Friday, June 24, 2011

Like a red rag

Now I have been known to rail on this blog and elsewhere, about how disappointing it is that so much that we as a society gained through feminism, appears to be slipping away... The rights of women to be treated and regarded as equal to men can not be taken for granted and feminism is not over.

Is it because there's such a rabid right wing government just now in New Zealand that these attitudes are flourishing? Or vice versa? (There was a distastefully anti-woman flavour to much of the gutter campaign to turn the hearts of New Zealand against the much admired and respected Helen Clark. The "death by a thousand cuts" that felled one of our most popular prime ministers largely used a sword of women-hatred to draw the blood... if you don't believe me, you weren't paying attention.)

The sexists and misogynists and their attitudes are being trotted out more and more and yesterday to the shock of even mainstream NZ an extraordinarly archaic, medieval even, opinion was aired and has caused a fury of outrage and embarrassment across the political spectrum. Even the libertarian Hilary Calvert wasn't impressed with the suggestion that women deserve to receive less pay because they take time off every month because of menstruation difficulties.

Now clearly the dinosaur who expressed this wrong-headed notion has been so emboldened by the ascendancy of right wing discourses across the news media that he has felt that he and his patriarchal capitalist mates are now bullet proof. There is a stranglehold. Key journalists and commentators are clearly enamoured of Mr Key and his henchmen and do all they can to smooth the way of the 'reforms' that are underway to destroy New Zealand's social welfare system and sell off its assets to profit barons. It is deeply biased ideologues who are beaming at us from the news reports, spinning like crazy, and it's very hard to hear an opposing view to the right wing agenda.

The CEO of the Bosses and Overlords - chief advocate for the proposed deeply unfair extension of "youth rates" up to age of 24 years old - made one mistake in making his proclamation to the effect that women are poorly every month and that this decreases their productivity and thus is a reason why they receive lower wages than men.

Click here for TV3 Coverage

Sexism doesn't fall uniquely on to the right of the political spectrum. It is probably happier there, but it can be found across society. It's a crime against human rights, not just a matter for the "socialists" and the "PC brigade" (as he lamely tried to argue later on) and it's easy to predict that this chap is going to find himself on the wrong side even of his own former supporters.

Alasdair Thompson has been declared a red zone and the only option will be to demolish.

("Fears of red zone waste lands")

Meanwhile I'm hoping the blokes on the left wing will resist the temptation to use this opportunity to air their favourite tampon jokes, or they might discover that this is one issue that doesn't necessarily run along class lines.

1 comment:

Isabel Doyle said...

great suggestion to reduce women's pay - on the same reasoning, anybody who smokes, uses a telephone, checks their stocks online, drinks coffee (and then pees), or has allergies, a drinking problem, mental health issues, a sex interest .... could also be pay-reduced. We could even set up a special commission of police to investigate all workers to ascertain if they could justify full wages.

And what about the women who don't menustrate - would they be exempt the penalty???