Gender, Power and Culture

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 pm, June 24th, 2015 - 10 comments
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Catriona MacLennan and Prue Hyman will discuss this topic at Connolly Hall, Guildford Terrace, Wellington, Thursday June 25th at 5:30pm. All Welcome.

Catriona MacLennan will discuss these issues as they relate to physical and cultural power. She will look at the experiences of beneficiaries and the prevalence of violence against women, as well as examining the absence of women from our national events and celebrations.

Prue Hyman will focus on the causes and consequences of economic power remaining largely in the hands of rich white men –  including the house of cards constituted by orthodox, neoclassical economic theory and its associated financial system. These both buttress such power and divert every attempt at major change – such as restoring business as usual after the GFC rather than true reform. The undervaluation of women’s paid and unpaid work is one aspect of this power system.
Catriona MacLennan is a barrister, journalist and social activist with extensive experience in relation to domestic violence, benefit law and rape law reform. She helped set up Nga Ture Kaitiaki ki Waikato Community Law Centre and was the project director for Nga Tangata Microfinance Trust, to provide affordable loans to low income families. She is a co-author of the CPAG report The complexities of “relationship” in the welfare system and the consequences for children.

Prue Hyman was Associate Professor of Economics and Gender and Women’s Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. A feminist economist and activist, she continues to write and speak on many theory and policy areas including feminist economic theory, labour force participation, earnings, industrial relations, income maintenance, housing, the position of older women, and international issues. Her publications include the 1994 book WOMEN AND ECONOMICS: A NEW ZEALAND FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE and she has just completed an update 20 years on, focused on NZ women’s economic status including the gender pay gap and earnings differentials generally – to be published later this year. Currently she has been assisting the lawyers and unions with the Kristine Bartlett v Terranova Equal Pay Act case and the living wage campaign.

If you would like to attend please register here. If you know of anyone else who may be interested please pass it on to them.


10 comments on “Gender, Power and Culture”

  1. Reddelusion 1

    Sorry need to watch some paint dry

    • lprent 1.1

      Ah. But do you consider the processes that cause the acrylics to bind.. or do you just do it to sniff the solvents?

    • mac1 1.2

      One of the speakers is talking on “causes and consequences of economic power remaining largely in the hands of rich white men”. I relate this to red delusion’s comment while thinking about my experience as a house cleaner.

      There were three kinds of paint jobs, I discovered.

      One job was with inferior paint and one coat only. That was one done mostly by landlords and was very difficult to clean effectively.
      The second job involved two coats of paint, mostly done by cheap tradesmen and was found in households where the owners wanted a cheap job because they were only living there for two or three years, and a cheap job would see them out. With inferior paint, this could also be difficult to clean.
      The third job involved thorough preparation, sanding, priming, and three coats of good quality paint. These would last for twenty years and were very easy and satisfying to clean.

      Relate this to the use of economic power by rich men and the one, two or three coat theory would go a long way to explain the world. Who gets to choose the quality of paint, who gets to choose the number of coats and who gets to live with consequences of those choices?

  2. Red delusion 2

    One more crack like that and I’ll plaster you😀

  3. adam 3

    Prue’s book WOMEN AND ECONOMICS: A NEW ZEALAND FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE is a wonderful read, I’d encourage you all to have a read. I’m looking forward to reading the 20 year review.

  4. CHarles 4

    Great speech here from Catriona MacLennen made at The Living Wage Fundraiser in May this year. It might be an insight into what to expect, her style, etc:

    Here are some edited extracts…

    “In 2015, women still don’t have sovereignty over our own bodies. And we’re still subject to harassment in the workplace. And we are still paid far less than men. In global terms, it will take 70 years – 70 YEARS – for the gender pay gap to close if progress continues at the current slow pace… So, when you and your family are shopping, think about supporting businesses that pay taxes and living wages and boycotting those that don’t. If enough people do that, businesses will change their practices…”

    “There’s also another issue I want to mention. I’ve been doing some work this year on mobile shop trucks….They charge $20 for a can of corned beef; $35 for a packet of noodles; and $66 for powdered milk. One contract I saw charged $23.99 for a packet of biscuits, $49.99 for a packet of rubbish bags, $39.95 for a packet of cereal, $14.99 for a packet of potato chips, and $14.99 for a can of fruit salad…. We should ban multiple direct debit forms; register and license trucks; ban them from selling food; stop their misleading advertising; abolish all the fees; and look at other ways to provide low income families with the items we need…”

    “Also, remember that we don’t always know at the time what impact our actions have. When I was at law school, we were having lectures on evidence law. The lecturer made a joke that [minimised the seriousness of rape]… I went up to speak to him afterwards and say that rape wasn’t funny and that I didn’t think his joke was appropriate. I assumed at the time that saying that to him would be a complete waste of time… But years later I found out that he actually thought about what I said…”

    “…we can often become discouraged or think it is a waste of time to doing anything or we don’t have time to be involved. But we can just use tiny amounts of time we have here and there – two minutes or five minutes – and if enough women work together and ask others to work with us, we can achieve change. Never think that the problem is too big and you as an individual can’t do anything. Women can always do something…”

    Read the whole thing because she provides in-depth ideas and figures for solving issues not shown in my edits, which she is well qualified to offer, and for those thinking, “Oh god, a feminist…”, she clearly sees where feminism fits inside a wider context, where it connects to everyone and everything around women, and not just focussing on specifics that women deal with.

    And here you can see a video of Prue Hyman explaining “why our wage structure is complete crap”… ok, she later says it’s not complete crap,

  5. Kiwiri 5

    Will this be recorded or available on podcast for subsequent circulation?

    • Brillo 5.1

      I’d like to know that, too.
      The venue is a bit inaccessible for Mr & Mrs Brillo.
      These people are incisive thinkers and it would be good to be able to visit an online posting to hear what they have to say.

  6. T Chris 6

    Sounds like a real barrel of laughs

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