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If the voice fits….?

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, December 27th, 2014 - 237 comments
Categories: brand key, democratic participation, human rights, john key, journalism, patriarchy, slippery - Tags:

Politics has traditionally been men’s business.  Gradually women have come to be given more space in this sphere of public activity.  However, there are still strains of traditional masculine values evident in political activity, organisation and debate.

There are good and bad consequences of this.  The worst is the way debate in the House is treated as a competitive game.  Too often performances are seen in terms of how much kudos they give the performer, rather than in terms of how much they contribute to the greater good of all of society.

This is a long but worthwhile read – Mary Beard’s London Review of Books’ Winter Lecture 2014, on “The Public Voice of Women”.

She charts the western history of women’s exclusion and/or marginalisation from public speaking, including politics. She includes saying that, these days, women’s access to public speaking is far better, with the longer masculine tradition being only one of many contemporary influences.

The lecture begins,

I want to start very near the beginning of the tradition of Western literature, and its first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’; telling her that her voice was not to be heard in public. I’m thinking of a moment immortalised at the start of the Odyssey.

 

This is how Beard tells it:

The process starts in the first book with Penelope coming down from her private quarters into the great hall, to find a bard performing to throngs of her suitors; he’s singing about the difficulties the Greek heroes are having in reaching home. She isn’t amused, and in front of everyone she asks him to choose another, happier number. At which point young Telemachus intervenes: ‘Mother,’ he says, ‘go back up into your quarters, and take up your own work, the loom and the distaff … speech will be the business of men, all men, and of me most of all; for mine is the power in this household.’ And off she goes, back upstairs.

There is something faintly ridiculous about this wet-behind-the-ears lad shutting up the savvy, middle-aged Penelope. But it’s a nice demonstration that right where written evidence for Western culture starts, women’s voices are not being heard in the public sphere; more than that, as Homer has it, an integral part of growing up, as a man, is learning to take control of public utterance and to silence the female of the species.

This is the origins of the Western legacy at its most direct and raw. Beard goes on to argue that, while it’s legacy is still present in the 21st century, it has been somewhat weakened.

Beard argues there are still some of the underlying assumptions, concepts and values that contribute to the gendering of public speech: e.g. references to people’s public speaking as “whining”, has a “feminine” origin.  This has a historical origin, whereby women’s voices were dismissed as a “whine” unsuited to public speaking. Masculine deep voices are seen as more politically authoritative.

Several women politicians have opted to try to lower their speaking voice – Margaret Thatcher the most noted.

Margaret Thatcher Spitting Image puppet

While for many, Helen Clark was a great Prime Minister, some opponents viciously questioned her femininity and (hetero)sexuality, were questioned and used that as a way to undermine her.  Such underhand methods have a pretty long historical legacy.

Helen Clark

Beard concludes with a particularly gruesome and brutal act committed by the Roman woman Fulvia: a brutal act that is a kind of feminine reversal of masculine brutality, turned against a powerful male as revenge – stabbing a hairpin into the tongue of the decapitated head of the dead Marcus Tullis Cicero (who had been a powerful public speaker.

Beard ends with this suggestion that we spend some time contemplating the legacy of assumptions about public (and political) speaking:

We should perhaps take our cue from this, and try to bring to the surface the kinds of question we tend to shelve about how we speak in public, why and whose voice fits. What we need is some old fashioned consciousness-raising about what we mean by the voice of authority and how we’ve come to construct it.

For instance, why does John Key get treated (at least as seen in the media) as “an ordinary Kiwi”, when a lot of his behaviour is that attributed to an “ordinary Kiwi male”?

Key royal family

237 comments on “If the voice fits….?”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “For instance, why does John Key get treated (at least as seen in the media) as “an ordinary Kiwi”, when a lot of his behaviour is that attributed to an “ordinary Kiwi male”?”

    Er, probably because if Key acted as an “ordinary Kiwi female”, he would in fact not be acting as an ordinary kiwi at all, given that he is in fact male?

    What a stupid question.

    • Karen 1.1

      I don’t feel that is a stupid question at all. It is something I have been thinking for some time.

      Personally, I have never understood the description of Key as someone everybody would like to spend time with. Leaving aside his politics, he does not come across as someone I’d find interesting to talk to, and all the women I know feel the same. Most see him as smarmy and shallow, and many find his behaviour crass and, at times, infantile. However, some of the men I know do respond positively to the blokey image, even when they don’t like his politics.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        There’s no such things as an “ordinary Kiwi male”, there’s a wide variety of males here.

        I’ve heard Key speak in person once and he came across as well informed, intelligent, personable and at times amusing. I’ve seen some of this in his televised appearances as well. I don’t think it’s an uncommon impression.

        I’ve seen different sides of him too, including smarmy and dismissive, and he has struggled at times under pressure.

        But in general I think most people see him as usually authentic. That’s how most people (apart from those who were simply anti) came to see Helen Clark as well.

        Goff struggled with authenticity, he seemed too try hard. Shearer just struggled. Cunliffe tried a number of things but was too often unconvincing and his variable personas failed to impress people.

        Little is raw and inexperienced but comes across as genuine, one of his biggest assets if he remains consistent.

        But they are all quite different, no ‘ordinary Kiwi’. Ordinary people don’t become party leaders.

        • The Murphey 1.1.1.1

          Q. Do you actually believe in politics?

        • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1.2

          I rest my case re “susceptible observers” @#2.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.3

          Peter Dunne is someone many might consider very ordinary. I know I do.

          • Pete George 1.1.1.3.1

            Enough in Ohariu didn’t think so. Neither did Key. But I think his political career is waning somewhat.

            But I don’t know what that has to do with Karol’s post. She often doesn’t like people doing diversions.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.3.1.1

              🙄

            • batweka 1.1.1.3.1.2

              🙄

              I see Petey has his disingenous trole hat on today.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.3.1.3

              🙄

            • phillip ure 1.1.1.3.1.4

              dunne only won ohariu ‘cos the greens (again) split the vote enough to allow him to walk thru the middle..’

              ..the greens have done this election after election..

              ..gifted their mortal enemy dunne his seat/forum/position of power from which to work against them..

              ..i still don;t know ‘why?’…

              ..(if any green party reader cd explain the logic of that tactic to the rest of us..that wd be greatly appreciated..)

              • karol

                Wong conclusion from the data. The right have the majority in that election. if the Greens hadn’t stood a candidate, the Nats would have put the word out for Nat voters to vote for Dunne.

                • yr final two lines may be correct..(but is a hypothesis that can’t be proven..)

                  ..but the fact of the matter of the result was the green party candidate won more votes than dunne won by..

                  ..dunne beat the labour candidate..(a very good candidate..by all accounts..)..by 700 odd votes..

                  ..the green party candidate got over 2,700 votes…

                  • karol

                    And the Nat candidate got 6,120 votes.

                    if my hypothesis can’t be proven, your’s most certainly can’t.

                    • and the labour candidate got 12,000+ votes..

                      ..and dunne got 13.000+ votes..

                      ..the green candidate got nearly 3,000..

                      ..and u cite the aberration that is epsom being repeated to support yrs..

                      ..mine is the current norm..

                      ..but u r correct..it wd be too close to call..

                      ..bt i wd prefer that contest..

                      ..than the greens just handing their mortal enemy his seat on a silver platter..a gifted certainty pre-election vote-split polling confirmed..

                      ..they are the aberration in this contest..

                      ..and should stand aside from it in 2017..

                      ..or will they just do the same thing again..

                      ..and expect a different outcome..?

                    • karol

                      phil – not too close to call – Dunne plus the Nats vote would put Dunne about 2,000-3,000 votes ahead. When the NActs look even close to losing a seat like Ohariu, they swing in to action with a vengeance.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And when they see a seat like Te Tai Tokerau going to a new upstart political force, both National and Labour will stomp on it with a vengeance.

                    • false logic karol..

                      ..u r assuming that 100% of those nat votes wd go to dunne..

                      ..whereas in reality..in epsom..where the orders from national to vote for the dweeb couldn’t be clearer..

                      ..nearly 12,000 votes still went to national..(and yes..some of those were strategic anti-seymour voting..)

                      ..but seymour only ended up with about 15,000 for the victory..

                      ..and there..the green vote was over 3,000..

                      (seymour won by approx 4,000 votes..)

                      ..and there..had lab/grns voted with their heads..instead of i don’t know fucken what..

                      ..all six and a half thousand of them…(!)

                      ..the dweeb/act wd not be in parliament..

                      ..is it the greens job to just make it easier for the right..?

                      ..how/why is it they are unable to ‘get’ mmp..

                      ..as successfully as the right has..?

                      ..but let’s just do everything the same again..in 2017..eh..?

                      ..and we can all just close our eyes and wish for different outcomes..

                      ..eh..?

                      .that is what we are slow-marching towards..

                    • Pete George

                      “..u r assuming that 100% of those nat votes wd go to dunne..”

                      But…

                      “..and there..had lab/grns voted with their heads..instead of i don’t know fucken what..

                      ..all six and a half thousand of them…”

                      Are you assuming 100% of Labour and Green voters would all want the same thing and vote the same way?

                    • @ col-raw..

                      “..both National and Labour will stomp on it with a vengeance…”

                      ..that was not labours’ finest moment..was it..?

                      ..more a steaming/fetid carbunkle of a moment..really..

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.2

        Spending time with Key would be torture. I doubt if he has anything useful to say about anything I’m interested in, and you could never be sure he wasn’t lying. He’s not a deep thinker to bring any insights to a conversation, and I already know plenty of blokey blokes. Key isn’t one of them. He’s false and idiotic.

        His presence has lowered the quality of Parliamentary speech. Along with his “No” and “Not in my capacity as Prime Minister”, we have “Zip it sweety” from his female comrades. Even if he let Bennett or Collins answer every question, no contribution would be made to giving women a voice.

    • batweka 1.2

      Er, probably because if Key acted as an “ordinary Kiwi female”, he would in fact not be acting as an ordinary kiwi at all, given that he is in fact male?

      What a stupid question.

      Not as stupid as your answer. The point is that Key gets portray as an ordinary kiwi rather than an ordinary kiwi bloke, hence ordinary kiwi = ordinary male kiwi. This is another aspect of what karol is talking about, how women are subsumed into the masculinist culture.

      And thanks btw for affirming that in your comment.

      (and what exactly would be wrong with Key acting like an ordinary Kiwi female? Esp since the further up the chain women politicians go the more masculinist behaviours they have to take on).

      Then of course we have the backlash against women’s voices becoming stronger, where the MRAs complain how their voices are lessened by women, ergo women speaking up must still be knocked back.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        +1

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.2

        Then of course we have the backlash against women’s voices becoming stronger, where the MRAs complain how their voices are lessened by women, ergo women speaking up must still be knocked back.>

        “MRA” – that’s a good derogatory feminist phrase which can be turned on any males who speak up, in order to knock them back.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1

          Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Brother, I feel your pain. Let us pray for the souls of our oppressors 🙄

        • batweka 1.2.2.2

          ““MRA” – that’s a good derogatory feminist phrase which can be turned on any males who speak up, in order to knock them back.”

          Can you please give some examples CV?

          Any males who speak up about what exactly?

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.2.2.1

            You think “MRA” is used by feminists to describe men in a neutral fashion??? Are you fucking kidding. And it’s only one of a list.

            • weka 1.2.2.2.1.1

              I’d like you to give done examples of feminists using the term MRA against any men who speak up (presumably non MRAs) and I’d like you to clarify what those men are speaking up about. As it is I don’t really know what you mean and would rather not taking haphazard guesses.

        • The Al1en 1.2.2.3

          What’s MRAs?

          • phillip ure 1.2.2.3.1

            it stands for ‘matter requiring attention’..

            ..or the ‘malaysian retailers association’..

            ..it depends who you ask..

            • The Al1en 1.2.2.3.1.1

              Could be Magnetic resonance angiography, but in the context of the debate, I think it’s more probably ‘men’s rights activist’.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                A closely related term, “MRE” is a “Meal Ready to Eat.”

                • multiple regression analysis and

                  minimum reception altitude both have their appeal..

                  ..as does mutant registration act..

                  • RedLogix

                    Most Regal Asshat?

                    It’s kind of funny – for decades women rightly told men to go away and sort out their own issues, but when that happened they didn’t like much what they got.

                    Oh well.

                    • batweka

                      Red are you suggesting that the MRAs are the men that sorted out their issues?

                    • RedLogix

                      Not necessarily – but then again it’s plain that they aren’t asking women for their opinion either.

                    • batweka

                      not sure what your point is then. Some men did go away and sort out their issues. Am thinking in particular of men who’ve been doing anti-violence work all this time.

                      But there are significant problems with what the MRAs are doing. Why is it funny that many feminists don’t like a lot of that?

                    • RedLogix

                      But there are significant problems with what the MRAs are doing.

                      When women first started talking about their experiences most men did not want to hear either. The only way feminists made any progress was to do it on their own terms. Quite emphatically.

                      I’ve said this before; what I see is that men and women experience both power and powerlessness in our society in quite different ways – ways that are frequently mutually incomprehensible to the other gender.

                      Of course what happens in real life is that when I say this, everyone assumes I’m sneakily trying to have a bob each way and gets angry with me.

                    • batweka

                      When women first started talking about their experiences most men did not want to hear either.

                      Ok, so is the implication there that MRAs are men’s equivalent to feminism? If so, we should probably clarify what we mean by MRAs.

                      The only way feminists made any progress was to do it on their own terms. Quite emphatically.

                      Yes. But it doesn’t automatically follow that that is what men should do, or that this would work for men.

                      I’ve said this before; what I see is that men and women experience both power and powerlessness in our society in quite different ways – ways that are frequently mutually incomprehensible to the other gender.

                      I agree with the first bit, but not the second bit. I see plenty of women and men understanding each other, and plenty who don’t of course. I don’t see experiences as mutually incomprehensible so much as people get caught up in the arguments before there is clarity on what is being discussed.

                      Hence my asking CV for clarification above rather than responding to what I think he was meaning. Because if I go off on the track of what I think, rather than what he means, we’re likely to have misunderstanding and conflict.

                      Of course what happens in real life is that when I say this, everyone assumes I’m sneakily trying to have a bob each way and gets angry with me.

                      Are you trying to have a bob each way?

                    • RedLogix

                      Ok, so is the implication there that MRAs are men’s equivalent to feminism?

                      You and I probably don’t get to define that.

                      But it doesn’t automatically follow that that is what men should do, or that this would work for men.

                      Or maybe it does. Hard to argue that any mens movement must automatically configure itself to suit women.

                      I don’t see experiences as mutually incomprehensible so much as people get caught up in the arguments before there is clarity on what is being discussed.

                      Yes I like that. But I see a lot of that NOT happening though. The idea that there is cultural gender war going on out there is pretty damn sad really. That’s my two bob’s worth 🙂

                    • batweka

                      “You and I probably don’t get to define that.”

                      That strikes me as being evasive. I made a comment originally about MRAs. You’ve also made a comment and when I’ve asked you to clarify what you mean you’ve not done so. But it looks like you have an idea of what an MRA is and how it fits in with this conversation and with your understanding of things. I’m asking you to be explicit about that so that I know what you mean.

                      “Hard to argue that any mens movement must automatically configure itself to suit women.”

                      Just as well I didn’t then. What I said was that just because feminism had to argue hard on it’s own terms, doesn’t mean this is a workable strategy for men. The corollory of that isn’t automatically that men must organise to suit women. I was thinking more along the lines of respect, and not trying to undermine feminism (eg the MRAs).

                      “Yes I like that. But I see a lot of that NOT happening though.”

                      Here’s an opportunity to 🙂

                    • karol

                      RL, you are assuming a level playing field where in society, men and women in general have equal status. Further, you seem to be saying that any perception of secondary status is in the minds/experience of sex independently.

                      (Some) men do get marginalised, oppressed or treated as having lower status in society, but not because they are men, but because they are black/brown, working class/precariat, disabled, gay, etc.

                      You seem to be trying to erase the fact that feminism is a response to the lower status, oppression and disempowerment of women generally.

                    • batweka

                      +1 karol

                      Hence my original comment that the arising of the MRAs in response to feminism is part of the backlash against feminism. If the MRAs had focussed on the real source of their oppression (capitalism, the patriarchy, whatever) then the other issues like how men get treated in Family Court would have been framed differently and gotten a different response from feminists.

                    • RedLogix

                      RL, you are assuming a level playing field where in society, men and women in general have equal status.

                      In this country men and women DO have equal legal status. I would be surprised if anyone can point to any institutional examples where males enjoy specific rights that are not available to women.

                      What you are referring to karol is that men and women DO have different experiences in society, mostly because they are different biological creatures. There is now an immense amount of evidence to support that idea.

                      I would suggest that the idea of a ‘level playing field’ is a chimera; that in some domains men will tend to have an advantage and in others women will be preferred. Which is why I say that each gender experiences both power and powerlessness in quite different ways.

                      At the same time every society interprets and structures those differences in it’s own unique fashion. Untangling the influence of biology and society’s cultural response to it is an almost endless puzzle we may never quite solve. Even defining where the boundary lies between the two is contentious.

                      It seems to me, that although men and women spend much of their lives in such close proximity and intimacy, there are frequently many things we do not say to each other, or when we try the attempt is often mis-heard.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.2.2.4

          I think that’s a reasonable summation of what Men’s Rights Activists actually do. They complain all the time that women are in a better position than them. They do complain that men’s voices don’t get heard.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.3

        I think Key is called an “ordinary Kiwi”, because calling him an “ordinary Kiwi bloke” is redundant. No reason to use 3 words when 2 suffice.

        “and what exactly would be wrong with Key acting like an ordinary Kiwi female?”
        If you specifically want him to act like an ordinary Kiwi female, as opposed to just an ordinary Kiwi (ie, those traits common to both genders), then you’re saying he should act in a way different from how an “ordinary Kiwi” who happened to be male would act, thereby he’d no longer be an “ordinary Kiwi”.

        • karol 1.2.3.1

          Lanth, nationality is conventionally most usually seen in masculine terms (give or take a rule Britannia or two) – it’s the default position – epitomised by male sports teams, wars, etc.

          Masculine culture is traditionally unstated because it is taken to be the norm. this we have All Blacks and Women’s All blacks or the NZ Women’s rugby team.

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.3.1.1

            So it’s the norm. Like capitalism is the norm. Like empire is the norm. Like financialisation, speculation and debt is the norm. Like a carbon fuelled civilisation is the norm.

          • phillip ure 1.2.3.1.2

            karol..do you think there is a point where feminism tips over into denial of differences…?

            • phillip ure 1.2.3.1.2.1

              and how did helen clark not fail women/feminism by not entrenching equal pay in legislation..?

              ..when she had it in her hands/power to do just that..

              ..and for nine years..

              ..she did nothing..

              (perhaps a clark-fan might be able to answer/excuse that one..?..)

            • karol 1.2.3.1.2.2

              it’s not about a single point in one grand feminist theory. There are different feminisms. Some argue that sex/gender differences are all socially constructed.

              “gender’, in my book, is about the socially constructed differences. Of course there are biological differences. And that results in a certain amount of difference in the way the world is experienced. But there are also as many biological differences among those designated as “male” and among those designated as “female”

              • that’s right..everyone is individual and different..

                ..and while i am strong on things like equal pay/affirmative actions to achieve equality..

                ..(that is just commonsense/fairness..)

                ..but there comes a point where you can’t legislate..

                ..there are just the differences that exist..

                • karol

                  ..but there comes a point where you can’t legislate..

                  ..there are just the differences that exist..

                  That (elusive) “point” is likely to be in a best of all possible worlds.

                  In the world today, all differences are not treated equally. Social practices and communications embue some differences with with meanings that have a great significance. The result is very unequal impacts on many people’s lives.

                  Gender has been given extensive import way beyond any inborn differences. Consider how one of the first things most people want to know about a new baby is whether it’s a boy or girl. Consider how most official forms and processes ask if a person is “male” or “female” as a key part of the identification process….etc.

                  I agree that legislation alone will not end damaging inequalities. But, as Mary Beard concluded, there needs to be a “consciousness-raising” process, (with debate, discussion, in depth analysis, etc) as first steps to changing social practices, perceptions and prejudices.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Key as public construct sees susceptible observers almost subsumed as with an insect eating plant.

    Key is short, pasty, flabby, styleless, possibly hairpeiced, and says dorky but populist things amongst the anti democratic, nasty and dangerous things. Many kiwis have similar characteristics. Intellectuals are despised way more than car dealers and lawyers in Noo Zillund.

    The voice thing is interesting and probably more a prevailing cultural dominance thing. Even Barrack Obama mentions deceased rapper Tupac for example. Few escape their times fully. Sir Keith Holyoake was quite plummy compared to todays politicians. Russell Norman gets sniped at for his speaking voice, but Winston lauded for his. Governors General have tended to be holdouts for more precise speech.

    The “Yeah nah eh bro” collapsing of NZ English is “all good” “going forward” and another contributor to the political idiocy of so many kiwis.

    • Tracey 2.1

      I thought Key looked a tad effeminate in his picture of the tshirt reading he isnt sorry to be a man. Have thought that at other times too. Possibly just his discomfort in a particular situation.

      No snide comments. Helen Clark was constantly referred to as Alan Clark by one of my brothers until I told him to grow up and at least never use it in my presence.

      • vto 2.1.1

        He looks effeminate for the same reason he is popular among the masses – he consumes too much processed food, drinks too much booze and sits on his fat arse too much and this leads to increased levels of female hormones in his body and man boobs. Check the average same-aged male on the beach this summer ….. all female and boobed. It is pathetic.

        The true male is being more and more rare.

        This phenomenon should please karol and her post point.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.1

          Acshually I was looking at the Kiwi male during Christmas, the ones I felt could be identified as such, white or Maori, at a theme park I visited. Most were casually dressed for comfort in t-shirt and knee length shorts and those little caps with brims over the face. Sports shoes. Legs like tree stumps, often with big stomachs though apparently quite young. Not feminine at all. Not many good looking males. Sort of a bulky, factory produced model, basic quality, without extra design features though the Maori often had leg tattoos.

        • karol 2.1.1.2

          Actually, vto you seem to be proving Mary Beard’s point with a pretty scathing kind of ridicule for (allegedly) feminine behaviours and (allegedly) “female” hormones and breasts.

          It’s in the same vein as the “whining” voice that Beard talks about as being used as a put down – being derived from a negative attitude to women’s voices.

          To spell it out: I wouldn’t call flabbiness from lack of exercise and poor diet a specifically “feminine” trait.

  3. Shona 3

    Blokey image??? Key has always been a “pretend” bloke. A Clayton’s bloke. He has NONE of the qualities of the ordinary kiwi male or female. He has a speech impediment : he uses crass malapropisms when he speaks and is only marginally more articulate then George W. Bush. He has clearly had some speech training since gaining office probably because he had a momentary experience of self awareness at one international talkfest and realised how bad he sounded compared to other leaders and that this statesman gig actually required a few skills he never knew existed.
    Shallow creepy arseholes with money have only ever appealed to other shallow creepy arseholes who would like to have money.

    • Pete George 3.1

      In the latest Herald/Digipoll Key was up a fraction to 65% for preferred Prime Minister compared to Little on 13.6%.

      That’s a lot of shallow creepy aresholes. Two thirds of those polled.

      • The Al1en 3.1.1

        “That’s a lot of shallow creepy aresholes”

        First time I’ve agreed with pg tips.

      • The Murphey 3.1.2

        That anyone should be fooled by such blatant duplicity is a symptom of the depths to which they have fallen with their minds and instincts no longer performing primary function

        Key et al seemingly accepted in large numbers as anything other than what they truly are

      • Tracey 3.1.3

        who were they given as choices?

        • Ross 3.1.3.1

          Preferred PM polls are always a joke: who do you prefer, the one who is seen hobnobbing with world leaders, being chauffeured around in limousines and is so important that he has to act like an ordinary bloke, or the other guy.

          • Tracey 3.1.3.1.1

            yup.

            before the election, Curia phone polled me.

            after a while they said we will now move on to party leaders…

            i had to rate them. early in the list came bill english. i said he is not a party leader. they said oh, rate him anyway. they included norman but not turei, which i pointed out and got another oh well.

            polls are not the perfect science some treat them as, open to manipulation, all according to the questions asked.

            of course Putin gets an 80% popularity in polls, so by PGs logic he must be the right leader

            • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Gallup had him at 83% popularity amongst Russians earlier in 2014. That means he is doing a hell of a lot right, according to the common citizen on the street.

              • The Al1en

                But then Russian citizens on the streets beat up gay people with impunity while the state criminalises gay advocates as propagandists, so we can’t really put too much stock in to what they think popular when they’re clearly bigoted arseholes.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Sorry, falling for pro-US propaganda and demonising 140M people like that is plain stupid.

                  • The Al1en

                    Pro us propaganda? What are you talking about?
                    You can think whatever you like about Putin with his 80% voter approval, but with shitty bigot laws introduced and accepted, they have blood on their hands as far as I’m concerned, just like white South Africans during apartheid.

                    “Since 2006, a number of Russian regions had passed varying laws that ban the distribution of materials promoting LGBT relationships to minors; in June 2013, Russia received international criticism for enacting an a national “LGBT propaganda” law, which purportedly was to prevent distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” among minors. The law is an amendment to an existing child protection law.[4] Human rights observers, LGBT activists, and international media disputed its stated purpose of protecting children, and traditional family values, criticizing the law for being a de facto criminalization of LGBT culture, as well as the efforts for LGBT rights, with some noting that even displaying LGBT symbols in public was made illegal by this legislation, which subsequent arrests bore out.[5] They also reported a surge in anti-LGBT rhetoric, violence, and hate crimes, many of which using the law as justification.[6][7][8][9][10] A number of LGBT rights protesters have also been arrested under the law.[11][12]”

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Russia

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Comparing Russia to Apartheid South Africa? That’s laughable.

                      As for hate crimes. Every society commits hate crimes. Don’t get righteously uppity about it. The western financial empire is currently attacking the Russian economy, imperilling the livelihoods and standard of living of 140M people. So what, another day in empire.

                      You may not like some of their laws. But they reflect Russian social and religious norms. Don’t forget what our own laws were like in the 1970s and 1980s.

                    • The Al1en

                      In your rush to big up Putin and Russia you are prepared to ignore the state sanctioned bigotry being forced upon the gay community. That’s your prerogative.

                    • RedLogix

                      @Al1en

                      Making comparisons between Russia and the Western world is pretty damn fraught.

                      What I found when I was there some years ago is that on the surface it looks like a Western country, but when you scratch the surface it isn’t.

                      For a start you have to remember that politically Russia has almost no democratic tradition or legacy to draw on. And when you look back at their history Putin is probably the best leader they have had since Catherine the Great.

                      It only makes sense to evaluate Putin in Russian terms – only then you can see why he is so popular. And at the same time, given how most of the Western world is deeply ignorant of the place you can see why he is so readily demonised by the Western propaganda outlets.

                    • The Al1en

                      I’m certainly not cutting them any slack for their homophobic legislation just because they’re a new ‘democracy’.

                      It’s not my fight, but I think it’s shaky ground territory when the left ignore or excuse away such human rights violations.
                      Of course you nor anyone have to agree with me, but I’ll stand by my condemnation until those 80% get in touch with intelligence and see past simple bigotry.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’m certainly not cutting them any slack for their homophobic legislation just because they’re a new ‘democracy’.

                      Nor would I.

                      Recall though what happened when the West decided that Saddam Hussein didn’t meet their arbitrary standards of democratic hygiene? (And no he did not. I know this from direct personal experience I am not willing to detail here – but suffice to say I knew better than most what exactly happened when you fell on the wrong side of the Baathist government.)

                      But completely absent any sane long-term plan, the West sent in the troops to remove him – and turned a functioning society into a religious version of Mad Max.

                      Attempting to topple Putin by sending in the economic hit-men will have an equally bad outcome.

                    • The Al1en

                      You may well be quite correct about everything in your post, but it’s a matter of fact I’ve stated no wish or desire to topple putin. Indeed my post wasn’t even about him.

                      My opening comment, was about the worth of russian opinion polls, considering the voters and their willingness to accept anti human rights legislation – Before I got unfairly accused of sucking up us propaganda, which I definitely haven’t.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I believe your point was that you didn’t give a shit about the opinions of 140M Russians because many of them are bigoted homophobic jerks.

                      The fact that their society has different values, that many Russians think that the West is entirely hypocritical, two faced and preciously preachy about human rights, didn’t seem to factor into your thinking.

      • Shona 3.1.4

        Aha !Herald Digipoll so that’ll be a broad cross section of NZ’s population??? NOT! . Getting triple time payment over the holiday period are we PG like all the other douchbag kiwi trolls happy to collaborate in the shafting of NZ born New Zealanders.?

        • Tracey 3.1.4.1

          andno answer to the question of who the voters were given as choices. But none of that or anything else he is writing here changes the main tenet of Mary Beards lecture

    • Realblue 3.2

      So if you have a speech impediment it doesnt fit your view of an ordinary New Zealander ? You really are a charming cunt aren’t you? Do deaf people count as ordinary New Zealanders ?

      • Shona 3.2.1

        A speech impediment is NOT a disability. Deafness is. There is no comparison unless you think having a leader who is too self absorbed to learn to communicate intelligently, coherently , effectively and to do a little work to correct a lazy tongue and jaw that belies a lazy mind with no respect for the position he carries is of no importance. A REALBLUE comment from a pea-brained National supporter if ever I heard one.

        • TheContrarian 3.2.1.1

          A speech impediment can be extremely debilitating, you asshole.

        • Realblue 3.2.1.2

          Fuck you. You stated Key wasn’t a Real bloke then used a speech impediment as one of the reasons. Many swag people hand these impediments. His can you be so fucking dense? You are staggering stupid. If you’re going to try and make a pint, engage your brain before going so.

        • Murray Rawshark 3.2.1.3

          A speech impediment can be a real disability, especially if it makes it hard to be understood. However, I doubt if Key really has one. I suspect he’s just a lazy speaker and maybe even hams it up a bit to be more ordinary.

      • Naturesong 3.2.2

        I agree with your view that a speech impediment has nothing to do with his “blokeness” or the content of his character. Adding that I do not believe he has a speech defect, but that he is a lazy speaker, and as a result swallows his vowels. Not an uncommon occurrence amongst nzer’s.

        The personal abuse directed toward Shona seems a bit over the top though.

        Take a breath, consciously relax, then present your point.
        You’ll now be statistically less likely to die early of a heart attack, with the added side effect of being able to communicate with all those people who’d normally just write you off as an abusive asshole.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.3

      Shallow creepy arseholes with money have only ever appealed to other shallow creepy arseholes who would like to have money.

      Is that really how you perceive a large proportion of your fellow Kiwis – with a large degree of disdain and disrespect. No wonder they didn’t vote for the left.

  4. Foreign waka 4

    Coming back to the common women, the one on the ground working, raising kids and having no time in wallowing of politics of the day… they have not many voices in parliament really. Perhaps Metiria Turei, even if I think hard enough I cannot count any more having their vote counted to the benefit of women in general heard (or not?). Fact is that women still earn 30% less than men, that women still have the typical allocation of work division of Household, raising kids, holding down a job etc placed on them. And it is absolutely true that women in the workplace do not succeed as their male counter parts do because of the commercial value being zilch of having kids. Yes, you have some that may choose to go all out and have many, but by and large, professional women are being taken to the cleaners big time. So what is really so different between today and Penelope?

    • Tracey 4.1

      Ah but but but Ms Collins, many men and women and the young women of today say we are now equal, they couldnt be wrong could they, when they are in the majority

  5. Tracey 5

    By the way not just politics has been traditionally the bastion of men, so has voting.

    • Pete George 5.1

      Women have had the vote in New Zealand for 120 years.

      Proportion of non-voters by self reported characteristics.
      – Female 18.1% (2008), 18.5% (2011)
      – Male 19.2% (2008), 21.4% (2011)

      From Department of Statistics – Non-voters in 2008 and 2011 general elections: Findings from New Zealand General Social Survey presents reasons people gave for not voting.

      So not only were males less likely to vote the trend is even more that way as voting rates dropped.

      More women than men seem to be choosing to vote.

  6. batweka 6

    There is something faintly ridiculous about this wet-behind-the-ears lad shutting up the savvy, middle-aged Penelope. But it’s a nice demonstration that right where written evidence for Western culture starts, women’s voices are not being heard in the public sphere; more than that, as Homer has it, an integral part of growing up, as a man, is learning to take control of public utterance and to silence the female of the species.

    It’s the story of the patriarchy moving into adulthood. If you trace the stories, histories and mythologies from that time and before, there is a very clear shift over a millennia or so from stories where women are central, respected, empowered to stories where women were put in their place. This time period coincides directly with the shift into patriarchal society where dominance was established as the core organising structure and men were increasingly privileged within that.

    That’s broad strokes. If the patriarchy arose 5,000 years ago, really the transition was over a much longer period of time and varied from place to place. By the time we get to the Greeks (Homer writing 3,500 years ago?), we still have prominent, strong women in mythology, but the power imbalances are very clear. If you go back to the Sumerians 6,000 years ago, the mythologies show very different kinds of power relationships between women and men and women’s place in scheme of things.

    Go back even further and it turns out god was a woman 😉

    • batweka
      Good to hear a voice that approaches this subject from the history of patriarchy.
      Coming closer to home, patriarchy came much later to the South Pacific with the Europeans aggressive penetration of the region.
      My take on that is that the small island economies were not able to create a large enough surplus that could be appropriated by men as their power base as in Ancient Greece etc.
      Maybe this was already underway in Hawaiiki when Cook arrived, I don’t know.
      But in general the patriarchy had to wait until new technology including muskets enabled the island economies to become more productive and men to boost their dominant role in warfare.
      Add to that in NZ the settler families took land, set up as farming families, reinforced gender roles and imposed a strong class and patriarchal structure on Maori.
      At Waimate North for example the missionaries tried to reproduce an English country village with squires and Maori retainers.
      Most farms and small businesses have always been run on the patriarchal model.
      That has put its stamp on NZ culture as backward and benighted.
      So women have had a big fight for economic equality which shows up in a passive/aggressive masculine politics and culture.
      I think women made big strides as more of them took jobs alongside men in the workforce especially in the post WW2 period.
      Yet the basis of gender oppression in unpaid work remains so long as capitalism stagnates and denies workers of all genders, races, nationalities etc, full participation in politics and economic development.
      IMO the barrier to this is that capitalism cannot include the mass of the population in sharing in future growth because it is destroying its own economic base.
      Facing this bleak future the white ruling class patriarchy is consolidating its grip on power to defend its profits and privileges.
      Shonkey’s crony capitalists are mainly male patriarchs grabbing what they can.
      Adding women at the top to this mix won’t change it.
      Women who are oppressed as a gender and making up half of the working class will.

      • batweka 6.1.1

        “My take on that is that the small island economies were not able to create a large enough surplus that could be appropriated by men as their power base as in Ancient Greece etc.”

        Interesting, thanks. There is the theory that the patriarchy arose as a result of the shift from gatherer/hunter nomadic tribes to settled agricultural peoples 10,000 years ago and the resultant need to protect land and excess wealth/capital).

        That makes sense then about the smaller island economies, but also the fact that they are islands, which makes them geographically less vulnerable and less in need of armies to protect them.

        “Shonkey’s crony capitalists are mainly male patriarchs grabbing what they can.
        Adding women at the top to this mix won’t change it.”

        Depends on the women I think. We need radical women in power, and we need enough of them that they don’t have to give up all their radical roots. Turei is there, but I don’t know how isolated she is, or to what extent she has had to change to get to where she is.

        “Women who are oppressed as a gender and making up half of the working class will.”

        What do you mean there?

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          Depends on the women I think. We need radical women in power, and we need enough of them that they don’t have to give up all their radical roots.

          Great, a few radical women taking power then exercising that power over all those (men and women) without power. What an improvement on hierarchical patriarchy that’s going to be.

          • Scheherazade 6.1.1.1.1

            Being radical isn’t necessary a bad thing!

            This world needs a kick up the arse!

            • CATMAN 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Quite a talent you have for focusing on the least relevant words in a conversation and taking them out of all context. Anyone would think you’re doing it deliberately.

              • Scheherazade

                I am making a relevant point!

                But just because I am using the word ‘radical’ it shouldn’t be misconstrued as a bad thing, or that the idea of radicalisation is ‘wrong’, or that radicalisation needs to be done in quick succession- or by females only!!!

          • batweka 6.1.1.1.2

            “Great, a few radical women taking power then exercising that power over all those (men and women) without power. What an improvement on hierarchical patriarchy that’s going to be.”

            CV, that’s is not what I was talking about at all. I think you have your reaction against feminism thing running strong. Can you please take a step back and consider that you might not actually be understanding what I am talking about?

        • dave brown 6.1.1.2

          Yeah the stuff on the Pacific is drawn mainly from radical and marxist feminist anthropologists like Eleanor Leacock and Christine Gailey.

          What do I mean by the last sentence?
          Capitalism is stuffed, getting radical women into parliament cannot change that. Worse it diverts the struggle from what is necessary into what it futile.
          But women as workers (paid and unpaid) are at least half of the working class and can assert their radical cum revolutionary consciousness to bloc with their male counterparts to overthrow capitalism.
          Gender oppression will not evaporate as a result, but removing capitalism removes its main material support, and gender equality will be possible in a future communist society.

          • batweka 6.1.1.2.1

            “Capitalism is stuffed, getting radical women into parliament cannot change that.”

            I agree, but getting radical women into parliament changes the culture, and that enables other efforts to be more successful. I’ve long argued that the point of government currently isn’t to effect change, it’s to hold the line while the real change happens elsewhere. Then govt (or whatever replaces it) will follow. Having radical women in parliament is hugely advantageous in that situation. This is particularly true if the shit hits the fan fast and we are faced with attempted mass anti-democractic power grabs by the elite. Better to have the likes of Turei in there than the likes of some of Labour’s neoliberal lot.

            I don’t think this diverts the struggle. We need diversity of actions, including across class. Look at women like Laila Harre. It’s debatable whether she will be more effective inside or outside parliament. But parliament would certainly be a better place with her in there. Even just her voice in there for the next three years speaking out would have effected change (ditto Mana).

            But women as workers (paid and unpaid) are at least half of the working class and can assert their radical cum revolutionary consciousness to bloc with their male counterparts to overthrow capitalism.

            How about the males bloc with working class women?

            Until the Pākeha/Tau iwi left reach a better working relationship around gender it’s hard to see the bloc you envisage being effective. Women simply aren’t going to go back into that old system of privileges, and there are still too many men on the left not paying attention to this.

            I’m also unclear on how to politicise large groups of people including working class women.

            • dave brown 6.1.1.2.1.1

              I would agree about the role of radical women in parliament provided that they use their role to boost change outside parliament and independent of parliament.

              IMO talking about cross class alliances is dangerous because they end up with workers controlled by middle class or bureaucratic politicians. This is the impasse faced by Labour.

              I don’t see the Greens avoiding his impasse even with more women like Turei on board.

              On the other hand Mana may work in parliament because it has the nucleus of a working class movement outside that can grow and become independent of parliament.

              If Harre had not resigned as leader of the IP and worked to organise it and its collaboration with Mana, we might have seen her help build that movement independent of parliament.

              By working class women blocking with working class men, I mean that
              women have to “assert their radical and revolutionary consciousness” as a pre-condition for any bloc.

              Typically the blocs led by men do not have this level of consciousness, possibly because they (working class men) are still privileged (vis a vis working class women) under capitalism.

              This means that women with the least to lose and most to gain will take the lead.

              That I think is the key to politicising working men and women.

      • SHG 6.1.2

        patriarchy came much later to the South Pacific with the Europeans aggressive penetration of the region

        Speaking of masculine discourse….

  7. batweka 7

    Interesting that PG wants this to be a thread about John Key, not about women’s voices in politics and society.

    It’s a very good post karol, I hope more people manage to discuss it.

    • Pete George 7.1

      That’s a stupid comment, you’re making things up. The thread cam obviously be about wherever anyone wants to take it. I was responding to other’s takes on aspects of it.

      A key question to ask is do women generally want to have a voice in politics or play a part in politics?

      Has any research been done on whether most women want a voice in politics? Or whether women prefer women to represent them or not?

      I’d like to see good representation of women by women – and the nature of our politics needs to change more to accommodate this better – but not at the cost of competence and effective governance.

      • tricledrown 7.1.1

        Channeling Dunne again.
        Pete can you please have some original though please.
        Othewise less is more.
        You must live a very boring life.

        • Pete George 7.1.1.1

          And you’re making things up too. I’ve had virtually no contact with Dunne for over a year, and then it was minimal.

          I post what I think and what I want to say. What about you? Who are you channeling? Your lines here aren’t very original are they.

        • Tracey 7.1.1.2

          more like tony abbott

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        🙄

      • batweka 7.1.3

        “That’s a stupid comment, you’re making things up. The thread cam obviously be about wherever anyone wants to take it. I was responding to other’s takes on aspects of it.”

        So says the Man in a thread under a post written by a woman about women’s voices in politics and how they’ve been historically suppressed. You really are thick personified Pete.

        The rest of your comment is interesting for what it says about you and women’s rights, but strikes me as better material for KB.

        • Tracey 7.1.3.1

          not thick, but lacking self awareness perhaps.

          his responses had me biting my tongue and largely reaching for an emoticon

          • The Al1en 7.1.3.1.1

            But good job you’re better than that 😉

            • Tracey 7.1.3.1.1.1

              whatever you say TA…

              Enjoy the article?

              • The Al1en

                It was a compliment.

                And yes, I did enjoy it. Good on you.

                I wouldn’t have ever voted for Thatcher, not because she was a woman, but cause she was a horrible human being.
                I wouldn’t vote for key, not because he is a man, but for the same reason.

                I don’t care about positive discrimination, as some call it, when quotas are bought in to the debate, in fact I remember advocating for a quota here like in Norway? (could be Denmark) to increase the number of female directors on company boards to 50% because the results were spectacularly successful.

                Of course with politics and politicians, no point having extra of any sex if they’re like collins or cosgrove for example.

                • Tracey

                  then thank you.

                  pg’s passive aggressive grinds my wheels and sadly i start seeing “tone” that isnt there.

                  in terms of the history of political structures, both overt and covert, women have been allowed through the door only so briefly in comparisson to human history, and many of the barriers, so eloquently expressed by Beard, still exist below the surface

                • Tracey

                  and the article isnt really, imo, about getting more women into parliament per se, but enabling female political vouces to be heard, not just as MPs

                  • The Al1en

                    Sure, per se, but if the game won’t change, change the players until it does.

                    • karol

                      Yes, it’s about the culture, which largely still is portrayed as “a game” by the MSM, and it is maintained by the behaviour of the majority of politicians. Women politicians (and voters) learn to operate within that game, as with the reference in my post to women leaders adopting lower voices, etc. my post is not about quotas.

                      On voter behaviour, there is a lot of research about how women tend to accept masculine dominated culture, more than men accept any challenges to it – women can thus be quite complicated in accepting masculine culture, while also having more conventionally “feminine” responses.

                      The article PG referred to is interesting for a couple of points.

                      There were no gender differences shown in reasons for voting National in 2011, “at first sight”. But going deeper, women tender to favour National more because of their policies – though that opens a can of worms, given that National gave the barest outline of policies, and sold them with a lot of spin.

                      Towards the end of the article, it also says that, in Aussie and NZ, when, given a choice of a female PM (Clark and Gillard) women were more likely to vote for their party – even when, in both cases, there had been no previously visible gender differences in voter choices.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Karol:

                      Are you saying the recognition that game theory is useful in politics is purely a male observation?

                      Or that since it is still a male-dominated game it still favours masculine strategies?

                      Or some other thing I haven’t grasped?

                    • karol

                      Treating it as a game, including applying “game theory”, has a strong traditionally masculine undercurrent, IMO.

                    • The Al1en

                      Obviously read what you want in to it, but ‘the game’ as described by me really isn’t anything much more than a figure of speech. I certainly wouldn’t be attaching masculine feminine labels, but each to their own I guess.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Karol.

                      Is the application of game theory a male trait?

                    • karol

                      To me, game theory has traditional masculine qualities.

                      As I mentioned in the post, there are good and bad consequences of the dominance of masculine culture.

                      I see game theory as being about strategies and how decisions come to be made. To me that fits in with treating politics as a game, which foregrounds strategy.

                      Of course, political candidates and parties need to have their strategies and strategists. My concern is that this seems to dominate politics, especially at election time, and especially in the MSM.

                      This means that the most significant parts of politics tend to get marginalised: ie policies, principles, how they will most likely be put into practice, and how these will impact on society and the lives of people who live in them.

      • Scheherazade 7.1.4

        “A key question to ask is do women generally want to have a voice in politics or play a part in politics?”

        Well it is vital for woman to play a roll in important decisions, in NZ and on the world stage. But like most politicians it’s the wrong people with the wrong ideas that get into power. Most people who steer towards politics are usually power-hungry power-obsessed psychopaths, who spend most of their time trying to please big business, than serving the people of their country. And it’s no different with woman; you can hardly say Judith Collins is in government to make NZ a truly better place- she doesn’t give a shit. And it’s hardly surprising at all that it is her name and Key’s that keeps popping up in regard to Cameron Slater. Gross!

        To be perfectly honest if you want to make a difference in this world, it’s best to stay out of politics. If you are a decent humane inspirational person who SERIOUSLY wants to make a difference, your best bet is to go entrepreneurial or to create your own organisation or charity and be your own boss. A win/win.

        Good people in politics get nowhere, their voices are drowned out in the house and they just end up sidelined, downtrodden and then kicked out. It’s bullshit!

        Hone Harawira wanted the ‘feed the kids bill’ he is just dreaming going up against National. But Kidscan they just started up their own organisation from scratch, from an inspirational idea and now they are kicking arse (with nationwide support and primetime media support)- that is what inspiration truly looks like and that is how you truly make a difference. You don’t need the government for anything if you are determined to make a difference in this world.

        I use to wonder why the Maori party even created a party, jeez if I was in charge I would build a building independent of the government and just start up a completely separate Maori Government altogether, focusing on everything the NZ government were ignoring. The NZ government couldn’t close it down; the Maori’s have a right to have their own government just as Scotland does.

        And it is obvious woman need a prominent role in decision making in world affairs, but woman can be strong and powerful without turning cutthroat, woman need to stay nurturing and empathetic, it is vital that woman stay ‘feminine’ in this masculine world. As the balance between the two sexes is what you need to restore equilibrium. The world needs a strong feminine force in conjunction rather than another female masculine force (on top of our already masculine world), what the hell would that solve? Nothing!

        Woman turning into men solves nothing, and it doesn’t help ‘woman’ in general!

        • Tracey 7.1.4.1

          Beard addresses part of what you are describing as the effective silencing of people by belittling them and grinding them down til they just go silent…

        • Foreign waka 7.1.4.2

          Your motion is admirable but countries and indeed the world is being run by politicians, for better or worse humanity has not yet come up with a better way of representation. This of cause is the point in question- representation. Men, getting a far bigger share of the economic pie do indirectly share this with their women and kin. This seem to be subconsciously accepted as a norm as it reflects long obsolete animal patterns. Now, this maybe the reason that the systems in place are so inadequate and outdated. I suspect that men are not necessary keen to share power either.
          However, reality shows us that many men actually do not support their partner and children anymore, sometimes its even the other way around (I personally do know cases like that).
          If we look at societies today that are closer to the way structures were in place a few thousand years ago, we see the treatment of women so appealing it leaves me speechless- day to day events such as stoning, honor killings, acid baths etc. This reflects the attitude of subjugating women. Maybe we have moved on but that does not mean that the disparity has been resolved or indeed an emotional distance to the aforesaid attitude has been achieved.

          • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.4.2.1

            Your motion is admirable but countries and indeed the world is being run by politicians, for better or worse humanity has not yet come up with a better way of representation

            Countries are not run by politicians. Those politicians rarely represent the views of the general populace. I thought that would be clear by now.

            • Foreign waka 7.1.4.2.1.1

              Yes, in the minds of many but not in the powers structures of the few. And lets not forget, its men who run the planet. Not very successfully as it seems.
              That you focus on this sentence and not on the general zest of my comment says more than a 1000 words.

          • Scheherazade 7.1.4.2.2

            We have only been in the modern world for a very short duration, and woman are already taking vast leaps in the evolutionary climb, especially compared to 100 years ago, and especially in the western world. Obviously some men don’t want woman to take an active role in politics, business and world affairs but eventually everyone evolves, it’s just the way it is.

            Things are changing. Men will no doubt always have a more active role, than woman, in politics, business and world affairs because woman give birth and raise children, and that is the natural role of the female- but in the modern era woman have more choices- there are woman who will not have children who will have careers instead and there are woman who will do both- have careers and raise children.
            Woman who raise children only are very commendable, but not all women raise their children properly. Woman who have careers are also commendable and inspiring but not all of these woman are legitimate decent role models, just because a woman has a high-flying career she can still be shallow, artificial and twisted. And woman who have a career and children, are slightly selfish, ‘especially’ if they go straight back to work after having a baby, what’s the point of having children if you aren’t going to mother them, especially in the first five years, it’s ridiculous!

            Yes it’s hard for woman, as they do deserve to have an active role in politics, business and world affairs, damn right they do, there are some pretty savvy clever woman out there that are urgently needed!

            Anyway women aren’t perfect and men aren’t perfect, and yes men are threatened by woman and woman want to become men, it’s just how it is. But eventually in time men will feel less threatened by woman, once they realise that woman actually don’t want to take over the world, they just want an active part in it, and eventually woman will realise they don’t need to act like men in order to reach the top, woman are natural in politics, business and world affairs anyway (woman are very lateral minded and are very good at problem solving). The more woman enter the workforce and demonstrate their intelligence eventually they will infiltrate the man’s world, it’s just the way it is.

            And the modern world is great because there are always options for everyone!

            • tricledrown 7.1.4.2.2.1

              Sharade what a total load of bollocks men also raise children!
              You are a traditionalist dinosaur!

              • Scheherazade

                No I’m not I’m a realist.

                I knew this was going to come up, of course men can raise children, but they can’t breastfeed, nothing like being in your mother’s arms. When a baby grows inside a woman, the connection begins, the bonding experience is cemented, the mother connects with her child and she automatically becomes alert, through her senses to all her baby’s needs, therefore the mother is automatically in-tune with her child and can later relate with her child- especially as a baby. And because females give birth they are maternal creatures by nature, it is in their DNA.
                As a child I loved my parents equally but hugging my mum made me feel much more secure.

          • gsays 7.1.4.2.3

            “…we see the treatment of women so appealing it leaves me speechless…”

            i do hope that apalling has been spelt incorrectly in this sentence.

            • lprent 7.1.4.2.3.1

              I presume you meant ‘appalling’ rather than something to do with corpses. ‘apalling’ sounds like a process mostly used in zombie movies.

            • Foreign Waka 7.1.4.2.3.2

              Your are right, my apologies. It do hope it is clear by reading in context that is appalling that was the right word. My point hopefully has not been negated by this mistake. It makes such fantastic excuse for man to carry on…

      • Jenny Kirk 7.1.5

        To your two questions PG – yes, and yes. Research has been done in NZ on this subject by women since the 1970s. Go and find some out for yourself ……

      • Murray Rawshark 7.1.6

        “I’d like to see good representation of women by women – and the nature of our politics needs to change more to accommodate this better – but not at the cost of competence and effective governance.”

        Idiot. we have how many members of parliament? 120 or 121? You seem to automatically assume that there are not at least 120 capable and competent women in the country. Therefore men like you and Dunne need to step up, because sisters can’t do it for themselves. FFS, given the trash males we elect, we’re already running the country at the cost of competence and effective governance.

        • phillip ure 7.1.6.1

          “..given the trash males we elect,..”

          ..aye..!

        • greywarshark 7.1.6.2

          This from Pete George.
          “I’d like to see good representation of women by women – and the nature of our politics needs to change more to accommodate this better – but not at the cost of competence and effective governance.”

          Patronising little fart. Pat women on the head, from a male superior standpoint further up the ladder. Women can manage the sort of crap that comes out of politics all right. They might not have all the nous to do all the private top jobs, but given the opportunity and experience they would be in the running for them.

        • Pete George 7.1.6.3

          That’s an idiotic comment Murray. I’m not assuming anything like that.

          There are thousands of men and women who would make better MPs than most of the current lot, but the problem is they prefer not to stand, they decide they have other things they would rather be doing.

          No one can make them stand,

          So we need to make Parliament a more positive co-operative place of Governance, with a few tweaks to improve the democratic processes. to encourage more capable, more positive and more co-operative people to want to take part, both directly and indirectly.

          A less combative, more positive and co-operative environment should encourage more capable women to stand. The gender balance should then work itself out rather than being imposed artificially.

          And a better Parliament will encourage more people to vote, or at least discourage less from voting as is happening now.

    • Tracey 7.2

      thought that too. i dont think he is at his best on anything deeper than shallow

      • Pete George 7.2.1

        “i dont think he is at his best on anything deeper than shallow”

        An interesting comment given most of your contributions on this thread.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          At least I read the article before commenting…

          Go on Pete, tell your lie now.

        • tricledrown 7.2.1.2

          Tracy are you saying PG is a Budgey brain.
          I think PG parting of his heir apparent
          PG is now a fanboy of the crony Key cult of which he has toupee homage!

          • Tracey 7.2.1.2.1

            you may have missed the australian minister for women’s recent comments on his biggest achievement for women.

  8. Pete George 8

    Research carried out at Victoria University has found little difference in how men and women cast their party vote at the 2011 New Zealand general election, except in the case of one political party.

    Dr Hilde Coffé from Victoria’s School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations has found that substantially fewer women than men supported New Zealand First in the last election, but there was little gender difference in votes for other major parties.

    Dr Coffé says having similar numbers of men and women voting for National and Labour in 2011 shows that New Zealand is bucking the modern global trend of women being more likely to support left-wing parties.

    “My analysis of men’s and women’s positions on policy issues showed that women assign a greater role to government than men do, in areas such as providing a job for everyone who wants one, decent living standards for old people and the unemployed, and free health care for everyone.”

    But, she notes, despite holding these typically left-leaning policy positions, New Zealand women still did not favour Labour more or National less than men did.

    “Among other aspects, I analysed the ‘John Key factor’, to find out whether support and sympathy for the Prime Minister specifically as leader could resolve this puzzle. This turned out not to be the case—in fact, women and men were found to be equally supportive of John Key as Prime Minister and the rationale behind party preferences turned out to be quite similar for both men and women.”

    From New Zealand women buck global voting trend

    So no apparent gender preference for Key.

    It appears that most women and men tend to vote on things other than gender.

    • batweka 8.1

      🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

      That’s at least four tries to make this about Key and/or the topic of Pete’s choice rather than what karol wrote about 🙄

      • Rosie 8.1.1

        I’ve said this till I’m blue in the face but I’m going to say it again.

        I really really really wish Standardista’s wouldn’t rise to PG’s bait. Many have acknowledged his tr**ling ways but still buy into it and get into a massive long debate, that they know isn’t genuine. Folks, you know it’s a game, so why play it? Is it a secret pleasure? It’s no secret however, that the thread take overs are a very annoying distraction from the flow of discussion about a topic.

        Honestly, I’ll soon be wearing out the scroll wheel on the mouse, if this continues.

        • batweka 8.1.1.1

          Rosie I agree, but the problem is that only works if everyone does it.

          By the time I arrived in the thread, PG was already pushing the discussion in the direction of John Key, and it felt like such a great post that I couldn’t let this pass without comment. In hindsight, maybe I should have left PG’s name out of it and simply expressed hope that people would look at what the post was about and comment on that. But that wouldn’t have stopped Pete, and I’m pretty sure that people would have just kept replying to him

          • Karen 8.1.1.1.1

            My heart sank when I he started posting on the Standard again. I never respond to anything he has written, but others do and scrolling through comment threads has become more arduous.

            I remember feelings of great joy when he was banned on here a while ago, and again when it happened on Public Address. Please let it happen again.

          • George Hendry 8.1.1.1.2

            @ Rosie, Batweka and Karen –

            At last a place where this crucial question is addressed.

            When faced with the problem I might refer to comments by a troll but not address them directly. Like the pinch of salt in a recipe which is meant to bring out the flavour of the other ingredients, the pinch of troll can be used to illustrate the superiority of the rest of the comments.

            Pure trolling (not mixed with abuse, which would hopefully be moderated out) seems to have the effect of causing other contributors to raise their game and as a result more cogent points get made. I would cite Gosman as an example of the ‘pure’ troll who remains calm, allowing an analyst of his style to focus on spotting the logical flaw which is usually there.

            Thanks Karol for your post, which has prompted the high quality of most of the comments. To them I would add that the term ‘shrill’ when applied to a comment eg by the Greens, clearly seems to be part of the meme (is that the correct word?) of belittling (is that another similar example?) comments made in a higher-pitched voice.

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.2.1

              yes @ shrill

              i too try to address others rather than PG directly. Today I failed

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1.2.2

              Strident, screeching, shrieking, squawking, squealing, brassy, hissing, harsh, piercing, angry, discordant.

              As for the internet equivalent of tic-tac-toe, the only way to win is not to play.

          • Rosie 8.1.1.1.3

            No worries weka- batweka. I wasn’t aiming my comment at you solely or personally. I should have made that clear. My comment was directed to all of those who engage with him. I can understand what you are saying about why you did engage with him this time though. Sorry for not being clear, you would not have felt the need to explain otherwise.

            Funnily enough, to be fair to Pete, he’s not the only one who didn’t read Mary Beard’s lecture, I didn’t either, I just read karol’s post. (See my response to Tracey at 9.3.2) so I’m not as on topic as I should be 🙂

            I’ve probably been a bit over the top in expressing my frustration at his return, or rather my frustration at the disruption in the flow of conversation as a result of his return. I should be able to ignore it but can’t seem to. I do more reading of this site than I do commenting, therefore often just give up and close the site when there’s a PG buzz going on. I’m sure other readers struggle with it too.

            I agree that if the PG behaviour were to be curbed everyone who does engage with him with would need to collectively agree to pull back from such engagement, and that isn’t a reasonable expectation.

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.3.1

              but you werent deliberately making it about you at the expense of karols post and Beards lecture

            • batweka 8.1.1.1.3.2

              Thanks Rosie. I didn’t feel anything at me personally 🙂 I’m as frustrated as you are, however where we might disagree is that I think PG is wholly a force for undermining what happens here and I don’t think anyone is overreacting in their frustration.

              I also haven’t read the Beard lecture yet. I don’t think reading it is essential to understanding what karol was saying. Tracey’s suggesting to Pete that he read the lecture I took to be because he obviously didn’t understand the post by itself and the lecture might clarify. But the issue is that PG wanted the thread to be about him, and he wanted to talk about Key or about whether women really want a voice in politics anyway, but ultimately it’s all about PG. As it always is.

              • Rosie

                Cheers Tracey and batweka.

                Incidentally, I do intend to either listen to or read the Mary Beard lecture, it’s a topic I’m very interested in. I just have a Shonagh Koea novel I need to read and return to the library – and time’s running out………

                Here’s to the day when PG gets another ban. Turning up on Christmas day for a tr**l was particularly poor form.

                • Lily

                  Yes time is running out- witnesses are moving, dying and disappearing!!

                  [RL: Deleted. Not suitable for this site.]

                • Pete George

                  You may have missed the first part of Mary beard’s lecture.

                  I want to start very near the beginning of the tradition of Western literature, and its first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’; telling her that her voice was not to be heard in public.

                  Do you see the irony?

                  Do you think reversing the gender bias to ‘shut up’ is a good way to address the problem?

                  • weka

                    Yes I do. Where men dominant the discourse one of the really useful things would be for them to shut up and listen.

                    But that’s beside the point. You’re not being told to shut up, you’re being told to go away because you are incapable of changing your behaviour. Were you a child you would be shut out of the room by now.

                    • Pete George

                      I ‘listen’ far more than I comment.

                      What behaviour do you think I am incapable of changing?

                      Has my behaviour here been significantly worse than anyone else’s?

                      [karol: I am watching. If this thread continues to be about you, PG, comments will be moved to open mike.]

                    • weka

                      Shut up Pete.

                  • McFlock

                    Apart from the fact that Penelope made a reasonable contribution and was told to shut up because she was a woman.

                    You bleed all the interest and value out of a discussion and are told to shut up because you bleed all the interest and value out of a discussion.

    • Tracey 8.2

      Read Mary Beards lecture Pete. You are missing the main point and maybe disrespecting karol by doing so.

    • Pete George 8.3

      Karol, I attempt to contribute to discussions like anyone else. It’s not hard to see who tries to make it about me, and it’s generally not me. I respond to just a few of the comments that make it about me.

      If you moved any comment that made it about me rather than points being made in the discussion it may improve the thread immensely.

      [karol: I attempted to move this and subsequent comments using my tablet in my break at work – didn’t think it’d worked, but in fact, it looks like it did – from “if the voice fits?”, thread.]

      • Sacha 8.3.1

        Great moderation. Onya

      • cricklewood 8.3.2

        Pete, with all due respect you have been meet with a rather hostile response across a number of reasonably prominent political blogs from both sides of the spectrum. Have you ever considered that it is in fact your commenting style contributing to the hostility. Personally as a reader of blogs on both sides of the spectrum it does irritate me somewhat that you pop up with a cut n paste comment across multiple blogs with regularity. Spray and walk away if you will… and then to find you complaining about ‘treatment’ at one blog on another is irritating to say the least.
        Perhaps its time to have a look at how you operate across all the blogs before crying victim.

        • Pete George 8.3.2.1

          I think you’re wrong about “you pop up with a cut n paste comment across multiple blogs with regularity”. I occasionally do something like to see what opinion is on different blogs but not often. And why shouldn’t I? What’s your problem with it?

          “Spray and walk away if you will” – really? I get complaints if I engage, and complaints if I don’t.

          I do what I choose to do, as do many others on blogs. Why just point your finger at me? Most “disruption” isn’t me. If I wanted to disrupt I could do a lot better/worse.

          I know there’s some who would like me to disappear. I choose not to be harrassed off. Perhaps others need to look at how they operate. Or maybe deep down they appreciate an excuse to execute their pettiness.

          EDIT: I tried to reply to cricklewood but doesn’t work.

          • phillip ure 8.3.2.1.1

            10 ‘i’s in such a short comment..

            ..(but it’s not all about him..)

            ..and the subject accusing others of ‘pettiness’..

            ..does he not know that the ‘p’ in ‘p.g.’ stands for ‘pettiness’..?

            ..as in ‘pettiness george’..?

          • Sacha 8.3.2.1.2

            Pete, expecting reasonable standards of discourse is hardly ‘petty’. As others have said, when you get banned from a variety of blogs, the common factor is you. You are obviously really keen on politics but please reflect on how you engage with others. I embrace differences but like most people I have limits about what I will put up with in a voluntary community like this and other forums.

            Can I ask do you find the response any different in face-to-face forums? Do the body language and verbal tone help you read the situation better? Us aspies often struggle with such things. Nothing personal.

            I admired the literal moderation from the other thread to this one. You’d appreciate that, right?

            • Pete George 8.3.2.1.2.1

              “Can I ask do you find the response any different in face-to-face forums? Do the body language and verbal tone help you read the situation better?”

              Much better face to face. I think that’s at least as much to do with others reading me as me reading them, that always works both ways. And in person you tend not to get anonymous/pseudonymous bravado.

              “I admired the literal moderation from the other thread to this one. You’d appreciate that, right?”

              I think Karol has done an admirable job moderating on and from that thread. I thought her post raised good points interesting and I was interested in exploring aspects of it but chose to moderate my input.

              • Sacha

                Thank you for that response.

              • batweka

                “And in person you tend not to get anonymous/pseudonymous bravado.”

                I’ve worked in groups a lot and and if you’d been behaving in any of those groups like you behave here, there’d be people telling you off just like they do here. Nothing to do with IDs.

          • batweka 8.3.2.1.3

            “I know there’s some who would like me to disappear. I choose not to be harrassed off. Perhaps others need to look at how they operate. Or maybe deep down they appreciate an excuse to execute their pettiness.”

            Yes, because everyone else, across multple blogs is wrong, and you are the champion of free speech and standing your ground. Either that or you’re the Arch Trole of the NZ political blogosphere 🙄

        • greywarshark 8.3.2.2

          @ cricklewood and sacha
          Don’t think that what you have so intelligently suggested hasn’t been said before. Waste of your time. Nothing gets through – another silicon political type.

      • phillip ure 8.3.3

        @ aceding to the request from p.g..

        heh..!..

        ..a cluster at the end of the thread sounds like a plan…

    • vto 8.4

      Pete, I think you just have an unfortunate manner. A manner which goes in a different direction and speed than most here, hence the frequent cogjams. Makes it difficult, and makes others think you are being dishonest / deceptive / trol1ing / etc …….. but I don’t think you are – you are merely going along your merry way. If others don’t like what they read of yours then they shoul;d not engage.

      We cant all walk the same path at the same speed ………..

      [karol: moved from the “If the voice fits?” thread]

    • batweka 8.5

      Karol, I attempt to contribute to discussions like anyone else. It’s not hard to see who tries to make it about me, and it’s generally not me. I respond to just a few of the comments that make it about me.

      If you moved any comment that made it about me rather than points being made in the discussion it may improve the thread immensely.

      And here you are making it about you again.

      Plus telling someone else to do work to make up for your actions 🙄

      [karol: moved from the “If the voice fits?” thread]

    • batweka 8.6

      vto, it’s not so much PG’s style that is the troling (although there are definitely times when he does things deliberately so who knows). It’s his complete unwillingness to change despite multiple bans and having his disruptive behaviour pointed out to him many many times.

      He disagrees that he is doing anything wrong, and takes pride in being his own man (going his own merry way) despite the cluster fucks that causes here. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him engage in a real way with the criticism of what he does here.

      His behaviour is hugely disruptive and he refuses to take any responsibility for that. He cannot be so dimwitted to not understand the implications of that, so we are left to assume that he believes his right to behave however he wants trumps how that behaviour affects this community. That’s being a trole.

      [karol: moved from the “If the voice fits?” thread]

    • batweka 8.7

      “If others don’t like what they read of yours then they shoul;d not engage.”

      Which only works if everyone does it at the same time. And it’s not about what people read it’s about Pete’s behaviour. That’s what troling is, behaviour.

      [karol: moved from the “If the voice fits?” thread. I intended the warning about comments being moved, to be for anyone continuing to engage on the PG (off)topic. Maybe I should have been more clear on that.]

      • batweka 8.7.1

        [karol: moved from the “If the voice fits?” thread. I intended the warning about comments being moved, to be for anyone continuing to engage on the PG (off)topic. Maybe I should have been more clear on that.]

        thanks karol. I hadn’t taken it like that but had assumed that if/when you moved Pete’s comment the rest would be moved too. Sorry, I thought you could move a nested thread all in one go.

        • karol 8.7.1.1

          I only know how to move comments one at a time. But I thought the moved comments would slip back into their original nest once moved – seems they didn’t.

  9. Rosie 9

    Great post karol. Mary Beard is a joy to listen to, she’s refreshing, engaging and down to earth.

    This statement,

    “………The worst is the way debate in the House is treated as a competitive game. Too often performances are seen in terms of how much kudos they give the performer, rather than in terms of how much they contribute to the greater good of all of society.”

    reminded me of how Metiria Turei has many useful things to say in the house, that she backs up with data but how her words never get very far in the media, or if they do, they tend to be down played. The only time the media really focused on her this year was when Collins and Co had a go about her choice of clothing. Instead of being given the opportunity to talk in depth about Green Party Policy at any time outside of election campaign time she had to defend herself over trivial content (which she did in a tactful and graceful way and in contrast to Key’s often graceless performances in the house).
    As a female co leader of our third largest political party her voice seems drowned out where as the bawling men get the attention. I guess that’s good TV rating fodder though, blokes being shouty.

    • Tracey 9.1

      and of jeanette fitzsimons before her. I recall a debate which deteriorated many years ago. when it was her turn to speak, she quietly reminded people of the topic, its importance and that at that moment at a conference NZ was voting for environmental harm. she didnt make the news but I heard her on parliament radio.

      • Rosie 9.1.1

        Jeanette Fitzsimons is a treasure. A woman of great integrity and absolutely true to herself. Those qualities made her a fine leader. She is a good example of a woman who did not yield to the macho culture about her, but retained her personal power all the same. (see weka’s point below at 9.2).

    • batweka 9.2

      I think this is true of the GP in general too, because they take a less macho approach.

      It’s pretty clear that the more macho a woman can behave the better she will do in that system. That’s pretty sad and is one reason why it would have been better to set a 50/50 gender quota for women/men in parliament all in one go. Had we had a fast influx of women into parliament we might have shifted the culture. As it is, women are having to adapt to the macho culture or not survive, which means that by the time we get some kind of gender parity we will largely have the women there more suited to that system and the pace of change will be much slower.

      • Tracey 9.2.1

        and the idea that there wouldnt be enough women of the quality of at least the lowest performing male MP is laughable.

      • Karen 9.2.2

        I have also been impressed by Megan Woods’ performance in the house. Intelligent follow up questions that target the answer given rather than a predetermined followup question. She doesn’t play the shouty aggressive games.

        Remember all the slights against Helen Clark for not having children (not a ‘real’ woman), and then in her last term the snide remarks about nanny state for just about any new legislation. We never hear that term now, although there have been plenty of new laws passed that would have been given that label if Clark had still been PM.

        During the election debates Metiria would have to put her hand up to try and stop male leaders talking over her – Jamie Whyte continued to do so. In spite of this, I thought she did better than Russel Norman so it was great they took turns representing the Green leadership. However, I think the media still tend to treat Metiria as a deputy rather than a co-leader.

        • Tracey 9.2.2.1

          Because some men need to know who is in charge, cos they cant begin to imagine shared power, so to solve this dilemna for themselves, they default to the man, Norman

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.2.2

          The misogynist poison whispering about Helen Clark started long before her third term. I lost count of the number of people who once had a flatmate who dated someone who knew she was gay, as I lost faith in my “peers” not to believe utter drivel.

          • Tracey 9.2.2.2.1

            and “knew” she was with the woman who worked in her office… the apparent stalking of her husband to “catch” him out… now who was probably leading that smear… both my brothers and fathers “knew” clark was having an affair… just knew, when challenged by me replied “everyone” knows…

            key, bolger, shipley, all escaped such smearing

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.2.2.1.1

              A backhanded compliment to Clark. Bolger was widely compared to a potato, as I recall, especially in terms of his diction. If a potato could talk, though, would it too indulge itself with naive mimicry?

            • batweka 9.2.2.2.1.2

              “key, bolger, shipley, all escaped such smearing”

              As did Lange. Apparently it was an open secret that he was having an affair, the MSM certainly knew, but bascially nobody gave a shit because what does that have to do with his being PM and presumably it make a whole bunch of people look like hypocrites if they made a big deal of it? Am pretty sure that if Clark had been having an affair, even with a man, that would have been tantamount to treason.

            • Anne 9.2.2.2.1.3

              The misogynist whispering about Helen Clark began in 1980 by certain members of the Labour Party in the Mt Albert electorate (and a neighbouring seat) at a time when she was still just a nominee for the candidacy. It was part of a plot (for want of a better word) to try and stop her winning that candidacy. It didn’t work. Most of them joined the ACT Party in the 90s.

              There is a valid explanation why Helen’s voice is deeper than the average woman. As a child she was prone to serious throat and chest infections and in the end I think she had to have surgery. Her vocal cords were permanently damaged. Her political foes – including some in the media – were well aware of the origin of her low voice (she never kept it a secret) but it suited them not to mention it

              • Foreign waka

                Either way, I couldn’t have cared less. The top team Mrs Clarke and Mr Cullen were and still are unsurpassed in their effort to get the country and ALL its inhabitants onto a better plain.

                • Anne

                  Yes. And they will be remembered long after John Key and Bill English have disappeared from the history books.

        • phillip ure 9.2.2.3

          megan woods is a total star..

          • Colonial Rawshark 9.2.2.3.1

            A fabulous Shearer/Robertson supporter if I ever saw one.

            • phillip ure 9.2.2.3.1.1

              i don’t know her faction-creds..

              ..i am just going on my asessments from doing commentaries on questiontime..

              ..woods is one of the few labour people who national are afraid of..

              ..and she is the mistress of the follow-up question..

          • Murray Rawshark 9.2.2.3.2

            She is performing very well, certainly better than most. Hopefully her abilities will get some recognition and people will promote her rather than Jacinda. I realise she did support Robertson, but she doesn’t seem at all bitter at losing. Her voice is one that’s worth hearing.

    • Tracey 9.3

      I may be wrong but I felt Beard was discussing much more than female voices in parliament, she was addressing the dissuading from speaking out that goes on well before deciding whether or not to make such a decision as going into parliament.

      • Pete George 9.3.1

        Social media/blogs are one medium that should theoretically allow more female voices to speak out in politics. Do you think they do a good job of doing that?

      • Rosie 9.3.2

        I haven’t read the lecture karol linked to – once I saw how long it was and knowing I don’t have the time to commit to such an in depth topic this arvo. I’m merely skimming the surface, reflecting on karol’s statement at the beginning of her post and acknowledging Mary Beard in general, whose commentary in the past I’ve really enjoyed. She really is a breath of fresh air.

        I did have a glance of the content of the lecture, and see there is an option to listen to it. It looks fascinating and quite thought provoking, in regard to the history of the silencing of women’s voices.

        So you’re not wrong Tracey 🙂 It’s just that I haven’t got to the heart of karols post at all.

        • Tracey 9.3.2.1

          no probs rosie. karol has apllied it to politics but it is about public speaking of which political speaking is only one subset.

      • Jenny Kirk 9.3.3

        Mary Beard draws attention to what she calls the Miss Triggs situation, Tracey – definitely showing that its not just female voices in parliament but female voices anywhere who are trying to get some sense into whatever their executive/profession or whatever is discussing.

        ” It’s a well-known deafness that’s nicely parodied in the old Punch cartoon: ‘That’s an excellent suggestion, Miss Triggs. Perhaps one of the men here would like to make it.’ “​

        That is exactly the situation I found myself in, when in Parliament, and when talking about it to women friends afterwards, they – too – had their own anecdotes of putting forward ideas into professional discussions, and finding them totally ignored until a male colleague picked up the idea and put it forward as his own !

        So ….. finding the guys playing this sort of silly game, I used certain tactics to undermine it ie putting my ideas to certain friendly blokes before the meeting, so that they would be heard and discussed (and often agreed upon !) Unfortunately as Mary Beard would say this is just playing the blokes’ silly games and it shouldn’t be necessary to do so.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.3.1

          I raised Miss Triggs in a meeting once, many years ago, having just seen the cartoon for the first time, and then witnessing the behaviour first hand within days.

          It was met with a hostile and sullen silence.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    “Lend Miss Triggs some hairpins.”

    A good laugh always serves to drive the point home. What a great article.

    Thanks Karol.

  11. Pete George 11

    So should a solution, or at least an improvement, be sought?

    I don’t think it’s just a problem that females have. I think a significant proportion of males don’t like the negative antagonistic version of political discourse that is still prevalent. A male MP tried to address it in parliament with a Member’s bill (Ross Robertson, now retired) which had some supporters but it never got drawn. It shouldn’t need a bill to set better standards.

    It’s a wider issue than Parliament although that’s where examples are set. So that’s where I think it’s best addressed. Better standards of behaviour from the top (and that means from the Prime Minister and major parties) should filter down – but it should also be the aim of political blogs that care about it too.

    I know some MPs from different parties support better standards. The new year is a good time to encourage and promote it a drive for improvements.

    That will make Parliament and politics less intimidating and more inclusive of female values – and better male values.

    So who’s interested in a campaign to improve our politics?

  12. Ecosse_Maidy 12

    Politics was traditionally the bastion of male, blokedom. To an extent women politicans in this country still mimic the sterotypical blokey Punch & Judy verbal fist fights in parliament yet that’s their fault and mis informed choice in my opinion. There are politicans in this country like Annete King & others, whom refuse to bow to this stereotype and prefer to be judged on their merits, like Annete King and abroad Nicola Sturgeon SNP leader in Scotland, Leanne Wood leader of Plaid Cymru in Wales and more the world over and granted not enough.
    Yet women are gradually being judged on their merits to office and that’s the way it should be….Not a case of we need more equality…..then bitch about we have to bow to a male stereotype….Having our cake and eat it….wont solve this problem.
    Showing people & the world we can do a better job on merit will.
    Also the idea of PG All About Me, making out he is truly interested in this topic, before derailing it is bizarre….I am now having very bad mental images of PG Trips in a skirt… arghhhhh!

    • Scheherazade 12.1

      All people running a country need to be judged on merits, including men.

      • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.1

        We’re not in a society which is a meritocracy any more, and it is worsening by the year, not getting better.

  13. Ecosse_Maidy 13

    Totally agree……..

  14. SHG 15

    1 Timothy 2:12

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be silent.

    • Anne 15.1

      Well, “Timothy” was a right bigot from way back wasn’t he. 👿

      • SHG 15.1.1

        Those are the words of Paul the Apostle, speaking with divine inspiration from the Lord Himself.

        • Anne 15.1.1.1

          Yeah, well, “Paul the Apostle” and the “Lord Himself” were right bigots then.

          I’m just being facetious SHG. Guessed it was something like that, but being a non-believer couldn’t resist. 🙂

  15. A VOTER 16

    Key has no history of being An NZer thats his problem he is an international corporate stooge for the American political system
    If he knew the cost to this country of supporting his arrogance and that of his mate Sir Gerry to put them where they are today they would both do well to …. … and give our country back to the people
    Ive got no time for egocentric blow brains which they are

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