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Male privilege is a fragile thing

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, October 28th, 2022 - 22 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, greens, human rights, International, political parties, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, violence against women, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Golriz Ghahraman, who was born in Iran, wanted our Parliament to condemn the Iranian Government’s oppression of women’s rights.  If you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks you may not have noticed but there have been significant protests in Iran following the death of a young woman at the hands of police for the crime of not wearing a Hijab.

From Radio New Zealand three weeks ago:

The protests happening right now in Iran are the biggest the country has seen in years.

And they’re being led by women – publicly cutting their own hair and burning their hijabs.

Thousands are taking to the streets in mass demonstrations against Iran’s oppressive regime, following the death of 22-year old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September.

Amini was detained by the so-called “morality police” after being caught in public wearing her veil incorrectly – a willful decision by Amini to show her hair in defiance of the conservative standards for women’s dress enforced in Iran.

Amini was a Kurd and the suggestion is that the hostility from the Iranian forces was ethnic as well as gender based.

Unsurprisingly Golriz Ghahraman and the Greens have come out against what has happened.  From the Greens website:

The Green Party is calling for Aotearoa New Zealand to follow the EU, UK, and Canada by imposing sanctions and restrictions on the organisations and people responsible for ongoing human rights abuses in Iran.

“We in Aotearoa can support and help protect the brave Iranian activists who are fighting to bring meaningful change in their country, by imposing sanctions on the individuals and organisations responsible for violence against women and protesters,” said Green Party human rights and foreign affairs spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.

“When violence and oppression is systematically carried out by state governments, we as a global community have a responsibility to act in the interests of peace, democracy, and human rights.

“EU foreign ministers have frozen assets and banned travel by leading Iranian political and security officials; the UK has imposed sanctions on top ‘morality police’ figures and the whole organisation; and Canada has designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror entity, enabling fund to be frozen and travel to be prohibited.

“The women-led revolution in Iran is an historic struggle for women’s rights and democratic freedom, following the tragic murder of 22-year-old Masha Amini by the ‘morality police’.

“We must continue to use our freedom to raise the voices of Iranians fighting for women’s rights and democracy in the face of brutal violence by the Iranian regime.

This seems a perfectly appropriate response from a major party in a Western country that respects the rights of women.

Ghahraman proposed a Parliamentary condemnation of what happened.  Them things became very weird.

From the Herald:

Act is set to block a motion calling for a unified condemnation of Iran’s oppression of women’s rights unless Greens MP Golriz Ghahraman apologises for interrupting a speech made by party leader David Seymour in the House.

Seymour, who supports the motion and has criticised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for not being more vocal on the atrocities in Iran, says Act will not support the motion unless Ghahraman apologises for “smart-arse” points of order during one of his speeches or transfers the motion to another MP.

Imagine blocking condemnation of acts of violence against women because a woman upset you.

Ghahraman says she is shocked that Seymour would put his own feelings ahead of sending a message of support to New Zealand’s Iranian community and those protesting the oppressive regime on the ground.

“I’m genuinely shocked that after we’ve seen a 22-year-old woman die of brain injuries, that we’ve had 300 other peaceful protesters be murdered, countless others have been detained, that a New Zealand parliamentarian would put his personal feelings ahead of standing for those victims.”

I am not sure what speech Seymour is referring to although it may be this one where Golriz contested a number of things that Seymour said on the basis they were wrong.

Nanaia Mahuta eventually moved the resolution that was agreed to unanimously.  I presume that Seymour did not back down.

Male privilege is a fragile thing.  Especially when a male vetoes a statement of principle because a progressive woman was mean to him.

22 comments on “Male privilege is a fragile thing ”

  1. roy cartland 1

    It's a statement to those he hopes to work with after his time in parliament. Something he can point back to when he 'deals' with regimes less interested in women's rights than moneymaking.

    • roy cartland 1.1

      Not just the usual suspects either, like Iran, Saudi, Hungary, etc. The current US population could have a significant sympathetic bloc who would see this kind of behaviour as a virtue. And perhaps the UK would follow, as usual. Wouldn't be surprised if a faction materialised in Aussie, then we'd follow too.

  2. KJT 2

    Mystery why anyone would vote for the delusional and arrogant twerp.

    Mind you the media generally refrain from detail on ACT's policies.

  3. alwyn 3

    "Mystery why anyone would vote for the delusional and arrogant twerp".

    Indeed it is. However 2261 people did. Mind you, when the leader in the electorate field was Michael Wood almost anyone could get a few votes.

    Seymour on the other hand got 19,500.

    • KJT 3.1

      The "the delusional and arrogant twerp", is Seymour.

      But then, you knew that.

      Scary that there are even 19 500 stupid enough to vote for him.

      Only consolation is that they are still a small percentage. Unlike those who voted for a similar fool, Trump, in the USA.

  4. Ad 4

    Neither Gharaman nor Seymour should apply for the diplomatic corps.

    Seymour is a dork but Gharaman too often fails to sound like she wants to defend New Zealand citizens or New Zealand interests.

    • Hanswurst 4.1

      […] Gharaman too often fails to sound like she wants to defend New Zealand citizens or New Zealand interests.

      Does that have anything to do with the topic at hand?

      • Ad 4.1.1

        2 NZ citizens under diplomatic negotiation in Iran, at the same time. Thankfully MFAT and Ardern government were in charge and put out the official release.

        • Hanswurst

          … and Ghahraman is calling for sanctions against Iran, which dovetails quite nicely with that, but doesn’t really make it relevant to the topic at hand. It's not Ghahraman's job to put out an official release. I don't understand how you could possibly get from any of that the idea that she fails to have NZ's interests, and those of its citizens, at heart, even if you squint really hard.

    • mpledger 4.2

      Examples, please.

  5. SPC 5

    The photo suggests Rimmer had a crush for Nikki Kaye.

  6. woodart 6

    seymour is a real snowflake. this is his version of cancel culture. he has only had one good policy introduced into law, but doesnt have the cojones to practice it.

  7. Leighton 7

    How pathetic to vote against a motion not for the substance but because of some sort of personal grudge against the person proposing it. Someone this petty does not belong in Parliament, much less (God forbid) as deputy PM.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    unless Ghahraman apologises for “smart-arse” points of order

    A matter for the speaker I imagine.

    Not very parliamentary language.

    Ghahraman should decline unless Seymore apologises for “dumb-arse” speech.

  9. See less shows his nastiness. A petty wee person.

  10. Ad 10

    New Zealand has sent billions of dollars to Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and they have some of the most corrupt dictators in the world. Oil dependence appears to give us dementia.

    Any party protesting our ties to that real moral bind?

    We could do the usual Morris dance and complain about Handmaids Tale conditions. But there's only 2 countries with a massive diplomatic lever over them, and of them only Iran accepts they deal may be worth it.

    Diplomacy must be left to do its job and this silly virtue-fanwave doesn't help anything.

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      The difference is the spontaneous call for reform.

      When a country is ready for something along the lines of a colour revolution, the least we can offer is our support. We should not underestimate the influence of such support – HART was evidently very heartening to the ANC. International support may hearten Iraqi women to achieve greater freedom from the excesses of manifestly immoral morality police.

      This is not us imposing our values, but supporting Iranian women against a regime which has failed to live up to its own values.

    • Hanswurst 10.2

      New Zealand has sent billions of dollars to Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia […]

      'Yeah, but what about…, what about…, what about?' Your seeming crusade to educate all the plebs by both-sides-ing or relativising every issue doesn't half result in a lot of hot air much of the time.

  11. Thinker 11

    Perhaps when David Seymour is Prime Minister in a landslide election next year, he can pass legislation negating the combination of women's rights and fair wages for employees in the same Act. Could be called "The Rich Old Boys Act 2023".

    And the four ACT MPs who are women would stand by him and applaud his libertarian values statement.

  12. Molly 12

    "This seems a perfectly appropriate response from a major party in a Western country that respects the rights of women."

    "Nanaia Mahuta eventually moved the resolution that was agreed to unanimously. I presume that Seymour did not back down.

    Male privilege is a fragile thing. Especially when a male vetoes a statement of principle because a progressive woman was mean to him."

    This government has cemented in male privilege by giving them the legal right to identify into the protected characteristic sex class of women:

    Helen Joyce clearly articulates the basic flaw of this:

    "… gaining recognition, legal and societal for exactly what they are not"

    I support the Iranian women for the pushback against the impositions and boundaries placed on them by simply being women. I support an official government announcement be given in this respect.

    I consider the actions of the Green Party, including Golriz Ghahraman and this government to be performative in this instance, because of their legislative actions here.

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