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How Patriarchy Works; A Newshub Special Investigation

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, September 25th, 2018 - 80 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, discrimination, feminism, gender, health, health and safety, journalism, Media, patriarchy, schools - Tags: , ,

If you wanted an illustration of how the patriachy works to keep female voices from being heard, you’d be hard pressed to go beyond Newshub’s reporting of the poisoning scare at Carterton South School.

As readers will recall, school children reported a bad smell and associated queasiness. The school was locked down and the kids decontaminated. It was three days before it was confirmed that it was a truck load of compost delivered to a neighbour that caused the odour.

There had been all sorts of rumours, including reports of a low flying plane dropping something from the sky. But it was a truck. A truck full of compost.

So where does the patriarchy come in?

Well, if you watch this clip, from the day the scare happened, you’ll see something sadly normal. A school boy, James, is interviewed for a minute, then his Dad is asked some questions.

The reporter then asks James a further question and James says his sister reckons she knows what caused the smell. Watch from the 2 minute mark to get the full picture.

Now, I’m not singling the reporter out here. Alex Baird is a thoughtful, conscientious journalist. We’ve had a brief chat and the interview, which was live, was cut short by his producer so they could move on to the next item. And the two sisters were asked pre-interview if they’d like to talk and both declined.

So, clearly, there was no deliberate intent to silence the only person who actually knew what was going on. But that still happened.

And, by ignoring the girl, who does volunteer the correct information at the end of the interview, Newshub missed out on a scoop. They could have identified the source of the smell only hours after the incident, rather than two days later.  No doubt they’ll learn from the experience.

But what does the schoolgirl learn?

Maybe shut up while the boys are talking? Or, your opinion doesn’t count?

No wonder she looks so pissed off during the interview!

This is one of the ways patriarchy dominates. It starts when we are children, whether we know it or not. And even the best of us can unconsciously contribute to the retention of a male dominated society.

You know what? She’s owed an apology for being cut short. And she deserves to have her name known and her accurate reporting of the facts acknowledged by Newshub.

It’s the least they can do.

 

 

Tip off from Sandra R.

 

 

80 comments on “How Patriarchy Works; A Newshub Special Investigation ”

  1. roy cartland 1

    Wow that’s truly embarrassing.

  2. Ngungukai 2

    Doesn’t say a lot for the competence of the Authorities investigating the source, start chasing red herrings for a start ?

    • mpledger 2.1

      We only hear what the media says the authorities are chasing and the media only says things that will generate ratings so we never get to hear the mundane things the authorities are chasing just the sensational.

  3. Lucy 3

    She’s owed an apology for being cut short.

    Sorry in 57 years I have NEVER received an apology for being talked over or ignored. She will learn what every woman learns our words are only valuable when a man says them – sometimes directly after we say them!

    • greywarshark 3.2

      Well Lucy you need to learn how to be as devious as men if you want to know how to be heard. It is a fact that women have been talked over, and it is easier for a man to do that over a woman’s usually quieter voice. But both men and women can learn how to be included in discussion, when to break in, how to present something quickly and concisely.

      It can be done, no good staying a victim, though you can’t win every time, you can often achieve. You might even make your point ruthlessly, and appear rude by talking over a man (or woman) dominating the time space with their own opinion and values. You might say firmly that you have something more worthwhile to say and thow up something they have said and explain why its wrong while they are gasping at your chutzpah. Sometimes you have to be confrontational.

      But also there are women I hear being interviewed, usually youthful, and I notice they hardly draw breath, they are very fast speakers also, very confident on their subject, never a pause and they drone on till you wish they would STFU. So women are achieving equity in the competitive race to be heard.

  4. Betcha she would have got more screen time if she was wearing something pretty…

  5. veutoviper 5

    Sorry, but even if Alex was getting the hurry-up, he brushed the sister off and semi-laughed in an embarrassed way at her comment. I know exactly how she felt and saw it on her face. There are certain commenters here who do exactly the same*.

    She definitely needs an apology and acknowledgement of her good observation skills and accurate reporting.

    As you say, Newshub also missed a scoop which may well have also saved a lot of time and money in relation to the ongoing investigation.

    * EDIT – and also what Lucy says in her last sentence! Happened to me just a day or so ago here. LOL.

    • Ngungukai 5.1

      She sounded quite sure of herself in the short piece that was recorded “blue truck” ?

    • Dukeofurl 5.3

      VV we all learn things from other comments, even learning that you can link to other comments directly.
      This site isnt a academic thesis where attribution is essential.
      yesterday someone mentioned about using scissors that all have short life plastic parts and I pointed out chemists stock all metal surgical scissors.

  6. Bill 6

    Are we to assume the childrens’ mother was just too busy in the kitchen to be there for her children’s “Evil Edna” moment, or to give any opinion?

    Also, was that dad having to rush home from work, come to the (belated and unnecessary) rescue and shepherd his children for their confrontation with Edna? Hmm.

    And the wee girl (it would have been the same if it was a wee boy) was never going to be aired saying anything so banal as “It was a truck full of shit, and I saw it” because, horse, pig and cow aside, where’s the scoop in that?

    Media needs a bullet for hyping bullshit (or was it chicken shit?)

    He was one of dozens of children affected by an unknown chemical found near the South End school playground in Carterton.
    […]
    The nature of the substance remains unclear, and police are investigating

    “Unknown chemicals” and “substances”? Seriously wtf? Was there a facebook We are Salisbury theme I missed somewhere along the line?

    And are teachers unable to follow their fucking noses these days? Someone at South End school needs a good kick up the arse for getting all arm wavy on it.

    Patriarchy – bowing to authority and learning hopelessness since forever. 😉

    • Way to miss the pount bill – woosh

    • BM 6.2

      Media needs a bullet for hyping bullshit (or was it chicken shit?)

      Nope mushroom compost from some guys garden, the whole thing was mass hysteria.

      The over the top H&S rules and procedures are turning people into gormless idiots.

      • Stunned Mullet 6.2.1

        I miss oleolebiscuitbarrel.

      • mpledger 6.2.2

        When multiple kids were throwing up and a neighbouring child, not in contact with the school, was throwing up – how can it be mass hysteria?

        Composts are full of bacteria, that’s the point of them, and bacteria can create all sorts of nasty toxins. They should be treated with care.

        • marty mars 6.2.2.1

          Exactly – no hysteria just great concern as there should be.

          • In Vino 6.2.2.1.1

            But not in the subsequent media coverage which came later. Deliberate mystification for sensational scoop? I think Bill makes a very good point.
            And BM missed the point, too.
            We all now know that it was compost, BM, including Bill. His question “-or was it chicken shit?'” appears to have been a bit too subtle for you.

            • marty mars 6.2.2.1.1.1

              I disagree.

              Frankly what bill said was ridiculous imo – talk about walk a tangential path.

              You missed the point too – it was a mystery until it wasn’t. Of course media want people to be watching – no great mystery there eh.

              As for chicken shit – tell me all about it.

              • In Vino

                marty – I think you are too wrapped up in your own view, and unwilling to see that Bill, writing with hindsight, has made a good critique of what helped cause the media to behave as they did. Nothing ridiculous; and relevant rather than tangential.

                • Possibly

                  His first 3 paragraphs were silly, or ridiculous imo.

                  The next sentence is the media hyped one which I disagree with.

                  Then he brings up the Russian poisoning in England.

                  Then he swears a bit.

                  And he finishes with sarcasm.

                  So I stand by my original assessment.

                  • In Vino

                    “His first 3 paragraphs were silly, or ridiculous imo.” I thought that until I googled Evil Edna. It helps.
                    The media hyped the ‘mysterious gas’ thing – undeniable to my mind. Max attention to aeroplane, etc.. Skripal a fair comparison? In critiquing the media’s approach, I think it valid.
                    I don’t think Bill actually knows that in a small school not many teachers are free enough of immediate obligations to wander off following their noses to solve mysteries of terrible smells..
                    But never mind..

                  • Bill

                    Seeing as how we seem to be going off on some “assessments” thing here Marty…

                    The depth of your stupidity ….have we touched bottom with “And he finishes off with sarcasm”?

                    It certainly wasn’t reached with your opening“Way to miss the pount bill – woosh”…which, as following comments amply demonstrated, was exactly what you were doing .

                    To help you out. I began the comment with sarcasm. Twice. Both comments, posed as questions, highlighting attitudes that would flow from an acceptance of patriarchal values and norms. And you missed that!?

                    If you think a wee boy wouldn’t have been cut off – that the principle motivation was to preserve a story rather than report news, then lets read some of your reasoning. (It will be interesting mind, because although you say you disagree with my take, you submitted a separate comment where you wrote “Of course media want people to be watching…”

                    The closing of my comment wasn’t sarcastic. Cynical, perhaps. But accurate to a tee.

                    (Yawn) You kinda really need to (no you don’t 😉 ) start addressing points instead of attacking people with stupidity “straight off the bat” Marty.

                    • marty mars

                      yeah sure bill – loving your insults btw – it makes me think really highly of you.

                      I have explained what I thought and why I thought it – I’m happy with that.

                    • Bill

                      I have explained what I thought and why I thought it…

                      Beyond the banal observation or two, the ream of statements, judgments and assertions, with no accompanying argument or reasoning (which is essentially all that you’ve submitted in this sub-thread) isn’t explaining anything at all.

                      I’m not at all surprised you’re on the cusp of following your old pattern of throwing your idiocy at people and then flouncing off when asked to provide something of substance.

                      .

                    • marty mars

                      ouch bill – really putting the boot in eh.

                      Someone asked me to explain my thoughts and I did in several comments. Within those comments (see above), I explained why and you disagree – well surprise surprise LOL

                    • Bill

                      I explained why and you disagree…

                      The instances of explanatory reasoning offered to back up statements made by you in preceding comments amounts to the precise sum total of zero Marty.

                      Ad homs and stand alone assertions on the other hand, hmm…actually. we probably need two hands for that…maybe a foot thrown into the mix too, to make sure that total’s covered off.

                    • marty mars

                      “Possibly

                      His first 3 paragraphs were silly, or ridiculous imo.

                      The next sentence is the media hyped one which I disagree with.

                      Then he brings up the Russian poisoning in England.

                      Then he swears a bit.

                      And he finishes with sarcasm.

                      So I stand by my original assessment.”

                      learn to read with more discernment bill. That explanation I’ve quoted sums up what I thought. I don’t need to put quotes or links to argue anything. You were trying to be smart – seems others got your ‘point’ but not me. So why do you even care actually?

                      edit. The sub thread was about the media hype that I didn’t agree happened. I’m not a reflexive ‘hate msm’ dude like some here.

      • SaveNZ 6.2.3

        Well now the kids are being indoctrinated with ‘lockdown’ corporates teaching them to be frightened at every noise/smell/what have you.

        We need to be more frightened in schools, that 30% of kids are illiterate because what sort of future do you have in modern times if you are illiterate?

      • marty mars 6.2.4

        “Compost can be a breeding ground for dangerous pathogens, some of which have killed or seriously harmed unsuspecting gardeners. ”

        https://www.nachi.org/compost-pile-hazards.htm

        Pity a city boy like you doesn’t know this basic stuff BM.

      • veutoviper 6.2.5

        BS, BM

        Legionnaires Disease is well known as a very serious disease (sometimes fatal) which can result from inhaling bacteria from potting mix, compost and soil.

        https://worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/legionnaires-disease/working-safely-with-soil-compost-and-potting-mix/

        These Worksafe guidelines are not over the top at all.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.6

        Risk Factors for Legionella longbeachae Legionnaires’ Disease, New Zealand

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5512494/ (July 2017)

        “Among 31 cases and 172 controls, risk factors for Legionnaires’ disease were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, history of smoking >10 years, and exposure to compost or potting mix. Gardening behaviors associated with L. longbeachae disease included having unwashed hands near the face after exposure to or tipping and troweling compost or potting mix. Mask or glove use was not protective among persons exposed to compost-derived products.”

        • In Vino 6.2.6.1

          To be fair, Drowsy, that sounds pretty much like close personal contact.
          Any evidence of such dangers to people maybe 100 meters away as the school-kids probably were?

  7. Ngungukai 7

    MSM creating an issue trying to get some headlines, fear, fear, fear out of the USA MSM Handbook ?

    When I first heard this on the news a mysterious plane had supposedly dropped an unknown substance over the school, or words to that effect ?

    We are getting paranoid like the USA especially if NZ MSM has anything to do with it, however they are overseas owned and are writing the narrative ?

  8. Yes the pariarchy is alive and well – every single minute of every single day it is there – that is the real unseen hand.

    • veutoviper 8.1

      I agree to a large degree – but not with some feminist views that all men are patriarchal and therefore bad.

      And to be fair, IMO matriarchy of the dominant type can also be as bad. IMO and experience this can result in some very misogynistic males brought up in that environment. That is, some males who are misogynists to most other women other than the matriarch herself.

  9. Booker 9

    Wait, so the girl was asked beforehand if she’d like to be interviewed, said no, and the reporter respected her response and is now “the patriarchy”?!

    • Te Reo Putake 9.1

      It’s not about the reporter, who is kinda mortified about how it looks, but how female voices are routinely ignored. To his credit, her brother says it for her, however, his boysplaining of her theory is dismissed on air and not followed up on the ground.

      If Dad had said it was the blue truck, I suspect he’d have been taken seriously.

      • Gabby 9.1.1

        Boysplaining eh pooty? Crush ’em while they’re young, good on you.

      • Booker 9.1.2

        Whatever happened to “no means no”?

        • In Vino 9.1.2.1

          Good point. Sorry to repeat, but the girl had been asked before if she wanted to be interviewed and she clearly said, “No.”
          Obviously, the male interviewer should have ignored a girl saying ‘No’ as I am sure that all you naysayers will now advise males to do.
          This is getting too bloody silly.

          • mpledger 9.1.2.1.1

            The girl didn’t want to be interviewed on tv but she *decided* to speak when she was able to provide important information that was being mis-represented by someone else.

            She went against her own wishes to be helpful and was dismissed.

          • mpledger 9.1.2.1.2

            In this context, the interviewer could have said “would you like to tell me more about it” to elicit either a yes or no.

            A “no means no” doesn’t mean that the “no” is carved on stone forever more, it means “not now”. And how long “now” refers to is guided by common sense and context.

    • Carolyn_Nth 9.2

      Yes. Interesting that the girl was asked before hand and declined to speak. But did she express her views to the interviewer?

      Or had she already learned that no one was taking her perception seriously? the interviewer certainly seems to be following the track of something falling from the plane.

      Basically, it’s not just that girls and women get interrupted by boys/men too often. When girls and women speak, often their views are not taken seriously until they are repeated by a guy. And too often girls’ or women’s spoken views get ridiculed.

      A close viewing of the sister’s body language indicates this may have been the case.

      The sister looks fed up and uninterested. When her brother starts to express his views, she turns her back to him and the camera – ditto when the father starts to speak.

      When the brother repeats his sister’s view, she starts to take an interest, and with confidence in her view. No matter that she declined to speak previously, now she does want to state her views – perhaps because her brother wasn’t ridiculed for floating the idea? But as soon as she speaks, the interviewer interrupts her and turns away.

      So that would just reinforce the girl’s (many girls?) idea that her views are not taken seriously when she speaks them.

      • Robert Guyton 9.2.1

        Carolyn_Nth has got it right. The girl’s conditioned to expect to be sidelined.

        • In Vino 9.2.1.1

          Not quite fair, Robert. The girl had said that she did not want to be interviewed. It seems to me that at the very last minute she changed her mind. Sad to say, too late. The interviewer had already been told to cut it short. That is an accident of history.
          The only unfairness thing is about whether or why the girl should have said ‘no’ when first being asked if she wanted to be interviewed. Is that part of the conditioning you query? She expected to be sidelined even if interviewed?
          Does that make any sense?
          The fact is she said no, and the interviewer acted accordingly. Sad.

          • In Vino 9.2.1.1.1

            The more I think about this..
            The last helpful thing is a bunch of intellectuals arguing about patriarchy.
            The girl needs to be interviewed bloody quickly and given the credit she deserves. Stuff could still do this, or their opposition if there is any in this so-called competitive duopoly media market.
            Stuff bloody well ought to do it. I refuse to log in to Stuff comments, and doubt if they read them closely anyway.. How does one make demands of Stuff?
            Any suggestions?

  10. ankerawshark 10

    That was gob smacking re the reporter only asking the “boys”

  11. SHG 11

    “James says his sister reckons she knows what caused the smell”
    “the two sisters were asked pre-interview if they’d like to talk and both declined”

    PATRIARCHY!!1

  12. SaveNZ 12

    Great post. Compulsory viewing and should be used in media studies as an example of how not to interview families. Very sad to see the little girl cut off like that.

    Also the girls were not introduced by name like the boy and should have been introduced not just as “his sisters’,, especially when she was the one who clearly knew what was going on and if the reporter had made them feel more at ease then maybe they might have wanted to be interviewed. They clearly had something to say. And they were right.

    • Ngungukai 12.1

      Agree + 100% this would be a very good Case Study in Media Studies for a number of purposes ???

    • In Vino 12.2

      Be fair – it has already been pointed out at 12.41 pm that the girl had been asked if she wanted to be interviewed, and had answered, “No.”
      How many reports have you seen where a reporter diligently says, “We also have here sister Cecily, who does not wish to be interviewed.”

      • SaveNZ 12.2.1

        Just more polite if you introduce one child, you also name the other two by name not just as ‘sisters’. They were filmed so why not say I’m here with x y and z. Even if they didn’t want to be interviewed they obviously were being filmed anyway so it is just more polite to introduce them in that context.

        • greywarshark 12.2.1.1

          You’re right save nz but I think we are getting too picky. On the spot journalists can’t get everything right all the time.

          But I have just remembered from about 5? years ago, where a child was rescued from difficulties in the water by other children but the reporter only wanted to credit one child with it apparently, because it made a better story.
          Now that is unacceptably rude and showed bad faith to those involved by the journalist.

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    I’m afraid I’m more inclined to notice that the journalist has no nose for news than the patriarchy in play in this story. But then I’m a 4th child – could rarely get a word in at the best of times. The girl will learn to just keep schtum and watch the ones who never listen screw up, just like the rest of us.

  14. veutoviper 14

    Good points.

    What I got from the older sister’s facial expressions (and to a degree from the younger sister in the front) was ‘Been there done this before’ and ‘here we go again’ expressions. In other words, this situation whereby brother and father get to speak, but the two girls hang back, IMO appears not to be new to the girls. Pure speculation on my part, but it could suggest that maybe that is how things go at home. OTOH it could be exactly as you say, nothing to do with gender etc at all, and more to do with age, personality etc. including position in the family age based hierarchy. For example, we don’t know whether there are older siblings for example.

  15. Michelle 15

    patriarchy is alive in NZ cause women still earn less than men and women are over represented in roles like teaching , nursing, childcare which are all lowly paid roles because they are roles often historically taken for granted.
    We only had to look at the recent strikes. If we truly care about our children and our elderly we need to value more those that look after them and start paying them fairly and treating them with the respect they deserve.

  16. bwaghorn 16

    Did you ask the girl if she was bothered or offended . ?
    Or should we just take your word for it?

  17. Stunned Mullet 17

    ..and here i was thinking that the reclaiming of the word ‘cunt’ would be the silliest thing I saw this year

    • I suspect the silliest thing you’ll see all year can be found in your bathroom mirror. Put up well reasoned arguments in future or your comments will go straight to spam. Capice?

  18. reports of a low flying plane dropping something from the sky… How is that even possible without getting noticed by authorities?

    Absolutely agree with your words “It starts when we are children, whether we know it or not” excellent observation

    • McFlock 18.1

      Pilot files flight plan for non-pressurised VFR plane.
      Dodgy feed system or pilot nudges valve slightly, doesn’t notice.
      Lands at destination on schedule but slightly lighter.
      Pilots knocks off to pub, job done.

      ATC knew what plane was in the area when the cops asked, probably even knew who the pilot was. The yanks would have kicked in his door and likely shot him, the NZP were probably a bit more reasonable.

      A whole bunch of people were exposed to something that made them start puking. This time is was shit, but nobody knew that at the time. Except the kid who saw the truck.

      I think flipping away from the live cross was likely due to time constraints rather than the patriarchy, but the reporter not following it up toot sweet could well have been because they were kids, and possibly because the one who saw it was a girl. Not consciously, I should point out. It just happens when we don’t pause for self-reflection.

      And I write this as a mid-range member of a team who has to remember to wait for his much more highly qualified and experienced female colleagues to talk with the Very Important People who visit, rather than just opening his gob with whatever half-arsed BS occurs to him immediately. But that could just be because I’m an arsehole ratherthan a patriarch.

      • In Vino 18.1.1

        To be honest, had I been a young reporter there, I would have guessed already that it was a load of crock story anyway. As it was. A few kiddies smell something bad and spew. Wow.
        But.. we want click-bait and sensation, so in we go. And, when told to fold up quick, we ignore the one girl who actually knew the reason because she had said at the start that she did not want to be interviewed… then she belatedly decides to speak up.
        My last contribution because I see nothing productive in this thread.

  19. AsleepWhileWalking 19

    John Campbell wouldn’t have ignored her.

  20. esoteric pineapples 20

    Up to the point of the the revelation, that was an excruciatingly boring and vacuous interview designed purely to give viewers a vicarious emotional engagement in the drama of the situation. Its purpose certainly wasn’t to ascertain what the cause of the smell was, which may have been part of the reason no-one took any notice of what the girl said. The interviewer wasn’t expecting to hear someone to point out the cause.
    Can anyone imagine, if the interview had gone on longer, the interviewer saying to her “Really, you think you know what caused it. Tell me more” – gets told more. Interviewer, still live on air, calls out “Hey police, we have a young girl over who seems to know the cause.” Viewers watch as she explains the cause and officials gather around her to hear what she has to say.
    Not to pick on this particular interviewer, but perhaps journalists at this level are not trained/expected to be fact finding journalists but employed for their skills at facilitating news as entertainment.

  21. Jum 21

    So, is a copy of this post and thread being copied to TV3 and the father?

    • Newshub have been contacted. Not sure how to get hold of the family. I did suggest to the reporter that it might be the right thing to do to contact the family to let the girl know that they now realise that she was right all along. There might even be a story in it 😉

      • Muttonbird 21.1.1

        Agree. If NewShub wanted a good news story they’d give that girl a short interview (with a lot of support) as a way of apologising to her and to New Zealand. They’d also be encouraging that girl and others to not be afraid to speak their mind when they know the truth.

        And to not let TV people speak over you!!!

  22. Obtrectator 22

    Doesn’t it depend how the question was framed by the reporter? We who did Latin know all about questions that expect the answer “yes” and those that expect the answer “no”. You get them in English too.

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