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75% of group discussion is dominated by men

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, May 12th, 2016 - 211 comments
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But how do they achieve that?

Watch and Learn

The online version is written bullying. The patronising part is the same.



211 comments on “75% of group discussion is dominated by men ”

  1. Richard@Down South 1

    I think its quite a valid point… however, some men (and sadly some women) like to talk over everyone… either way, its rude

    just my 10c

    • Pasupial 1.1

      Well; yes. But even if we recast the title as; “Group discussion is dominated by egomaniacs in love with the sound of their own voice”, we are still left with the problem that most of those arseholes are men (though 75% is a suspiciously neat figure).

    • Raff 1.2

      Don’t you mean your 75c?

  2. Richardrawshark 2

    There are lots of injustices in the world. Men are dominant in discussions for many reasons. I honestly believe it’s part of the genetic makeup of men from our earliest hunter gatherer days. men are the Alpha, the Tribe leader, over millennia I imagine it’s become part of our man-ness I suppose. Our Alpha. Pack leader mentality.

    Times change, we need to be more respectful of women having their say and not manning over them and shutting them down like we arte the ones to listen too.

    Good to bring it up, I had not heard of it before. I will be more aware of it, but I also am not going to make a big issue of it.

    Perhaps spinning it, women need to learn in group discussions etc, involving men how to be more dominant?

    Or perhaps it’s a natural human action, or part of mating that the women act submissive around men? IDNK interesting to do some proper science around manplaining?

    • Rosie 2.1

      Hi Richard. The paleolithic period is over. The excuse is kind of…………….old.

      And then, how would you explain the dominance of women’s rule and leadership in pre Christian matriarchal societies? Submissiveness. Not really a thing, for those early human women eh.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Funnily enough, the paleolithic as imagined by some is very much here and now…that’s how they’re able to imagine it as being how they claim it was. Kinda depressing I guess – not funny at all.

      • Aaron 2.1.2

        The excuse is actually wrong. It’s a myth – in both senses of the word.

        Well, not entirely a myth – there are cultures that are cruel but there are also a great many stone age cultures where everyone is treated with the utmost respect and where (to quote Derrick Jensen) the closest word they have to rape translates as “he kind of looked at me funny”.

        This has been well documented by anthrologists but it suits our culture to maintain the belief that violence is an inherant part of who we are. Or to be more specific it suits those who benefit from the threat of violence to believe it is inevitable.

        The same thing applies to those who quote the passage in the bible along the lines that ‘wives should submit to their husbands’ – they completely neglect to mention the bit a few lines later that says husbands and wives should ‘submit’ to each other, because it doesn’t suit their agenda.

        Our violent, empire building culture has all but obliterated the cultures that lived in harmony with the environment, and with each other for thousands of years – but the reality is we all have the potential to behave with a total absense of violence and coercion, although it may be hard to do.

        • Colonial Viper

          As others have noted, including yourself now, capitalism is built on a culture and normalisation of violence and coercion.

          Shall we replace it?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        And then, how would you explain the dominance of women’s rule and leadership in pre Christian matriarchal societies?

        Yep. The birth place of modern civilisation used to be matriarchal.

    • Bill 2.2

      The ‘genetic makeup’ excuse is just that; an excuse. There is nothing intrinsically dominant about men or intrinsically submissive about women. There is social and cultural conditioning.

      I’d love to know what you think was going on in hunter/gatherer societies. I’m guessing you’d draw a picture of what you can see around you now, project it back through time and remove some aspects of humanity from your picture. Meaning that you’d essentially be arguing, in a very disingenuous way, that ‘it’s always been thus’….and look how much we’ve progressed (you might say) as you reattached aspects of humanity you’d removed from our ancestors. (They laughed, cried, loved and died in exactly the same way that we do.)

      Here’s some off the cuff reflections about how a gatherer/hunter society might have functioned.

      First up, we’re really fucking slow, two legged animals. In other words, lunch.

      Secondly. Nothing prevents women and children from making, laying and servicing traps.

      Nothing prevents the young and fit of either gender from contributing to a hunt. See that ‘slow on two legs thing’? A way to kill a much bigger and faster herbivore is to have a group of people steadily pursue it…all it requires is stamina and a steady pace – something we’re really good at. It (the animal) dies of heat exhaustion/heart attack – no need for big mano mano with sharp pointy sticks nonsense.

      Big snarly tooth laden beastie is around ‘your patch’? Trap it. If it can’t be trapped, then maybe scare it off. If it’s predating, then the social beast (the hunter/gatherer society) will naturally and intelligently protect its most valuable members – women of child bearing age. So those ‘alpha males’ lording it? Nah. As individuals, brave perhaps. Foolhardy perhaps. Self sacrificing, perhaps. As constituents of a society – relatively dispensable…much less of a loss than many others.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        The ‘genetic makeup’ excuse is just that; an excuse.

        Humans made a remarkable trade-off at some point in our deep evolution. Whereas all other mammals (indeed all other living creatures) are born with a virtually complete and fairly fixed set of strong instincts about how to go about living in their environment, humans are different.

        Our trick was to essentially get born with far less programming, and then over the period of an extended (and highly dependent) childhood we would learn what was necessary to survive in our environment.

        The trade off is … highly risky and extended infancy, vs an ability to thrive in almost any environment.

        But this does not mean we are born with no instincts at all. They are still there, but operating at a level of our brain we are mostly unaware of. And there is any amount of terrific research over the past decade or so exploring this.

        Where exactly the boundary lies between instinct and socialisation is, or even if it makes sense to even try and draw such a line, is question I won’t even pretend to have a neat answer for.

        • Bill

          We made no ‘trade off’. There is no wee room sitting separate to existence where decisions are made. I know it was just lazy use of language, but that particular one is ubiquitous and bugs me – I’m not trying to get at you.

          So…I’m thinking,

          we have the same survival instincts that serve us in our initial environment as does any other animal. (That a cub will become independent of its mother in a shorter time span to a baby is neither here nor there on that front).

          We have a longer ‘monkey see, monkey do’ period than other mammals? So what? I can see where that allows a greater amount of knowledge to be gained…nothing to do with ‘programming’ being in place. As for vulnerability, we could just as well claim that a situation that afforded security (social grouping), over many millenia decreased the biological need to ‘get up and running’. That might have been different if we were everything’s favorite and easily accessed lunch-time snack.

          Can’t see where this extended infancy equates to be able to thrive in almost any environment…it affords us a greater scope for multiple adaptations in a given environment If I was born in present day Alaska a thousand years ago and suddenly found myself plopped down in Australia, I’d likely die. As a species we moved into environments as and when we could in a generational fashion and gradually adapted as and if we could and learned where able.

          Instincts are biological reactions to environments (biological, geographical, climatic etc). I think the term ‘evolution’ could be used to describe that.

          If we create secondary environments (cultures/societies – that are always going to be bound to and shaped by those fundamental or basic or primary environments in one way or another) then surely we’re looking at behavioural markers, not instinctual ones in relation to the interplay that goes on between us and our self created environments. And those behavioural markers can tell us whether we’re creating healthy or unhealthy environments for ourselves and we can change them….or we can just take those exhibiting so-called aberrant behaviour, appeal to determinism and instinct, put them inside a cage within the cage we’ve constructed for ourselves and carry on.

          Self awareness. Yup. We aren’t very. Instincts. Yup. They exist.

          • RedLogix

            We made no ‘trade off’.

            To clarify, in evolutionary terms of course it wasn’t a conscious choice. Evolution is not something any individual gets to make choices about.

            But in pure survival terms babies that are born helpless and take anything up to 15 odd years to come to adulthood are an incredible disadvantage. Especially for a relatively slow breeding species such as we are.

            So there had to be an advantage in survival terms, and I’m suggesting that it was our ability to ‘learn’ on the job how to quickly adapt within each generation to new or rapidly changing environments.

            That’s all I meant. Otherwise I’m on board with the rest of what you are saying and thanks for making the conversation interesting.

          • RedLogix

            We made no ‘trade off’.

            To clarify, in evolutionary terms of course it wasn’t a conscious choice. Evolution is not something any individual gets to make choices about.

            But in pure survival terms babies that are born helpless and take anything up to 15 odd years to come to adulthood are an incredible disadvantage. Especially for a relatively slow breeding species such as we are.

            So there had to be an advantage in survival terms, and I’m suggesting that it was our ability to ‘learn’ on the job how to quickly adapt within each generation to new or rapidly changing environments.

            That’s all I meant. Otherwise I’m on board with the rest of what you are saying and thanks for making the conversation interesting.

    • mpledger 2.3

      The thing is there can only be one leader, most of the time men must be the followers not the leaders so their learned/evolved behaviour in that case ought to be submissiveness and deference.

      • BM 2.3.1

        You have a hierarchy.

        If there’s more than one leader you tend to have disagreements.

      • Bill 2.3.2

        Follow people or follow ideas. Your choice. No leaders necessary.

        • Draco T Bastard


          IMO, it is the concept of leaders and leadership that is the problem. People who think of themselves as ‘leaders’ tend to think that they deserve more than everyone else and so inequality sets in.

    • weka 2.4

      I’m not around much today but would just like to say that NZ had intact hunter gatherer societies a mere 200 years ago and least some of those societies were more egalitarian than Civ cultures, including around women’s voices and power.

      There are also multiple examples of this from around the world.

      • Rosie 2.4.1

        +1 Excellent point

      • b waghorn 2.4.2

        Did they not make there woman sit at the back?

        • Colonial Viper

          We’ll cherry pick the parts of native cultures that we like and think are noble and which suit our current day sensibilities, thanks very much.

          BTW no women allowed to speak in important meeting places or train with weapons, thanks. That’s roles for the men.

          • Jenny Kirk

            Yes – we could cherrypick out the parts of indigenous cultures that we like, but we should also realise that sometimes (often ?) some of those cultural aspects have been overtaken by colonisation (Europeanisation, if you like) and what we might see and hear today is not necessarily how it occurred in pre-European times. Perhaps I should be more definite : I’ve heard Maori women talk about marae where they were welcomed on as equals to men, allowed to speak, etc.
            And that colonisation played a part in how some men started to behave differently to women.

          • marty mars

            The BTW bit is just incorrect. Much was introduced by missionaries including their terrible ideas of the role and status of women. This is fact not some ‘noble native’ idea.

            • Colonial Viper

              Am pretty sure that most of the evils of today are due to Anglo Imperialism.

          • maui

            BTW no women allowed to speak in important meeting places or train with weapons, thanks. That’s roles for the men.

            That doesn’t seem to gel with the fact that Māori women were fighting in the New Zealand wars. But I guess these fighters just never received any training in your view… It was sink or swim, makes sense…

            And high ranking Māori women allowed to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, but not allowed to speak for their tribe??

          • weka

            We’ll cherry pick the parts of native cultures that we like and think are noble and which suit our current day sensibilities, thanks very much.

            BTW no women allowed to speak in important meeting places or train with weapons, thanks. That’s roles for the men.

            What, you mean in the say that you just cherry picked aspects that you think others will think are bad and which suits your political agenda? 🙄

            If you were referring to me (I assume you were), then you’re wrong. I know enough blood curdling stories about indigenous peoples, plus the ordinary level ability to analyse what works in a culture and why, and what doesn’t. I haven’t been in the intellectual space you are talking about for decades. The accusation of Noble Savage is the most superficial of arguments and is also routinely used as a dismissal and derailment. For instance, the conversation could instead have gone down the track of, weka, why do you think that indigenous women were living in a more egalitarian culture than women today? And then I would have shared some more, and then you could have judged whether it was me glorifying another culture, or even engaged with the actual points. But as it is you instead just trot out a staid old prejudice, which kind of reinforces what Tracey said.

        • gsays

          Hi b waghorn, the explanation I have heard for women at the back is to protect them and future generations from the insults and curses that can b thrown about.

          So it’s kinda not anti-female.

          • gsays

            And I forgot to echo the welcome back Tracey, I enjoy reading what you contribute and generally come away with a altered point of view.

        • weka

          “Did they not make there woman sit at the back?”

          Did they not make the men go up front to get attacked first if shit went down? Who is ‘they’?

          Besides, you can see a hell of alot more of what is going on from the back than the front. And it’s the women that do the calling onto the Marae ie they are in control of who gets to come on. It’s not my culture and I haven’t spent enough time in it to speak authoritatively, but I have listened to enough Māori women and other indigenous women to know that my view as a socialised Pākehā isn’t how they view things, which takes us back to what Tracey is saying (in this instance, I would say that most of what Pākehā know of gender roles within Māoridom has come from the views of white men).

          So, no, I think the idea that women are forced to sit at the back or aren’t allowed to speak is a Pākehā perspective based on cultural bias and not understanding how cultures work with gender roles differently, both positively and negatively and otherwise.

    • Recent evidence suggests that hunter-gatherer societies may well have been egalitarian in decision making.


  3. Richardrawshark 3

    I sat and thought about that for a little.

    In a group of 4 people 3 men 1 woman from my past experience, men run the conversation most of if not all of the time. Interesting and thought provoking

    Thanks Tracy that made me learn something today

    • Bill 3.1

      You a liar? I’m thinking you’re a liar. In most deliberative social situations containing one woman and three men, the woman would get 5/8th of fuck all by way of input.

      The second lie is that you learned something. You learned nothing.

      • lprent 3.1.1

        You definitely haven’t met many of the most of the women in my family.

        I have to work hellishly hard to maintain even some shred of dignity in our joint decisions. Fortunately I do far better in discussing the analysis of the past, present, and future.

        Individual humans are always quite different from the the blithefully offered packages of group norms when you look closely. For that matter, the norms of societies plaster over a he’ll of a lot of eccentric individuality.

        I tend to ignore group orientated arguments for exactly that reason.

        • Bill

          I agree that ‘norms’ plaster over eccentricity. Eccentricity couldn’t exist without the norms to offer a comparison to; the exception that proves the rule couldn’t exist. But if we want to understand attitudes and behaviours and their general impact, then those norms are a pretty good place to start, no? And sure, sans curiosity (or any number of other things), no point in considering norms or anything else for that matter…I guess.

    • TopHat 3.2

      A group of 4 in a room. 3 men 1 woman and the kettle is boiling. 😛

      • Jenny Kirk 3.2.1

        A group of VIPs in a room – mostly men. One turns to one of the few women present and asks : and whose secretary are you ? Turns out that woman is one of the VIPs !! Actual real live experience by me !

  4. TRP? Yo TRP? Maybe you should watch this and learn!

  5. r0b 5

    Thank you Tracey for keeping this discussion going.

  6. Jenny Kirk 6

    Perhaps Richardrawshark and other men, you might like to watch out for this particular phenomenon : in a group of people, discussing how to resolve an important issue, listen for a woman’s suggestion on how to deal with it NOT being taken up by the men UNTIL one of the men say – hey, here’s an idea as he repeats the woman’s original suggestion. Happens often.
    I got used to it happening, and decided it was better to have the idea taken up, rather than try and claim authorship of the idea. Is that a cop-out, Tracey or is it a coping mechanism ?

    • b waghorn 6.1

      “, here’s an idea as he repeats the woman’s original suggestion”

      That is a very common hierarchy trick , does this happen in your opinion if the woman is senior to the men involved.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        The women who are really good at this approach can make a whole group of men think that her preferred choice was actually originally their idea!

        It’s very funny to watch it happen.

        • b waghorn

          I’ve done similar “seed planting” with bosses I’ve had with occasional success, and its probably fine if the person who it happens too is using that ploy, but its frustrating as hell if your ideas are nicked, its are rare person male or female who doesn’t want credit for their ideas.
          Which takes us back to my question to JK , does this male take over of ideas happen if its a senior woman who makes them,?

      • Jenny Kirk 6.1.2

        Sorry for delay in reply bw, and the answer is Yes.

        • b waghorn

          Cheers , and no problem replying is purely voluntary on the standard imo

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      cf: Miss Triggs.

  7. BM 7

    From the comment section

    Ok really ??? Men talk over men and women talk over women. Men talk over women and women talk over men. why must everything be a sexist, racist or discriminative thing ?? It’s nothing but individual personalities clashing it has nothing to do with gender.
    Get a hold of yourself and stop playing the damn victim when it just ain’t true.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Yeah. It was a false equivalence in the comment section, as well as here.

    • mpledger 7.2

      While that’s true, it misses out that the distributions aren’t the same e.g. some women wear skirts, some men wear skirts but the proportion of women who wear skirts far surpasses the proportion of men who wear skirts.

    • Raff 7.3

      Um … has anyone noticed the percentage of men to women in this comments section? And the comparative length (let alone dogmatism) of their offerings?

  8. Bill 8

    But it’s fine because, as we know, God made me (the white male) in his image – it’s in the Book if you don’t believe me and He wrote the Book and he must know what He’s talking about because He’s God- and He gave me dominion over all He made. And all He made includes all the thoughts,ideas and actions flowing from all He made….obviously.

    Look. It’s a burden being God’s incarnation loaded down with all the responsibilities it entails. Non-dangled and/or non-pasty approximations of God – that he created for me – really ought to be more grateful and much, much less uppity and think twice before confronting my God given will…God’s will.

  9. Rosie 9

    Amen Tracey 🙂 Welcome back.

    What women seeing that clip doesn’t recognise the experience of being talked over, patronised, belittled and humiliated by a dude in a decision making process, meeting or informal conversation?

    If you haven’t, congratulations, you find yourself surrounded by socially evolved respectful men that see you as their equal. Well done.

  10. TTD 10

    This is so true
    In Group discussions that i have been part of , we always try to even it things out with a speaking order. Women in light their experiences can be slow to put there hand up to contribute . Men will dominate debates if you let them

  11. Richardrawshark 11

    An Alpha male will also shut down a weaker male just as quickly too mind you. I wonder if some of these traits are survival traits?

    • Rosie 11.1

      ” I wonder if some of these traits are survival traits?”

      No, they’re just being jerks. Bullying and or the need to dominate can stem from a sense of insecurity, and as such a need to stamp your authority on others.

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        + 1 Rosie – yep the sense of inadequacy results in an over compensation. Meanwhile many people use consensus, middle ground, compromise, kindness, listening – such foreign concepts for some men and often those ones end up being the loud mouths that everyone thinks are representative. They aren’t and they aren’t alpha or top – just loud, boring, outdated and destructive.

        • Rosie

          Good expansion on the concept of over compensation. Seen it so many times. That better way of communicating “consensus, middle ground, compromise, kindness, listening” is wholly necessary for us all to think about. Sometimes I have to add is “patience”, as something to be mindful of!

          Good to see you back marty mars. 🙂

          • Bill

            ‘Compromise’ – an evil thing in my book. Seriously. Much prefer when all the options are taken and synthesised to produce something new, better and not envisaged by either side in the initial debate.

            • Rosie

              Hear what you say but what happens when options are limited eg, do or don’t? Compromise meaning choose the half arsed path that neither party is entirely happy with but will avoid a resolution that will end in conflict and potentially dis empower one group?

              I’m guessing the example you are using would involve creating a third (and more ) option to introduce in a situation that has more flexibility than yes/no, do /don’t etc?

              • compromise is finding the way even when it isn’t immediately apparent imo

                EVERYTHING is a compromise in one way or another but many struggle to frame it that way – seems weak to them I spose – for me the weakness is the rigidity of not being able to realise that maybe my view is not only not the only one but can also be enhanced by other views and idea not yet considered. Sort of similar to what you are sort of saying bill but the compromise is valuable as a concept and word for keeping egos at bay and taming all the alphas lol

              • Bill

                I’m not saying it’s always possible, but here’s a quick run through of a related example that can be used on a group of people to illustrate shit to do with communication and competition.

                Split them in two.

                Quietly tell one group that they need the orange (show them an orange) to cure all the members of the group from a fatal disease. The skin of the orange contains the anti-dote, but 100% of it must be used or the anti-dote will be ineffective.

                Quietly tell the other group that they need the orange (show them an orange) to cure all the members of the group from a fatal disease. The flesh of the orange contains the anti-dote, but 100% of it must be used or the anti-dote will be ineffective.

                Place the orange in the middle of room and sit back with pop corn as they go hammer ad tongs at one another for no reason whatsoever.

          • Sacha

            Julie Anne Genter tweeted that same experience this morning:

            + https://twitter.com/JulieAnneGenter/status/730536482163675137

            • Rosie

              Oh boy. In those circumstances Julie Anne Genter shouldn’t have to be making the effort to be patient. Her expertise is being ignored in the presence of those who are uninformed on the topic they are discussing. Sounds like she is being sidelined and she shouldn’t have to make amends like being “patient” because of the behaviour of others.

              Interesting observation though. See how the woman considers her own response to making the communication smoother?

              • Colonial Viper

                Are you saying that the genders may have inherently different communcation styles and priorities?

              • Sacha

                She will make a great Minister of Transport, eventually.

              • Jenny Kirk

                ah ! but Rosie – Julie Anne is not only in the Opposition on that select committee, she’s also a woman. And none of those male Nat MPs would take kindly to anything she might say – even if its accurate and true. (As an aside, they might not even know what is true, and what is not!)

                What she has tweeted is exactly what Tracey is getting at with her post !

                It happens time and again to women everywhere, and frankly I don’t think it stems from survival stuff aeons ago – its more like the men just haven’t yet learned to listen properly to others (especially female others).

                Nor is it anything to do with self-confidence. Julie Anne G is a self-confident young woman with a large amount of knowledge and experience : she’s just NOT being listened to.

        • Richardrawshark

          I disagree, I do think survival plays some part, using your bully to strike the better trade deals I would imagine helped many tribes hold onto and grow where they settled or lived. The ability to defend ones trade goods during the negotiations and intimidate your opponent much like big heads like Donald Trump still do to this day.

          Self confidence also plays a major factor.

          That inner belief your right and following through on your word.

          What I think some get confused with is plain old male chauvinist pig attitudes.

          I don’t think we should confuse plain pigs from hard dealers, alpha’s and tough negotiators that some may feel are shutting them down, that may be more the savage art of the deal. More intentional to dominate the agenda than a sexist shut down.

  12. RedLogix 12

    It would be also interesting to see a similar study done with just single gender groups.

    As a generalisation men are typically better at working in large social networks where the relationships are relatively shallow. This is why historically they’ve dominated the public domain, why politics, business and commerce were built and driven by men.

    By contrast women are much better at smaller networks where the relationships are much deeper and intense, which explains why they remain dominant in intimate relationships, family and close community life.

    This model goes some distance towards explaining the different styles of communication each gender prefers. (I’m not claiming the model is perfect or complete, but it works ok in this context.)

    Put a room full of men together and they’ll be loud, noisy and there’ll be plenty of willy-wagging going on. But note carefully that afterwards, even two guys who’ve been engaging in the loudest and intense disagreements, might well be seen at a bar afterwards having a laugh about it.

    Whereas women prefer to communicate in a more circumspect and less confrontational mode. But the undertones are far more intense, the engagements more personal. And when they get offside with each other it runs long and deep.

    So when you put BOTH genders into the same group discussion it’s not surprising these underlying preferences clash. Both genders tend to have big fat blind spots about the other that have all sorts of unintended consequences.

    PS: Tracey … welcome back. Sincerely.

    • miravox 12.1

      As a generalisation men are typically better at working in large social networks where the relationships are relatively shallow

      As a generalisation… because they’ve had more practice and are less inclined to consider other views?

      I don’t consider the generalisations you’ve made to be preferences (at lease not within the circle of women I know), or immutable.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        I agree, they are instinctive preferences and certainly not immutable.

        But until you have a model to work with, a way of naming the parts of what is happening, it is very hard for the conscious part of the mind to override the instincts.

        And indeed many people are successful at this.

        • miravox

          “a way of naming the parts of what is happening”

          I think the linked video just did.

          • RedLogix

            Yes it did, but not all of the parts.

            It focused largely on the part which at least several people here already interpret as ‘men are just arseholes’, which you have to admit is not a framework likely to win hearts and minds.

            • McFlock

              at least several people here already interpret as ‘men are just arseholes’

              If that were the problem, there’d be no point in simply pointing it out (as nobody would reflect on their own behaviour, because arseholes don’t care), mansplainers would just be banned.

              I have seen (and probably done myself) normal people just talk over other people, or literally repeat exactly what a person just said as if it were their own opinion. Not to intentionally belittle, but because they simply don’t notice they’re doing it. This seems to happen most often when the person who is spoken over is a woman, and usually (but not always) when the overspeaker is male. The 75% ratio broadly fits in my personal experience, but it’s not as if I’m keeping a tally.

              Only a few weeks back there was a lively current events discussion at the pub I was in, we are all friends on a regular meeting night. Jane (names changed to protect the dipsomaniacs) said something, Tom said another thing, and Derek pointed out that Tom had repeated Jane’s point word for word, but as if she’d never said it. Tom’s not an arsehole, but he simply hadn’t consciously listened to what Jane had said, even though they were friends of many years.

              That’s not to say that some overtalkers aren’t just arseholes, but it’s a problem that also affects normal people who think they’re reasonably respectful.

              It’s a sort of deafness, and it takes conscious effort to take a step back and try to recognise it, especially in oneself. And I repeat, I need to do that myself. I’m not preaching from all-knowingness or perfection, here.

              • RedLogix

                Yeah that’s a great example of what I had in mind when I said that each gender tends to have big fat blind spots about the other and the impact they have on each other.

                Of there are arseholes (something men sadly don’t have a monopoly on) who as you say don’t care; but as I’ve said before, most people are fundamentally good most of the time. The thing that works best is to appeal to and inform their better natures.

                Which is why, when it comes to understanding human behaviour, it’s a good idea to avoid blame.

                • McFlock

                  Ok, but the thing is that the “blind spots” aren’t equally distributed, and nor are they just things that just happen. Domination of discussions is overwhelmingly weighted towards one gender more than the other, and it is a behaviour that can be changed.

                  Pointing this out isn’t blame. Identifying the recurring general behaviour pattern isn’t blame. Even labelling it isn’t blame. Blame is when one specific person is accused of that behaviour. And because it’s a behaviour that can be changed, blame is appropriate.

              • Jenny Kirk

                “but he simply hadn’t conscieously listened to what Jane had said” — yes, McFlock – personally I think you’ve got it !!

                Men just do NOT listen to what women say.

                Men like to butt in, they like to talk about their own experiences of whatever is under discussion – that’s more important to them than actually LISTENING and trying to understand what the woman is saying.
                Happens time and again !

                ps and I don’t think men are arseholes – I like men, find them interesting, intelligent and likeable. I just wish they’d be prepared to listen to women more patiently.

            • miravox

              It doesn’t mean mean all men are arseholes at all. It means there is a issue in that women often have problems being heard in group discussions and that men are likely to dominate. The video gives examples of how this domination occurs – as you agree happens.

              If you think there are other parts that explain men’s dominance in meetings put it out there (not ‘women dominate too’ stuff – it’s about men dominating after all – and not biologic determinism, but actual attitudes and behaviours of men in meetings that the video missed).

              I’m not interested in guessing what you mean and not interested in gender wars.

              As for other research, this may be of interest.

              It seems to me, from the above article, that changes to meeting structures and procedures may improve women’s participation.

              • RedLogix

                I’m not interested in guessing what you mean

                Why not just try asking?

                One of the things that women might want to keep in mind is that when a man is being loud or disagreeing with them, or seemingly talking over them .. is that it is almost certainly not personal. For men the interaction may be noisier and more energetic, but it’s shallower and much less personal.

                Which it’s why it’s usually a mistake to interpret male behaviour that women don’t feel comfortable as misogyny. The idea we ‘hate women’ is a complete non-sequitur to most men. Avoiding taking offense when none was intended really helps getting out of stuck mode.

                • miravox

                  I did…

                  “If you think there are other parts that explain men’s dominance in meetings put it out there” – but I was being rather short, given everything. I will add “please?” 😉

                  I am serious about the linked study btw, it’s not a trap.

                  • RedLogix

                    Nope .. I am reading it and trying to program at the same time 🙂

                    Also I added more above, sorry about the delay.

                    • miravox

                      “One of the things that women might want to keep in mind is that when a man is being loud or disagreeing with them, or seemingly talking over them .. is that it is almost certainly not personal. For men the interaction may be noisier and more energetic, but it’s shallower and much less personal.”

                      Funny – I always feel you take gender-related topics in mixed discussions very personally indeed.

                    • RedLogix

                      Hard not to when people make it personal .. as you have just done.


                    • miravox

                      Nope. That was an straight out observation. That you’ve agreed with.

                      At times I also take it very personally, this time is not one of them.

                      “Avoiding taking offense when none was intended really helps getting out of stuck mode”

        • maui

          Instinctive preferences? Or is it just that men shut out women from politics and business for much of the last 200+ years.

          From what I can gather Māori had female chiefs over history that seemed to cope ok with politcs and business…

          • Colonial Viper

            And the English had Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth.

            • Mrs Brillo

              And we had Helen Clark, who had to sit at the back on most marae, who still do not allow women to lead the speaking, just the ritual welcome.

              • Colonial Viper

                Queen Elizabeth I would have sorted out that situation reasonably promptly.

              • Mrs brillo There is a lot more to it than what you have written and many good articles were written about this at the time.

                • Mrs Brillo

                  And I read those articles. But this is derailing the main topic and going off on one of Maui’s herrings.

                  However, I have clear memories of female Maori students approaching another department at Vic Uni thirty years ago when the marae was set up, asking for our help in persuading their men to decide on having a neutral protocol on the new marae. One or two were nearly in tears as they spoke of the experience of seeing girls who had been confident speakers decline in confidence over the course of their studies when the boys got all the oratory experience and they got none.

                  The men nevertheless decided to introduce a regional protocol which instituted “traditional” sex roles. I thought this was a bit bloody steep when it was on the taxpayer’s dollar, but intervening in someone else’s culture – even if they invited us – was more than we could handle. We did our best to give the issue the oxygen of publicity, but deaf ears abounded. The university ran a bit scared and the blokes could not see what the problem was. There was an Access Radio programme and a Listener article on it at the time, if anyone wants to follow up. But now I am leaving this topic.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    Hi Tracey

    How to get men to behave with respect on a political web site…I don’t know the answer, I know whats made me alter my behaviour (no really) but as soon as emotion enters the discussion reason seems to fly out the window, especially with men

    Good to have you back though,

  14. BM 14

    Can anyone point out where guys have been disrespectful and offensive to women on this blog?

    I’ve seen disagreement but no disrespect, if anything I’ve never seen guys bend over backward to be more accommodating to woman than on the standard.

    • McFlock 14.1

      I honestly don’t know if you’re serious, or just hoping person A will link to comments by person B and person B gets outraged, and we end up with yet another shitstorm argument.

      As a tory, you might well be that blind, but also you’d enjoy watching the storm.

      • BM 14.1.1

        Not at all , it’s just what I’ve observed over the years while reading the standard.

        I can honestly say I can’t think of any males especially left wing males who have been disrespectful to women on the standard.

        Seen disagreement but certainly not disrespect.

        • McFlock

          I’m sure you can think of a few choice keywords or phrases to put through the search engine.

          • BM

            I’m obviously blind to all this , who are the guys that are causing all the issues?

  15. maui 15

    From group discussions I’ve been in where everyone doesn’t know eachother very well. I tend to think men dominate the discussion. Whether that’s because its a cultural thing where men are given the space to lead or direct talks , or if its because women are marginalised by men and don’t feel free to be as outspoken, I’m not sure.

    • Bill 15.1

      I’d suggest as a really, really broad brush stroke, that men from a western paradigm tend to be ego driven. (See comment 8 – there’s a serious component to that comment).

      So whereas women may better engage with ideas and concepts with no need to ‘claim’ those ideas and use them as some extension or amplification of their ‘selfs’ – men, not so flash on that front.

  16. ianmac 16

    On Wedneday I was in a focus group of 5 men and 5 women set up to discuss the direction of newspapers. At least 75% of comments were made by the 5 men. The women seemed to prefer the status quo and resist future directions and their comments reflected this. The women did get ample opportunity to express their opinion by the female moderator.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      I would like to see the women here comment on your observations of this experience.

      • Bill 16.1.1

        Now, if you’d said you’d be interested to hear the account of the women who were there, then it wouldn’t be a silly arse of a comment, would it?

        But you didn’t. And it is.

        • Colonial Viper

          So you’ve decided that the women here on TS have no comments to make on what ianmac relayed? That’s all I’m asking for. But OK I’m fine with that.

          • Bill

            No. I concluded from your comment that you were behaving like an arse.

            Seriously CV, how about you stop, reflect on how you’d feel about the type of comment you make being flung in your direction if the thread was about Chinese sounding surnames buying properties or such like. And reflect that you don’t get that type of comment flung at you day in and day out over a range of circumstances. (In other words, add a bit of weighting to your considerations) Take that step, that simple step, before submitting comments on gender related stuff.

            • Jenny Kirk

              There’s not enough detail in what ianmac has said to provide an avenue to comment on – as a woman.
              ie Was this a new focus group, or was it a well-established group where everyone had become familiar with each other ?
              What were the reservations expressed by the women ?
              What were the reasons for changing the status quo expressed by the Men ?

              • ianmac

                It was a once-only 2 hour meeting and our group were the older ones. +60 I think. We were all strangers to each other I think.
                My observation was not based on data collected but in view of the topic here, it did become obvious on reflection, that the men dominated. They were used to speaking publicly I suspect and there point of views were well argued- politely. I am not allowed to comment on the content though.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  That tells me enough, thanks ianmac. You’ve acknowledged the men dominated – which is usual I find – unless people know each other well.

            • marty mars

              Bill I think it is easier to start writing rather than be personally reflective for some.

              It is interesting that you can be trained to listen. My love has said that our check in is so valuable for our relationship. During that check in I listen without comment until the listening ends. This teaches listening skills, good practice for all interpersonal relatonships even the ones on here.

              • Jenny Kirk

                YES ! martymars – that’s how its done. Listening – without comment !
                Actual listening – not going off into thoughts of your own. Listening !

                • Colonial Viper

                  Totally with this as a technique if the woman also has to listen in silence without comment.

                  • RedLogix


                  • cv – the technique does work that way – have you ever tried it? Have you ever sat and just listened without the wheels in your head spinning with whatever you were going to say next, pretend listening when actually constructing devastating responses. If you have or do then you will know that it is a very powerful way to connect to people – to listen as Jenny says actually listen! The listener is empowered, the relationship is strengthened. I hope you try to incorporate it into your quiver – it works, but not if it is competitive.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      thanks marty mars.

                    • RedLogix

                      I understand how it works in real-life marty. Your description makes perfect sense.

                      But in the context of blogging there is no physical presence to indicate anything. Silence on a thread could mean anything or nothing.

                      Therefore to indicate listening in this context you actually have to reply … and that is where the line between ‘listening’ and ‘speaking’ is all too easily lost.

                    • I think the listening is evidenced by the type of reply given. Often if the listening hasn’t been effective the person who feels non-listened to will say so as in – “That’s not what I said or meant”. It is an individual and personal thing to listen. Personally I’ve always liked the “we have 2 ears and 1 mouth and they should be used in proportion” line.

                    • weka

                      Great explanations marty, thanks.

                • gsays

                  i am of the opinion that to truely listen is the most profound act of love you can visit on anyone.

                  • RedLogix

                    That’s a sentiment few would disagree with; so how do you think it is achieved in the context of a blog?

                    • gsays

                      mmm.. yes, good question.
                      to be fair i was meaning aurally, however i will give it a go.

                      to start with drop your own attitudes, expectations and desires.
                      this is achieved with a still mind.

                      empathy plays a big part. this includes for the perpetrator.

                      “Our minds are velcro to bad thoughts, and teflon to positive ones”.

                      realize that your opinion is just that, yours. like backsides, everyone has one.

                      respond rather than react. this may mean waiting 10 mins, half an hour, or a day.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well put. Thanks.

                    • McFlock

                      I would say that in the context of a blog, “listening” means sitting down and reading the post/comment.

                      Trying to discern the points that are being made, rather than identifying the points and constructing responses to them at the same time. Trying to look for multiple interpretations of each comment. Where the interpretations might be many and varied, maybe ask for clarification, and not about the worst possible interpretation. If it’s a new commenter to you or one who is normally reasonable, give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to interpretation.

                      After reading, comes response. The more important an issue is to you, take more time. This gives you time to avoid leaping on issues, but also slows the discussion down so that other people also can chill out. The biggest shitstorms I’ve ended up in have happened when we’ve both been in a quick read/rant tit-for-tat exchange about things both commenters felt were very important.

                      Also when responding, the more important an issue is to you, be more aggressive in your editing of a comment. Focus on the points that were raised in the discussion. If this means you end up fisking them line-by-line, fair enough (and that’s a milestone to check whether you need to chill the fuck out), but drifting from point to point without resolving a topic just gets nobody anywhere. If you raise a new point, double-ask yourself whether it’s really necessary to bring up in that comment. I’ve actually written comments offline in text editors, then deleted the entire thing and restarted from a more relaxed position.

                      Lastly, and a lot of people will think that this is rich coming from me, if you’re in a discussion with long comments, try to avoid pithy one-liner point scoring. It just gives the other party, who are equally invested, something to latch on to and further drag things out. Know when to let a point go.

                      So, basically, yeah: anybody who already thought I was a bit of a dickhead might be surprised to find out that this isn’t even me unrestrained 🙂

  17. Mrs Brillo 17

    These stats have been around since the 1960s at least, and have varied very little whenever the research has been conducted. I recall a figure of 80+% male talk dominance coming from a seminar I attended at Victoria Uni in the early 1980s – led by Dale Spender, whose book Man Made Language, based on her PhD research, had not long been published.

    Certainly 80% seems about right for The Standard. Not many women here at all. Why? Women have better things to do than hang round websites where they are ignored, slighted or insulted. They face enough harassment in everyday life without going to hostile places looking for more. So they just stop turning up to your website, unless it is carefully moderated.
    I discussed this here previously under the broad title of “Stinking up the room”. (And immediately got attacked, as predicted!)

    Still, the message is worth constantly bringing to the fore – it seems to come as news to some of the younger folks here. When I worked in advertising we were reminded that a new generation is born every few years which necessitates repeating old messages.

    • Brutus Iscariot 17.1

      Well i will say that men are “ignored, slighted or insulted” on the Standard just as much. It’s just that they don’t connect it with their own gender and take offence because of that. Most genders are indistinguishable here anyway – 8/10 people use pseudonyms.

      The fact that there are bullies around here is not a gender issue.

      • Mrs Brillo 17.1.1

        Obviously, nothing is a gender issue to those whose eyes are shut to such.
        That’s why we are not discussing a gender issue here.

    • Jenny Kirk 17.2

      Precisely, Mrs Brillo.
      This is an interesting topic – and discussion – and I would have liked to have spent more time on it but other matters needed my attention ….. and I don’t have a smart phone or app or whatever it is the guys have in their hands all the time, looking at a tiny screen, reading it, answering it ……
      (what’s more I would need to put my reading glasses on to do that, and I cannot be bothered with them when I don’t need them for anything else !!)
      So – I just come and go, pick up on what people are saying – and now, I have other things I need to do …….

    • tracey 17.3

      Thanks for speaking this Mrs Brillo

  18. Colonial Viper 18

    You lot are all well behind the times.

    It’s been widely circulated in psychiatry and psychology circles for years that women on average speak up to 20,000 words per day while men only speak 7,000 words per day on average.

    It’s clear who are the dominant communicators from this, right.

    • miravox 18.1

      Yup I used to speak to my two-year-olds practically non-stop when I wasn’t working /sarc

    • Olwyn 18.2

      Dominance is not determined by a word count, which adds to the difficulty of seeing how one arrives at the 75% claim. The bully who screams and shouts and the bully who wields silence like a club are both bullies.

      • RedLogix 18.2.1

        A fair point Olwyn. But CV’s point still remains, all the evidence from simple observation through to solid research demonstrates how women tend to put more intensity and depth into their relationships.

        For instance, put an group of women together and the word count goes through the stratosphere, and in this context it’s a measure of the higher value they place on close personal interaction.

        • Colonial Viper

          Friday drinks at the workingmens’ pub

          “Hey Joe”
          “Hey Paul”
          “Day go alright Paul?”
          “Yeah, yours?”
          “Prick of a day, Paul. Over now though.”
          “About bloody time eh.”
          “Gawd wasn’t Nathan being an arsehole today.”
          “Yep, unbloody believeable.”
          “Another pint, Joe?”
          “Yep, cheers mate.”
          “No worries. Back in a sec.”

        • Olwyn

          Yes I have read that women utter more words per day than men do, and your “more-relationship-orientated” idea may well explain that. There are also cultural variables – in ancient Greece the Athenians were considered to be talky and the Lacedaemonians to be people of few words – “laconic” means being like a Spartan and not saying much. It might well be that the Athenians were actually more relationship orientated that the barracks-dwelling Spartan men, which would be consistent with your idea. But it still doesn’t show who gets to dominate a group conversation or why, since both noise and silence can function as tools of dominance.

    • Bill 18.3

      Maybe it takes 20 000 words attempting to get some reason or sense across to an idiot who uses up 7 000 words in pointless interruption and laughable defensive posturing? Just ‘maybe’.

    • tracey 18.4

      It is like you are both intelligent and seeply ignorant simultaneously

    • weka 18.5

      “It’s been widely circulated in psychiatry and psychology circles for years that women on average speak up to 20,000 words per day while men only speak 7,000 words per day on average.”

      I think you mean widely circulated in the Daily Mail 😉


      That was published in 2013, but that meme has been coming out of the Daily Mail since at least the early 2000s.

      When it first came out a friend of mine used to use it as feminist bait which was hilarious because he was just shitstirring so we had a lot of fun with it, all of us. Not much use beyond that though, and it’s hardly a bastion of science journalism.

  19. Ovid 19

    I’m normally reluctant to chip in on discussions around gender and communication because I like to think the best I can contribute is my silent, respectful attention. But I’d like to reflect on how I communicate as a male and I think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pretty good framework that I can form my thinking around.

    The purpose of much of my non-task oriented conversation is to meet the needs of belonging and esteem. In day to day conversation I like to crack jokes and puns and make myself entertaining and/or interesting while avoiding faux-pas, causing offence, being cruel or sounding full of myself. It’s a tightrope.

    It’s nothing so calculated as it sounds when I write it down here, it’s just the style that has organically developed over the years. But overall I think the effect I hope to have is be welcomed within a group.

    I find it such a positive feeling when I can make someone laugh and when they can make me laugh in return. I find that kind of reciprocity is rewarding. Another way I’m aware of trying to belong is through code switching. The way I talk to my friends is different to the way I talk at work or to elders. I don’t think I’m unique in this.

    Others probably use techniques like gossip or shit-talking for the same purpose. For men more overt compliments that demonstrate the esteem of others are pretty rare so more subtle cues of acceptance within a group are sought. I’m sure there’s more than a few PhDs in linguistics, sociology and psychology looking at this.

    • Rosie 19.1

      Thoughtful comment. 🙂

    • weka 19.2

      Lovely comment Ovid.

      (one of my most pleasurable experiences online is the rare occasion I make someone laugh out loud. I think there is a whole thesis in the linguistics, sociology and psychology of commentary on ts 😉 ).

  20. Chooky 20

    I think economics has a lot to do with it

    ….those who have the most money think they should be able to speak the loudest

    …they also think they are the most important

    ….and the cleverest

    ….and others should shut up and listen

    ( women shoot themselves in the foot when they have children and are dependent on the male of the species for economic support…either individual males or the male run State)

    …lets face it …the world is male/yang dominated in virtually every sector from finance to religion to film to culture…and in particular it is WASP male dominated…this is why Gaia has been ravished, we are overpopulated , global warming is rampant and we are probably all doomed

  21. Richard@Down South 21

    I fully support people having the same right to be heard…

    People shouldn’t talk over other people, regardless of age, gender, or whatever… thats just rude

    The fact that someone is a male or female in a discussion should mostly be irrelevant, unless it pertains directly to the subject matter

    • tracey 21.1

      Except it is not irrelevant cos of the researched statistical imbalance

      • Xanthe 21.1.1

        Correlation is not causation . It should not be used for self justification.As a pretext for prejudice, or for self gratification.
        Bullying is s serious problem, dont make it worse!

    • greywarshark 21.2

      Sometimes it is important to interrupt and put an idea forward when time is drawing in at a meeting. Having manners, sitting back and letting others have their say, can mean that the polite person’s ideas are never heard. At a meeting someone slow and deliberate and explaining something that is generally known can just rehash the regular stuff and use up valuable time.

      And bullying women are worse than bullying men. They assume a superiority which often all the other women give way to as they are quieter people, who haven’t formed a definite idea and the women who is very confident, and seems pretty right, wins the day and often, on that basis, becomes the leader.

  22. Brutus Iscariot 22

    This whole discussion is a red herring.

    It’s not that men systematically discriminate against women in conversations due to gender.

    From experience, there are usually 1-2 influential voices on every medium sized meeting who will try to railroad the discussion into the direction they want. Yes, these are usually men. Typically what you’d think of as “Alpha males”, and used to using that style of communication to get their way. But it’s also irrelevant if the other participants are man, woman or vegetable. It’s not a generalised gender issue at all. The “non-alpha” males and females both struggle for lack of airtime, and it’s a symptom of the fact that “leadership skills” are often accompanied by varying degrees of sociopathic-ness (is this a word). Which tends to be exhibited more in men for whatever reason.

    Put another way, if you study a meeting of 7 men and 1 woman, and obtained the following speaking times:

    Alpha Male 1 – 40%
    Alpha 2 – 35%
    4 x Beta Males – 20% total
    Female – 5%

    Measuring the female against the Alpha male as proof of a gender conspiracy is the wrong way of looking at it. It’s more of a generalised communication issue, and the beta male would agree that something is awry too.

    • miravox 22.1

      I agree with your alpha male scenario in some cases, BI.

      However, I’ve been in some meetings that have several alpha males – generally noted by the shouting over top of one another. These meetings are just crazy, luckily most smart companies have structures and procedures in place to sort that one out.

      Shouldn’t be too hard to work on the 1-2 alpha male scenario if the will was there.

      • Brutus Iscariot 22.1.1

        There are some bullies on the standard too, and they’re dicks to men and women alike.

        But part of life is putting up with dicks. The fact is they often get places.

        • Mrs Brillo

          Defending dick behaviour? They get places? Sometimes the places they drag you to are not ones anyone would visit, given a choice.

          Mostly, such bullies just serve to stink up the room. We’re better off without bullies.

    • Olwyn 22.2

      I more or less agree with you here BI. And I think that the Alpha -types will often agree to step back and make room for others if there is a general atmosphere of good faith within the group and no unstated agendas.

      • McFlock 22.2.1

        Yeah, but often that has to be a conscious choice brought up by someone else (usually a guy who’s eventually noticed that not everybody in the group is getting input).

        • miravox


          In my experience often a very good manager or technical expert – someone who knows the skills of others in the room but also has credibility with the alphas.

    • Colonial Viper 22.3

      sociopathic-ness (is this a word)


      Also there are plenty of sociopathic females around, but they exhibit their behaviours in different ways to men, and I suspect that they can use their superior empathic skills to do so.

      For years, the research has told us that psychopaths are usually male. Research on psychopaths largely stems from studies conducted from prison samples, but remember that those in prison are there because they have been caught. We will never truly know the exact prevalence for male or female psychopaths because many only come to light once they have been arrested for a crime. (Hare estimates that approximately 1% of the population are psychopaths.) Is it possible that women can get away with certain crimes more than men because society is less likely to expect certain antisocial or violent behaviors among them? It certainly is.

      Warren et al. (2003) found female occurrence rates of psychopathy of approximately 17% in prison populations—significantly lower than the rates for men in prison (Winn et. al, 2012). I attend trainings regularly and hear experts talk about how the number of female psychopaths is much higher than currently reported. Until we have research to inform us, however, it does not make sense to entirely contradict years of research which says that more men are psychopaths than women.


    • tracey 22.4

      Did you read the research referred to in the clip?

  23. lol

    the above comments are proving the point Tracey – funny that – must. defend. must. be. right.

  24. whispering kate 24

    I have done jury service and on one occasion especially, equal numbers of women and men, the men just dominated the entire determining of the verdict. One guy just self-appointed himself as the leader of the “twelve good people” and never let up from there. He even hassled us towards the end of the Friday afternoon to get to a verdict as he wanted to get home for the weekend. It was quite a few years ago, and believe me he wouldn’t get away with it today if I was sitting with a jury. Just an observation.

    • ianmac 24.1

      Last time I was on a jury, a woman was a lone voice saying the man was guilty. We invited her to give us some idea for her reasons. We waited. She thought. Then she said she could not think of any reasons for his guilt. She may have been right but there was no evidence presented that could possibly support her view. She was respected just the same.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      I think I saw that movie.

  25. Xanthe 25

    So what !

    Bullies are bullies whatever their gender.
    Underneath this crap will be found the seeds of the failure of labour and the greens

    Wake up and look at what you have done!

  26. Meh. I’m not going to look at a comments thread and think “Best stay off this thread, no-one wants more men commenting” – not unless the post specifically asks for comment from women. If that results in more men than women leaving comments, I won’t be losing any sleep over it.

  27. Reddelusion 27

    There and old saying that goes some what like this, the traits you need to get to the top (narcissism etc) are exactly traits you don’t need to be effective at the top. this is much evident in politics and the business world. I don’t really think it’s gender specific You just need to deal with it, complaining about it or over analysing It, creating ridiculous rules like safe places etc won’t help, just own it and deal with it or sulk in the corner complaining the world ain’t fair, yep it isn’t

  28. Sabine 28

    should be seen
    not heard

    do we have a similar saying for the blokes?

    • No – but then, there isn’t one for the women either. The saying is “Children should be seen and not heard” (and is mostly remembered in the context of telling ourselves we’re much more enlightened than those Philistines, every-generation-that-came-before-us).

      • Sabine 28.1.1

        well it could come from here

        If, then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation.”-1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 NWT

        and also don’t forget that women as children were property of their husbands/fathers and as such literally had the same standing.

        or maybe it comes from here


        Children should be seen and not heard

        In the original form of this proverb it was specifically young women who were expected to keep quiet. This opinion is recorded in the 15th century collections of homilies written by an Augustinian clergyma called [John] Mirk’s Festial, circa 1450:

        Hyt ys old Englysch sawe: A mayde schuld be seen, but not herd.

        However, i would ask you to talk to some of your female friends and elders if they have heard or were told the saying i referred to above. You might be surprised to just how many women were exposed to precisely the words that i typed.

        and yes, i know that no such phrase exists for men, which i think says a lot about who may have created teh phrase in the first place. No?

        • Mrs Brillo

          Ruddy Middle Eastern religions…

          But you reminded me, the first entry in my childhood autograph book read:
          “Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever..”

          Ruddy English poets!

          • Jenny Kirk

            oh yes, Mrs Brillo, I had one of those autograph books too. I puzzled forever over what those phrases meant !! Never made much sense to me then.
            as you say – ruddy poets (whatever denomination).

        • Psycho Milt

          You might be surprised to just how many women were exposed to precisely the words that i typed.

          I would not be surprised, having been exposed to what felt like a constant stream of obnoxious bullshit from adults the entire time I was a child. (To a much lesser extent than girls though, for sure.)

  29. ianmac 29

    In a largely female group I said I was a Feminist. This was hotly rejected and as a mere male I was relegated to Feminist Supporter.
    Do you agree?

    • Bill 29.1

      I’ll repeat what i said the other day. How can you be a man in this world and not be a feminist?

    • Rosemary McDonald 29.2

      “Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”


      • Rosemary McDonald 29.2.1

        I had never heard of Philomena Cunk,(until she was mentioned elsewhere) UK comedienne and cynical social commenter… but she has something to say on ‘femininism’.

        (trigger alert….may cause spontaneous outbursts of bladder weakening laughter)

    • weka 29.3

      It varies for me. I know lots of men who are feminist, which is great. I also know that some men want to call themselves feminist when it suits them, which is a pain. Some men who would never consider themselves feminist give me more respect as a woman than some men who are meant to be supporting feminism. Complex, and you just have to judge the people you are talking to and what language will work in each situation.

      If the women you are around don’t want you calling yourself feminist you can still be feminist in thought and deed 🙂

    • Jenny Kirk 29.4

      A difficult situation ianmac. But I have to say – ask, not say – can a male who has not experienced oppression because of his/her gender be a Feminist. I think Feminist Supporter sounds okay.

      and to Bill – a Feminist Supporter perhaps, but difficult to be a male and be a total Feminist I would think. We think differently about a huge number of things …… I’m constantly having arguments/discussions with the male people of my whanau just because of that – looking at it differently from the perspective of either being male or female in today’s world.

  30. Lucy 30

    Welcome back 😊. Think the comments section explained mansplaining better than the video!

  31. Jenny Kirk 31

    I wish I had more time for all of this. Sorry to bob back in and out ….. and to join in discussion in a disjointed fashion – but other things call to me – ordinary household things, and quite frankly I don’t know HOW many of you manage to carry on “conversations” at any length without having to go to work, or get on with other work things . Give me a clue please …. ? ? ?

    • Mrs Brillo 31.1

      I’m very experienced at being 29, Jenny, having been at it for so many years that I’m now retired, so I could faff about here all day if so moved.
      But life holds so many attractions, and time is running short, so often I have other priorities and you have to manage without the benefit of my golden wisdom. Unlike many 29 year olds, I don’t believe in living my life at the beck and call of a gadget. So like you, I just drop in and out now and then.

      • Jenny Kirk 31.1.1

        + 100%.
        Yep – that’s how I’m handling this sort of thing, Mrs Brillo aged 29. Perhaps the age of knowledge (or some such) has something to do with it !!

  32. Xanthe 32

    Maby you arnt listened to because gender polarisation is unhelpful in the discussion group. Possibly you have nothing useful to contribute ? . Just possibly there is not a gender based causality or solution.
    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”!

  33. Tim 33

    Interesting, doesn’t really fit with my experience where women usually do the majority of talking and guys just sit and listen and show respect. Maybe before we worry too much about this we should turn some of our focus to a large chunk of the world population where women are not permitted to speak out or show their face in public.

    • vto 33.1

      Exactly. In our neck of the woods you can hardly get a word in edge-wise with the amount of blah blah blah coming from the women… total domination…. right across the community… so much so that we men talk about the womansplaining, laugh a little about it, then turn off to more interesting subjects like V8s and fishing and all that, you know, typical man stuff that apparently we all do …… ffs

      Those examples in the link kindly provided by Tracey are interesting in that if any of us attempt to talk over the women in our circles like that we don’t last. We get rightly spanked. As anyone of any gender should be spanked for such simple rude behaviour…. and just to add to that…. our experience is in fact the exact opposite of what the mansplaining link shows….

      the women in our circles talk rudely across the men in ways exactly exhibited in the link. I put it down to a particular generation of rude and bolshy women in our lands.

      (anything using the word ‘man’ in front is dubious from the start. Like man cave, manbag. Pathetic, and removed from the reality of men. Made up by gossip mags. Manthis and manthat has been created by the same types of people that have made up similar stupid monikers in the past like Snag. Snag – wtf was that about?)

    • tracey 33.2

      In workplace formal discussions as opposed to chit chat? Fascinating. I wonder how the researchers got it so wrong

  34. Mrs Brillo 34

    Tim, Tim, you sweet old CroMagnon, you – nice try, but no sale.

    • adam 34.1

      I showed this to a women in her 80’s who I have the please to work with, and her first comment was “75% seemed a bit low”.

      Thanks Tracey, the video and her comment made my day.

      Please come back Mrs Brillo – some of the best troll smiting I’ve ever had the pleasure to read .

  35. Xanthe 35

    Did a majority vote for national or did they vote against labour/green?
    Take a good look in the mirror.

  36. Nessalt 36

    I honestly thought this was a joke, until I saw 75% of the comments on this thread coming from left wing males.

    • RedLogix 36.1

      That’s pretty much true of all threads here. What do you think should change, men comment less or women comment more?

      • BM 36.1.1

        That’s because the standards demographics are probably 80% guys to 20% women.

        Should the majority have to change to appease the minority, I say nope and I also think it’s the height of arrogance to expect the majority to do so.

        You don’t like it, go find some where else more to your liking.

        • RedLogix

          I understand where you are coming from BM. Ideally the correct answer is that women should comment more; and I’m thinking the answer lies in both genders understanding each other a bit better.

          • BM

            What’s there to understand?

            Guys tend to discuss, argue in a more confrontational manner especially when there’s differing view points.

            Women tend to discuss stuff in a more inclusive positive way with lots of consideration for others feelings and ideas.

            It’s chalk and cheese stuff, people just have to accept there will always be differences and make allowances.

            • Raff

              What’s there to understand, BM? Quite a lot, if you care to try. All political organisations have sidelined women and developed a culture that is still distressingly evident here, bullish with male confidence, with its inherent threats and criticisms – e.g. we’re chalk and you’re cheese, and rather than try and improve the situation we “just have to accept it”; “I’m in the majority so I’m buggered if I’m going to change”, stuff. That’s worth trying to analyse and understand, instead of huffing and puffing and putting it down to some sort of ‘natural’ biological superiority.
              Unfortunately it seems it’s unreformed old dinosaurs (whatever their age) who are in the majority here, and an increasing number of women – and men – don’t want to be part of it.
              I’m really gobsmacked at the number of men who have just blundered into this conversation, barking away – shouldn’t you all bloody shut up for once and await the women’s views, instead of deafening yourself and everyone else yet again, with your outdated blathering? And be keen to learn something, for once?

            • tracey

              Sometimes BM sums up a thread in total ignorance he has done so

      • Nessalt 36.1.2

        I think it’s the approach to replying to dissensions from the groupthink, the needless labelling of anyone who dares to disagree as being a RWNJ, class enemy, CT shill etc. it’s overly aggressive and hyper masculine in it’s playground desire to beat a chest the loudest.

        a refrain from instantly jumping on deviation from whatever the “true” course du jour is may help even the balance. particularly as proper dim wits like adam, stuart munro and paul who, almost without exception, add nothing but threats, conspiracy theories and one line complaints cluttering up the comment threads. at least anne is pretty consistent about her belief the msm is to blame for the current government doesn’t retort with inanities.

  37. vto 37

    This blog and these posts have become like a parody of real life…. you need to change ….. you are bad ……. you are to blame ……. next thing this blog will be laying into men’s friends and family

    bugger off

    • Xanthe 37.1

      100% of men have mothers …….. ! This carefully researched statistic proves ….ummm .. you know… nudge wink. Gosh that makes me feel better about myself

    • tracey 37.2

      Yeah you stay exactly as you have always been and note that things stay as they have always been… and you will keep grinding your teeth and seething with bitterness while claiming blissful happiness with your lot.

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  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
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  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
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  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
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  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
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  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
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  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
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  • Judge and Associate Judge of High Court appointed
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