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Sexism

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 pm, August 10th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: john key, national, sexism - Tags:

My colleague Eddie had a go at Phil Goff this morning for dickish remarks, and fair enough too. But in the interests of keeping things in perspective, just a reminder as to which is the sexist party here.

In National’s cabinet just 1 of the top 5 ministers is female (3 of the top 10, just 6 of the 20-strong cabinet, and just 2 of the 8 ministers outside cabinet).

The number of women in state appointed boards has declined under National too.

One of the Nat government’s first acts when elected was to axe “two investigations aimed at improving the pay of women as it tries to save money by controlling public sector salaries”.

Partly as a consequence no doubt, the gender pay gap is widening again (it had been narrowing under Labour).

National’s beneficiary bashing effects women disproportionately, they have cut funding to rape crisis, and much much more.

Oh yes – and John Key – likes to hang out with dubious company and chat about his celebrity crushes “hot list”.

Concerned about sexism in NZ? Don’t vote National.

sexist-key

68 comments on “Sexism ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Finlayson himself is no friend to women. No friend to gays either.

    • joe90 1.1

      No friend to gays either.

      Indeed Tigger. During the same sex marriage debate my otherwise gentle and placid friend Dean would become positively incandescent when noting that for many years there have been numerous MPs out or otherwise who could and should have done an awful lot more to move equality issues along.

    • Tim 1.2

      We used to call the likes of Finlayson ‘ponces’ not that long ago. It didn’t necessarily correspond to sexuality specifically – more to do with overall disposition.
      Chris Finlayson is a self-serving ponce – and you’re correct – no friend to women or ‘gays’.

      Oh, btw …. since I’ve had 2 same sex relationships a while back but not currently – apparently I’m ‘a gay’. Where I live, there’d be an above average ‘a gay’ cohort as well – most of whom I know of seem to think as I do and often joke about it: the only reason Finlayson is celibate is that he’s become so far up his own arse, (same sex) relationships for him are superfluous. For him, no-one else is capable of providing the necessaries of any relationship but his own ego. Besides, he needs a way of remaining ‘respectable’ given his fuddy duddy morals.
      I’ll let him know when I find somewhere that can ‘correct his sexuality’.

      • Tim 1.2.1

        Ekshly – js before I depart, I’ve got a better explanation for Chris Finlayson’s Natzi dread.
        And it’s that it’s more than likely that Pulla Bent has become his faghag.

        It’s as close to a scientific explanation you’ll ever get anyway

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    Labour isn’t too bad because national is awful ?

    OMG I didn’t think the Labour apologists could get any worse but this post has proved me wrong.

    • Jackal 2.1

      Actually, Labour historically isn’t that good but the current National government is a lot lot worse. It is likely that a future Labour led government with the Greens as their main coalition partner would move to reduce inequality while National has clearly shown it is happy for things to get worse. If you think that’s apologizing for Labour then here’s your dunce’s cap…go sit in the corner tinfoilhat.

      • tinfoilhat 2.1.1

        I don’t think there are any dunces caps left between your blog and this post they’ve all been handed out.

        • Rosetinted 2.1.1.1

          Perhaps follow your convictions tinfoilhat and be a NZ entrepreneur in this market that isn’t guaranteed success but that’s business risk-taking. There is no surety that Labour will lose, but if you make the caps double sided with a sad and a smiley face you can’t miss. And we never know our luck and the effect of some critical thinking rationally applied might achieve wonders.

    • Murray Olsen 2.2

      My thoughts, too, tfh. It reminded me of the RWNJs coming on to wank on about Helen signing paintings etc. I think anyone here for serious reasons already knows NAct are crap. We hate seeing the same bullshit invading the “left”, often led by the disgusting Waitakere men and now, Goff as well. Maybe his sexism came as a package deal with the Hardley or whatever it is the smug prick rides?

  3. alwyn 3

    Well well.
    When any contributor to this blog, while replying to a story about the dark, evil deeds of the National Government, points out that the previous Labour Government did much the same they are, correctly, rubbished.
    I presume that the same applies to this post. What is it doing after all but proposing that “They did it too”.

    • Pasupial 3.1

      @ Alwyn

      It’s not: “They did it too” (under a government 5 years and two Labour leaders ago). It’s: They are doing it right now!

      Goff’s dickish jibe and unconcern at offending women; while disappointing and boding poorly for gender equality in any future government he may be a part of, does not have the immediate and far reaching consequences of our current NACT government actions (and neglect).

  4. QoT 4

    It is entirely possible for both parties to be sexist.

    John Tamihere. Phil Goff. Shane Jones. Working for Families.

    Can’t we just call shit out when it’s shit instead of pretending it matters who the shittiest is?

    Edited to add: and more to the point, don’t we expect MORE from a party which constantly bangs on about its social-liberal credentials when it thinks that’ll win votes?

    • r0b 4.1

      There is dickish behaviour and sexism from all sides, because it is all so deeply embedded. I’m not defending it, and contrary to the trolls above (tinfoil hat and alwyn) this post doesn’t defend Goff, it says Eddie was right to call him on it.

      This post is about something even more important. Results.

      Things get worse for women (like most other groups) under National governments, and better under Labour. Seems worth saying every now and then.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1.1

        Sorry, no. This post just isn’t right.

        You are absolutely right to say that it “seems worth saying every now and then” that National governments lead to bad results for women.

        But, now isn’t the time. Because what happens? This. This happens. A Labour MP says something sexist. Instead of having a debate on sexism in the Left, someone goes “yeah, fair point, but look, those guys are much worse.” Everyone agrees. Everyone gets to feel good about themselves. And we move on without addressing the original problem.

        Screw that. How about we ignore National for a moment and actually try and fix the bloody mess that Labour is in terms of sexism, homophobia and racism? Nah, let’s just say that National is worse and feel good about ourselves.

      • QoT 4.1.2

        It’s really quite a coincidence how “every now and then” just happens to be on a day when you want people to stop talking about a Labour MP’s sexism, isn’t it?

        • r0b 4.1.2.1

          It’s not a coincidence at all, so no need for sarcasm.

          I get frustrated that we seem to spend more time (lefties in general, and here on The Standard too) discussing the superficial aspects of sexism than the truly damaging aspects. A post of Goff saying something stupid is guranteed to attract more comments than a post on the widening pay gap. It’s crazy.

          I’m away now until after midnight, so adieu.

          • Rhinocrates 4.1.2.1.1

            Symptoms are indeed superficial – but they indicate a deeper illness.

            This isn’t some hypersensitive girls getting uppity about a little detail, it’s people sensing the whiff of a stink that indicates a deep rot that corrupts the whole carcass. No amount of stale sweat or aftershave will hide it.

            It’s not the “superficial” aspects that are the problem, it’s the fact that the disease first manifest itself as “superficial” symptoms.

          • Rhinocrates 4.1.2.1.2

            A post of Goff saying something stupid is guranteed to attract more comments than a post on the widening pay gap.

            If Goff says something showing that he thinks of women as lesser beings, then that calls into question his commitment to closing the pay gap as a high priority, instead of thinking of astute diagnoses of that as “a distraction.” – which should be at the centre of the Bullshit Bingo grid.

            Let’s add it to the others – “I hear what you’re saying, but be reasonable and think strategically…” “It will happen once we’ve achieved my objectives first.”

            No, I’m not a woman or a “gelding”, but I am thinking of Niemoller’s “First they came for…”

            Identity politics are the epitome of everyone’s politics.

          • QoT 4.1.2.1.3

            Sigh. There was a big comment here, but I’m really just going to boil it down to:

            Gee, r0b. Do tell me more about the truly damaging aspects of sexism. I’m sure I haven’t the faintest notion.

            • Rhinocrates 4.1.2.1.3.1

              Um, so did I just see some mansplaining? >:)

            • r0b 4.1.2.1.3.2

              Tell me QoT, do you hold any valid opinions on racism? On ageism? On discrimination against the disabled?

              Genuine enquiry.

              • Rhinocrates

                valid opinions on

                That in itself undermines this:

                Genuine enquiry.

                Who determines “valid”?

              • QoT

                Genuine enquiry.

                Bullshit.

                ETA: Precisely what Rhinocrates said.

                • r0b

                  Well let me rephrase. Do you hold any opinions on racism? On ageism? On discrimination against the disabled?

              • Rhinocrates

                I have opinions on rose bushes, earwax and cancer. I’ve not had the reason or inclination to talk about them and the fact fact that I haven’t, for whatever reason or circumstance, chosen to do so should have no bearing at all on the things that I do choose to talk about.

                Let alone how “valid” those opinions are.

                I assume that the same implicitly applies to everyone.

  5. Salad 5

    Yeh, but I’m not a member of the National Party, I am a member of the Labour Party. We shouldn’t have to put up with this shit…

  6. chris 6

    Don’t you think you are all getting a little bit missish over a comment… Each to his own, personally I found the “gaggle of gays” positively hilarious. There are a shyte load of old girls blouses in the insect colony, Goff being one of them, and one could be excused for thinking there are more blokes in Parliament than there actually are.

    I think everyone has at one time or other wished the ground would open up and swallow them

    Glass houses/ stones, pot/kettle, mountain/molehill etc…

    • QoT 6.1

      a little bit missish

    • karol 6.2

      A gaggle of gays is hilarious?!! And “old girls blouses?!!

      Back to the future…..

      • chris 6.2.1

        lol @ back to the future…

        Kiwis are becoming so bloody precious about such minor issues

        Who cares if Goff (big girls blouse 🙂 ) makes a comment about some bloke being beaten by a woman 3 times… seriously how will that improve or worsen your personal situation in life

        I’m a woman and frankly I couldn’t give a toss if there were no women in Parliament… gender is irrelevant, the calibre of the MP and party policy is foremost in my mind when ticking the ballot paper. Frankly there are a number of women currently in Parliament who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the place.

        • felix 6.2.1.1

          “Who cares if Goff (big girls blouse 🙂 ) makes a comment about some bloke being beaten by a woman 3 times… seriously how will that improve or worsen your personal situation in life”

          How does it worsen your personal situation that people in positions of power and influence think your gender alone makes you less capable than half of the population?

          Seriously?

  7. Rosetinted 7

    What was Jokeyhen indicating in that photo – “They were that big” – perhaps talking about fish.
    Or is he just showing that he has clean hands sometimes.

  8. karol 8

    There needs to be clear ground between National and Labour on this issue (and others) – especially related ones like on beneficiaries, because a lot of the Nats’ bennie-bashing hits women particularly hard.

    So, I agree with those who say it’s not good enough for Labour to be slightly better than National on gender issues, on social security, on housing etc.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    National more sexist? Definitely. Doesn’t hurt their polling in the least though. They trounced Helen Clark a female PM in 2008, and this was while they only had six women total (IIRC) in their top 25 list positions.

    Six men positions 1-6 then finally the first woman at number 7 (Collins?)

    • karol 9.1

      Yo make it sound like a good thing.

      Are the polls all that matter? What about leading on the issues, rather than following the lowest common denominator?

      And so it’s OK that Nat policies bash women beneficiaries, cut funding to rape crisis centres, etc, etc?

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Just observing a simple NZ political reality – that the electorate gives only a small weighting to gender balance when they consider what they look for in a government.

        And so it’s OK that Nat policies bash women beneficiaries, cut funding to rape crisis centres, etc, etc?

        Of course its not OK but again the political reality is pretty stark – National maintains 45% to 50% polling because those gender factors are not the decisive factors when the electorate considers National versus Labour.

        What about leading on the issues, rather than following the lowest common denominator?

        What about it? I’ve already showed above that in the current age, the electorate does not place a great weighting on leadership in gender issues. Does the Left know in what areas the electorate is actually looking for leadership in 2013-2014? Nope. Labour at least doesn’t seem to have much feel for the “pulse of the nation”. And until they figure it out, the Left will continue leading with its chin.

        • marty mars 9.1.1.1

          Surely for labour to get the treasury benches they need to become more sexist then – they need to beat the gnats at their own game and go hard for sexism – no wonder jones is on the up and likely to be the next leader – the runes have been thrown and the plan set in motion. M u s t g e t p o w e r…

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            hi marty mars

            Surely for labour to get the treasury benches they need to become more sexist then

            I think I made it quite clear in my comments that I don’t think gender issues play a big role in how NZers choose their government. More women in the party list, fewer women in the party list, whichever way, it only gets a minor weighting from the electorate.

            • Jackal 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it probably does play a significant role. After all, sexism isn’t limited to political parties and is a pervasive force throughout society.

              It is likely that the people who wrongly view males as being more appropriate to lead because they’re authoritative tip the scale in favour of male dominated parties. Of course being authoritative and being a good leader are often completely different things. In fact studies have shown that woman make better leaders than men, so a government that had a majority of woman would likely be better at managing New Zealand’s interests.

              However I don’t think political parties should look to emulate the incorrect belief systems of a certain sector of society, they should instead emulate the fact that there is around the same amount of men as there are women (actually there’s around 8% more females) and try to represent that fact. Playing to people’s prejudices isn’t a long term winning strategy.

              • Colonial Viper

                Go ahead, but in my view it makes no significant difference, positive or negative, to a political party’s electoral results, as demonstrated by the 2008 and 2011 election results where the very “male heavy” National Party was elected in then returned.

                In fact studies have shown that woman make better leaders than men, so a government that had a majority of woman would likely be better at managing New Zealand’s interests.

                “studies have shown”? So what we need to do is explain those research results to voters then?

                Which studies have shown that majority women Parliaments have done a better job? It seems so unlikely that such a study has actually been done I think you are just pandering to your biases.

        • karol 9.1.1.2

          CV:What about it? I’ve already showed above that in the current age, the electorate does not place a great weighting on leadership in gender issues.

          Huh? You’ve skewed your answer to make leadership mean following what the electorate is perceived to want. ie how else does a party decide this other than by polling them? You are just repeating your original assertion with different words.

          By leadership, I mean making the case for something that will be beneficial to society and/or that makes a more inclusive society, and attempt to carry the electorate with you. Often what many in the electorate give weighting to has been influenced by the PR-merchants, and the MSM.

    • weka 9.2

      “They trounced Helen Clark a female PM in 2008, and this was while they only had six women total (IIRC) in their top 25 list positions.”

      ffs. Nothing to do with the Labour having gotten stale of course.

      The only way you would know to what extent National’s sexism makes some women vote elsewhere is if you did some research on it.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Bottom line is that the NZ electorate only places a small weighting on gender balance when selecting their governments. You can be upset at that, say its not right, etc. but there you have it.

        ffs. Nothing to do with the Labour having gotten stale of course.

        Gender balance was only a small factor in helping there, too.

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          CV, it’s not just about people saying “oh, they have gender balance, I will vote for them”.

          A more diverse team does indeed help it provide more connections with a more diverse group of people, but the other effect is that it helps the team have a broader perspective when it comes to creating strategies.

          A team of Waitakere Men might consist entirely of good socialists, but that doesn’t mean shit if they all approach a problem in the same way because of their common background. Not a case of better people or worse, just a wider range of approaches considered for any given situation. That’s the “bottom line” – better party, better government.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1

            Not a case of better people or worse, just a wider range of approaches considered for any given situation. That’s the “bottom line” – better party, better government.

            that’s a straight forward and commonsense theory. But the electorate is not convinced that is what it delivers in practice.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1.1

              The electorate doesn’t need to be convinced. It doesn’t need to know why it thinks a party is a better option.

              The tory strength is uniformity and discipline. That is a strength in itself.
              If the left parties went homogenous and consisted solely of Waitakere Men, it would be a throwback to the days of socialist groups preaching equality, but the women were always expected to make the tea and wash the cups. The only way it gets the support of the majority of the vote is if most of the electorate are either alienated from voting or simply conditioned to vote in a particular direction.

              The other alternative for the left is to be even more diverse, to embrace it as a badge of honour. “Identity politics” aren’t diversions, they’re actual problems that need to be solved. Labour’s problem is that it’s still embarrassed about addressing issues of inequality, which makes it wishy-washy. Just fucking do it – the more tories are bitching about gender equality, abortion or euthanasia, the less they’re lying about the brighter future. And you know what – it turns them into the moaning minnies, rather than the opposition having to wear that hat.

              • Colonial Viper

                The other alternative for the left is to be even more diverse, to embrace it as a badge of honour. “Identity politics” aren’t diversions, they’re actual problems that need to be solved. Labour’s problem is that it’s still embarrassed about addressing issues of inequality, which makes it wishy-washy. Just fucking do it

                Perhaps that may be the solution for Labour then. Labour should simply embrace identity politics as a badge of honour, “just fucking do it” and wear it up front and centre throughout the upcoming election campaign.

              • karol

                McFlock: “Identity politics” – glad you put the term in italics. It’s time that term now could be binned. It has come to incorrectly signify neoliberal individualistic self-serving, middle-class nice-to-haves.

                Originally the movements that spawned this short-hand term, were focused on campaigning against various forms of oppression – the corrections to such oppression necessary to a democratic and just society, not some middle-class luxuries.

                I’m thinking the issues in question would be more correctly labelled, “The politics of Oppression” – anti-oppression politics.

                • just saying

                  Thank you Karol.
                  At last someone found the words to say it.

                  I feel bloody offended by lifetimes of struggle against oppression, disadvantage and discrimination being represented as being about neoliberal individualistic self-serving, middle-class nice-to-haves. I resent the sexist/heterosexist/racist/ableist….etc. assumptions that underpin the “identity” myth. As if white working to middle-class family men and their interests somehow represented most people. As if they aren’t an identity group themselves. As if, they weren’t always so, even in the “golden” days of the fifties, sixties, and seventies when social mobility among them was comparatively high, and inequality relatively low.

                  Members of “identity groups” form a significant majority. The largest set, (women and girls), are a majority in themselves. Our interests include the interests of white cis. het, men, as our whanau, friends, workmates, neighbours and fellow people, at least as much as their interests include ours.

                  ‘Identity’ membership generally entails socio-economic and political disadvantage. Identity issues are class issues – it’s all about oppression. It is privilege and the class system itself which assumes that what happens to one person matters, but the life of another, by virtue of birth or fortune, does not.

                  The concept of ‘identity’ is riddled with classist assumptions.

                  edit: excellent expression “oppression politics” – I will use it from now on.

                  • karol

                    Thanks, js. Actually “disadvantage politic”s is maybe also a good way of naming it.

                  • QoT

                    I disagree, if only because a lot of identity politics are about how people choose to identify. It’s about having the right to identify as a particular race or gender, about being able to own characteristics such as disabilities which are used to oppress you.

                    But that’s probably a much bigger debate for another time.

                    • just saying

                      Surely if your characteristics are used to oppress you, it is the oppression rather than the identification which is the political issue?
                      Will be interested to learn more…

                • McFlock

                  True that, but sadly the phrase scans so bloody well.

                  What gets me about the entire “identity politics” approach is that it’s actually incredibly self-referential: by reducing other people’s problems to “neoliberal individualistic self-serving, middle-class nice-to-haves” (nice description), the user is essentially just saying “because it is not a problem for me, it’s not really a problem for anybody”.

                  I’m among the last people on the planet who would be in a position to say (with a straight face) that everybody who gripes about a problem should be taken seriously, listened to patiently and given a hug. But what we have now is the situation where every problem is ruled out as being a problem simply because it never occurred to the speaker that there might be a problem.

            • Merrial 9.2.1.1.1.2

              @ CV: you say above (8.00pm) that “the NZ electorate only places a small weighting on gender balance when selecting their governments.” Then gender balance isn’t a crucial factor in lack of voter support for a party, right?

              On the other hand, you say here (8.33pm) that “the electorate is not convinced that is what it delivers in practice.” So you’re saying that gender balance is indeed a crucial factor in lack of voter support. Right?

        • weka 9.2.1.2

          “Bottom line is that the NZ electorate only places a small weighting on gender balance when selecting their governments. You can be upset at that, say its not right, etc. but there you have it.”

          You’re the one that bought it up as a strawman. And put a weird spin on it.

        • karol 9.2.1.3

          Actually, I agree gender “balance” is only part of the issue. It can be an indicator of masculine dominance, but on its own it is not the main problem.

          The wider issue is traditional “masculine” values: these are the ones that deem women’s activities, or activities mostly done by women, to be second class, while “masculine” values are given dominance. This results in things like beneficiary bashing, especially when it targets single mothers. Such values undervalue caring roles and the contribution to society of child rearing. Such values are also indicated in Goff’s comments as in the “What a dick” post.

    • Greywarbler 9.3

      CV
      First up a blonde, Marilyn Monroe knew that she had this advantage. Collins is a lawyer so the combination is useful in trawling the seas for suitable specimens in Cabinet.

  10. Paul 10

    Start with policy not polls.
    Lead don’t follow.

  11. Rhinocrates 11

    Sorry, know your heart’s in the right place, really, but if something is wrong, then its wrong, not relatively better.

    National indeed are doing awful things. Seeing Labour try to gain the “soft” National votes by emulating their sexism, by stepping back from the advances that Labour had made in the past does not deserve excuses.

    Goff’s remark is not a one-off – it comes as yet another of a series of disgusting statements by old men in the terminal throes of testosterone poisoning that I, as a man actually secure in his gender identity, find embarrassing at the very least.

    Labour is supposed to be a permanently progressive party, not one designed to perpetually support the privileges of cloth-caped men in the 30s.

    If something is wrong, then it’s wrong and the same thing with another logo is not “relatively better.”

    This, I think, is “keeping things in perspective”.

  12. xtasy 12

    Of course National are in some way “sexist” when it comes to giving women an equal chance, apart from “bully” type women like Bennett and Collins, but is the problem not the wider public falling for the “sexy-ism” of one overvalued John Key???

    Too many damned bored, mediocre, ill informed, dumbed down find the guy somehow crap “sexy”, believe it or not. That is what should be questioned and addressed, rather than the overly obvious one-sidedness of the Nat Party on gender favoritism.

    But hey, who can find the real issues these days?

    I am not finding them being mentioned in mainstream media, and some commenters on this forum also too easily get distracted.

    Good luck, life is full of surprises, revelations and learning experiences, we will all meet at some point down the track again, I am sure.

  13. One Anonymous Knucklehead 13

    Labour, the worst possible party apart from the other one.

    Except there’s more than one “other one”. And at least one of the “other ones” has a much better history in this context.

    If Labour are a sack of sexist shit and National are a container load of sexist shit I think I might just vote Green instead.

  14. tracey 14

    Labour prolly think goff won some middle ground by being an ordinary bloke.

    I just thought… again they make themselves look stupid and while there was so much to deride the nats for.

  15. Kapitalism keeps reproducing sexism because it relies on unpaid domestic labour. The bourgeois family, authoritarian submission, and destructive competition are the kiwi brand.
    It hasnt changed in my lifetime and all politicians tend to pander to it rather than face electoral defeat.
    Except under MMP you can grandstand on anti-capitalist, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-global burnout principles etc etc and make your mark for humanity and posterity.
    As soon as you trade off you principles for electoral victory you are soulless careerists, and stupid to boot since you are pissing into a shitstorm.
    Goff has always been a boring hack even in the days when we Marxists used to debate the Princes St Branch.
    He’s made his mark and its a brown stain on the page of history.

  16. Enough is Enough 16

    What a piss weak deflection of a post.

    It is about time r0b stop bleating on every day about how National is bad. Guess what we all know that and are in agreement that they should be gone tomorrow.

    We are never going to change the Nats.

    We can change Labour though and need to if they are going to bring about the change which this country needs.

    What we need to be doing is focussing on Labour and critiquing them daily. We have the chance to mould them into a truly left wing progressive party and steer the away from the destructive, divisive corrosive policies they have followed since 1984.

    Attempting to bring some “perspective” to this Labour Party’s continued failings is not going to turn this party into a credible alternative.

    [lprent: Read the last section of the about. Then look at the darwin awards mentioned in the policy. I tend to view all criticism directed at authors for what they choose to write (rather than dealing with what they write about) about as being grounds for a ban.

    I need to keep authors more than I need to keep you. One week “educational” ban as a warning to remind you not to be stupid about telling us how we should run this site. We do the work to keep it running. We therefore set the rules. ]

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