The feminisation of leadership and public discussion.

Over the last two decades New Zealand politics has had significant feminine influence.

Jenny Shipley became New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister, taking over (rather being elected) and being in charge from 1999 to 1999.

Helen Clark earned her way to the top of the Labour party and then helped Labour ‘win’ three successive elections, leading from 1999 to 2008.

John Key, Bill English and Steven Joyce brought back significant male influence in our politics for the next nine years. Key played on blokiness, quite successfully, a lot, but English moved a bit towards a more caring approach to finance.

Then in 2017 there was a major switch back to feminine influence when Jacinda Ardern turned around a flailing and failing Labour Party to take over the Prime Ministerial office – to an extent ironically thanks to the support of and baubles won by Winston Peters (NZ First does not appear to be a bastion of feminine influence).

Ardern’s takeover of power was sudden and a surprise, but her promise to put more kindness into Government has been largely accepted as a positive, even though she is yet to substantially live up to her PR.

So politics in New Zealand has had and still has a fairly ‘feminist’ influence leading into and for the duration so far of this century. It has been a largely uncontroversial transformation.

Alongside this, while women are still in a minority in some things, especially business management, some balance is apparent in notable or influential positions, with women becoming Governor General and Chief Justice – Dame Sian Elias was the first woman to hold the office, appointed on the advice of Jenny Shipley, and Helen Winkelman has just been announced as Elias’ successor.

This has been happening over several decades.

What has seemed to suddenly change this year is the attempted feminisation of public discussion. This has been brewing for some time, but was given impetus by high profile issues like the Harvey Weinstein fall and the resulting #metoo movement. Properly addressing male abuses of power was long overdue.

But this has led to boldness by some feminist types (there are varieties of feminism) to try not just claim a right to drive public discussions on issues, but some have attempted to discredit and diminish male influences in discussions.

John Roughan (a male!) discusses this in Despite Trump, politics is getting softer

It is not just that more women are coming to the fore in politics but the wider influence of that, in business, the media and the way people are now supposed to think, speak and behave. It has changed quite rapidly, mostly for the better, but I think it is getting excessive.

Some attempts to shut up male voices in discussions is excessive – addressing imbalances often involves some over compensating – but it isn’t really getting a lot of traction.

The gentrification of politics is not confined to women. Its ultimate expression came from a man I would have counted among the last converts, Trevor Mallard. As Speaker of the House he has commissioned an independent inquiry into bullying and sexual harassment at Parliament. National, meanwhile, commissioned a review of its own culture after complaints against its ejected MP Jami-Lee Ross.

But these excesses are a small price to pay for the civilising influence of women in politics and the professions, and the progress they are making against sexual harassment. Few large law firms would have read the report of the inquiry into Russell McVeagh without looking hard in a mirror and making changes. All over the Western world, men who take advantage of power and position are being forced to take another look at themselves.

This is a good thing. Men who have abused power and abused women are a small minority but they have done a lot of damage.

There is unfairness from ostracising all men, and dangers from trial by media/social media and also from mischaracterising discomfort from criticism or holding to account as bullying. Lumping trivial offences in with serious things like abuse and rape can detract from dealing with the serious properly.

But this is all just relatively minor imperfection in addressing problems that need to be addressed by making it clear that male abuses of power are unacceptable.

I’ve written a bit about attacks on free speech by some feminists who think that redressing an imbalance demands that males, particularly white middle aged and older males shut up and keep out of discussions.

I think that the best way of dealing with this is to continue to participate in and promote discussions – and address the imbalances by making it easier or more inviting for female input into discussions.

It is far better to improve forums for debate for everyone, and while feminists can and should advocate for their free speech, males can do similar rather than shrink away.

Feminisation doesn’t have to mean a takeover by a few extreme feminists. In public discussions it should aim at freedom of speech that is free from abuse.

58 Comments

  1. David

     /  December 29, 2018

    Women wont stop until the pendulum has swung so far they are stuck with a bunch of “soyboy” men as their choice for partners who are “woke” but too pathetic to fulfill their role in life.

    • kluelis

       /  December 29, 2018

      @David. “When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression”

      • David

         /  December 29, 2018

        My only privilege was having a fabulous upbringing but my whole working life has been one of equality with as many women bosses as male bosses and now working for myself I have a female lawyer, female accountant, female property manager, female IT person, female real estate agents and all highly paid a great at their jobs.
        I just dont see what the fuss is about and neither do the many women in my life.

        • Gezza

           /  December 29, 2018

          I just dont see what the fuss is about and neither do the many women in my life.
          Same. Most the women I know either are the boss or don’t want to be one. Same as many men. If they’ve not liked the way a male boss treats women they’ve either not taken the job or they’ve found another one and left.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 29, 2018

            The fuss is about talking for it instead of working for it – like most politics.

        • Blazer

           /  December 29, 2018

          ‘My only privilege was having a fabulous upbringing ‘….is that..ALL…

          • David

             /  December 29, 2018

            yup. but you take what you have and use it the best you can to give yourself the best life you can.

    • kluelis

       /  December 29, 2018

      Men’s back lash against feminism is revealing.
      “If woman take power they might treat us like we have been treating them”.
      So what are men afraid of?

      • David

         /  December 29, 2018

        Not afraid of anything but how many women really want a world full of woke unmanly men sitting around angsting about their gender.
        Equality has just about happened but we are seeing a turbo charging of the push to prioritize girls ahead of boys who have already slipped quite a long way behind.

        • kluelis

           /  December 29, 2018

          @David.Totally non factual drivel. The only people suggesting a world full of woke unmanly men sitting around angsting about their gender are power crazy white hetro racist bigots David. You really are terrified about losing power. Dragged screaming and kicking into the real word. Sad and pitiful.

          • David

             /  December 29, 2018

            Being very wealthy affords me the ability to not be scared of anything thanks. Not in the slightest racist, bigoted, sexist in fact the polar opposite.
            Your attitude to me sums up perfectly the problem that is emerging. If you scream at people because of their gender and race how are you any better than what you claim to want to eliminate. Not my fault I am white and Male I was born this way and cant change it.

            • Mother

               /  December 29, 2018

              David, you are very wealthy? Will you work with my team to help the west coast folk who suffer from tyrannical inequality? You’re brave? I like brave men. Apart from my husband, I don’t know any other brave men. Will you consider this project? I mentioned it in Dec and will not refer to their name again on this blog. I have great achievable goals for this project.

          • Trevors_elbow

             /  December 29, 2018

            Nice engagement… dont like someones opinion and you go full retard I see Kluelis…. and you certainly live up to the handle clueless

            • Mother

               /  December 29, 2018

              Unfair Trev. I don’t see any screaming or retard with Kluelis’ communications. I see valuable opinion. In my opinion, PG should come down hard on rude talk. It shuts down communication. Isn’t that what this thread is all about?
              Do you want YNZ to be a club of certain members? Or should it be as PG claims – for those who do not threaten free speech?

            • kluelis

               /  December 29, 2018

              You don’t like me challenging your power and you go all howly bag.

          • Trevors_Elbow

             /  December 29, 2018

            Challenging your power… all holy bag….”power crazy white hetro racist bigots David”

            Challenging power… nah you are just an abuse merchant who hurls tasty little bon mots as per the quoted phrase…full retard definitely describes you response……

            And Mother as I can’t respond directly to your comment……..if you don’t recognise othering and placing people in frames to attempt to discredit their opinion as per Kluelis response to David I suggest you read a little more carefully….”power crazy white hetro racist bigots David” the quote is retarded and classic SJW response to anything they don’t like….

          • Gerrit

             /  December 29, 2018

            Just a reminder from the posting by the blog owner;

            “In public discussions it should aim at freedom of speech that is free from abuse.”

            Argue the issue, not the person.

            Otherwise the much maligned older white man might need to find a “safe space” away from your “micro aggression”.

            micro aggression = “Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership”.

            Yes, stale, pale, males are a marginalised group.

            • kluelis

               /  December 29, 2018

              @Gerrit. “Yes, stale, pale, males are a marginalised group”. Absolute balderdash.Hitler felt unloved. Like Donald Trump has it tough. Bernie Madoff + Dennis Kozlowski were only doing their best. Jimmy Sa-Vile and Wolf Harris did nothing wrong just victims of feminazis scurrilous campaign against good solid men.

            • Pink David

               /  December 29, 2018

              “Bernie Madoff + Dennis Kozlowski were only doing their best. Jimmy Sa-Vile and Wolf Harris ”

              Three of these people are in jail, and the other got vilified following his death with no recourse to a trial or any due process and no evidence that would ever stand up in a court of law.

              Where was their privilege?

            • Gerrit

               /  December 29, 2018

              kluelis

              4 men out of 3.5 billion. Stereotyping much? The chip on your shoulder must be a burden?

    • Pink David

       /  December 29, 2018

      “Women wont stop until the pendulum has swung so far they are stuck with a bunch of “soyboy” men as their choice for partners who are “woke” but too pathetic to fulfill their role in life.”

      Indeed, and they will hate them for it too.

  2. Gezza

     /  December 29, 2018

    There’s a growing Western phenomenon of anxious, useless young men raised by solo mums or mothers with useless, psychologically neutered husbands, and female teachers. That pendulum may have swung too far already in some sectors of our society. Sometimes it seems the mums go solo because they don’t want a man “dominating them”. And others because they can’t get a man who wants to settle down. The young don’t want to settle down because they’re spoiled for choice for easy no strings sex partners as the girls try to match the men. It’s a tricky world for young men to navigate nowadays. Poor things.

    • kluelis

       /  December 29, 2018

      @Geza. There is a growing Western phenomenom where old grumpy men ramble on about the good old days “we had nothing but we were happy” and now look how terrible the young people of today are despite the fact they have everything we did not have. All caused by lesbian mothers teachers and politicians. . Bring back the days when men were men and women were men. We were all happy then us men.

      • Mother

         /  December 29, 2018

        I agree with Kluelis that men will be happier when they really do understand equality and respect. We all would be happier. Most women do not like raising their voices in order to be heard. Most shy away from activism. It’s the same with the under privileged and oppressed. Some have no voice at all.
        I appreciate the strength of men. I wish they were stronger/braver/wiser/more loving and respectful. So much good could be achieved.
        ‘SJW’ is a stage many people go through. Out the other side, hopefully people come out humbled and ready to serve.
        Serving is the thing none of us want to miss out on. Sometimes rich and/or privileged people do miss the chance, because they never really listened.

      • Gezza

         /  December 29, 2018

        There is a growing Western phenomenom where old grumpy men ramble on about the good old days
        Nothing new there I’m afraid. Apparently we shouldn’t have even been calling our music music, according to my old man. Took me years to educate him. Grandad could be right bloody grump. No wonder I was a moody, stroppy, often depressed & other times happy teenager. I blamed Muldoon as I recall.

        • Gezza

           /  December 29, 2018

          🤔 Nah, hang on … it might’ve Holyoake or Jack Marshall I blamed. Come to think of it. Anyway, whatever, The Beatles & The Rolling Stones & Pink Floyd & Joni Mitchell & Bob Dylan were going to fix it.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 29, 2018

            You didn’t have LBJ trying to send you to die in Vietnam then?

            • Mother

               /  December 29, 2018

              That was then. This is now.

            • Gezza

               /  December 29, 2018

              And as I’ve said before, all the girls I grew up with expected to be treated with respect and equality and those I still see or keep in touch with from time to time therefore have been – or else. They didn’t need quotas.

              Mind you they all came from two parent homes.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 29, 2018

    In a victim-led society males have to become victims.

    • kluelis

       /  December 29, 2018

      As I said when you are accustomed to privilege you find equality traumatic. Your response can be to grow up accept and embrace change. Or you can act like a spoiled brat, howly bag always in a towering rage to intimidate greedily hanging on to your power. Pathetic. Just so pathetic and embarrassing.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 29, 2018

        Plenty of women have been accustomed to privilege.

        • Mother

           /  December 29, 2018

          Time for a woman’s voice here? I agree with David, Kluelis and Gezza.

          “The fuss is about talking for it instead of working for it – like most politics.”

          I worked very very hard for equality/respect – for many years. When I finally resorted to ‘talk’, all hell broke loose. I think you might be confused again Alan. Equality aka ‘respecting one another’ should not be viewed as a political matter.

          • Mother

             /  December 29, 2018

            We are not a ‘victim led society’ if we each practice being positive rather than negative re the nonsense we see.

            I was a real victim, possibly proven by the fact that it took me a long time to really talk – and once I did so, it was not, and is not, pretty for community.

            I would like to see both men and women on blog spaces show empathy with positive vibes. Perhaps more people would then feel free to speak up. Free speech is a beautiful thing. It can be healing.

            Healing is what we need as we continue to figure out the what/how/why of the ‘equality’ issue.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 29, 2018

            Of course “equality” is a political matter. Always has been and always will be. It is the prime rallying cry of the Left.

            • Mother

               /  December 29, 2018

              But so long as we fuss about the Left nonsense, we are spending our energy uselessly.

              Love does not worry. Love is the harmony of action taking with acceptance. A paradox of course.

              Alan, I have called you out at least twice for telling me I am ‘confused’. I think that if you are truly a man who believes in equality in the purest sense (not politically), you would apologise to me. You stood up for me at one point (for which I deemed you a gentleman), commenting that my integrity seems to be intact. What about your integrity? Have you been fair toward me during my posts re my views about NZ’s need for purer Church? I think that you did your best to understand my testimony as shared in the guest post. But I think you likely struggle with it, as many do. Is it fair for you to tell me I am ‘confused’? Would it be more truthful to admit that you struggle to understand some things in life?

              I perceive that you personally sit in the privileged position of feeling safe ‘within yourself’. Not everyone enjoys that birth right.

              NZers need to learn and practice empathy. Empathy is what enables safe free speech.

              You could have shut me down when you insisted that I am ‘confused.’ But PG returned to me my right of freedom of speech and I plan to use it.

              I would like to see more people attracted to YNZ. I think that PG does a great job of putting forward political views which may attract people of every political leaning. This is why I am calling you out again re your disrespect toward me. I think you could do YNZ a favour by admitting that it was unhelpful to call me ‘confused’. From a practical viewpoint Alan, how could I NOT know what my views are re Church, after all I have been through?

              I think that Church in NZ is vital to the equality issue. Equality is certainly a political matter, but mostly it is a Church matter, and the churches are not yet facing up to the need for purer Church.

              For those who don’t believe in Church, ‘equality’ can still be viewed as a matter of an individual’s heart and mind choices. In this way, ‘equality’ is a non political issue. Another paradox, easily understood by those who respect others.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 29, 2018

              I can’t respond without hijacking this thread further.

      • Pink David

         /  December 29, 2018

        “As I said when you are accustomed to privilege you find equality traumatic. ”

        Feminism now days is, largely, a movement for wealthy, privileged women.

        Here is Keira Knightley on the traumas of being a Feminist…..

        https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/dec/28/keira-knightley-i-cant-act-flirt-or-mother-to-get-voice-heard

        • kluelis

           /  December 29, 2018

          @Pink David.”Feminism now days is, largely, a movement for wealthy, privileged women”. You have to be playing devils advocate surely. Totally false and extreme generalization aimed at undermining anything about feminism. Just like Homosexuals want every one to be homosexual or that battered women claim every man is a wife beater or women MP’s want all members of Parliament to be women Maori want English to banned Greenies want every one to be vegan next month. Muslim’s demand all Kiwis woman must wear Burkas Woman want equal pay for check out workers and brain surgeons. Prisoners demand 10 star hotel facilities. All ridiculous hideous wildly inaccurate generalizations spewed out by privileged classes aimed at maintaining old world power. Any one who challenges these myths is ruthlessly hunted down. Pathetic really pathetic.

          • Pink David

             /  December 29, 2018

            “Totally false and extreme generalization aimed at undermining anything about feminism.”

            If it is not true, why are the most vocal and visible feminists the ones wanting more positions on boards, or ‘Leadership’?

            Here is Salma Hayek demanding men must take a pay cut, because feminism. Salma is married to François-Henri Pinault, net worth $30 billion. Is it possible to have any more privilege?

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/103870830/selma-hayek-says-male-stars-must-take-a-pay-cut-for-female-costars

            “All ridiculous hideous wildly inaccurate generalizations spewed out by privileged classes aimed at maintaining old world power. Any one who challenges these myths is ruthlessly hunted down.”

            Really? If I had ‘ruthless hunted you down’, I think you would not be in the position to keep posting.

            You rabbit on about the ‘privileged classes’, do you really think the average man, working an average job is a ‘privileged class’? Do you think he believes that? When billionaire actresses start lecturing them on their privilege, how well do you think that will work out?

            • Mother

               /  December 29, 2018

              The example you give comes from extremism.
              This does not counter Kluelis’ argument at all.
              You seem upset about extremism. Are you afraid that nonsense is overtaking us?

            • kluelis

               /  December 29, 2018

              @Pink David. 7,999,999,000,999 woman are not billionaire actresses but you choose to use one as your prime example
              As I say hideous wild selectivity, any thing to keep hold of power and keep any one else out. The reason the average working man is struggling is much closer to your home base of White male hetero privilege.

            • Pink David

               /  December 29, 2018

              “The example you give comes from extremism.
              This does not counter Kluelis’ argument at all.”

              It wasn’t intended too, it was to show Kluelis’s world view for what it is.

            • Pink David

               /  December 29, 2018

              “White male hetero privilege.”

              Didn’t take much for you to reveal your bigotry.

      • Mother

         /  December 29, 2018

        “when you are accustomed to privilege you find equality traumatic.”

        I strongly agree with this comment, especially when ‘accustomed’ means your mind has closed off.

  4. Zedd

     /  December 29, 2018

    “Let’s do this” LOL
    & keep going 🙂

    • Pink David

       /  December 29, 2018

      Do what?

      • Mother

         /  December 29, 2018

        Help me! I have a project which would be equality/respect in action. Can you perceive the pleasure many would get (for many varying reasons) if we could gently disband that cult?

        Do this!

        • Mother

           /  December 29, 2018

          “Alan Wilkinson on December 29, 2018 at 10:55 am
          I can’t respond without hijacking this thread further.”

          IOW – you’re lost? You’re a bit bambozzled?

          Please come back Alan. You’re a gentleman, and your politics make sense to me (I think, at this point).

          • Mother

             /  December 29, 2018

            I think it would be excellent if many SJW types frequented YNZ. If this blog really does not threaten free speech, more variety of viewpoints will be debated. Nonsense will get ironed out, manners will moderate and national politics will get on helpful course. I would love to see far Leftists drawn into useful debate.
            Gracious humbled winners ~ educated humbled losers.

            • Mother

               /  December 29, 2018

              “White male hetero privilege.”

              Kluelis, could you please post what you mean by this? I think you have reasons for this view. Are you willing to share them fully?

  5. Mother

     /  December 29, 2018

    “…it was to show Kluelis’s world view for what it is.”

    PD! You have nearly zero clue what anyone’s world view is via blog communication. You are way out of line in this, and I am disgusted. I want to LEARN, not be put off by people who do not truly understand free speech.

    I suppose it would be best if pseudonyms were not permissible, although I doubt I would feel free to comment under my name at this stage in my life.

    Kluelis, would you please consider changing your name? I understand the irony/joke maybe, but there’s no point here. Some people just don’t get it. Could you use Klueful?

    Privileged, white male, power etc. What does it all mean? I think that our arguments have been clumsy and immature to date. The people who feel angry because of these arguments (and who identify with those descriptions) need to come down on pride. That is the solution.

    It is NOT the job of the oppressed to jactivate justice. It is the job of the strong.

    • Gezza

       /  December 29, 2018

      It is NOT the job of the oppressed to jactivate justice. It is the job of the strong
      That may be a valid way of looking at it sometimes, but it depends:

      1. whether someone really IS oppressed
      2. what they call being oppressed (not getting what you would like or want; something common to most of us at many times does not equal being oppressed, per se)
      3. who you want to something about it
      4. what you want done about it

      I’ve never been privileged. My life’s been a struggle against all sorts of problems. I just had to keep bashing away at life to get where I am today. I worked hard and saved hard and made the best of circumstances. I stopped blaming other people for everything that made things hard in my 20’s and just got on with making lemonade out of lemons.

      Most people who do that do ok, male or female.

  6. The Consultant

     /  December 29, 2018

    It’s probably worth your while to go back to the original 1988 article that coined the term “White Privilege”, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack By Peggy McIntosh. It’s quite short and has 46 examples.

    The author herself, as this Quilette article points out, knew of which she wrote:

    Peggy McIntosh was born Elisabeth Vance Means in 1934. She grew up in Summit, New Jersey where the median income is quadruple the American national average—that is to say that half the incomes there are more than four times the national average, some of them substantially so. McIntosh’s father was Winthrop J. Means, the head of Bell Laboratories electronic switching department during the late 1950s.

    He held quite a few patents, including technology key to satellite guidance, nuclear missile aiming, and ROM storage. White Privilege.

    Elizabeth Vance Means then attended Radcliffe, a renowned finishing school for the daughters of America’s patrician elites, and continued her private education at the University of London (ranked in the top 50 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings), before completing her English Doctorate at Harvard. Her engagement to Dr. Kenneth McIntosh was announced in the New York Times‘s social register

    Extra White Privilege.

    Kenneth McIntosh was himself a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, which boasted alumni including Daniel Webster, the sons of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, and a number of Rockefeller scions. He later completed his elite education at Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School. By the time of his marriage to Elizabeth, Kenneth McIntosh was a senior resident at the prestigious Brigham Hospital in Boston.

    Extra, Super White Privilege.

    McIntosh’s father, Dr. Rustin McIntosh, was Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia University. His mother was President Emeritus of Barnard College, an institution in the opulent Morningside Heights district of Manhattan, famous since 1889 for providing the daughters of the wealthiest Americans with liberal arts degrees

    FFS – Extra, Super Whiter than White Privilege.

    Now I wouldn’t mind so much if this sort of criticism was self-directed, or if there was some evidence that Peggy has ever done anything in her life to reduce her privilege or try to compensate those hurt by all her privilege, saying by teaching via a charity or being heavily involved with civil rights work.

    But as usual with these upper class knobs types it’s Rules for Thee, But Not For Me. As the Quillette article puts it:

    Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating the ways in which she benefits from being born with white skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy. Many of her points are demonstrably economic.

    Which is why she can so easily ignore the impact of her theory on the sons (and daughters) of miners, mill workers and countless other millions of working class people while she goes to her grave in the same world of comfort and security – dare I say “privilege” in which she has lived all her life.

    …but even though the lifetime of privilege McIntosh has experienced is almost certainly due to her wealth and not the colour of her skin, she nevertheless found a way to share this irksome burden with the illiterate children of Kentucky coal miners, the hopeless peasants of the Appalachians, poor single mothers struggling to make ends meet on welfare, and the vast majority of whites in the United States and throughout the world who never had the chance to attend Radcliffe or Harvard.

    She simply reclassified her manifest economic advantage as racial privilege and then dumped this newly discovered original sin onto every person who happens to share her skin color. Without, of course, actually redistributing any of the wealth that, by her own account, she had done nothing to deserve.

    Sounds exactly like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Che – all born of wealth and privilege but who fucked up the world with their theories of how to improve things for “the poor”, not to mention their nasty, selfish, self-satisifed attitudes towards other humans and how they should improve themselves.

    • Pink David

       /  December 29, 2018

      “Sounds exactly like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Che ”

      Because that is what it is. It’s just been rebranded to avoid the ickyness of the last attempts at revolution taking the lives of a couple of hundred million people.

  1. The feminisation of leadership and public discussion. — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition