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Pull the other one… ponytails, minimisation and male privilege

Written By: - Date published: 5:48 pm, April 25th, 2015 - 407 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, blogs, broadcasting, corruption, discrimination, feminism, gender, john key, Left, news, patriarchy - Tags: , ,

One of the most disturbing things about the ponytail pulling fiasco is the vehemence with which the young woman at the centre of this storm has been attacked, and her situation minimized. It smacks of a deep level of misogyny and misunderstanding in our culture that, despite issue after issue, never gets addressed at a fundamental level.

Our Prime Minister not only can’t see how is ‘horsing around’ was way off mark, creating a power dynamic/imbalance that was impossible for a young woman to deal with on her own, but he has allowed her complaint and the fallout of it to be minimized to protect his own reputation, while having absolutely no qualms at all about his attack dogs destroying hers. And he is not alone in this.

The gossip columnist (and, surprise, surprise, mate of the PM) who manipulated the young woman into an interview, did so in a way designed to out her, shame her and silence her. It’s totally disgusting.

Mike Hoskings absolutely vomitus response, feigning pity for the café owners, was yet another piece of sickening theatre, again finger pointing at the young woman rather than the issue or the perpetrator of this power play.

Then, to top it off, we have the Minister of Women’s Affairs (yes, the fucking Minister of Women’s Affairs, for god’s sake, people!) coming out in cover-up mode for the Prime Minister as well.

There are also the online comments, proof (as if we needed it) that there is a deep seething underbelly of misogyny out there – and that issues of appropriateness, sexual intimidation, abuse of power and minimization of women’s complaints are not only misunderstood but carry no weight at all to a significant proportion of our population.

Take the heartbreaking coroner’s inquest we’ve seen this week, into the murder of the two children down in Dunedin. That poor mother was not only ignored when she reported breaches of the protection order, but they IGNORED the fact that she had been subjected to a 5 HOUR RAPE! I watched the police officer responsible giving evidence – impassive, covering his butt, no apparent remorse for what had eventuated beyond a trite apology.

It would be less disturbing if this was a one off case, but we have just had the Roastbusters’ report pointing out equally appalling police conduct and lack of action, clearly none of those involved understanding the core dynamics and issues of rape, abuse and inappropriate behaviour. Their default response is still to blame the victims and to minimize the crime.

Meanwhile, the Man Who Must Remain Anonymous, through some ludicrous manipulation of the justice system, not only walks free and is, by all accounts in the NBR, still being offered six-figure positions of responsibility. His victims want him named. I’m sure that those in his community want him named. It’s very doubtful the rest of his family don’t want him named. But he is protected – and, as a result, very serious questions about the conduct and attitudes of our most senior politicians must go unasked. From the outside this smacks of political manipulation and corruption – and it infuriates me that, using the premise of protecting the victims (when they want nothing of this) this man, and those who have supported him long after knowing of his crimes, is still walking around free. If that’s not bloody minimization what the hell is?

A few weeks back one of our most influential and knowledgeable rape prevention spokes-people, Dr Kim McGregor, was ousted from her job at Rape Prevention Education in a blatantly political move, clearly designed to shut her up after speaking out over situations like the Roastbusters report. As a result we have now lost one of the few true champions of women’s sexual rights, and prevention and protection education– and one of the few people who was actively working to educate people, young and old, about these issues. It’s just so damn disturbing.

I think one of the really awful parts is how the PMs supporters quickly frame any criticism or discussion of this kind in a political context – this person is a leftie, therefore they have no right to be taken seriously…. But here’s the thing, and it’s a simple trick we can all use to teach our kids so they’re not as plain out fucking ignorant as it would seem are a vast number of our population right now…. in situations like this ask: what is this person’s key position? Are they wanting to support someone? To be of help? Or are they merely covering their own or someone else’s butt? Other good questions to ask include: who has the most to gain from this? Who is making all the money? Is this person acting out of care or self-interest? And, perhaps, most of all, as Martin Luther King Jnr said, ask ‘WHAT IS THE MOST LOVING THING TO DO?’

Everyone I know who is activated to speak out does so out of a deep concern for their fellow human beings – this to me is the difference between those of us who keep harping on about human rights, compassion, sharing and generosity and those, like our current PM and his buddies, who look to the greatest profit for themselves.

407 comments on “Pull the other one… ponytails, minimisation and male privilege”

  1. Luke 1

    It’s this sort of shit that makes me want to take up the political flag and run.
    Already contemplating a few extra papers to go with my current study…

    Completely feel your anger there.

  2. Chooky 2

    Great Post …thanks!

  3. Marian 3

    You go, Mandy! I totally agree with all of this. And gutted to learn that Kim McGregor has lost her job. She’s such a wonderful voice for women.

    • weka 3.1

      What happened to Kim McGregor?

      Also missed the women’s affairs bit, anyone got a link?

      • mhager 3.1.1

        Here’s the link – apologies for not putting it on
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68007208/female-ministers-close-ranks-around-ponytailpulling-prime-minister

        Kim McGregor, it would seem has been ousted by new board members (doesn’t this tactic sound familiar?) – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11432130 – totally has to be political to shut her up.

        • Clemgeopin 3.1.1.1

          This is what I said yesterday about those female National cabinet ministers :

          “The valueless, dis-honourable, backside-protecting, gutless female National cabinet Ministers are closing ranks around John Key! None of them deserve to be re-elected again!”

          Abusive and creepy

          In fact, EVERY MP of whichever party and EVERY person, of whichever gender, of whatever political leanings, should all stop blaming the waitress and condemn Key for his highly inappropriate and despicable behaviour.

          You have written a powerful, heartfelt, very impressive, thought provoking excellent article, MHAGER.

          It is deplorable that there is a powerful group of people, some so called ‘journalists’, some crooked bloggers, some TV hosts etc that have been trying hard in the last few days to minimise the issue and are desperately spinning it by blaming the victim just because the perpetrator is a very rich man and is holding a powerful position.

          What the hell has happened to our country and its values of right and wrong?

        • weka 3.1.1.2

          Thanks Mandy. Gods, Louise Upton really is a useless piece of shill.

          Re Kim McGregor, do you think that the politics are from the RPE board directly? Or that their funding insecurity forced them to downsize, and the funding insecurity is a result of McGregor’s political work?

          • Mandy Hager 3.1.1.2.1

            Funding is no doubt the issue – the ultimate way to keep an organisation and its voices in check

  4. weka 4

    Your last paragraph is particularly spot on Mandy. Am very greatful for your voice these days.

    As for Key, my own belief is that he knows damn well about power dynamics, uses them for his advantage and pleasure, and all the rest is just PR management.

  5. A stunningly powerful post. Thank you.

    Because it is completely normalised, so many people seem utterly oblivious to the routine marginalisation of women and their concerns.

    That tells me that this is a deeply structural part of our country. It’s not ‘attitudes’ that need to change but, rather, the entire way we organise ourselves.

    Compassion and concentrated power don’t go together. Yet our world is all about concentrating power – so often in male hands.

    • ropata 5.1

      Mandy has written a great piece, and Puddleglum’s own analysis of the power dynamics and use of “humour” as a display of primate dominance is not to be missed.

      What a shameful day in the key regime, up there with dirty politics and Oravida. The sense of entitlement and privileged impunity under which these people operate is just as disgusting as muldoon or king dick seddon.

      The class system returns to NZ with a vengeance.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    There’s a lot of anger out there and I don’t think this is going to go away, in part because it legitimises the public harrassment of every woman in New Zealand.

    • Weepus beard 6.1

      I agree. For John Key to brush this aside as a bit of horseplay legitimises similar actions both within the workplace and outside it.

      For me it just confirms how out of touch with proper values this guy is. A rich and arrogant man’s prime minister.

      Well done New Zealand, we got what we deserved.

      • miravox 6.1.1

        I find it rather insincere as a form of apology to refer to playing with ponytails as just a bit of horseplay. He and his friends probably think that’s hilarious.

        • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          His friends remind me of Joost van der Van Van from Brotown. “Ya, that’s hilarious John.”

      • Unicus 6.1.2

        As was Key’s disgraceful explanation for Sabins resignation as being for “personal reasons” . Key and his cabinet are in full possession of the facts about Sabin . it is an utter abuse of power that they continue to withold from the public of New Zealand – for their own benifit- the true nature of the actions which led to this mans dismissal from Parliament

  7. Wayne 7

    MHager,

    In relation to your ninth paragraph, do you really think the New Zealand judiciary can be subject to political pressure of the type you allege.

    You are making a lot of assumptions about the facts of the case (perhaps you have inside knowledge – I certainly don’t), but I reckon anyone alleging political interference of the judiciary has to do more than make an assertion of that if they are to be credibly believed..

    • newsense 7.1

      It’s an angry post Wayne.

      If you look at what is being released about the world of Thatcher’s Britain and their cover ups and about the way this government has handled Simon Bridges breaches of the cabinet manual, as well as their handling of our spy agencies, why should it be on us to have knowledge in a situation like this?

      The government has shown us even when caught out they don’t admit crossing the line. They have shown us they attempt to and mostly succeed in shutting down people who do things they don’t like or things that inconvenience them.

      When our institutions are failing us, when political safety becomes more pertinent than rape or gambling harm it is on the police and the judiciary to show themselves not to be tools of the establishment through their actions and sunlight.

      If punishing those who contribute to New Zealand in ways which doesn’t fit a small National Party mission statement (I’m guessing drill, gamble, and holiday overseas) I hope there is a big correction coming for those at the top of the pyramid of the arrogant empire. If you look at the way the media hounded Winston Peters and dogged Helen Clark and the way you can’t tell the difference between a PR company and a Herald ‘reporter’ whose lists proudest amongest her skills is to be the gossip monger to the PM…

      well, somethings rotten, somethings dirty. Whitewash inquiries don’t wash.

      • Weepus beard 7.1.1

        Well said. An ordinary human response to a overtly political question.

        Wayne, we are sick of it.

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        a law commissioner and former minister with power to make things better for the mainly female victims of sexual abuse chose to comment on one tiny aspect of the post… god help every girl child alive today cos people like wayne wont.

      • Rob 7.1.3

        Yes while his behaviour is truely weird
        The way he has been defended by his friends in both Parliament and the media
        Nz Herald and TVNZ is even more concerning

    • Murray Rawshark 7.2

      I think there are members of the NZ judiciary who can be subject to political pressure. You’ve probably had a drink or two with them at the Northern Club. Paragraph 9 stands on the facts of the case. The suppression would not have been able to be dropped in the first place if the victims wanted it in place. There is nothing in the post that is assumption. What is written is either based on what has been published and knowledge of the law, or is the writer’s opinion.

      But yeah, thanks to a member of the Tory establishment for coming in and making it so obvious which side you’re on. Is it getting harder to defend your successors, or does it still come naturally?

      • weka 7.2.1

        I think there are other ways to interpret that paragraph than the outright judicial corruption that Wayne implies. Mandy writes about the person charged’s actions, not the judge’s. Judges are human and there are grey areas in interpreting law. The legal system favours those with the best lawyers, and thus usually the people with the most wealth. And yep, there is the networking that happens within circles of privilege. Everything is not either inherently pure or able to be corrupted with nothing in between, and it is misleading for Wayne to suggest it is.

        • Mandy Hager 7.2.1.1

          This is my point, not claims of judicial corruption, but of a system that allows those with power and money to hide from having to face the public outrage at their crimes

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1

            Justice, to be effective, must be swift and public. Name suppression is indeed a corruption of those principles.

      • Bearded Git 7.2.2

        My son just got a law degree and he told me they were taught that politics plays a part in legal decisions…..surprise surprise!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.3

        …based on what has been published and knowledge of the law…

        Knowledge of the law which apparently eludes a law commissioner.

    • Clemgeopin 7.3

      Wayne,

      Have you expressed your opinion here yet about Key’s women and childrens’ hair touching behaviour?

      If not, I am keen to hear your honest view about it as you often write defending Key and his government.

      Thanks in advance.

    • Stuart Munro 7.4

      Perhaps the onus lies with the government, to ensure it is seen to have clean hands.

      The Sabin suppression is extraordinarily politically convenient.

  8. Maui 8

    I really hope Key loses a lot of female support over this and so he should. What is scary is that some women who like the PM (maybe dues to his affability factor) seem to be just brushing it off as nothing. As a male, it feels awkward to point it out to them what it is – clearly sexist behaviour.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.1

      I hope he loses a lot of male and transgender support as well.

      • Barbara 8.1.1

        Yes Murray Rawshark, and what about Middle Eastern/Muslim males who live here – they will find his hair playing abhorant – female hair is treasured for them and not be to be seen in public by other men and certainly not to be fiddled and stroked like he has been doing – it has to be covered in public at all times – even the female Muslims in this country will be mightly put off by his behaviour – a big component of his voting electorate as Muslims are generally very conservative in their voting habits. Just another worry for him I should think.

    • Clashman 8.2

      Next time and every time you talk to one of those females, have a play with her hair. See if she still thinks its ok.

    • Bearded Git 8.3

      @maui Key only has to lose a few % of the women’s vote to be out on his ear.

      Which reminds me, Labour has to work out how to get the male vote back.

  9. Satiate me 9

    Err the analogies and conclusions drawn in this post need a lot of evidence to back up the assertions made. Comparing john keys pony tail pulling to the awful events in Dunedin, if not directly alluded too but made by narrative recognisance, is disgusting. It plays down the horrible actions of that psycho in order to make john key look worse, for no other reason than pathetic pathologic hatred

    [lprent: Seems perfectly reasonable to me. The continuum from “I can touch your hair whenever I want” to the police indifference to a woman and her kids being treated as property by a nutter to “You are my property, and if I can’t have you…” is a pretty straightforward one and unhappily well travelled by the obsessive creeps of this world far too often.

    Variations of this theme top the charts at any womans refuge. I’d suggest that you ask anyone who works or volunteers at in one. However your name and manner tends to indicate that you are one of creeps, and they won’t talk to you.

    But you probably know this already from personal experience. ]

    • Weepus beard 9.1

      No, it is relevant and the questions need to be asked.

      The sharp contrast illustrated is damning of the current government’s attitude toward women and children.

    • Anne 9.2

      You are a disgusting creep Satiate me. Misrepresenting the words to make them appear to mean something else. I hope you are permanently banned from this site. Indeed your chosen pseudonym pretty much says it all anyway.

      • halfcrown 9.2.1

        “I hope you are permanently banned from this site.”

        Although I agree with your sentiment Anne, I would not like to see him banned.
        I am all for letting the likes of these creeps to come on here and pour out their vile bile to make us more aware of some of the creeps that are out there. Also, lets face it there are many a bright cookie on here that can give very good responses, like you and lprent have just done.

  10. Sable 10

    I think we need something along this line for journos who don’t play by the rules:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flush-Rush-List-of-Limbaughs-sponsors/141865815823701

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    Maui – I overheard a couple of over 60 women saying they wished it would go away. Today I thought perhaps I should have just gone up and started fondling their hair to see how cool they were with that. However they probably wouldn’t have got the point and the police would rapidly have been in attendance.

    • Maui 11.1

      Haha, would have been a crack up!

    • weka 11.2

      I have no idea what that was about, but let’s try and remember that large numbers of women have been sexually assaulted, including as children, and for some of those women this whole issue will be a trigger for their own pain. For some women, wanting things to go away is the only agency they have in dealing with things. Probably esp true for older women whose assaults happened in times when none of this was talked about.

  12. Hi Satiate me,

    The post, as I read it, used the ponytail pulling to lead into a broader discussion of how women’s concerns are dealt with in this country.

    If you re-read the post you’ll see that the lead in to discussion of the Dunedin case was about the underbelly of misogyny demonstrated through online comments. That is, the Dunedin case was being looked at in terms of how that general misogyny can lead to extremely dangerous and even fatal outcomes for women.

    Far from being a “pathetic pathologic hatred” the post was a piece of powerful writing that broadens the discussion of the Prime Minister’s behaviour to include discussion of the culture within which it arose – and what that culture means for women.

    The fact that both John Key’s behaviour and the treatment by the police of the woman’s complaint in Dunedin are expressive of the same cultural tendency towards women is not Mandy Hager’s fault.

    It’s ours.

  13. I wonder how Upston feels about Key forcing her to look either incompetent or completely lacking in integrity. Still, if you work for banksters you needn’t expect to keep your dignity.

    • Given her previous defence of beauty pageants, and that the historic (even under Labour) drive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has been far more about “how do we get more middle-aged white women onto company boards of directors” than challenging rape culture or harassment, I suspect it’s no great stretch to waffle around this issue.

      /slightrant

      • adam 13.1.1

        Can we call the problem by it’s real name Stephanie Rodgers – calling it rape culture or harassment is not enough. It’s patriarchy, rape culture and harassment are just parts/tools of the patriarchal system which fundamentally work to keep men in positions of power. It’s these power relations based on deranged ideas that men are better because the have an outie, which create so many headaches/nightmares/living hell for society in general, and women in particular.

        It’s been a bloody awful few years, with this boys club in power. In this latest round of the boyish creepshow, when they rushed to protect their “man” – it just reinforces for me, the need to destroy patriarchy.

        I’ll leave the last word with Dorothy Day – as she is, as always – so right.

        “Our problem stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system”

        • Actually, I think calling it harassment or rape culture is important. A lot of people don’t even accept that the PM’s behaviour was harassment. A lot of people sneer at the whole concept of rape culture. Accepting that these things exist and are wrong is an important first step to accepting the entire concept of patriarchy.

          • adam 13.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough position – Stephanie. I worry that the whole issue of systems which empower bad male behaviour, are being ignored. How about a compromise – and let’s say patriarch more often?

            Alongside this, if the end message is not clear – that patriarch is the enemy – then it can get lost in the discussion. Look below – what a sublime level of irrationality displayed by some men on this thread. And these same men will call women all sorts of names to win an argument – again displayed below.

            Much of it is fuelled by the farce that we call the media. Propaganda manipulates with the emotions in us all – raw and ruffly as possible. And men need to wake up to the fact – they having their emotions manipulated to play power games over women.

  14. miravox 14

    I find it disturbing that Key seems to relate to young girls through their hair. If he’s got a fetish so be it, but keep it to himself – wigs in the spare bedroom or something.

    Anyway, it got me thinking about what Key could do instead of playing with little girls’ hair when he speaks to them. Which got me wondering if he asks little boys if girls pull their hair and do they try different hairstyles. Or maybe he asks them things like how do you like school, what’s your favourite subject, do you play a sport, did you see/read such and such, what do you want to be when you grow up, how did you travel to where you are today… you know, general stuff about living and getting on in the world. Little girls – he asks about hairstyles.

    There are so many things his media minders can advise him to try instead of focusing on their appearance, if anyone cared. Still, it’s setting girls up for what society values in women I ‘spose.

  15. Apologies for a repeat post, but in case people haven’t looked at “Pillock of the Week” recently, I’ve given some addresses where you can lay a complaint:

    I encourage everyone to make a complaint.

    TVNZ CEO , Kevin Kenrick:

    Kevin.kenrick@tvnz.co.nz

    The show itself:

    sevensharp@tvnz.co.nz

    The show’s principal sponsor is Rabobank:

    auckland@rabobank.com

    wellington@rabobank.com

    sydney.mediarelations@rabobank.com

    Ratings matter little, it is sponsors that count, so go after the sponsors as well. Make it clear that you hold Rabobank responsible as well and view the brand as toxic.

    It would be a good idea to explicitly link names with the words “sexual assault” in the email header or main body to drive home the message about how awful Hosking is and the message Rabobank and TVNZ are sponsoring.

    Hat tip to Giovanni Tiso.

    • Murray Rawshark 15.1

      My accumulated wealth isn’t a lot, but I sent this:

      To whom it may concern
      I will be returning to Aotearoa in the near future with my Australian superannuation and my accumulated wealth. I have been looking at which banks are socially responsible with their investments and sponsorships. I will not be considering Rabobank as long as you are sponsoring Seven Sharp with the misogynist Mike Hosking.
      Yours faithfully,
      Dr Murray Olsen

    • Karen 15.2

      Giovanni Tiso has also posted his complaint to TVNZ, which some may find useful when writing their own complaints.

      It is important to say Hoskings breeched Broadcasting Standards so that, if you are not satisfied with TVNZ’s response to you, you can then lodge a complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

      This is Giovanni’s letter.
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fnC6-futSvgi3tAiRGJzS4JdHAgv-IXV9lCQvwySoFE/edit?pli=1

      • freedom 15.2.1

        Hosking also failed basic journalistic standards with the misrepresentation of facts by saying it was a “singular incident” when the PM himself admitted Amanda’s details of multiple instances of hair tugging are correct.

  16. Vaughan Little 16

    this post looks at the serious problem of sexual abuse through the seriously fucked up glasses of feminism.

    honestly I’m not trying to troll, but I really do think there are massive problems with feminism. it alienates men outside the small but powerful liberal set. and if you really want to address sexual abuse, you need bros on board.

    I know many people don’t comprehend that you can be antifeminist without being antifemale, but, well, you can be.

    first wave feminism, which I admire, was about empowering women to contribute to society. what passes for feminism these days doesn’t hold a candle. I’d like to be corrected if I’m wrong, but the first second wave feminist demonstration in New Zealand was when a group of women entered a bar (hitherto male domains) and demanded to be served. so there you go: activism based on a positive vision of society vs demanding to be served. the negativity toward men that comes down to us from that time seriously hinders cultural engagement with issues of women’s and girls’ justice because it makes them proprietary issues of feminists. and feminists are hardly beacons of ecumenism. like every other liberal enterprise, feminism is stifling in its arrogance, enervating in its dudgeon, and divisive.

    one final point. powerful women have gathered to the banner, so to speak, of a beleaguered pm. where’s the class-struggle angle on this? I thought that would be a more fruitful line of argumentation than ‘male privilege’.

    • “it alienates men”

      Oh shit. Well, that’s just terrible. I would hate for men to feel alienated by a movement which points out that society is designed to cater to their every whim.

      Maybe people don’t call you a misogynist (that’s a fancy word for anti-female) because you’re “anti-feminist”. Maybe they call you a misogynist because you do things like try to derail a very sensible, heartfelt post about a serious issue like sexual harassment with your own self-involved whinge about how you don’t like feminists because they’re mean and don’t campaign exactly the way you want.

      (By the way, complaining that some feminists don’t bring a class analysis to the table is hilarious when you’re praising first-wave and second-wave feminism – two strains of feminism thoroughly centered on the issues and perspectives of predominantly white, middle-class, educated women.)

      • The sad thing is that most feminists do a hell of a lot to be considerate to men in their writing and discourse and to act inclusively to encourage us to get with the program and help out with the social change that is obviously necessary.

        The fact that people constantly leverage this “what about the mens” type of commentary, whether genuine or concern-trolling, just indicates to me that they’re probably not familiar with the overall tone of feminist discourse, which by and large is incredibly conciliatory given the circumstances.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1

          they’re probably not familiar with the overall tone of feminist discourse

          Can I just be cruel again for a moment and say that it’s because they’re a bunch of privileged entitled cry-babies?

        • Not familiar, absolutely – but only because they have no genuine desire to engage with the issues. Any vague hint of a gender analysis or the word “sexism” and they explode in a shower of “not all men” and misquotes of Andrea Dworkin.

          It’s an understandable reaction in some ways. The fact is that any socially progressive movement like feminism does, inherently, threaten the power base of those currently on top. They react to get rid of the challenger any way they can.

    • Murray Rawshark 16.2

      ” activism based on a positive vision of society vs demanding to be served.”

      I remember man only public bars and I’m surprised women actually wanted to enter them when they were full of dickheads like you. However they did, and that’s what was important.

    • McFlock 16.3

      protip: if you feel compelled to write “honestly I’m not trying to tr”011, you probably need to figure out a better way of phrasing whatever concern you have, and double check whether it’s relevant to the discussion.

    • adam 16.4

      But power differentials, and the creation of power relations is essential to any understanding of class struggles is it not Vaughan Little?

      So would it not follow – to discuss the power relations of men and women, talk to the core of the issue of class. I know some don’t want to make the connection – but, if women are treated as an underclass – it then becomes very simple to create other classes in society. Indeed, I’d argue the whole class system needs patriarchy for it to work effectively.

      We tried socialism without addressing patriarchy, it failed. We need socialism, which addresses all the systems and practices which case and reinforce power differentials. We need to face the fact, addressing class alone will not fix society. Racism, patriarchy, class and power need to be addressed – to create a rewarding fulfilling society for all.

    • Well that’s just dripping with self-entitlement. “You got the vote, what more do you want from me? It’s all about me, when are you going to gratify me and do things on my terms?” It reminds me of Pete George.

      I’m not that much younger (if at all) than all these dinosaurs running about complaining about how they’re the real victims in all this, but this “bro” doesn’t want to have anything to do with these whining, self-absorbed, pampered children like Hosking.

      The world’s changed, it will keep changing and the clock can’t be turned back and thank God for that.

      You know what? I find women interesting, I’m interested in their points of view, so I’m not “alienated” (that is, frightened). There are an awful lot of them around, so it pays to know what they think, doesn’t it? Approaching some who describe themselves as feminists, they have confirmed that they don’t hate me (and the bites didn’t become infected), which is very reassuring, because otherwise I’d have to live in a bunker of stale fantasies and nostalgia.

      Still, if I did do that, maybe I’d make lots of money on trashy TV?

    • ropata 16.6

      I know a lot of women who say “I’m not a feminist” because of the perception Vaughan outlines. These are usually young ladies wrapped in positions of social privilege. The ones who need feminism are found at women’s refuges, or trapped in a bad relationship, or as the OP mentioned, murdered along with their children as the police twiddle their thumbs.

      • Clemgeopin 16.6.1

        “The ones who need feminism are found at women’s refuges, or trapped in a bad relationship, or as the OP mentioned, murdered along with their children as the police twiddle their thumbs”

        I wish you had said, ‘some police’ instead of a blanket statement smearing the entire police force who do a very difficult, stressful and dangerous job so well in the vast majority of the cases. Sure, there are failures and some major ones which need to be highlighted and improved. At least in New Zealand, we have that mechanism to keep improving the personnel and the system.

        I just read this stats a few minutes ago:

        “Police are called to around 200 domestic violence situations a day – that’s one every seven minutes on average” [73,000 per year!]

        “Police estimate only 18% of domestic violence incidents are reported” [In effect, that means, in reality, 1,100 incidents per day or 406,000 per year]

        “At least 74,785 children and young people aged under 17 were present at domestic violence situations attended by police.

        84% of those arrested for domestic violence are men; 16% are women.

        The economic cost of domestic violence was estimated at $1.2 to $5.8 billion per year by economist Suzanne Snively in 19962. In today’s figures, that would be up to $8 billion.

        In the 2009/10 year there were 3,867 domestic violence cases in the Family Court which each involved at least one child.”

        [Puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?]

        • Clemgeopin 16.6.1.1

          I would like to add that some of their failures also includes treating people in high profile or positions of power more favourably and more enthusiastically compared to the common people. Remember the extraordinary lengths the police quickly went to during the cup of tea crap involving Key?

        • ropata 16.6.1.2

          Point conceded. Intemperate comments written in anger tend to lose nuance.

    • Sans Cle 16.7

      “first wave feminism, which I admire, was about empowering women to contribute to society.”

      Well strike me dead! So glad for those first wave feminists who enabled those lazy women to finally do something good for society. /sarc

      If that is your interpretation of early feminists, then I give you a friendly reccomedation to read some theories of power. Hell, even give it a simple “google”.

    • Tracey 16.8

      if you truly believe what you wrote, some of which amounts to feminists are a reason why women and girls get treated poorly by men because they arent nurturing mens needs enough, you are a major part of the problem. men like you are a greater threat to females than feminists are to men. your ignorance may give you a safe place to live but creates danger for many around you.

    • You are wrong, and you are wrong on every conceivable level.

      Well-practiced, feminism does nothing to alienate men except tell us the truth and hold us accountable, under an egalitarian standard. There are feminist fringe-groups, but ironically these are mostly around excluding queer women or women who aren’t white. I find that looking at the world through a feminist point of view does nothing but make it a better place, because objectively, unless you are the most hyper-masculine straight white guy ever, with no interests outside of business, sports, and beer, feminism probably has a lot more to offer you than the status quo.

      Feminism has gotten better since the first wave, not worse, it’s just that to some it seems more difficult to understand the issues being addressed now as they’re being compared to the relatively simple and understated demands of women in the past, like voting, or working. At the time many men found these basic concerns to be just as perplexing as the (sometimes) more advanced concerns that are being advanced today. (And the basic ones that we still have to go back to, like that women have a right to control their own personal space, and be free from unwanted touching, whether explicitly sexual or not)

      People feeling feminism “excludes” men on one level or another tends to boil down to one of three things:

      1) Men jumping into a feminist conversation and making assumptions about what are being said that can’t really be made when you actually listen to the conversation fairly. This often results from hearing things second-hand, already being hostile towards women or feminism, or misinterpreting things through their own ideology. For example, there is a commonly misquoted piece of feminist philosophy, which actually says that men who rape women are often so good at hiding among the general population, that women, if they are being rational, have no other option than to treat all men as if they could be rapists until they prove otherwise. This is often misquoted as “all men are rapists”.

      2) Men jumping into an advanced feminist conversation without first understanding the basics, and thus misunderstanding things, or the fact that feminism is now such a broad and deep field that it requires its own jargon. Whether or not you agree with everything, you should know the jargon before debating with someone, and approach a subject humbly when you’re still not sure about it.

      3) The odd one-in-a-thousand woman who lacks social skills, is just plain not concerned about men at all, or has been seriously abused by men to the point where she can’t seperate that abuse from the gender as a whole. Any of these are pretty excusable given the still very unequal state of our society, and the relatively small frequency at which they actually happen.

  17. Weepus beard 17

    Vaughan. I guess the second wave (you describe it as if it is an unwelcome tsunami) felt that the first wave wasn’t being listened to.

    In light of creepy Key’s hair-pulling, they were right.

  18. jenny kirk 18

    Vaughan Little is one of those “see no evil” people – don’t bother to reply to him, Mandy – or anyone else. Useless. He can’t / won’t listen, so don’t waste your energy.

    Mandy’s post was spot on, imo. And her words are being repeated everywhere – by both women (feminists too !) and men (just not the Vaughan L types, and also the Wayne Mapp types as well). There is a deep swell of anger building …… may it erupt in plenty of time for the 2017 election.

  19. Murray Rawshark 19

    Great post, MHager. Kia kaha. The ponytail affair and what happened to Tania Billingsley both show that there is a bedrock of misogyny in our society. The other things you mention show that this is mixed inseparably with sick power relationships that deeply stain the institutions of our society.

  20. Kriss X 20

    Men are marginalised in our society. They figure at the top of negative social outcomes, in health, imprisonment, victims of violence, substance abuse, life span, failing at school, work place death and injury etc. That can not be seriously disputed. It is simply a statistical fact.

    Typically the left rally around people with those statistics and try to help them. Just imagine if men were a ethnic minority, to help you see my point.

    Having said that, most of us would lose our jobs if we did what Key has done. So let him have it I say.

    • ropata 20.1

      You’re painting with an awfully broad brush. John Key is male, does that mean he’s in danger of all those negative social outcomes too?

      I think you’ll find stronger correlations to social disconnectedness, poverty, race, and mental illness, than your simplistic association with sex.

      Men also hold a disproportionate amount of power and wealth in society, while women and children are marginalised and ignored by the very people who ought to protect them. Read the OP again.

      Your sidelining of a woman’s suffering at the hands of the bullying PM is a sad indictment of the kiwi male mindset. Grow up.

      • Lloyd 20.1.1

        What’s the bet on who’s going to live longer – FJK or Bronagh?

      • Kriss X 20.1.2

        your simplistic association with sex.

        ropata, which is exactly what you are doing portraying women as victims. Many women would be insulted by your claims.

        You also overlooked my closing sentence as it did not fit the narrative you demand.

        We live in a society where women who commit domestic violence are, by default, portrayed as the victims by media. An example being the woman who brutally killed 8 kids with a knife ! She was portrayed as a victim before the story disappeared from the headlines.

        That ain’t equality my friend. It is not even close.

        • weka 20.1.2.1

          Time for men to get together and oranise around their own empowerment then. That’s what women have done (or do you think they got their gains handed to them on a plate?).

          Men who instead align themselves with the Men’s Right Activists, who frame men’s problems as primarily a result of feminism, are heading down an intellectually bankrupt and morally corrupt cul de sac and deserve the ridicule they get. They also deserve to be held accountable for holding back progressive gender politics which seeks to improve the wellbeing of all people.

          Which are you?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.2.1.1

            Time for men to get together and organise around their own empowerment then.

            Given we’re discussing male privilege, I suspect this has already occurred 😉

            • weka 20.1.2.1.1.1

              lolz, but it’s a good way to point out that there is not a lot preventing men from organising around gender issues if they want to. MRA stuff is more about retaining privilege than effecting change for all.

          • ropata 20.1.2.1.2

            Time for men to get together and onanise

            🙂 I suppose there is quite a lot of that in those sort of groups 😛

        • te reo putake 20.1.2.2

          “We live in a society where women who commit domestic violence are, by default, portrayed as the victims by media. An example being the woman who brutally killed 8 kids with a knife ! She was portrayed as a victim before the story disappeared from the headlines.”

          Well, I call bullshit on that paragraph from start to finish. It’s not the default position of the media to automatically assume that female perpetrators of domestic violence must be victims themselves. Still, given how rare such incidents are, I’m sure you can find some examples of the media behaving as you claim.

          Regarding the Cairns killings, the woman concerned was from the Torres Strait Islands community and had children with 5 different fathers. The stats would suggest she was highly likely to have been a victim of domestic abuse in one or more of those relationships. Oddly enough, though, I can’t find media reports that ‘default’ to her being a victim, as you claim.

          The reason there’s no equality is simple. The violence is disproportional; women receive an unequal proportion of domestic abuse. The vast majority of it, in fact.

        • ropata 20.1.2.3

          your opening sentence “men are marginalised in our society” is the one that made me barf. links please or fuck off.

          https://womensrefuge.org.nz/WR/Domestic-violence/Statistics.htm

          • Colonial Rawshark 20.1.2.3.1

            I don’t agree with his framing per se but he gave quite a few related statistics. Which ones are you disputing.

            You know how there are more women then men in NZ’s population? Did you know that it doesn’t start that way? In fact, 5% more male babies are born in NZ than female.

            But by the time people are over 65, there are a full 17% more females than men left. How do you think this gets to be the case? A reversal from more men than women at birth, to many many less by 65 plus?

            Could it be because males start dying at a much quicker rate than women, and keep dying faster year after year? I wonder if you as a man, didn’t even know this simple fact about your own gender.

            • ropata 20.1.2.3.1.1

              This “what about the men?” litany is muddying the waters of a clear case of sexism from the PM, and we ought to listen to what women like Mandy have to say on the matter not whine about other things.

              Men in NZ have an attitude problem.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Oh of that there is no doubt. However, I’m not asking what concrete steps the Left are going to propose to modify Kiwis attitudes, as a result of this incident. I’m asking what concrete steps the Left are going to propose to empower vulnerable workers and contractors, as a result of this incident, which is different.

            • weka 20.1.2.3.1.2

              CV, what’s the reason for men dying earlier than women?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Not sure, but it pretty much occurs throughout every demographic age group, young to old.

                • weka

                  You tried to make a connection between a comment about men’s problems in society and the fact they die earlier than women, but you don’t know what the connection is?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    I don’t know what the males die of in each of those age groups and why they die younger and faster than the females.

                    • weka

                      Yes, we’ve established that you don’t know, I’m just pointing out you used the fact to prove something but didn’t actually make a connection.

                • Tracey

                  physiologically weaker…

          • Kriss X 20.1.2.3.2

            ropata, marginalising men does not empower women. It is simply not necessary for one group to prosper at the expense of another. All can move forward as one. Your, them and us, mentality is unhelpful and ignores the facts revealed in numerous surveys and studies.

            It also alienates many women who have sons, partners etc they love and depend on. Hating on men is not empowering women. It is simply hating.

            Notice I am not defending Key’s actions. He took liberties with that woman and needs to be held to account, as any other male would be. With the way the Nats have eroded workers rights, an ordinary cafe worker would be sacked for that conduct.

          • Kriss X 20.1.2.3.3

            links please or fuck off.

            Since you asked so nicely … clearly you are not an abusive person yourself !

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-are-more-violent-says-study-622388.html

            [lprent: He expressed the site policy in the shorter form. Perhaps you should read it rather than being a pompous dipshit. ]

            • ropata 20.1.2.3.3.1

              That doesn’t show how men are marginalised.

              Domestic violence is probably the biggest social challenge facing NZ that nobody talks about. Men are not the principal victims of this plague.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Professor Archer’s work doesn’t even show what poor oppressed Kriss says it does.

                Professor Archer highlights that sex differences in aggression are not observed in relation to indirect forms of aggression but become larger with the severity of violence. Indeed, at the extreme end of violence, there are a minimal number of female-female homicides in the face of a high male-male homicide rate. Interestingly, men are also much more likely to engage in risky behaviour in the presence of other men.

                • Kriss X

                  poor oppressed Kriss

                  I note you assume I am a male.

                  Just as the abusive ropata did when telling me to “fuck off”.

                  Not sure you two are applying the same values to yourselves that you are so vocal about for others.

                  • ropata

                    sorry. it just pisses me off when our PM uses his power to bully a young woman and then people like you come on here trying to tell us how men are marginalised. got the context now?

                    • Kriss X

                      I have already reminded you of the poor social statistics and outcomes for men in our society. Another group that is over represented within those statistics is Maori.

                      Do you suggest we deal with that issue in the same way, by attacking them ?

                    • ropata

                      then go find another thread to talk about that.
                      asserting women’s rights doesn’t usurp anyone else’s.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    To you, I’m the guy who checked your citation and found its author directly contradicting your assertion.

                    So there’s that.

                • McFlock

                  Interestingly, men are also much more likely to engage in risky behaviour in the presence of other men.

                  Which dovetails nicely with CV’s little reflex here.

            • Kriss X 20.1.2.3.3.2

              Is the site policy to hurl abuse at people who suggest treating all people equally ?

              You are yourself abusive and the conduct of the moderators here is appalling. It demonstrates your real values, more so than your contrived words.

              You are gutless and intellectually dishonest.

              • idlegus

                well fuck off then. sorry, couldn’t help myself, this shit is getting whiney.

              • Kriss, if you followed this site, you’d probably understand a lot better. There is a very high level of right-wing trolling and rules-lawyering in the comments, and the moderators have to be relatively impatient with people who aren’t able to abide by the rules. Would it be nicer to be able to spare more time? Absolutely. But it would probably be prohibitively expensive in terms of the volunteer hours needed of people who support this site simply because they want political views to be heard that you simply can’t get in the for-profit media.

              • ropata

                Kriss, your noble intention to treat people equally has failed, as your original comment about oppressed males seemed highly inappropriate on this particular thread.

                Yelling and swearing is a perfectly appropriate response at times when boundaries are crossed. Perhaps instead of teaching us all about etiquette and feminine comportment you could try a bit of rage against the machine.

                • Kriss X

                  Yelling and swearing is a perfectly appropriate response

                  ropata, pop down the women’s refuge nz and tell them that.

                  Seems you have a huge double standard going on here.

                  • ropata

                    Nope, it really depends on the context. Sorry that you were taken aback by my words written in anger. That is freedom of expression.

                    Stroppy people are needed to keep dickheads like John Key in line.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2

      Men are marginalised in our society..

      No, we aren’t. You’ve noticed that some men get to share the shitty end of the stick, well guess what sweety: that’s the only end some groups ever get to hold.

  21. Trey 21

    I would like the msm to ask John Key what would have happened if one of the male waiters at the café

    • freedom 21.1

      if one of the male waiters at the café ….
      sung a song ?
      burnt his toast?
      asked him to stop accosting the staff?

      • ropata 21.1.1

        If a male waiter pulled the FJK hair maneouvre he would be summarily booted out.

        Wealth and power insulate privileged fuckwits from the consequences of their actions. These tory wankers think their cosy station in life is proof of their moral superiority. It is sickening.

        • freedom 21.1.1.1

          Speaking to the insulation issue. It permeates in ways so subtle and insidious at times that even rationality gets lost in its mobius folds.

          I had a chat with a very good friend the other day who I used to work for. He is also a card carrying National Party member and a big JK fan and went at me tooth and nail for criticizing the fun&games of the PM.

          I then quietly and steadfastly reminded him of the industry he has worked in for four decades, the excellent employer he is and has always been and asked what he would do if a customer grabbed his staff’s hair on repeated occasions, even after being asked to stop doing so.

          He quickly and honestly replied ” boot them out and ban them from the premisies’

          I sat quietly with that quizzical look one gives when watching pennies in the air

          It took a minute but he got it
          baby steps maybe, but they matter

          A lot of kiwis started to walk this week.

          • te reo putake 21.1.1.1.1

            Spot on! I overheard a conversation in a pub last night. Four middle class woman were talking about Key’s behaviour. None defended him. One said she’d never liked him and it just confirmed her opinion of him. The other three all said they voted for him (I guess they meant party voted National, as we weren’t in the Helensville electorate). Two of the three said they’d think twice before voting that way again. The fourth was still adamantly pro National.

            Now, with the passing of time, maybe the two women considering giving the perve the swerve may drift back to the Nats, but if even a small percentage of the half million votes National got last election from women go elsewhere, that’s their majority seriously compromised.

            • idlegus 21.1.1.1.1.1

              i have seen that on the message boards, where are ppl start defending him, then later on start to revisit their comments, because i guess they don’t want to be associated with the type of man john key is.

          • Tracey 21.1.1.1.2

            i have been fascinated to hear how many people think Key has only had one hair incident. involving and adult. poir job msm. when i have told them there are 3 other instances of fondling hair of girls… not playfully tugging… their jaws have visibly dropped.

  22. Lucy 22

    Thanks for this post Mandy think you nailed many of the issues. Most people don’t want to understand the power imbalance as it does not affect their lives directly. I have seen from early how victim blaming and shaming is just a way of keeping the status quo. I can not understand how after a 5 hour rape the man in Dunedin was able to remain on the streets and in his job. I do not understand how the PM can keep his job when he obviously spends his time denigrating women this can not be a one off.

    • Rosemary McDonald 22.1

      “I can not understand how after a 5 hour rape the man in Dunedin was able to remain on the streets and in his job. ”

      Hmmm….Could it be that perhaps the local constabulary considered a Prison Guard almost a collegue? One of the ‘good guys’?

      Great piece MHAGER.

      Again.

      • Sans Cle 22.1.1

        They perhaps also did not look into a rape allegation in this instance as they were in a consensual relationship prior to this. Complete Police failure.

  23. ianmac 23

    Agreed Mandy 100%.

  24. Kriss X 24

    A real problem with special treatment exists when the offender is an All Black, or even a former one. Name suppression is the default.

    All to preserve the myths around these violent thugs.

    • Yep, no doubt. Any time a man has a high profile we start thinking about him and his situation in our society, and ignore the flipside.

      Compare and contrast with when a woman makes a complaint against anyone on the right-wing, they immediately get to work trying to out her identity, worry about the impact on her family or employers as if the complaint is made to defame them, and generally just give her no benefit of the doubt. This is not the first time the right-wing have been quick to dig out the identity of anonymous women, they’ve even gone after women who had no voice in a political issue before at all, and they will again.

      It’s about time the media as a whole gave women a lot better treatment, and stopped hero-worshipping men just because they’re sports stars or politicians.

  25. ianmac 25

    Andrew was a 10 year old boy. He had just punched a girl in tn the face. He said,”It was not my fault that she put her face in front of my fist!”
    But for a 50year old powerful male? Not likely.

  26. Colonial Rawshark 26

    So, after several days of ongoing disgust, outrage, screaming and shouting, what courageous and concrete steps has the Political Left proposed to empower vulnerable and poorly paid service employees and contractors who find themselves in bad work situations?

    What gutsy legislation, regulation, unionisation and other changes with real teeth has the Left proposed to enable vulnerable workers to fight back hard against bad treatment by customers, employers and media organisations?

    Indeed has there been anything more substantial and concrete than ‘that’s disgusting, disappointing and an indictment of entrenched male power and privilege in our society’? No?

    The Left couldn’t even get its shit together in the first day or two after the original story broke to protect the young cafe worker in question. Pitiful.

    And IMO it’s exactly why, despite all the quite legitimate anger and indignation expressed, the self proclaimed Left is increasingly irrelevant to voters.

    • Self loathing much, CV?

      • marty mars 26.1.1

        I don’t want to derail or get into a flame war but + bloody 1 trp

      • Colonial Rawshark 26.1.2

        Just pointing out something both obvious and avoided.

        • Speaking of “both obvious and unavoided”, congratulations on completely erasing the key aspect of gender from the issue. On a post about how this issue is explicitly gendered, even!

          Why not get outraged about the Left failing to take concrete steps to overthrow male entitlement? What about empowering vulnerable women, wherever they work? (The Roger Sutton case rather aptly showed how sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t limited to cafes.)

          But I guess that would be terrible, no-one-cares-about-your-side-issues identity politics, wouldn’t it?

          🙄

          • Colonial Rawshark 26.1.2.1.1

            Speaking of “both obvious and unavoided”, congratulations on completely erasing the key aspect of gender from the issue.

            Ahhh, thanks. I think. Some may very well see the victim primarily as a vulnerable woman requiring empowerment; I see the victim primarily as a powerful woman but vulnerable worker requiring empowerment. The perspective is slightly different, and I think, important.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 26.1.2.1.1.1

              Of course you think it’s important, it allows you to pretend misogyny doesn’t exist and isn’t a fundamental component of this story. While commenting on a post which clearly establishes this.

              • weka

                I reckon CV knows that misogyny exists in this story, he just thinks it’s a sideshow to the real politics.

            • McFlock 26.1.2.1.1.2

              Yes, we’ve got it, once again you’re soooo much better at being a lefty than everyone else – even if all you’ve done is bitch on a blogsite just like the rest of us.

            • Matthew Whitehead 26.1.2.1.1.3

              Wow, didn’t expect to see you get so off-base there.

              When a woman suffers an employment issue that a man wouldn’t suffer, she is at an intersection both of her identity as an employee and her identity as a woman. It makes no sense to try and separate them at that point. If she suffers an employment issue in exactly the same way a man would, then arguably you have just got an industrial relations problem, but that is clearly not what has happened here.

              Any employment solution has to address misogyny, and any womens’ rights solution has to address the power dynamic she’s in as an employee of a business that wasn’t considering her interests fairly.

              Trying to steer the debate away from the fact that she’s a woman is like the old tale about cutting the baby in half because two women both insist they’re its mother. She is always both an employee and a woman, and any industrial relations policy that relates to solving the issues brought up by this event has to relate to women in general, or it’s not doing its job.

              Now, regardless of the situation with her employer, there are also larger issues here, like the PM’s general obsession with women’s and girls’ hair, and like the general culture of coverup of the government around women’s issues, and like the sexist backlash, and other things. You came off as incredibly dismissive of these issues, which deserve to be heard.

              Regardless of where you or I want to put the emphasis, (I’m generally on “this is a problem of a sexist culture,” myself) it’s ultimately a women’s issue and thus primarily for women to decide how it’s handled.

    • ianmac 26.2

      The Left is not in power to do anything – yet. If the Left come out with a distinct policy now, what do you think the Right would do with it?

      • Colonial Rawshark 26.2.1

        So the Left isn’t proposing anything concrete and courageous now, because of the Right? Kiwis will remember and vote accordingly.

        • ropata 26.2.1.1

          are left wing political parties now responsible for restraining the behaviour of the PM? wow

          • Colonial Rawshark 26.2.1.1.1

            No – for empowering vulnerable workers and contractors against the behaviour of unethical employers and clients.

            • Matthew Whitehead 26.2.1.1.1.1

              You don’t think that it’s actually a bit early to be talking about the industrial relations consequences of this incident, and that it might be attacked as insensitive to the woman involved?

              No doubt people will be thinking about this incident for that sort of policy development, and how an employer that pulls these sorts of stunts should be held to task, but right now that can take a back seat to the actual impact on people’s lives and the implications this has on New Zealand culture, not only in terms of our right-wing, but also our media, and as a whole.

          • greywarshark 26.2.1.1.2

            @ ropata
            So you don’t think that the Left should try to do anything to improve the situation that this young woman, and others find themselves in, with the PM just providing a very publicised example of disrespectful behaviour of the powerful? What are you? And those using the example to example misogyny and turn attention to what changes women need are neglecting all workers’ need for support against harrassment and abuse of power as shown here.

            • ropata 26.2.1.1.2.1

              incorrect, dunno, what?

              damn this thread is turning into an angry mish-mash of misunderstandings and conclusion jumping.

        • weka 26.2.1.2

          Who is this ‘Left’ you speak of CV?

        • Tracey 26.2.1.3

          perhaps the LP reflects the views of many who support it? Youve been a strong supporter havent you CV. until recent times?

    • ropata 26.3

      Bomber did something.
      What have you done that confers this moral superiority?

      • Colonial Rawshark 26.3.1

        Bomber appears to have hung that poor woman out unsupported and unadvised to fry in the media spotlight. Is that the kind of “something” that you are referring to?

        Moral superiority? It’s the indignation and disgust which has been expressed by the Left in the last several days which exemplifies “moral superiority.” And that principled rage is fine and necessary in the first couple of days. But I’m asking where are the practical, concrete political proposals from the Left for empowering vulnerable workers and contractors, against powerful customers, employers and media. Has there been any?

        • ropata 26.3.1.1

          Now you’re being silly. These human rights issues have always been part of Left party policy. The problem is that proposals such as “feed the kids” are thrown out by the Nat neocons.

          Quotes from Andrew Little’s speech:

          I’ve always been driven by the need to see justice done, or for that matter, to see injustice challenged.

          The injustice I talk about is when the powerful and the privileged take advantage of the weak.

          At a time when we are reflecting on how some employers are making unilateral deductions from staff to pay for stock losses caused by customers, I recall that one of the first cases I worked on was about exactly this issue.

          A service station manager claimed $100 was missing from the till, possibly the result of a drive off. He also claimed a meat pie had been stolen. He insisted the two staff on duty each pay $50 towards the lost petrol, and when one of them, Daniel, who I represented, refused, he was sacked for his refusal and for stealing the pie.

          Daniel, a teenager at the time, was able to challenge the unfairness meted out to him, including producing a receipt for the pie. Daniel got justice and his employer learnt a lesson in due process.

          • Colonial Rawshark 26.3.1.1.1

            So, where are the concrete changes and courageous proposals that Labour has put forward around supporting vulnerable workers and contractors caught in bad, unsafe workplaces like this young woman?

            Or are you satisfied with the anecdotal generalities of an old speech that no one connects to this weeks events?

            • te reo putake 26.3.1.1.1.1

              Mate, you’re in the Labour Party. What are you doing about it? What policies are you promoting from the lofty heights of the moral high ground?

              Btw, the NZLP has more than a few policies that will help vulnerable workers when they are in power, including dumping the fire at will provisions and moving the minimum wage toward the living wage. I’ve no doubt Bomber did his best to advise the worker of the shitstorm to come, and the left has provided immediate legal advice via the union movement. Me, I’d have told her before the matter went live not, under any circumstances, to meet with her employers without representation, preferably a lawyer. That might have prevented her being victimised by the NZ Herald.

              But the point here is that current law is more than adequate to deal with the Parnell puller’s behaviour. The law just needs to be applied to the rich and powerful, specifically in this case to John Key. 6 or 7 charges of common assault would be a good starting point.

        • ropata 26.3.1.2

          Bomber published her side of the story before the the Herald smear machine could swing into action. Giving someone a voice is the opposite of “hanging them out to fry [dry]”

          • Colonial Rawshark 26.3.1.2.1

            Sorry I was referring to the (lack of) care, support and advice given to victim after the scoop was published. Some may not have thought it deficient but it clearly was so, and others on The Standard have remarked on it in the last few days.

            • Karen 26.3.1.2.1.1

              You are wrong CR. The victim has been given both union and legal advice.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                good. However the support was not apparent at the time the victim agreed to have the now infamous meeting with her employers and Glucina.

                • Karen

                  Unfortunately she thought she could trust her employers so she was happy to meet with them at their home without seeking advice. She wasn’t told the PR woman called Rachel on the other end of the phone was actually Rachel Glucina from the Herald, so she was happy to make a statement, believing she would be able to veto anything that was written that she didn’t agree with in what she thought was a general press release.

                  She will never be as trusting again.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Yes, that was the meeting where the professional support person was required, and she should have been advised not to attend without one.

                    • A point so good I made it myself! You are totally correct and I’d like to think that if the victim had come to TS the various lawyers, employment experts and well connected folk that constitute the authors pool here could have done a bit better than Bomber did in that regard.

                      But bear in mind, when the story broke, the owners refused to talk to the media saying they don’t talk publicly about employment matters. She had every reason to trust them and they let her down badly when they set her up.

                    • But was she advised at all, or given her previously positive relationship with her employer, did she simply decide to attend without seeking advice?

                      Sometimes people don’t get support because they honestly thought they had no reason to seek it, and it’s not their fault.

                      The real problem here is that any meeting related to the business shouldn’t be held in a private place, and that she should have been informed that she COULD have a support person present if she wanted.

            • Anne 26.3.1.2.1.2

              Yep CR I agree with you.

              We don’t know what might be occurring behind the scenes, but I have the impression she’s being largely left out to dry. And that is precisely why many women are, or have been in the past, too afraid to tell their stories.

              One thing I discovered in the 1990s is that politicians – and indeed other authoritarian figures – will run a mile rather than have to deal with situations of personal harassment and denigration even when there was a clear criminal element (as in my case) involved. Victims were invariably treated like pariahs to be avoided at all cost. There has been much improvement in recent years, but not enough to make most women feel confident and safe.

              • weka

                Problem is, CV is bringing that point up in a way that guarantees a hard out gender argument, which means the point will largely be lost. Sorry, but I can’t see that as being anything other than deliberate. In other words he wants to argue class politics vs gender politics. If he really wanted to talk about worker rights, and what the left does about that, he’d have raised it in OM and without the slap in the face to lefties and the MRA lines.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  My contention is that the Political Left has come forward with plenty of outrage and disgust, but it has not come forward with concrete proposals for change for empowering vulnerable workers victimised by customers or employers (regardless of whether that change is based on gender or on class).

                  • weka

                    I’m sure it is CV. Pity you chose to bring it up in a way guaranteed to derail the thread and track it along the class politics vs gender politics path then.

                    I have no idea what you mean by the Political Left, but can only assume you are referring in part to authors and commenters here on ts. I’m seeing lots of activism and response to what has happened. Besides, I’m pretty sure that some legislation already exists to protect Bailey (and was ignored by the PM), and that the left wing parties already have policy that would give even more protection.

                    “regardless”

                    So take it to OM. This post and thread is about gender.

                  • McFlock

                    My contention is that the Political Left has [yadda yadda]

                    what the hell have you done about it, then?

            • freedom 26.3.1.2.1.3

              CR, You speak with a very strong conviction on the matter of what hasn’t been done to protect Amanda Bailey. So here is a simple question.
              How do you know what support has and has not been given?

              and I agree with what TRP says here
              ” you’re in the Labour Party. What are you doing about it?”

              Show us the emails you have fired off demanding change.
              Where are your new policy outlines you feel should be headlines?

              or are you saying Labour should be using these events to remind people of the policy ideas they have repeatedly had ignored by the media. Do you really want Labour using this woman as a political football? If you cannot see what is wrong with that you may as well have grabbed her ponytail yourself.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Show us the emails you have fired off demanding change.
                Where are your new policy outlines you feel should be headlines?

                Our branch has developed strong proposals around the UBI, around cancelling student debt, around setting the minimum wage as a generous proportion of the average wage and around a jobs guarantee – a job for anyone who wants to step up to it.

                These non-gendered proposals strongly and structurally swing the balance of power in employment and contractor relationships in favour of young workers, and away from the kind of nasty employer who currently feels like they hold all the cards.

                Do you really want Labour using this woman as a political football? If you cannot see what is wrong with that you may as well have grabbed her ponytail yourself.

                I hope it’s obvious that it is the behaviour of the cafe owners, cafe manager and the NZ Herald which are the footballs needing a kicking. That is where the structural power problem is. By focussing on the woman (and the male PM) too much that has been partly lost. Effectively doing so turned the issue into one orbiting gendered issues, male privilege and misogyny.

                • You appear to have misunderstood the question, CV. What policies etc. have you or your branch put forward since the incident?

                • freedom

                  love how you skip the primary question.

                  Can only mean you have nothing to back up your accusations of Amanda Bailey not being supported by those who are directly involved in the original release of her story or during the period thereafter.

                  Is that a fair assessment of the facts?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    There were many comments made on The Standard on how Bailey was allowed to be ambushed by her employers and The Herald. Did you want more evidence than that?

                    • freedom

                      And the sky is sometimes blue, but unless you, or someone, can present valid evidence to confirm that the woman has indeed been abandoned as you seem so hell bent on suggesting, what benefit to the circumstances does such an inquiry present? How does it progress the dialogue? It is akin to speaking to hear yourself talk.

                • weka

                  “Our branch has developed strong proposals around the UBI, around cancelling student debt, around setting the minimum wage as a generous proportion of the average wage and around a jobs guarantee – a job for anyone who wants to step up to it.”

                  How would those things have protected Bailey?

    • halfcrown 26.4

      Well said there Colonial.

    • RedLogix 26.5

      Well expressed CV. By allowing the debate to be solely framed in misogynist terms, the Right easily fences the issue off into the feminist ghetto of NZ politics.

      Which is sad. It’s way more important than this.

      I’ve read Mandy’s excellent OP several times now with care. It’s a powerful piece, it emphasises, not just the idiocy of the PM’s behaviour, but the sickening response of so many to not only minimise it, but to attack the victim as well.

      And then like you I’m left wondering ‘what next’? Why is the Left so powerless to act? Why when even something as tiny as Cunliffe expressing shame as a man for the violence perpetrated on women – why was that so readily ridiculed and belittled?

      When Mandy writes:

      There are also the online comments, proof (as if we needed it) that there is a deep seething underbelly of misogyny out there – and that issues of appropriateness, sexual intimidation, abuse of power and minimization of women’s complaints are not only misunderstood but carry no weight at all to a significant proportion of our population.

      I am quite certain this is a subjective truth and reality for Mandy, yet when you are effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ – something has gone badly wrong. This is not a vote winner if nothing else.

      After 40 or more years of feminism, why is there so much misunderstanding, suspicion, and downright loathing in some quarters, between the genders? As this incident and it’s attendant blowback has demonstrated – it doesn’t seem to have taken us anywhere constructive.

      • ropata 26.5.1

        It’s probably akin to the S59 child discipline bill which generated a lot of public discontent and misunderstandings. However the proponents of the bill had a legitimate cause to fight.

        Your dismissal of women’s legitimate complaints is a clear demonstration of entrenched attitudes that need to change.

        • RedLogix 26.5.1.1

          Your dismissal of women’s legitimate complaints

          You might want to explain how you managed to leap to that bizarre conclusion.

          • ropata 26.5.1.1.1

            when you summarised Mandy’s assessment as ‘telling people half the population that they hate women’

            I don’t care if the issue is politically unpopular or uncomfortable it needs sunlight.

            • RedLogix 26.5.1.1.1.1

              Well of course you are being highly selective in what you take to be my ‘summary’. But exactly what does Mandy mean when she refers to ” a deep seething underbelly of misogyny out there”.

              From what OAB, freedom and you are saying – and probably 99% of other men – it just does not apply to them. They find it uplifting and inspiring.

              • ropata

                I think the seething underbelly is amply represented by the PM and people who follow Mike Hosking and Paul Henry. Quite a lot of people unfortunately.

                I’m glad that many others like ourselves found Mandy’s article inspiring.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Mandy describes the misogyny as “significant”. There are plenty of ways to achieve “significance” without being a majority – exhibit a: Paul Henry.

                It’s wrong to say I don’t think it applies to me in some ways, either.

                • RedLogix

                  Simply put – men and women are different. They have different biologies and quite different experiences of life. They both experience power and powerlessness in different ways. Both meaningful to each of them.

                  But that does not erase their common interest either. And the problem with politics that exploits those differences is that most men and women, love and care for the other gender in their lives. Deeply. So it just makes no sense to them on a personal level.

                  Which is why after 40 years of feminism – we still get this kind of crap from our PM.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Exactly. And we get the high achieving women in Cabinet backing him.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The reason we still get this from our PM is that Feminism struggles to maintain a toehold against a tsunami of privilege and one of the manifestations of that privilege is rape culture, of which we have had somewhat more than forty years.

                    • McFlock

                      yep.
                      Both groups have power, in that sound is manifested both by a fart and by a thunderstorm.

                  • weka

                    Simply put – men and women are different. They have different biologies and quite different experiences of life. They both experience power and powerlessness in different ways. Both meaningful to each of them.

                    But that does not erase their common interest either. And the problem with politics that exploits those differences is that most men and women, love and care for the other gender in their lives. Deeply. So it just makes no sense to them on a personal level.

                    Which is why after 40 years of feminism – we still get this kind of crap from our PM.

                    And yet the numbers of men who get and support feminism has risen hugely in my lifetime (ditto for the culture at large). This despite the backlash in the 90s, and despite the best efforts of the MRAs more recently.

                    But keep running the line that feminism has failed because it makes women hate men, and see how that improves things.

                    • RedLogix

                      The parallel between Feminism and Marxism is worth making. Uncle Karl had a great many worthwhile and valuable things to say. Communism as a movement achieved many extraordinary historic victories.

                      But it also failed dramatically because it dishonestly promised that all people could be the same. It fatally confused the essential dignity, human rights and legal equality of all people – with the idea that they were also materially all the same.

                      The idea that somehow only the workers were of any value and that the bourgeois were just over-entitled parasites to be eliminated simply failed to recognise that ultimately workers and business owners are entirely dependent on each other.

                      And besides – almost no-one wants to be treated exactly the same as everyone else. We all aspire for reward and recognition based on our talents and achievements. Whatever they are. And that is the differences between people which drives diversity, resilience and depth of capacity in our civilisations.

                      Has feminism failed? Emphatically no. It has many great achievements to it’s credit. But will it succeed in it’s dream of making men and women the same? Emphatically no. And this is why we are seeing the backlash.

                    • weka

                      🙄

                      Feminism isn’t about making men and women the same. Nor does it say that women are more important than men. Those are your hang ups Red, and they tell me that you really have an incredibly distorted understanding about what feminism is and what it does. I don’t know why, because it’s been explained clearly enough over time. Unfortunately for us, they seriously clouds your judgement in conversations like this.

                      It doesn’t matter how nice you wrap up your words now, you’ve stated in this conversation a whole bunch of things that you believe about feminism in ways that attempt to undermine feminism. Which makes you part of the problem.

                    • Most feminists seem more concerned with having equitable treatment, and they’re well past the idea of being the same- for instance, they propose that some rights will be relevant to women (and some transmen) that won’t be to (cis-)men, for instance the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

                      Ironically you seem equally confused about Marxism as about Feminism, Red- Mark proposed that there would be a historically inevitable revolution of the working classes as the ability of our planet to produce exceeded our need to consume, and capital became irrelevant- not accurately predicting either our population or our consumer culture. Now, some of the communist movements that sought to accelerate that revolution began to follow an ideology that everyone should be fundamentally the same, but that’s not exactly relevant to Marxism, as it’s quite a different thing to communism in practice.

                      In some ways, Marx’s original hypothesis is still highly relevant however: Any culture in which the ability to produce outweighs the need to consume, will ultimately have to transition to a system that no longer emphasises production of goods, and power will ultimately fall away from owners of capital in such a system, as production will no longer be a relevant constraining factor to the society.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Mathew

                      Sorry I’ve taken so long to respond to your thoughtful response.

                      Your first paragraph is straightforward enough on the face of it. It would seem to be a matter of simple biology. But then we dig a little deeper and can ask – why is it legitimate for a women to unilaterally terminate a pregnancy when the father has zero rights in the matter.

                      And yet if the woman decides to keep the child, the father is then saddled with 20 years of child support payments? Again with zero rights in the matter.

                      The accepted answer is that it is the woman who is carrying the child and has all the rights to control over her body. But why then does she not also get to carry all the responsibility for her choice? Why does the father – who has had zero rights in the matter – get to carry responsibility for the outcome as well?

                      So far the rights of the mother to control her body completely trump any consideration of the father at all. Is that going to be socially and politically sustainable in the long run. And if not – what would a more equitable balance of rights and responsibilities look like?

                      I accept that in one short blog comment no-one is going to say anything accurate or complete about Marx. Still when you state: Now, some of the communist movements that sought to accelerate that revolution began to follow an ideology that everyone should be fundamentally the same then I’d agree that’s pretty germane to the parallel I was attempting to draw.

                      In your final para – it’s hard to quibble. Exactly how Marxism plays out in our future is bloody hard to predict. I’d not quibble with your theoretical premise – but in practise I’m less convinced.

                      So far the world is moving as far away from Marx as it is humanly possible. It would take a monstrous swing of the geo-political pendulum to prove his relevance again.

                  • Incognito

                    RedLogix, you made some excellent points.

                    Why is this shit still (!) happening after more than 40 years of feminism? How long will it take and what will it take to extinguish it?

                    Others have already mentioned that it is not just an attitude problem, which is relatively easily ‘corrected’, but more deeply rooted into our social and cultural psyche. If so, it could take several generations for real changes to occur.

                    However, it may even be a human trait that is so engrained into our being that we will never completely get rid of it. Perhaps racism, xenophobia, discrimination, misogyny, etc., all have something in common? After all, they are pretty much only exhibited by Homo sapiens. In other words, do these ‘traits’ have a biological-evolutionary origin that might partly explain why, so far, it has been impossible to get rid of them?

                    When people meet they usually focus on the points of difference, the “otherness”, and the attributes that separate one from the other.

                    Till the time we master something like the Vulcan mind meld or gain some religious-spiritual insight that we are, in fact, one and that separation is an illusion, we may have to live with these tensions and try and understand and control them. As best as we can.

              • mhager

                Go and read the comment section on most blog sites on this issue and any other that involves women’s rights in some way and you will discover the deep seething underbelly for yourself. It’s really ugly and needs to be addressed at an educational level to try and rid future generations of it – but, right now, with this govt, that is very unlikely to happen, and with people like Hoskings and Henry driving the narrative, will only get worse

                • RedLogix

                  Mandy,

                  You are perfectly correct. It is ugly, it is pervasive. And in my lifetime (which spans much of the feminist movement) – it has gotten WORSE. It makes me angry when I see it too.

                  But I would suggest that our grandfathers, while they may have held what we regard as reactionary views on the place of women in society, were by and large a lot more respectful and protective of that place.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    🙄

                    Women out of place you say?! A backlash of epic proportions you say? Let’s give up.

                    • RedLogix

                      Do I have to explain everything like you were a two year old? And if I don’t you’ll find some idiotic way to misrepresent it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How about you explain it in a way that doesn’t strike me as facile sophistry, and then I’ll treat it seriously?

                    • weka

                      Or maybe it’s not sophistry and Red really does believe that women have a place and it was better respected 50 years ago. Not sure which is worse tbh.

                    • red you are sounding like hosking and henry now – 50 years ago??? ffs are you serious???

                    • RedLogix

                      How about you stop interpreting everything I say in the worst possible fashion?

                      The point I was making is pretty fucking obvious if you actually think about it with an open mind. Absolutely we don’t want to go back to the narrow ideas of our grandfather’s time.

                      But while those ideas were narrower, and often unjust and oppressive, they were a simpler and came with a lot more clarity. For that reason they were respected more.

                      Initially when feminism pointed out the structural and legal injustices women faced most men would eventually come to support their elimination. That alone was a hard-fought battle and a great victory. So far we are on the same page.

                      But then feminism looked at the social and economic privilege some men enjoy and said “We’ll have that too please” – they fatally overlooked that a large majority of men were being erased from the dialog altogether.

                      For most men being told that they are misogynists, when they sacrifice and work their whole lives to express their love and care for their family – makes no sense. To be implictly told they part of a ‘rape culture’ when most would happily cut the balls off any offender who molested their family – just does not compute.

                      To be told that they must let go their ‘male privilege’ when they see no trace of it in their own lives – arouses nothing but resentment.

                    • I’ll assume you are talking to me.

                      sorry I just think you have massive blindspots which prevent you understanding and yes there are other men like you and also other men who have zero problem understanding and accepting the points in your last 2 paragraphs and they can do that with pride and courage without blaming women or feminists. imo they do that because it is self evidently true, it is obvious and visible – it is the way our society is mate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      For most men being told that they are misogynists…

                      Like I said, sophistry. To put it another way, citation needed.

                      I think people who interpret criticism of their behaviour as a personal attack are cry-babies, and that is what is going on here. I know, I’m being cruel.

                      That no more makes me a cruel person than my ignorance makes me an ignoramus or my misogyny makes me a misogynist. In this way I value constructive criticism.

                    • RedLogix

                      @OAB.

                      Derailing word of the week: “Sophistry”.

                      You asked I enlarge on my point and I gave one in good faith. Your response is childish and evasive.

                      And you think you are the clever one around here.

                    • weka

                      Feminism hasn’t told most men they are misogynists. Most men haven’t been told they are misogynists. You are making shit up.

                    • RedLogix

                      Poor deluded little man – it’s all in his head?

                      pppffft!

                      If you don’t want men to think they are being called women haters, stop tossing the word misogynist around like confetti.

                    • vto

                      its like the calls “… blah blah white middle class men this ……. white middle class men that …… blah blah…”

                      if you are a white middle class man then what do you hear?

                      **handy hint: apply to other identities for further examples

                    • weka

                      oh right. So when feminists and left wing men present political analysis of misogyny, or talk about rape culture, it’s our fault that some men like you take it personally as if we are calling all men evil sexist dudes. That’s such a bullshit argument. If the cap fits, wear it, but stop misrepresenting what I or other feminists say and do.

                      Yes, I do think it’s in your head. If it’s not, you’d have cited for it by now.

                    • weka

                      its like the calls “… blah blah white middle class men this ……. white middle class men that …… blah blah…”

                      if you are a white middle class man then what do you hear?

                      **handy hint: apply to other identities for further examples

                      I don’t know vto, what do you hear? Because when I hear Māori talking about racism from Pākehā I don’t automatically assume they are talking about me specifically and then feel hurt by it and then get defensive and attack them for speaking up. I listen to what they are saying, make an effort to understand that, then I look at which bits to actually apply to me. There is no shame in that.

                    • vto

                      yeah I don’t automatically assume that either weka

                    • weka

                      I don’t understand your point then.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    My response is neither childish nor evasive: it simply questions your argument’s false premise: criticism of misogyny misrepresented as a personal attack.

      • Anne 26.5.2

        Grateful to you Redlogix. You have expanded on what I was trying to say @ 263.1.2.1.2 – from personal experience.

        May I also say thanks to Mandy H for this post.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 26.5.3

        effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’

        Speak for yourself: I don’t take that message from Mandy’s article.

        • freedom 26.5.3.1

          +1 OAB

          “effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ ”
          Quite the contrary. I find the article to be one of the more empowering messages on this blog for sometime. Reminding all of us, regardless of gender, politics or circumstance, we are all responsible and necessary as part of the solution, every day.

          • marty mars 26.5.3.1.1

            + 1

            sadly what tends to happen now imo is that the discussion will be moved, in oh so reasonable and soft tones, into the other areas – this is, imo, cv and reds way of showing they care about the issues raised in the post itself /sarc and of course they get to talk about themselves and their experience which is just so riveting and important /double sarc

            • RedLogix 26.5.3.1.1.1

              Your attempt at silencing and shaming is disgusting.

              You’re tactics are no different, and lower than those being used by the Henry’s and Hosking’s of this world.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s the violence inherent in the system. You’re being oppressed!

                • RedLogix

                  No – marty was doing the derailing thing. Oppression is something altogether different.

                  But make a joke of it – have a bit of a ‘horse around’ if you like.

                  • untrue red – I posted a comment to another comment not to you or cv – I did that because I didn’t really want to engage and encourage you to begin the calm dissemination of what you think – I’m not interested, I’d rather hear and learn from women.

                  • weka

                    “But make a joke of it – have a bit of a ‘horse around’ if you like.”

                    Marty was spot on in naming a dynamic that occurs here. Thanks btw for confirming it, by misusing Bailey’s experience of sexual harrassment by the PM as if that in any way has anything to do with marty commenting to you here. It’s inconceivable to me that you cannot see the power differences, so that just leaves your politics.

                    The shame is already on you for how you’ve brought yourself into this conversation in the way you often do. Marty just pointed it out.

                    • RedLogix

                      It is inconceivable to me that you have not read any of my prior comments explicitly referring to to the power differences involved. Or my very first comment on the issue when I stated:

                      Absolutely unwelcome behaviour. And very difficult for the young woman involved – an invidious position to be put in.

                      Difficult for any employee to complain about any client, much less one as powerful and visible as the Prime Minister, worse still when ‘gifts’ suddenly become involved. If this story is true there will be all sorts of pressure being brought to bear on her.

                      None of which is of her making. If this does unravel in the worst way possible then I would hope everybody keeps this in mind.

                      My Little Ponytail

                      Go put words in someone else’s mouth. I’ve had it with you pulling this nasty trick on me. And shame back on you for trying to guilt me out of making points other people here are finding perfectly reasonable.

                    • weka

                      Mate, you’ve well and truly destroyed any credibility you might have had on gender issues. Doubly so if you can’t see what’s wrong with comparing marty commenting to you with Key’s treatment of Bailey.

                      I did read your other comments, which is why I agree with marty’s assessment.

                    • red I get it – YOU’RE the victim just like johnny – a lot of people find him perfectly reasonable too.

                    • RedLogix

                      marty – YOU are the one who started attacking me.

                      I’m not the victim here – because no-one is oppressing me. But I am free to tell you that when you use the same shaming, minimising and guilt games on me that you accuse the Right of playing on Amanda Bailey – then you have done nothing but weaken yourself.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      Keep up the ad-homs mate. Is that’s how feminists measure ‘credibility’ these days?

                    • weka

                      Ad hominem – attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain

                      I’m not attacking your character I’m attacking the position you maintain. I’m now shorthanding it rather than going into lengthy comments, because debating these lines is useless. They just need to be named for what they are.

                      As for how feminists measure credibility, I’m mindful of the differences between someone like Stephanie and myself. She would just call your argument for what it is right at the start. I would spend a lot of effort over a long period of time just in case there was something redeeming about in the debate, but ultimately I’ve gotten to the same point. Each way is valid IMO. The pertinent point here is that despite me engaging in good faith in many of these conversations you’ve now lost my respect in this debate. That actually takes quite a lot of doing.

                      As long as you continue to argue MRA aligned lines (albeit dressed up fancy), I’ll continue to name them as such.

                    • weka

                      “marty – YOU are the one who started attacking me.”

                      No, he really didn’t. He made an observation about your behaviour. Instead of addressing what he said, you’ve played the victim by making out that he shamed you and tried to silence you.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      marty’s first comment here – complete with the /doublesarcs – can only be interpreted as an attempt at minimising, guilting and silencing tactics. Clearly he didn’t like being called on it.

                      That you cannot see this is a massive blind-spot is it not?

                      But no I am not any kind of victim here. I’m comfortably sitting at a keyboard trying to have an intelligent discussion with other left-wing people. You know – exploring ideas, debating points, speculating, gossiping and so-on.

                      Nothing I’ve said so far is offensive, dangerous or unreasonable. But because they don’t quite line up with the approved ideology – I’m to be scorned, discredited and sneered at. All in some futile attempt at purity.

                      Yet I really don’t care. I’ve been blogging for almost a decade now and I’ve had any amount of shit tossed my way. If I felt victimised or oppressed by any of it I wouldn’t be here.

                      But when you dish out the same tactics you so object to when they get used on you – well guess whose credibility is at risk? Not mine.

                    • weka

                      Nah, what marty did was perfectly normal within the culture of ts. He was pretty restrained in fact.

                      “Nothing I’ve said so far is offensive, dangerous or unreasonable. But because they don’t quite line up with the approved ideology – I’m to be scorned, discredited and sneered at. All in some futile attempt at purity”

                      That’s you playing the vicitm.

                      The reason you’re being discredited is because your ideas are just so awful. You can complain all you like that you are presenting something reasonable that just isn’t orthodox and are being mistreated because your ideas don’t fit, but actually what you are doing is unreasonable, offensive and ultimately probably dangerous.

                    • red I was quite deliberate in all my comments and i’ve found your responses true to form – you haven’t called me out – I called you out!!! and you abused me then went to victim mode. Weka has said the main points and I am in agreement with her – tough if you don’t like it.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      And there we have it. A clear statement from an avowed feminist that any male perspective she does not approve of is going to be discredited as dangerous.

                      And you get anxious about a backlash.

                    • “The reason you’re being discredited is because your ideas are just so awful.”

                      That is what weka said and I agree with her – you can’t accept because you think you are all that! but mate you aren’t – your ideas are awful, in many ways, from many angles, at many levels. And dangerous too as I said to you on the other thread.

                      to remind you /abusive-and-creepy/#comment-1005172

                    • weka

                      “And there we have it. A clear statement from an avowed feminist that any male perspective she does not approve of is going to be discredited as dangerous.”

                      I haven’t criticised you for having a male perspective. I’ve criticised you for aligning yourself with MRAs. Those are very different things, but it doesn’t surprise me that despite my having clarified this a number of times you still willfully ignore this.

                      Am pretty sure you don’t know why I (or marty) said what you are doing is dangerous. It has nothing to do with you being a man.

                      “And you get anxious about a backlash.”

                      Do I?

                    • weka

                      “And there we have it. A clear statement from an avowed feminist that any male perspective she does not approve of is going to be discredited as dangerous.”

                      Btw, that’s you being a fuckwit and playing the victim. ‘Any’ male perspective? 🙄

                    • he doesn’t get into me for calling his ideas dangerous, wonder why

                    • weka

                      thoughtful observation there marty.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      That’s you playing the vicitm.

                      Now when I have twice said no I am not – and you persist in pretending that you know what is in my head better than I do – then I think the technical term you feminists have for this is gas-lighting.

                      And it was you who first mention the ‘backlash’ and MRA’s’ – did you not?

                    • RedLogix

                      @marty.

                      Because there was a 20 min gap between wekas comment and yours. Because I had not refreshed the thread while I was reading other things I did not see your comment until after I had replied to weka.

                      But do go on imputing the worst possible motives to me.

                    • weka

                      It’s technically possible that you could be unaware of a behaviour, but my point about playing the victim is more about how you are coming across.

                      “you feminists” 🙄

                      I think I mentioned the 1990s backlash and the more recent MRA agenda, in a different context. But now that you bring it up, of course there is reason for progressives to be concerned about what the MRAs are doing. Their agenda is regressive and oppressive.

                    • ” imputing the worst possible motives to me.”

                      I honestly aren’t trying to do that. I am also sorry that you feel hurt by what I’ve said. I knew this would be horrible which is why I really thought before I raised it – but what I said has happened hasn’t it.

                    • RedLogix

                      @marty

                      This really does not have to be horrible.

                      Until Amanda Bailey’s appalling treatment, not just at the hands of the PM, but her employers, and the dirty politics machine – I was pretty unmotivated to comment here.

                      But when I read this I was livid. Fucked off like I haven’t since I called Fran O’Sullivan a traitor some years back in a post.

                      And this incident captures a whole gamut of issues the left is battling.

                      1. The fact that Key would never have done this to a male. There is the gender question right there.

                      2. The fact that Key ignored several requests to stop. There is the entitlement issue.

                      3. The fact that the Police present failed to act. There is the establishment protecting it’s own issue

                      4. The fact that her employers horribly deceived and betrayed her. The big fat vulnerable employee issue

                      5. The failure of the Herald to pull publication when they had been advised there was no consent for the story. Another abuse of trust

                      6. The PM trying to minimise the incident with his ‘horsing around’ line. I don’t know quite what to put this down to but it stinks

                      7. And then the Dirty Politics Machine kicking in to contain the damage and deflect the blame. The systemic issue, the perversion of the media as propaganda voice.

                      This is a story with a lot of components, probably more than I have been able to list above. Gender is one of them. But not the only one. My argument is simple. If the left runs gender as the ONLY important aspect of this battle – we will be run over. Again.

                    • fine red I look forward to your post where all of that can be discussed in depth. This post is called “Pull the other one… ponytails, minimisation and male privilege” – I’ll not speak for the author but to my mind there was plenty in the post to focus on without going down other roads and thus derailing this post. I don’t want to hear your male bleating – do you get that??? I want to hear and learn from women and Mandy set the discussion up well imo. I wish you’d put your stuff to one side and just STFU, I really do, and Tat too. FFS it is not like we haven’t read your thoughts on this before, numerous times and it always imo comes back to the same points.

                      I oppose feminist blaming and I oppose derailment techniques and i support letting women speak and having men listen. It is a pity we are in opposition on this but I will not stay silent and i will call it as I see it.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Fuck off Marty Mars. I’m calling it as I see it just as you are yet you will happily degrade me and silence me for it. I’ve stayed out of this for the latter part of the day now just so that you can enjoy your precious communing time. So thanks for dragging me back into it. And at the end of it all, what sensitivity and listening skills have you managed to learn today, apart from telling other men to STFU?

                    • RedLogix

                      I don’t know marty.

                      You bleat that I am being awful and all this is horrible. I respond with something straightforward and scarcely controversial – and you are back to horrible again.

                      Do you have no insight into your own behaviour here?

                      I personally don’t have a dog in this game. I could like many left-wing males just STFU and leave the gender issue games to those who want to play them.

                      But the fatal weakness of that strategy is simply this: out in the big wide world away from left-wing blogs – most people, men and many women – do not give a stuff for feminism simply because it does not align with the experiences of their lives.

                      Don’t misrepresent me. They do get the fairness and equity bit. They do understand the right to legal equality, they do accept the right to a woman’s agency over her own body, they do widely accept non-hetro sexualities, they do accept that when it comes to all the everyday things men and women share in common – they should be treated equally.

                      But then it is also true that men and women have quite different experiences of life. No man knows what a monthly cycle is, nor the life-changing experience of pregnancy and birth. Equally no woman has the slightest existential clue what it is like to be a male.

                      No woman really understands the intense, biological interest males have in the female form. No more than any male can ever experience the intensity of maternal bonding with an infant. These are biological experiences that shape and drive much of our lives in many different and complementary ways.

                      Yet the perceived experience of many men – is that their experience of life, their masculine viewpoint has been progressively diminished and demeaned over recent decades. While everything about the feminine one has been praised and promoted.

                      For instance – the dominant discourse here totally accepts the idea that males are prone to be entitled bastards immersed in a misogynistic rape culture which treats all women as sex objects.

                      But it’s not hard to construct a parallel image – of a society of devious, grasping females who exploit their sexuality to extract commitment and resources from males, immersed in a whore culture that treats all men as wallet objects.

                      Oh dear – that gets me into trouble doesn’t it? But that isn’t my point – neither images are valid. The former argument has no more real validity than the latter. Both of them paint a dark and cynical picture of human nature that no-one wants to vote for.

                      And Mr and Mrs General Public actually understand this quite well thank you very much.

                    • not sure I’ve dragged you back in when my original comment mentioned you in the first place so take your fake rage and lemon-tears and fuck off yourself – gee now where did I learn that???

                      Thanks for staying out of the debate – works for me.

                    • funny that it isn’t your point yet you seem to love trotting it out red

                      as to the rest of your wordy but reasonably toned reply – sorta what I was trying to avoid so yeah nah

              • lol that made me laugh – well done cobber

              • Scintilla

                @redlogix: a couple of points, I think I get why the blanket call of misogyny is downright annoying. Something that has gradually become apparent to me is that men (big generalisation coming) don’t think of themselves as oppressed. The idea that most men are just as oppressed by the powerful ones as anyone else. See I think it is an assumption on the part of many people, that feminists believe women are oppressed but men are not. I’m sure some feminists do think this. But not all. It is not women, per se, who are stuffing things up for men (however you interpret stuffing up in your world) – it is powerful men, mostly, with a few women who espouse the same values and behaviours alongside them. They are stuffing up the world.

                It is interesting to me, at this Anzacian time, to reflect on the realities of life as experienced at that time. We almost got Prohibition – it was only the vote of returning soldiers from the war that stopped it. It was women who wanted it – because the wild colonial boys of that time were a pretty rough lot, and women of the day were cast as the civilising influence. Women got to be the keepers of men, the ones who calmed and provided the anchor in their lives, along with the children. They paid for it in beatings, abandonment – shooting the ditch to aussie has a looong history – and a life of manual labour. Women wanted freedom from bloody beatings, abandonment and a bit of fecking peace and quiet to get on with their own stuff.

                And wouldn’t it be nice to have that now – a bit of peace and quiet to get on with your own stuff – this was the promise of technology fed to us all a few years back, but instead we are all ….

                working for the Man.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes – that tells the story well.

                  I would like nothing more than to get back home, move to the West Coast, start a small homestay business and get out into the deep green valleys and tussocky tops again.

                  Keep the tracks clear, give the camera something to point at, paint and tidy the old huts and make some close mates. Find things useful to do where I can give back to the country I love.

                  Yet here I am still working for the Man. You could argue I have more choices than most – and you would be right. As you say above, most men refuse to see themselves as oppressed. We see duty to family as more important than ourselves.

                  And in this endeavour I passionately believe both men and women are in it together. Playing this as some kind of zero-sum game is nothing but failure. Personally I would go one step further and suggest, that if feminism wants to realise it’s ultimate promise – it needs to find some way of embracing the entire human race. Not just half of it.

                  • Scintilla

                    And I would agree with you. I think the politicians have “appeared” to give the people choices, they’ve appeased various groups, yet they have also managed to make work (in fact they never lost sight of this) the hook on which all else hangs. One’s self-worth and status depends on having a job – of which, of course, there are fewer available than workers to do them. Workers who must have no health defects, be the right age, no drug taking recreational activities, no driving demerits, a wad of meaningless nzqa credits (of which there are thousands), and they can ask all sorts of intrusive questions and keep the info on file in case “a suitable position comes up” . They can pick and choose across the age range, the gender options, and ethnic varieties as to who is the “best fit”. Then they ring their mates for a bit of “inside info”. Of course the ideal worker is … whoever they can get the most out of and pay the least.

                    They have done a stellar job convincing women that their value lies in working for the man, just like men do. This is how their hegemony has shaped women’s thinking – the powers that be couldn’t give a shit about the quality of women’s lives, whether they have real choices, free time and genuine respect – it’s purely about having more available workers to keep the blokes in line. And at the same time, they have been able to convince women that “having it all” is not only desirable, it is possible. Just keep on juggling, girls. And let’s just whack “liable parents” because keeping the nuclear family together is what we need for a stable, compliant workforce, so if they blow it we’ll smack them down. Who needs religion?

                    Shafted. All of us. They have long exercised divide and rule. And FFS, we keep falling for it.

            • Tracey 26.5.3.1.1.2

              ^^^^ sigh

              • Murray Rawshark

                +1 To the whole thing, whatever it is. It’s not a conversation.

                • tracey

                  it is the same record played over and over.

                  sometimes all anyone can really read is anger on anger… everything else is lost.

      • weka 26.5.4

        “Why is the Left so powerless to act?”

        Speak for yourselves. I’m left wing, and I don’t feel powerless this week, quite the opposite, in no small part due to women/feminists like Bailey and Hager.

        “I am quite certain this is a subjective truth and reality for Mandy, yet when you are effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ – something has gone badly wrong. This is not a vote winner if nothing else.”

        Neither Mandy nor feminism have said that half the population hate women. YOU just made that up, and worse, it comes from your own politics.

        “it doesn’t seem to have taken us anywhere constructive.”

        Again, own your own failure to understand what feminism is and why it’s been so successful despite everything. You might also want to back and look at what you just wrote (40 years of feminism is a failure) and think about why you would want to frame gender politics in this way in THIS thread given your personal views on gender politics

        Other than that, if you and CV want to run MRA lines here expect as much condemnation and ridicule as RWNJs get when they run similar lines on other kinds of politics. You don’t actually have to do this in order to address political issues, but both of you choose to. I for one am sick of this being presented as legitimate political debate just because you are left wing men.

        • RedLogix 26.5.4.1

          Other than that, if you and CV want to run MRA lines

          Ironically enough I had no idea what the term MRA meant until you used it on me maybe 8-12 months ago in a long forgotten thread. I had to google it.

          Yup – as with any movement it has more than it’s share of nutjobs and extremists. But neither is it all hot air. The reason why some people do listen to them is simple – some of what they are saying makes sense in terms of their own lives and experiences. And they are saying things no-one else is saying.

          And if you are going to demand that ONLY feminist issues are to be permitted a legitimate place in left-wing politics – then you are in for a disappointment.

          • weka 26.5.4.1.1

            Are you suggesting that the MRA agenda has a place in left wing politics?

            What you aren’t getting is that there is absolutely no reason that issues for say working class men can’t be addressed alongside feminism. You and MRAs are the ones who make it either/or because of your need to blame feminism/women (and because you have a pretty fucked up idea about what feminism is). You are part of the problem.

            And no, misogyny has no place in left wing politics.

            • RedLogix 26.5.4.1.1.1

              @weka

              I imagine the MRA’s generally would want nothing to do with left-wing politics. So no I can’t see that happening.

              You also over-reach badly when you imagine I’m blaming feminism for all the ills of the world. But that does not give feminism some kind of ‘immunity to criticism’ card either.

              The idea that any male perspective you don’t agree with must be shamed as misogyny is just plain weird.

              • weka

                I haven’t said that I think you are blaming feminism for all the ills of the world. That’s just weird.

                Feminism gets critiqued plenty. You’re just not contributing anything useful to that.

                “The idea that any male perspective you don’t agree with must be shamed as misogyny is just plain weird.”

                That’s you making shit up again. But let’s just clarify that you see analyses of gender by feminists as shaming you. Not much else to say after that.

      • Tracey 26.5.5

        and yet everything cv says his branch has proposed would have help bailey, how?

        which feminist voice appears daily in our msm to oppose the myriad of male voices proliferating radio, tv and print?

        that might help explain the so called failure of feminism to have “taken us anywhere constructive”.

    • Murray Rawshark 26.6

      Good point, CV. The response seems to be that this will dent FJK’s popularity, so they might get a go next time. Wait for Godot.

  27. Thank you for this post Mandy

    “Everyone I know who is activated to speak out does so out of a deep concern for their fellow human beings”

    I really like that point – when someone is speaking from self-interest or some other dubious motivation it seems glaringly obvious to me, such as hoskings – yet so many just don’t want to get it, don’t want to know.

  28. whateva next? 28

    “Why John Key’s daughter Stephie likes to get naked for art – ‘strong women'” NZ Herald article referred to on Open Mike. Wow, it’s not what I see when I look at her pictures….without money and status, there is an audience for her pictures, but it’s not strong women Steph!!!! maybe that’s what dad has told you though??
    as I said there “the emperor’s daughter’s got no clothes on”

    • Karen 28.1

      Can we leave Key’s daughter out of this? Attacking her is an extension of the bullying Key is guilty of.

      • Colonial Rawshark 28.1.1

        Yep. However I also can’t see how the extensive media coverage of Key’s daughter right now is a coincidence.

        • whateva next? 28.1.1.1

          and would she have ANY publicity if she weren’t Key’s daughter? examples of her art are all around us, but not in art galleries.

      • whateva next? 28.1.2

        I note what you say, and add that her “art” is looking to provoke a response, so there it is, if you don’t mind.

  29. Pasupial 29

    Just saw this over on TDB, it’s been mentioned before, good to have the screenshot though:

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/04/26/the-pm-and-the-waitress-the-facebook-post-that-prove-national-knew/

    • ropata 29.1

      Well done TDB and Martyn, live long and prosper.

    • Clemgeopin 29.2

      From the end of that article, Bomber says this :

      “The lines Hosking and his clones have been using is that the young woman has a political agenda and that her decision to have her voice heard on a left wing blog means that this is proof of a political agenda. They claim that if she had wanted to be neutral she should have told her story to the mainstream media.

      I don’t think people can seriously accept this argument.

      Firstly the ethics of the NZ Herald and Rachel Glucina highlight the very reason why posting her voice on a Left wing blog was far preferable. Secondly, since when was not wanting to be a plaything for a powerful person make you a ‘leftie’? And thirdly, of course this is ‘political’, but that’s because the person doing the bullying is the Prime Minister! To try and minimise the awfulness of being forced to put up being the play thing of the Prime Minister by saying any criticism of him is ‘political’ is as offensive as it is stupid.

      This is about a young woman who had to put up with harassment from the Prime Minister and had the courage to say stop. Minimising her for having an opinion is beneath those who argue it.”

      ————-
      I have posted this comment over there:

      This despicable behaviour of the Prime Minister who has disgraced himself and the country, nationally and internationally, should be investigated immediately and he should stand aside during the process and until fully exonerated. – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/04/26/the-pm-and-the-waitress-the-facebook-post-that-prove-national-knew/#sthash.upypbYVi.dpuf

      – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/04/26/the-prime-minister-and-the-waitress-defence-spin-lines-for-john-key/#sthash.AmpOmP1p.dpuf

    • whateva next? 30.1

      It’s called a Drama Triangle, persecutor turns to victim, ( because the rescuers of the original victim “persecuted”the perp….and his rescuers now jump in)and on and on it goes.
      Very useful for National, “No drama” has been turned into “plenty of drama” and designed to deflect.

      • Paul 30.1.1

        Key keeps claiming he ‘misread the situation’
        Problem for this excuse is that it’s a lie.
        There were lots of ‘situations’ he misread as the waitress was physically harassed on numerous occasions.
        He misread the situation after being clearly told to desist.

        • McFlock 30.1.1.1

          Did he misread his wife telling him to leave the hospo worker alone, too?

          • Paul 30.1.1.1.1

            The Herald is spinning desperately for him.
            They are implicated through Currie and Glucina.

          • Tracey 30.1.1.1.2

            and that stroking girls hair you do not know and have no consent from is something a man has to be told .

    • ropata 30.2

      My 3 year old nephew knows it is wrong to pull hair. He used to run around gleefully tormenting his sisters until he got the message from the adults in the house. FJK needs a decent role model.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 30.3

      He’s our most casual Prime Minister ever, ya know. That’s why he insists on surrounding himself with bodyguards.

      • whateva next? 30.3.1

        should be “boundary guards” not body guards.

        • Colonial Rawshark 30.3.1.1

          It should be noted that those “body guards” are sworn police officers, and I reckon they will have been witness to many interesting incidents.

          • Clemgeopin 30.3.1.1.1

            They have read that they have said something like this to save their own arses : We are there to protect the PM from others (and implying ‘not others from PM!’ They too wouldn’t have the guts it arrest or to tell Key off for his bad behaviour against the waitress because of the power imbalance)

            • Clemgeopin 30.3.1.1.1.1

              Oops, the start should read : ‘I have read…’

              ————

              My further point to add is this : I do not buy their explanation for their inaction, because, say an officer was put on a duty of checking cars on the road for WOF. If during that period, they saw a person near by assaulting some female, would the officers not take any action, ignore it and later give the excuse that they were there to check WOF and therefore ignored any other aspects of the law?

              The least one of them should have done is to tell the PM that what he was doing was an assault, against the law, wrong and he better stop it.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The Police oath Mr. Tuggy’s minders broke:

                I, [name], swear that I will faithfully and diligently serve Her (or His) Majesty [specify the name of the reigning Sovereign], Queen (or King) of New Zealand, her (or his) heirs and successors, without favour or affection, malice or ill-will. While a constable I will, to the best of my power, keep the peace and prevent offences against the peace, and will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, perform all the duties of the office of constable according to law. So help me God.

                My bold.

  30. Paul 31

    Key should take his own advice and “get some guts” rather than minimising his repeated physical harassment of the waitress.
    Another chinless wonder.

    • dv 31.1

      AND he doesnt think his credibility is damaged.

      Probably right – he would have to have some credibility to be damaged!!!

      • Brendon Harre 31.1.1

        I went to work yesterday after a few days off, there was half a dozen people in the office, pony tail pulling coming up, John Key was called a dick, someone else said they never liked him. Nobody defended him.

        Yes pony tail pulling has damaged John Key’s credibility.

  31. Olwyn 32

    I am picking up on a few people’s comments in what I want to say, but first I will point to this excellent article, which places Key’s antics among those of a certain kind of arse we’ve all seen in restaurants – who exercise what they seem to see as their own power by treating the staff with amused contempt:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/68043673/waitressing-has-its-perks-but
    It is worth remembering that male as well as female staff can also find themselves on the receiving end of this sort of thing. As a woman myself I think that cordoning off gender issues from the broader problem of power imbalances can be self-defeating.

    These debates too readily translate into a liberal versus wide-boy bicker, with each pitching conditions which, if picked up on, would end up being used to punish the powerless – the unwelcome tug of the sleeve versus the unpaid for Cherry Ripe eaten on a minimum wage job with no tea-breaks. Each side broadens the catchment range of a concept in hope of bagging their targeted enemy, but ends up only bagging those who can’t fight back. This exacerbates the mistrust and misunderstanding from which such arguments arise, and inadvertently helps to entrench the power imbalances they purport to address. To adequately address power imbalances across classes and genders, we need to avoid mistaking the branches for the roots.

    • weka 32.1

      Hi Olwyn, I don’t understand your last paragraph so will just respond to the first.

      “It is worth remembering that male as well as female staff can also find themselves on the receiving end of this sort of thing. As a woman myself I think that cordoning off gender issues from the broader problem of power imbalances can be self-defeating.”

      I’m curious in what ways you see Mandy cordoning off gender issues. I see her opening them out by naming particular dynamics. It’s a both/and situation.

      It’s also important to understand that all genders experience discrimination, but not necessarily in similar ways (or even because of their gender). I don’t see how there can be any doubt that Bailey was subjected to something because of her gender (had she been a man it wouldn’t have happened). This doesn’t minimse what male or other gendered waiters experience, it simply makes what she as a woman experienced visible. The issues that are shared across genders (eg power imbalances between owners/patrons and staff) are not the only issues in this situation, there are additional ones. How is it a problem to talk about these?

      • Olwyn 32.1.1

        Hi Weka, I prefaced my comment with “I am picking up on a few people’s comments in what I want to say…” so as not to give the impression that I thought Mandy was cordoning off the gender issue. However, as you can see for yourself, quite a bit of this thread involves intractable positions on the gender issue. As RedLogix pointed out at 26.5.1.1.1+, there is a list of serious issues involved in this case. We should not lose sight of them by fixating on one at the expense of the rest. After all, both Amanda and Rachel Glucina, who deceived Amanda and published her name without her consent, are of the same gender. And the bosses who were complicit in this are of male and female genders.

        • weka 32.1.1.1

          “We should not lose sight of them by fixating on one at the expense of the rest.”

          Sorry, I still don’t know who you are referring to, or who has cordoned off the gender issues from the wider ones. People were talking about the broader aspects of the case (in many places) long before Red made his comment. This particular thread was Mandy’s view on the gender aspects. There is nothing in what she wrote, or in most of the comments, that suggests exclusion of the other issues (other than the implications of Red and CV). Myself, I think it would be better to discuss them in one of the many other threads dedicated to this topic or in OM, so as to not derail this thread.

  32. Liberal Realist 33

    Great post, thank you.

  33. greywarshark 34

    Putting this hair-pulling in context. Wealthy people around the world are making their own rules about how to treat their employees. The Filipinos have become international providers of domestic services and some have sad stories to tell. The wealthy have become a special, entitled class claiming semi-royal privileges. Many countries just accept this. NZ hasn’t got there yet so Key and others still can get chastised for behaviour disrespectful to the person or not treating them fairly, not paying them, not providing reasonable standards of work, especially if it is a continuing habit.

    But NZ is on the way. The government has increased poverty by their laissez faire laws that increase working hours for employees, while reducing wages and conditions, no entitlement to have fixed hours and enough secure full-time jobs enabling a good living. Then they have made punitive regulations on the scores of helping organisations formed to assist the poverty stricken and contracted to the government to do the work that a modern, civilised and responsible one should do.

    So the helping groups cannot refer to defects or unmet needs, bad or unworkable or ineffective government policies with a view to obtaining improvement. Now there are few organisations able to fully support and advocate for people enduring unfair or untenable conditions. We will become like the poor Filipinos, abandoned to their fate from predatory employers. If we can’t be told what happens, then we don’t learn or understand, and then it’s easy to deny or belittle stories that do gain attention.

    I looked up feudal and droit de seigneur – the right to the sexual use of the body. Could it be said that the USA film industry have a form of it – wannabe stars sexing their way to a part and a career are in that culture? On Wikipedia there was talk about the excesses of French nobles that I hope were imaginary. (…the droit de prélassement (right of lounging; it was said that a lord had the right to disembowel his serfs to warm his feet in).)

    • Colonial Rawshark 34.1

      The elite should certainly learn from French history. Unfortunately it appears that many of them remain ignorant of points pertinent to the modern day.

      Could it be said that the USA film industry have a form of it – wannabe stars sexing their way to a part and a career are in that culture?

      Like appearing nude in the arts and culture pages of respectable newspapers and supermarket magazines?

      • greywarshark 34.1.1

        CR
        Your example fits in with my comment. And is an example of the sacrifice of self dignity and respect that people may resort to in trying to advance themselves. And it is an example of possible behaviour when the power imbalance seems otherwise insurmountable.

  34. Jonathan 35

    What astound me most out of all of this is the John Key said he was wrong.
    He admitted that he made her feel uncomfortable, she was the victim of his unwanted attention.

    And yet the leader of our country is just sitting back while so many others try and discredit this poor girl for speaking out about something that the person in question admitted to by saying he was wrong to do so.

    • Paul 35.1

      Did you read Dirty Politics?
      The attack dogs ( Glucina, Roughan, Smith, Plunket, Farrar, Hosking) have been let loose.

    • weka 35.2

      Key’s admission was PR and his apology was false. He hasn’t accepted responsibility for what he did, and he’s not going to support Bailey nor challenge those who condemn her.

      Plus wha Paul said about DP. It’s the two tracks, Key looks reasonable because he admitted he was wrong and apologised, and the attack team do the dirty work so he can keep his faux casual smile and wave persona clean.

      • emergency mike 35.2.1

        What weka said. Key keeps his hands clean while underlings go about attacking and undermining her. He can’t held responsible for what Rachel Glucina does or what Mike Hosking says now can he?

      • RedLogix 35.2.2

        Well said weka.

        Which is exactly an issue the Left can fight on. The hypocrisy of the PM remaining silent while the attack dogs on the right act on his behalf is perhaps the most repellent aspect of this episode.

        Key’s failure of judgement largely reflects on him personally; the political machine he is enabling with his silence is systemic.

    • whateva next? 35.3

      exactly my first thought too, he akshully admitted he was wrong AND apologised, and I realised it was serious….

      • freedom 35.3.1

        He apparently lied about the apology being accepted,
        and has compounded that lie by repeatedly saying Amanda said ‘that’s all fine, no drama’

        Both statements are refuted by Amanda Bailey.

        • whateva next? 35.3.1.1

          So, in deciding in who to believe, lets consider who seems to have any integrity……and guts, too easy.

          • freedom 35.3.1.1.1

            that’s a tough one, better check with fisiani, he’s the integrity expert 🙂

        • fisiani 35.3.1.2

          Both statements are denied- they were not refuted. Go get a dictionary.

          • freedom 35.3.1.2.1

            As Amanda Bailey is the subject of the apology’s intent it is only Amanda Bailey who can offer any statement as to whether the apology was or was not accepted and to comment on any statements of response offered to the person who wronged her and had felt, however insincerely & belatedly, that an apology was warranted.

            A statement addressing both aspects of the belated and insincere apology are now on record and as such constitute proof the statements from the wrongdoer are indeed as false as the acceptance of the apology the wrongdoer repeatedly lied about. The person receiving the apology has henceforth refuted the claim of the wrongdoer and hence the term refuted is completely applicable.

            Sorry to spoil your semantics spasm

    • McGrath 35.4

      I’m seeing the same mistakes made here as happened with Dirty Politics. Key is keeping the message simple (DP was “didn’t happen”, this is “I was wrong, apologised and stopped six months ago”). The Left however (like DP) is throwing the kitchen sink at it with statements of deviance, misogyny, rape culture, abuse, cover-ups, power imbalance, right-wing conspiracy to shut down the waitress etc. etc. Eventually the general public (like DP) will just “tune out” and accept (rightly or wrongly) Key’s simple answer.

      • whateva next? 35.4.1

        My comment on 22.4.15…..
        “If there is too much more reaction to this it will simply become a story about the reaction, and Key will be off the hook, people might even start to feel sorry for him.(aaaaagh)”

        • McGrath 35.4.1.1

          Absolutely bang on. Always ALWAYS keep the message simple, it’s becoming overkill, with the Left looking like screeching, vindictive Harpies.

          • emergency mike 35.4.1.1.1

            Help us wise one, what simple message exactly would you recommend?

            • Paul 35.4.1.1.1.1

              An hour so far too think of that simple message
              Me thinks McGrath was tr***ing

              • Anne

                Actually McGrath is right about the message, but wrong imo about what the Left( opposition is a better word) is sending. The only messages I have seen that actually matter are from Metiria Turei (co-leader of the Greens), Andrew Little (leader LP) Annette King (dep.leader LP) and Winston Peters (leader NZ 1st). All of them have been brief and easy to understand – poor judgement… form of harassment… unbecoming of a prime minister.

                I watched Q&A this morning and both Metiria and David Shearer reiterated those simple messages – because they were asked.

                You can’t include left wing blog sites – or any blog sites for that matter – because 3/4 of the population have never read them – probably don’t even know what a blog is or where to find them.

                • McGrath

                  Blog sites are mattering more and more though. I reckon its fascinating to see the effects of blogs on the political landscape over the last five years or so. People are abandoning traditional media and getting their info from online news and blogs.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yeah, things are getting real feral. Any moment now Oravida Collins will turn up and offer money for a bleach attack on those lefty scum.

                • weka

                  I don’t feel any obligation to present a certain message. What I’m here for is to increase understanding of the politics, including calling out the stuff that’s wrong or bullshit.

                  Cries for better messaging from the left are intentional distractions. I agree that political parties need to take care with how they present their ideas, but the left is so much bigger than that.

                  I notice that McGrath still hasn’t said what the message should be. Trole.

                  • felix

                    “political parties need to take care with how they present their ideas, but the left is so much bigger than that.”

                    +1

                    I get very bored listening to people who say we’d make better progress if only we’d ignore everything we care about.

            • weka 35.4.1.1.1.2

              Get over it and move on 😉

            • Murray Rawshark 35.4.1.1.1.3

              I suspect McGrath’s recommendation would be to vote Key.

            • McGrath 35.4.1.1.1.4

              How about leaving out deviance, misogyny, rape culture, abuse, cover-ups, power imbalance, right-wing conspiracy to shut down the waitress, and stick with the original “Repeatedly pulling hair is beneath a PM”.

              • Paul

                Pulling someone’s hair repeatedly is abuse

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                How about you minimise assault some more, and I’ll break your teeth to make you pretty? 😆 hah hah hah just kidding.

              • Colonial Viper

                “unwelcome touching is harrassment and beneath our PM”

                • McGrath

                  That would do it.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    McGrath endorses CV’s narrative.

                    Which of them loses the most credibility?

                    • tracey

                      i suspect they ate both men. one of whom gets agitated if any worker injustice is understated by The Left. watering down deviant behaviour toward women and girls however…

                    • tracey

                      it seems ant. redlogix mcgrath and cr are representative of “joe average”

                  • Ant

                    Spot on, when the critique of Key’s action becomes extreme (as far a joe average sees the world), it is far easier to spin because Key sounds increasingly reasonable in comparison.

                    Key’s comments of the past 48 hours are well polled and targeted, and are probably hitting the mark, just like DP.

              • RedLogix

                I largely agree with you McG – it’s the correct starting point. And I agree with you that some people are over-egging it.

                The fact remains that this PM is still enormously popular because of the assiduous brand management that has gone on – and that he is making a big group of National Party voters quite wealthy through unconstrained asset price inflation in the property market. Attacking Key is interpreted as an attack on them as well. We are not going to change their minds by telling them Key is the devil incarnate.

                It’s an old and very wise rule in sales, you DON”T slag an an opposition’s product that your customer is already using. All that does is insult their reasons for choosing the product in the first place.

                What you do is ask them what issues they have had with it. What could it do better. Get THEM to tell you what is wrong with the product and that gives YOU the legitimate opportunity to do better.

                Ask most John Key supporters about this episode and many will express some degree of discomfort and doubt. Many pro-National media commentators like John Armstrong have already had the guts to do so. And that is your entry point; then all the other larger values issues can legitimately follow. If you have a genuine dialog going on you don’t even have to say much – just ask a few well timed leading questions.

                Which to their credit is what the senior leaders in Labour, the Greens and NZ1 have done so far.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I always find it difficult to see things the Marketing Department way. It’s the superficiality of it, perhaps. Or maybe the duplicity. Who can tell.

                  • weka

                    Also interesting is that that approach frames this issue in terms of party politics and renders gender politics irrelevant (it’s more important to win the election!). Quelle suprise.

                  • RedLogix

                    The Marketing Department wins Elections mate.

                    While it’s a bad idea to let them take over, there is reason every organisation has one.

              • emergency mike

                Isn’t that exactly what Labour, Greens, and NZ First have said? Weird, unbecoming, harassment. Simple.

                Wait you do realize that The Standard is not an opposition party right? And that it’s posters and commenters are not here in the service of any of them? Plus I don’t see the MSM giving much attention to it. ‘The Left’ is not a homogeneous entity marching in lock step McGrath.

                It’s telling to me that your criticism here seems to be that we here might be giving ammunition to RW spin merchants who would be happy to complicate the story until people tune out as you say. Who is more worthy of criticism? The people here discussing and debating the issues this incident raises, or the RW spin team trying to turn the very existence of that discussion to their advantage and make it all go away?

                It turns out that some of us are concerned with real issues that impact real people ahead of political hit point damage objectives.

                But your concern is appreciated.

                • + 1 good points – yep they’d love us to talk about what THEY want in the way they want otherwise they lose control of the narrative.

              • weka

                How about leaving out deviance, misogyny, rape culture, abuse, cover-ups, power imbalance, right-wing conspiracy to shut down the waitress, and stick with the original “Repeatedly pulling hair is beneath a PM”.

                Which, conveniently, places all the focus on Key as the agent in this story and obliterates the experience of Bailey. This plays into the narrative of Key the lad just messing about and taking it too far. Which is exactly the dynamic that is being addressed by naming rape culture and misogyny.

                It also misses the glaring obviousness of this behaviour no longer being beneath a PM. If it were, there would be consequences.

                • emergency mike

                  Well said weka. The problem with McGrath’s prescription is that the discussion dries up quickly.

                  “Unbecoming.”
                  “Yeah I was goofing around and went too far. I’ve said sorry.”
                  “Not good enough.”
                  “What can I say? I’m a casual PM.”
                  “But it’s harassment.”
                  “I’ve said sorry.”
                  “Unbecoming.”
                  “I think we’re done with this.”

                  Without actual consequences for Key, it’s a prescription for ending the story. If it’s really beneath a PM then why is he still PM?

                  Having said that I think his image has been significantly politically damaged here. For all the talk from some about the danger of making Key the martyr here with OTT analysis of this, I think the image of our PM repeatedly pulling a waitress’ hair until she starts crying is too strong. It will sink in to the collective unconscious and he won’t live this down.

                  • RedLogix

                    Not really.

                    Once you have established ‘conduct unbecoming’ in everyone’s mind – you then ask the next fucking question.

                    Like “While you have admitted you were in the wrong Mr Prime Minister, what is YOUR reaction to the widespread attacks on Amanda Bailey and the minimisation of her concerns?”

                    Or any number of other points to challenge on.

                    • emergency mike

                      No argument from me there RL, but that’s heading into the ‘complicated’ territory that McGrath is advising against.

                      Besides I’m quite confident in Key’s ability to waffle talk his way out of questions like that. Not that they shouldn’t be asked. But it’s not like we have journos that are going challenge his answers or anything.

                      Having said that I’d love to see him face up to John Campbell or Kim Hill over this.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      And the reason these skewers can’t be applied now is…?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yeah sure OAB – but not I suggest “Are you a perverted, hair-stroking, power-abusing pedophile Mr Prime Minister?”

                      Maybe a little too soon for that. /sarc

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      I agree with this bit, but how do we get to the next step while FJK is travelling and none of the tame journalists with him are likely to ask anything? What a shame he hadn’t booked into Hardtalk again.

                    • weka

                      “Are you a perverted, hair-stroking, power-abusing pedophile Mr Prime Minister?”

                      Just as well the left didn’t say that then.

              • Murray Rawshark

                How about Nact leave out deviance, misogyny, rape culture, abuse, cover-ups, power imbalance, right-wing conspiracy to shut down the waitress?

                Nah, that wouldn’t be the NAct that we all know and love.

              • tracey

                caressing childrens hair he doesnt know is illegal,

      • halfcrown 35.4.2

        McGrath is right.
        It reminds me when Kinnock had Thatcher by the balls (very hard I have to admit ) over the Westland Helicopter fiasco. They talked and talked and talked and fucked around with so much in depth analysis that in the end Thatcher managed to wriggle off the hook through the incompetence of the Kinnock Labour party.
        They played it too long instead of landing it as soon as possible.

        • ropata 35.4.2.1

          TS doesn’t represent any particular party we’re just a bunch of fractious left leaning people venting on the internet. I do hope the LP and Greens play this straight and let the public make up their own minds.

          • halfcrown 35.4.2.1.1

            I agree with that, but to date I have not seen any serious attempt, by the opposition, be it the Greens, Labour, Fred down the road or the fucking man in the moon to nail this fucking hair tugging pervert to the wall.

  35. weka 36

    Stephanie’s great analysis on consent, the rape myth of sexual harassers as evil others, and why labelling Key a pervert etc is unhelpful and even harmful.

    https://bootstheory.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/on-john-keys-fetish/

  36. fisiani 37

    13 seperate posts on this trivia and no reaction from the public and you guys wonder why no one cares? It’s like the Left are not like real people with real concerns and issues. Go on make it 20 posts. Hours wasted on a keyboard and opinion polls vary not a jot. Futility is doing the same same over and over and expecting a different outcome. 13 posts and 600 comments equates to futility.

    • freedom 37.1

      lmao “and no reaction from the public”
      you slay me sometimes fisiani, you really do

      services above and beyond mate,

    • appleboy 37.2

      Oh my god Piss eee ar knee

      No reaction. What world do you live in? Our PM is a laughing stock internationally. Most Kiwis would find a grown man pulling a waitresses hair FUCKED UP, and you sit there bleating, like Key, it’s nothing, just casual fun. You right whiners stun me in your skewed look at life.

      Oh, and throw in pulling numerous school girl’s hair – if I was a teacher, or any other person I’d be in serious shit. What in the fuck makes it OK for the PM to do this. No you have never answered that have you , perhaps you like creepy too. That would explain things.

      And god knows what you hypocrites would be saying if this was David Cunliffe or Helen Clarke. And that’s just it, we wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be happening. Creepy perverts for PM? Yes please says the right. My god.

    • tracey 37.3

      perhaps you could have spent your time better fisiani. do your daughters plait their hair? you ok with 50 year old men they and you dont know fondling them?

  37. venezia 38

    Thank you sincerely for doing this post on these issues Mandy. I agree with all points you have made. I have to say that I feel exhausted trying to explain to men who really don’t want to know, the points you have made about sexism, power imbalance and the effects on our society of such misogynistic thinking. So it is refreshing to read the contributions of male commentators who do understand, have done their own analysis of how society can change for the better one man at a time, and can respond clearly to people like Vaughan above. (Fisiani is beyond bothering about). Since it broke on the DB, I have heard many people out there talking about this, especially older women, who feel let down by the Seven Sharp Hosking treatment of the issue. A great post.

  38. Once was Tim 39

    I get the impression the spin doctors (fisiani et al) may very well be pushing shit uphill.
    Even the right wing sympathisers across the ditch are beginning to ridicule ‘poor wee JK’.
    It’s not going to be too long before some enterprising member of the 4th Estate (I mean not one of our so-called 4th Estate) starts to ask Tarn Yabbit what he thinks about JK’s fetish …. or David Cameron, or even Barak O.
    I bet Crosby Textor (and the Penguin, and even Matty Dear) have got the spinning wheels in overdrive.
    Global markets’n’all, might not even be too long before the CTextors begin to think this guy’s become a liability

    JK might even have to go on Barak’s ‘bucket list’ (unless he’s a complete and utter moron – which given his foreign policy creds so far, is a definite possibility)

  39. Murray Rawshark 40

    There seem to be three distinct ways of looking at this (horribly paraphrased except for Fizzy):
    1. Fizzy et al – John Key is god.
    2. FJK is a weird pervert who abuses his position of power in both a class and gender sense to get his rocks off.
    3. The main issue is gender and calling FJK a weird pervert detracts from this.

    I like to be optimistic and think that 2 and 3 are basically on the same side. I think we should look for common ground and go from there rather than either labelling feminism as a problem or calling anyone who puts class first a Men’s Rights Activist. I don’t think either of these is a worthwhile position and it looks to me like we’re trying to have the Stalinist purges before we have gained state power.

    Talking to each other can be a lot more than shouting from established positions, as if we are in opposing WW1 trenches.

    • mhager 40.1

      I agree. I posted because I need to try and make sense of a situation that is presented as so totally opposite to what I see really going on, and it’s better to get this shit out of my head than leave it festering away (sorry all!) I personally find the discussion about feminism frustrating because a) can one not comment on what is clearly obvious on a global scale without having a potentially vexatious label attached to it? but also b) because the negative and disparaging sentiments about feminism are designed and proliferated especially in order to (once again) marginalise those who are trying to seek an easing of the current bi-polar situation.
      The thing that strikes me whenever I read the comments on TS, is that there are a lot of very very smart people out there who have fascinating points to make and are passionate about their positions, but what this leads to is everyone attacking eachother and not focussing on what concrete actions could be taken to move an issue forwards. I’m not saying I have the answer to this – that’s why I put the issue out there and try to name it (and, yes, it is angry and emotional, can’t help it, that’s how I’m made) – but it is always my hope that a bunch of smart people could actually pool their significant intellect and come up with some kind of forward action. The responses linking to Mediaworks email addresses, for instance, or Giovanni’s blog are the kind of positive suggestions I would hope can be shared.
      I think that the Right rely on the fact that those opposed to them take many forms, and that if they leave us to squabble among ourselves we will diffuse the argument to the extent that it drowns in he said/she said/I’m right/you’re wrong debates and put middle of the road voters off. Somehow we have to figure out how to move forward in a more cohesive way, and harness all this good thought and passion to progress rather than just spin around in circles. I don’t know how to do this – that’s why I’m putting it out here. I also think it undermines us if we’re rude and hostile to each other. Can we do this do you think?

      • Chooky 40.1.1

        mhagar +100

        imo feminism boils down to human rights and democracy….a society can be judged on the wellbeing and rights of women just as it can on the rights and wellbeing of indigenous people…. NZ women have fought long and hard for these rights …so I see the issue of women’s rights as an issue for fighting for a healthy democracy

        …the less healthy and representative a democracy is the more different sectors of that society will be marginalised ….and the more women’s rights will be abused

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 40.1.2

        I think that the Right rely on the fact that those opposed to them take many forms, and that if they leave us to squabble among ourselves we will diffuse the argument to the extent that it drowns in he said/she said/I’m right/you’re wrong debates and put middle of the road voters off. Somehow we have to figure out how to move forward in a more cohesive way, and harness all this good thought and passion to progress rather than just spin around in circles. I don’t know how to do this – that’s why I’m putting it out here. I also think it undermines us if we’re rude and hostile to each other. Can we do this do you think?”
        You have nailed it perfectly, Mandy.
        We must stop presenting ourselves as a bickering, sniping bunch and instead work together on the basic issues on which we agree so that we are seen an electable progressive movement. Often arguing about finer detail or side issues stalls the forward momentum just as in basic physics.

      • Colonial Rawshark 40.1.3

        I suggest leaving behind the theoretical, abstractive, conceptual, jargon filled discussions the over intellectualised Left often now prefers (but leaves most Kiwis dead cold distant) to lively debates over glasses of wine, academic critiques of essays and classroom settings.

        And moving in favour of working together on specific campaigns which change society and peoples lives for the better in concrete, observable ways. So campaigns for legislative and structural change, campaigns carrying out specific activities and actions, campaigns constructing concrete alternative social and media infrastructure, etc.

        • weka 40.1.3.1

          bites tongue

          😉

          (ug, terrible fucking smilies).

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 40.1.3.2

          Thanks Mandy for pointing out the obvious: the fruitlessness of endless bickering. Let’s put more energy into thinking of more positive ways to get people moving towards the common purpose of getting a government elected that will be fairer, more transparent, have the best interests of its people and the environment and be much less influenced by the agenda of external political and corporate powers.
          I would like to see a discussion on the issue of how we can move forward in a more unified progressive movement (not attached to any specific political party but inclusive and standing for a sustainable way forward for our country, its people , the land and the sea: social justice for all, protection of the environment, doing our bit to mitigate climate change, consideration of what we are leaving for future generations.

          • weka 40.1.3.2.1

            I’m in two minds about the unified thing. I’d be interested to hear how people see we could have been unified yesterday in this thread. Specifics would be good.

      • weka 40.1.4

        but it is always my hope that a bunch of smart people could actually pool their significant intellect and come up with some kind of forward action.

        This is an ongoing issue on ts, and not just in gender conversations. Various people, myself included, raise it at different times, but there doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for it. I put this down to a number of things,

        – the ts authors write what they want to write and are not primarily here for activism beyond that.

        – many people here are already activists elsewhere and come here for something else.

        – there is a very strong debate culture here, and many of us love arguing. Sometimes the love of arguing outstrips the politics or being decent human beings.

        – it’s very hard to organise if you don’t have someone leading or spearheading. Ts has no leaders and is generally pretty anarchic.

        etc.

        Having said that, I don’t see any reason why an author such as yourself couldn’t put up posts designed specifically for moving forward, and you could ask that such threads be moderated to stay on topic with that (assuming there are moderators available). I’d be interested to see that trialed (I’d suggest not starting with gender issues, at least not ones that revolve around sexuality or rape culture).

        I think that the Right rely on the fact that those opposed to them take many forms, and that if they leave us to squabble among ourselves we will diffuse the argument to the extent that it drowns in he said/she said/I’m right/you’re wrong debates and put middle of the road voters off. Somehow we have to figure out how to move forward in a more cohesive way, and harness all this good thought and passion to progress rather than just spin around in circles. I don’t know how to do this – that’s why I’m putting it out here. I also think it undermines us if we’re rude and hostile to each other. Can we do this do you think?

        The standard is intentionally designed for robust debate. That goes hand in hand with rudeness and aggressivess. I can’t see that changing hugely unless the basic kaupapa is changed, but the way it is now also works for what is intended. I see ts’s main good as being creating a space for such robust debate, letting the issues get a good going over, and then letting that filter out into the world in various ways. It’s not a place for middle of the road voters, it’s a place for the people that want to really put things out there and toss them around fairly hard.

        Having said that, I do think there is room for naming behaviour and that producing change. In a recent conversation on rape culture a number of the men supporting the addressing of rape culture got called out for hogging the conversation in certain ways and I heard those men listen and take note of what was said. There was also a long drawn out conversation that I was part of that seemed like another one of those ones going round and round but in the end it actually went somewhere pretty useful IMO (several of us were acknowledging we were learning things).

      • Murray Rawshark 40.1.5

        Thanks for that, mhager. I agree 100%.

      • tracey 40.1.6

        thanks for taking the time…

    • weka 40.2

      I like your 1, 2, 3 summation Murray.

      Not so keen on the second bit. As the person using the MRA reference, I’m not actually the one creating the gender/class division, nor creating the polarity. In my politics there is enough room for everyone, and class and gender intersect anyway, so the idea that gender excludes class is ridiculous.

      I don’t have a problem with someone wanting to look at class, or even class first. I do have a problem with people wanting to undermine feminism and doing that in a thread about gender written by a feminist. I also dislike some of the backdoor ways this was brought into the conversation. That’s all my issue is in this thread, it’s all about how the issues were brought up here. I can see other ts regulars who could have discussed class in this thread without bringing in anti-feminism agendas, but will just note that by and large it was the people with those agendas that raised the subject.

      There are very good political reasons for why I have a problem with those things, but there is also the issue of appropriateness. I want feminist authors to be able to write here and be respected and want to stay. Hijacking threads on gender for anti-feminist agendas is fucked up, and IMO shouldn’t be tolerated on ts. I doubt that the stress for many feminists of such hijacking is particularly visible, but in the past few days I reached my limit of tolerance, and so from now on I will just name the problem rather than engaging with it as valid debate. This is in no way different than how people interact with RWNJs or troles, except for this idea that because we all vote on the left the rules should be different.

      btw, the really simple solution to this is to take these things to OM (plus I will note that two main people doing this both have author privileges and so could put up their own posts too).

      • Colonial Rawshark 40.2.1

        You complain about others wanting to silence and suppress feminist voices yet you as a feminist are quite happily advocating for other voices not be tolerated and to be effectively silenced. Or to plain just go away somewhere else.

        Do you really think that this rank hypocrisy has been unnoticed.

        Not so keen on the second bit. As the person using the MRA reference, I’m not actually the one creating the gender/class division, nor creating the polarity.

        Don’t try and distance yourself from responsibility. The use of the term MRA is IMO just as gender divisive and gender polarising as someone using the offensive and derogatory term Feminazi, etc.

        • weka 40.2.1.1

          It might be hypocrisy if there was an even playing field here, which there isn’t.

          If the MRA term is so offensive then why have you identified with those it applies to?

          My using the term in this thread was in direct response to two people (at least one man) running anti-feminist lines that look very similar to MRA lines. I pointed that out, and I also pointed out that one didn’t have to run those lines in order to talk about the wider issues. That didn’t make any difference, so my conclusion is that Red at least is comfortable aligning himself with the MRA lines. He had plenty of opportunity to distance himself.

          I’m happy to use another phrase, but MRA seems accurate. I’m not happy to engage in the debate with arguments that are basically anti-feminist as if they were valid.

          • Colonial Rawshark 40.2.1.1.1

            I learnt early on that I don’t give a rats ass what other people label me, I’m just pointing out that you are very happily using polarising and divisive labels yourself when you find you can’t control other peoples perspectives which are equally valid to yours.

            • weka 40.2.1.1.1.1

              Do you think MRA perspectives are as valid as feminism’s?

              I don’t have to control Red’s perspectives (or yours for that matter), but it’s enlightening that that’s what you think this is about. All I have to do is name it for what it is. That’s not silencing people, it’s holding them accountable for the objectionable parts of their beliefs. That is pretty much what we do here.

              • RedLogix

                As I said way up earlier weka – the real irony is that I had no idea what MRA stood for until YOU labelled me with is some time back.

                I had to google it.

                I did a spot of reading and decided that, like reading the HandMirror, it made for an interesting read – but ultimately I couldn’t identify with the MRA types. For a variety of reasons.

                The past decade has seen quite a variety of male perspective voices emerge. The MRA types only seem to be just one of them. Most cannot be described as any kind of male analog of feminism. Certainly in sum they cannot be described as any kind of coherent movement. The messages are inchoate and sometimes discordant. Often it is obvious that there is great deal of pain and hurt being expressed as anger and bitterness.

                There is no ‘masculinist theory’, no university courses (I am aware of), none of the networks and mature, advanced mechanisms which support feminism. It’s all quite different. It turns out that a ‘mens liberation movement’ is nothing that most women recognise at all.

                It turns out that when men started to find their own voice – women really did not want to hear what they were saying. I agree the message is muddled, angry and often confrontational. It’s not easy to listen to. Some of it is downright wrong – but here is the important point:

                Women do not get to decide what the qualitative experience of men is either.

                From my perspective nothing I am saying negates or diminishes feminism, or the voices and aspirations it represents. But it also true that feminism has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the high ground of gender relations for many decades, and naturally reluctant to cede any inch of it. And hence all the antagonism flowing in both directions.

                Yet men and women have far more interests in common than not. Ultimately this so-called ‘cultural gender war’ is both futile and dangerous.

              • the pigman

                Labeling someone an MRA unless they are actively asserting and advocating for, well, men’s rights, is reductive and inflammatory. As RedLogix notes above, they are generally muddled, angry and aggrieved and the generally most organised they get is picketing and harassing their wives’ lawyers’ homes.

                To bandy the term about to rile against anyone who objects to perspectives expressed from behind the aegis of feminism is just as bad as the misogynists on the internet that use the term “SJW” (social justice warrior) to rile against people who are against misogyny.

        • tracey 40.2.1.2

          there are all kinds of ways to silence people. Some shrink from a thread like this cos of how it is expressed… with anger…. resentment… polarised views… making it feel unsafe to express a view.

      • Murray Rawshark 40.2.2

        MRA is a pretty heavy accusation. MRA paints men as victims of a feminist conspiracy and allocates the power in society to women, solely on the basis of what they have between their legs. I have seen nothing here that comes even close to MRA positions, at least not from regulars.

        • weka 40.2.2.1

          My comments were that the arguments were aligned with the MRA (not that Red was one). I’ll pull out some examples when I get the chance. I’d be interested in how you see the examples.

  40. Pat 41

    Interesting the debate (?) around overreaction…as is usually the case the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle….while there is merit in extrapolating and placing the actions of Key under the microscope it is also true that the interest of the general public does not extend that far….the real question (in a political sense) is …are those in the “middle” beginning to question their own judgement of Key?…that question wont be answered by partisan blogs of either hue.

  41. Jules 42

    Excellent post.

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