ten largest companies in the world, one of the largest electricity companies in New Zealand and its grid supply to the whole of New Zealand, the entire Southland economy, and a major public share float.

    Remember it was only this week Key promised to remove the old and never-used SOE protections for these companies over price and profit.

    Into the scenario we now all know Key’s SOE Minister Ryall decides to panic.

    John Key sure knows how to intervene and damn the moral hazards. But now he has rude choices in front of him:

    – Reverse his decision to intervene, let the commercial force return hard onto the contract between Rio Tinto and Meridian.
    First likely outcome: Rio Tinto breaks the contract, pays damages up front or ends up in Court and pays damages through a settlement.
    Second likely outcome: the global and local sharemarkets especially the Aussie one watching the Mighty River Power float have their faith restored that the NZGovernment’s promise to be just another shareholder, and not intervene as it could as an SOE. Same goes for those 400,00+ New Zealanders who just signed up and just felt the chill of government intervention roll over their forecast share price.
    Third likely outcome: within a year the aluminium plant folds, and with it goes any hope of sustaining the Southland economy, no plan for replacing it, hundreds of manufacturing jobs are exported fast, the Terms of Trade tilt down hard, etc. Sutch’s ghost turns in grave.
    Fourth likely outcome: a major regulatory test as the spot price goes nuts, probably no impact on retail prices at all as Huntly takes the load to the north for a while as Manapouri can’t redistribute easily to Auckland for years. etc etc

    – Or stay on the interventionist path. As ever, without a plan, a strategy, even a reason.
    First likely outcome: The global share markets mark down every public company, as this would be show globally to be an irrational interventionist government. The whole share sale process is destabilized.
    Second: Key outflanks Labour hard, by playing the economic development and regional security card.
    Third: Meridian Board and new CE resigns, as Fran suggests. This is far worse than Solid Energy. Far worse. That’s a reputational shiver though every golf club in New Zealand.
    Fourth, he puts 400,000 voters on notice that he will interfere with their proposed investments in his own float. OMG Key.
    Fifth, there’s no change to retail electricity price and the Electricity Commission goes nuts trying to explain it. Answer: market is retaining profit to make the massive required grid upgrades, and will take a decade to rebuild the grid to suit.

    I like governments who are prepared to intervene. Intervening is what leftie governments should do to secure jobs. There are so many posters on this site who beg for it, at scale. But intervention always begets moral hazard: which way will you be damned.
    But going into a massive moral hazard with no plan, again, is going to truly damage this government this time. Key’s clumsy commercial crash-through is damaging to all of us.

    So the above has nothing to do with Fran’s sexualisation of anything, it’s simply the shock at watching the force of the collisions unfold.

    • karol 13.1

      ad, you’ve have done a very good and thought-provoking analysis of Key’s options and O’Sullivan’s related comments on the issue. You make a very good point about Key’s double-bind: to intervene or not to intervene. And you also show up how Key is good at responding to problems quickly but not so good at long term planning – the qualities required of a finance trader/speculator, but not the qualities of a PM.

      Of course Key and the neoliberals have never been opposed to intervention to support the interests of banks big corporates etc. This double-bind exposes their hypocrisy about “the market will decide”.

      But politics and sex/gender are deeply interwoven with contemporary western political discourse, ideas about political “force” and political and commercial leadership. Your analysis does nothing to show that the two are not related.

    • alwyn 13.2

      You appear to have some illusions about the size of Rio-Tinto.
      You describe it as being “one of the top ten largest companies in the world”.
      According to the Fortune 500 list, which is generally regarded as reputable, it is actually number 153.
      It falls between China Southern Power Grid and A P Muller-Mursk Group, neither of which I suspect you have ever heard of. It was less than a quarter the size of the number 10 on the list.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Yeah it would’ve been more accurate to call Rio Tinto the 2nd or 3rd biggest mining company in the world, by market cap.

        BHP being no.1

    • xtasy 13.3

      Ad: A rather good analysis, I’d say!

      This one could cost the Nats the narrow margin to keep up and ahead in the polls, once it all unfolds. Solid Energy delivered one major shock news, now this one, what is next?

      The gloss is coming off brand Key now, for sure, even amongst his business supporters and media fans.

  14. Ad 14

    How will analysis through a patriarchal filter help anyone here? There will be worse language spoken before this is played out. It’s one small tool of those available to all sides.

    You infer a book that says women are more consensus-building in politics. Haven’t seen it here so far. Maybe in an essentialist sense it’s true, maybe it isn’t. Maybe a feminine politics, as Ghandi said of Christianity, would be a good idea. Maybe. Maybe the Greens have a happier, fruitier way of dealing to Rio Tinto. I await their pleasure.

    But a feminine politics is somewhat hard to discern when there ain’t much feminine politics being demonstrated by Rio Tinto, or the New Zealand electricity grid, or indeed anyone in this great play right now. And ain’t likely to be. I would never deride a Derrida disciple, but right now being thrown by the language is to be spooked by a small explosion inside a cheap magic show.

    • karol 14.1

      It’s not an either all thing, ad. It’s a more complex situation than you are acknowledging.

      I selected one book that I could find links to relatively quickly. In the past I have read several peer reviewed articles on the way leadership, especially political leadership are gendered. And there’s also a lot of stuff about the tendencies for male and female politicians approach politics differently and to be treated differently by the media. It’s not a clear cut thing.

      O’Sullivan’s article points to ideas in many studies of PMs like Thatcher and Helen Clark, on the need to walk a fine line between presenting as feminine, and embracing masculine qualities. These things have real impacts on the way politics are conducted and social and economic life is organised.

      And I’ve never been much into Derrida. I have been more into looking at social research and real life experiences.

      But a feminine politics is somewhat hard to discern when there ain’t much feminine politics being demonstrated by Rio Tinto, or the New Zealand electricity grid, or indeed anyone in this great play right now. And ain’t likely to be.

      here you acknowledge the way politics and business deeply embraces masculinity within them, but then conclude that it’s the way it is and not worth commenting on.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        In the US one of the most important political polling attributes is to be seen as a “strong leader”. It is one of the best predictors of whether or not a nominee will win the Presidency. On the other hand you don’t want your nominee to be saddled with a “Mommy problem” where they are seen as caring and nurturing, but not as a “strong leader”.

        Now I don’t know how that breaks down between voters, and it will be different in NZ, but it is obvious that masculine/feminine balances are crucially important in politics and also within the same politician as you pointed out.

        Is it worth commenting on – by all means. Are you going to change what the electorate looks for as Prime Ministerial material (not just a backbench MP) through the conversation? That’s an interesting question.

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          Yes, I think the difference from NZ is that US governance is at the centre of more hard global power. I think in NZ the gendering is similar but more subtle.

          I have in the past read a lot of peer reviewed articles and some books on the topic, both referring to overseas and NZ. Yesterday I was looking for something that I could link to pretty quickly. I particularly was looking to read the latest article by Margie Comrie (and Karen Ross) on it, and couldn’t find a version requiring a paid subscription. In fact, there’s an open access link to it on her Uni web page.

          From the abstract:

          This article argues that despite journalistic claims of impartiality, a careful, multilayered analysis of print and broadcast news of a general election (New Zealand, 2008) and, more specifically, reportage about the leaders of the Labour Party (Helen Clark) and National Party (John Key) demonstrates clear bias against the long-serving (older female) incumbent in favour of the (younger male) challenger. This bias is manifest in several ways, including the visibility of the two leaders measured by column inches, their uses as quoted sources and the tone and tenor of reportage. Whilst we found few examples of explicitly sexist commentary, there were numerous ways in Clark’s personal attributes, including her sex and age, were slyly used to undermine her continued suitability for the top job.

          And there’s also her earlier version on the same topic.

          Does talking about it make a difference? Maybe not in the short term, but it is more likely int he long term. As is true of other highly crucial issues, like those of neoliberalism and soft neoliberalism.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            TV and media have a huge (I might even suggest irresistable) effect on shaping the national discourse. The Left’s inability (or lack of will?) in creating and supporting robust impartial public service broadcasting has been quite damaging.

            Creating TV7 and painting a target on it’s forehead for the Tories was not the way to go. Forcing TVNZ to be just another dividend paying commercially focussed SOE was short sighted.

            In a serious MSM Fran’s irrelevant gender biases would come under the microscope and she’d be forced to answer for her chosen framing, instead of just having it reflected around the MSM.

            • xtasy 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep, the media, the damned media in this country.

              From what I can judge, only Maori TV fits the description of public media, while FACE TV may be a kind of privately run version of independent media (by that will not last due to the deal with Sky TV).

              Forget the rest, especially print media and radio.

              Even Radio NZ is now reporting and broadcasting more and more along the Nat led government’s philosophy and agenda.

              The situation is ideal for the soft form of the Dictatorship of Aotearoa NZ we now have (ruled/controlled by an elite from big business, supporters from other important business-lobbies, right wing ideologues and strategists, senior career administrators and CEOs, and the facilitating National Party with their willing supporters and “enablers” like Dunne and Banks).

              All is set for more brainwashing, to perpetuate the crap we have, to make it last. Fewer and fewer are informed, and without informed voters, there is no true democracy.

  15. ianmac 15

    A bit ominous when Key says that he will not be supporting Rio Tinto in long term BUT short term help will be a good thing. Pragmatic or what?

  16. Helen Kelly 16

    Great post Karol.

  17. O’Sullivan argues that, Key’s ministers are using dubious tactics in dealing with Rio Tinto

    According to Dr Jay Gould, Rio Tinto Mines was formed for the House of Windsor in the late 1950’s.

    If true then dubious tactics are hardly unexpected given that Key & co. have sworn to serve Elizabeth Windsor.

  18. Green machine UpandComer 18

    It’s good to see those gender studies papers, a key pre-requisite of todays Labour member, are being put to good use.

    • One Tāne Huna 18.1

      It’s mind-numbingly tiresome to watch wingnuts criticise stuff they haven’t the first clue about.

      • QoT 18.1.1

        It’s kind of hilarious though how they treat university gender studies courses as this huge, scary mark on a person’s character which automatically designates them as craaaaaaaaaaaaazy.

        • kiwi_prometheus 18.1.1.1

          Gender studies courses are a hilarious joke:

          Herstory, Wymmins Studies, Feminist “Science”, Queer “Theory”.

          Lots of manhating and a high portion of lesbians involved.

          Totally ideologically driven.

          Nothing but pedantry, obscurantism and psuedo intellectual twaddle.

          And you lot wonder why you get called crazy?

          Or more importantly you lot wonder why the NZ public isn’t voting for your ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS gender politics.

          • QoT 18.1.1.1.1

            Still obsessed with lesbians, I see.

            • kiwi_prometheus 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Lesbian and Feminist founding mother Andrea Dworkin:

              “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.”

              “Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice.”

              “In my own life, I don’t have intercourse. That is my choice.”

              [ if you look at pics of Andrea you can see it is not so much her choice as an inability to score even a blind drunk victim, lol ]

              Its very clear where Karol, QofT, Felix et al are coming from, hiding behind the pseudo intellectual pretension of “Post Modernism”, “Science Studies”, “Social Constructivism”.

              You won’t find QofT et al denying any of the above by the lesbian Andrea Dworkin, but they are careful not to repeat any of it to the general public for very obvious reasons.

              Imagine Shearer announcing on the 6pm news that” heterosexual marriage is rape culture!”.

              Feminists are destroying the Left.

              • McFlock

                So the only girlfriend you had, if only platonically, left you for a woman, didn’t she.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  Lesbian and Feminist founding mother Andrea Dworkin:

                  “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.”

                  “Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice.”

                  “In my own life, I don’t have intercourse. That is my choice.”

                  Please explain your support for this, Flocky, and how it could help demolish Keys in the polls.

                  [karol: k-p, this comment is getting well away from the topic of my post, and seems to be just cherry picking some quotes from a radical feminist. You have made no attempt to apply your understanding of this to the topic. If you persist in diverting the discussions under my posts into areas of your own pre-occupation with feminism as you see it, I will be getting your comments moved to Open Mike]

                  • McFlock

                    Lol
                    Well, Prommy, even assuming none of those comments have been stripped of source or context, what is controversial about comment three? Surely dworkin’s celibacy is both her choice and completely irrelevant to nz politics?

                    I mean, seriously – how fucked in the head you must be to consider dworkin’s sex life a matter of nz political interest.

  19. kiwi_prometheus 19

    Karol, you keep appealing to “peer reviewed studies”, but that means very little when the social “sciences” are infected with relativism/Marxism/Feminism.

    A social constructionist who presents a “study” to other social constructionists for “peer review” that concludes her political agenda eg Queer “Theory” is “true” is nothing but intellectual fraud.

    By the way Derrida is an intellectual fraud.

    [karol: k-p, this comment is getting well away from the substance of my post. You have made no attempt to apply your understanding of theory to the topic. If you persist in diverting the discussions under my posts into areas of your own pre-occupation with feminism as you see it, I will be getting your comments moved to Open Mike]

    • karol 19.1

      *sigh* Still tossing up umbrella labels, k_p with no argument of substance. I’d take the peer reviewed articles over the reviews of a miss mash of labels done only in your head.

      Where did my post say anything about Queer Theory. I’ve never been into the writings of Dworkin or Derrida. Where in Margie Comrie’s article that I linked to @10.59am 31st March do they incorporate the “political agenda” of queer theory?

      What in her articles is fraudulent? Please could you try to show you have even a little bit of a grasp of the substance that you refer to so superficially? The labels you toss out refer to a diverse range of ideas, research and methods done by researchers drawing on vastly different theories. You show little understanding of any of it.

      PS: You keep using “social constructionist” as a criticism. What are the actual theories, research and arguments that you have a problem with? Is society, (language, media, social/cultural institutions and practices, etc) not socially constructed? When investigating matter and the properties of physical matter, scientific methods are appropriate. When investigating the nuances of human behaviour, communication and social activities, we get into the realm of aspects of life that are socially constructed – like language, media etc – the methods to investigate these need to be appropriate.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    13 hours ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    19 hours ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    2 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    2 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    2 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    2 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    2 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    3 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    3 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    4 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    4 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    5 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    6 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    7 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere