Toxic masculinity versus toxic feminism

Sean Plunket: Toxic masculinity isn’t the problem – toxic feminism is

…a dark and disturbing aspect of New Zealand society that most of us have been aware of but too cowed by a prevailing climate of political correctness to openly discuss or address, toxic feminism.

You know what I’m talking about, those endless columns written by clearly biased journalists that use phrases like “mansplaining” and “stale pale male” to mock anyone who might challenge their misandry and moral superiority.

If a woman dares question the high priestesses of this hateful cabal, they are pitied for being subjugated by the utterly fictitious “tyrannical patriarchy”.

If you try engaging with the toxic feminists, they will inevitably retreat to their social media silos screaming “bully” or “misogynist” or launch an online petition and campaign to have you fired and ostracised.  Their latest wacky idea is to do away with jury trials in our criminal justice system.

The toxic feminists can’t tolerate any criticism because their particular brand of outrage and hatred simply doesn’t stand up to any rational scrutiny.

What will help? Well why not look for a screening of Amanda Millar’s movie “Celia” about the late Celia Lashlie or check out the work of New Zealander of the year Mike King.

Men and women might also consider calling out instances of casual toxic feminism at work or school or university to reinforce the truth that the empress’s cloak of virtue is non-existent. We can also talk and listen to each other without throwing insults and epithets around like confetti or buying into the polarising hate speech that toxic feminism encourages.

To an extent Plunket is right. Some feminists have extreme ideas about switching power balances from male to female, and want to discredit and shut down males who speak, especially those critical of radical feminist ideas.

But Plunket does the debate a disservice. He won’t help discussion and understanding by referring to ‘toxic feminism’, which could be seen to imply that feminism is toxic. He should have qualified it by describing it as ‘some feminists are toxic’ or ‘toxic radical feminism’ (but even some radical feminism can be justified activism).

Most feminism is fair and reasonable. I agree to large extent with the aims of a lot of feminists. There are extreme feminists, but they are a small minority.

Plunket is also wrong to infer that toxic masculinity isn’t a problem. There is some toxic masculinity (not all masculinity) that remains a major problem. That shouldn’t be dismissed by shifting the blame to an equal and opposite reaction.

He has just thrown more toxins into the debate, adding to the ‘them versus us’ war of words.

Plunket would do better by promoting positives of feminism and positives of masculinity.

 

A rich man’s benefit entitlement

Who decided to call talkback radio ‘Magic Talk’? Seems a very strange attempt at branding, but that’s another story.

Whether it was a deliberate attempt to attract attention, or just an unplanned flare up, duel hoists Sean Plunket and Peter Williams dueled over benefit entitlement on air.

Stuff – Magic Talk clash: Sean Plunket attacks ‘greedy boomer’ colleague Peter Williams

Plunket ignited a feud with Williams, who he called a “greedy boomer”. But Williams, a former TV host, hit back saying his generation deserved the benefit because they worked and “saved hard”. He said they also never indulged in coffee culture, or “smashed avocado”.

Good grief.

“You are a greedy boomer. You are just a greedy boomer,” Plunket repeatedly said during the heated on air debate between the two hosts.

His remark came after Williams, who is 64, said he would sign up to receive superannuation when he turns 65.

Plunket: “You are, without batting an eyelid, going to suck on the public tit for the rest of your life when you’ve got enough money to live quite comfortably”.

Williams: “I don’t care. Yes, that’s true, so what?”

Plunket: “You should not be taking money from other taxpayers. Let’s be honest Peter, you don’t need this”.

Williams: “I probably don’t need it. For Godsake, do you expect me not to sign up? It’s free money! Mate, I’m not John Key. I am entitled to this.”

Everyone is eligible to receive National Superannuation when they turn 65 in New Zealand, but it isn’t automatic, you have to apply for it. So it’s a choice.

An interesting definition from the Oxford dictionary:

entitled

Adjective

Believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

‘kids who feel so entitled and think the world will revolve around them’
‘his pompous, entitled attitude’

I never listen to talkback radio but I thought that Williams was an odd appointment. He wasn’t exactly riveting as a news reader. There must be younger people who can talk on radio, but perhaps the primary tallback demographic is entitled old men.

And Plunket is hardly a spring chicken, although he has ten years to go before he needs to consider his entitlement to super handouts – unless the age of eligibility has been raised by then.

So what is Magic Radio? “We Bring You Back The Magic With Your Favourite Music.”  And talkback hosts?

Some interesting information from Magic Radio FAQs:

Why does MediaWorks need my personal info?

We need your information so we can better communicate with you and ultimately provide you with more content we know you’ll like. It’s also to help improve our advertising service.

Advertising is a feature of the Magic as it enables us to make the shows available to you for free. Knowing who you are means we will be able to show you advertising that is more relevant to you.

When you log in using Facebook, we only gather your basic profile information (name, email address, gender, year of birth and profile picture) to create a MediaWorks ID for you.

What do they want your profile picture for?

Is my information safe and protected?

Yes, we keep your information safe and protect it from any unauthorised access. We use a specialist outside service who use best practice encryption and other security practices to hold and keep your data secure.

Only a small group of people at MediaWorks will have access to your personal data.

Does that small group of people include Plunket or Williams, who know what your age is? Do callers feel safe and protected from the hosts?

Having to dish out personal details is more reason for me not to go there.

 

Evidence against TOP

The Opportunities Party have promoted their policies as evidence based. From About on their website: TOP takes a long term, evidence based view.

However now we are down to the business end of the campaign evidence seems to have flown out the TOP window.

A few days ago on Newshub: Gareth Morgan blames landlines for poor polling, claims he’ll win 5-10 percent

“When I ask the question in the town hall shows I do every night, ‘ Hands up those who’ve got a landline, it’s 10 or 15 percent,” the Opportunities Party (TOP) leader told The AM Show on Thursday.

“What’s wrong with these polling companies? I think we’ll be somewhere between 5 and 10 percent. I’ve said it from day one.”

Where’s the evidence? TOP has a big budget, if they wanted evidence they would have done their own polling. I think it’s quite likely they have done their own polling, if so it is not evidence they want publicised.

Cut Your Hair: The evidence says TOP have no hope

TOP pride themselves on being an evidence-based party. So it behooves us to examine the evidence behind Gareth Morgan’s suggestion that TOP have a real chance of winning representation in Saturday’s election.

Question: Has any party ever achieved what TOP is trying to achieve?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Only one party has ever won representation under MMP in New Zealand without a sitting electorate MP from a sitting party. That sole exception is ACT, who had several prominent former Labour and National cabinet ministers. That happened in the first MMP election, when everyone and their mum voted minor party.

Not many parties have won representation under MMP in New Zealand, whether through the 5% threshold or local seats. Only one MP has ever won representation for a party that didn’t have an MP elected in 1996 for one party or another: Hone Harawira, for Mana.

Most of the small parties that have won representation have done so via a local seat (Māori, Mana, Progressive, United, ACT, and NZ First have all coat-tailed in). Only 7 parties have ever reached 5%: National, Labour, the Greens, NZ First, ACT, the Alliance, and United Future. The last three have all failed more times than they’ve succeeded and have basically shriveled away to nothing (or, worse, to David Seymour). Scores of parties have failed to reach 5% OR a local seat: the Conservatives, Christian Heritage/Coalition, Legalise Cannabis, Destiny, Outdoor Recreation, Future, etc.

The latest public polls (that use a variety of polling methods):

  • Listener Bauer Media Insights 1-5 Sept: 2.2%
  • 1 News Colmar Brunton 2-6 Sept: 1.9%
  • Newsroom-SSI 4-6 Sept: 2%
  • Roy Morgan 28 Aug-10 Sept: 2%
  • Newshub Reid Research 6-11 Sept: 1.6%
  • 1 News Colmar Brunton 9-13 Sept: 1.6%
  • Horizon Research 9-14 Sept: 2.3%

Evidently TOP look like getting nowhere near the 5% threshold.

So they have done their own polling. It shows them very likely to come up short.

Morgan will know that if they don’t look like getting close to 5% many voters will prefer to vote elsewhere rather than risk ‘wasting their vote’.  Hence the bullshit about the polls being wrong.

Question: Might the polling be wrong?

Short answer: Anything is possible, but TOP reaching 5% would require polling error on an unprecedented scale.

Morgan and Sean Plunket ranting and abusing on Twitter won’t change things.

It’s not just history and the polls that are against TOP. Others have tried Donald Trump’s tactic of being bellicose and abusive and complaining about the polls – in particular Winston Peters, and NZ First has slumped over the last two months in the polls.

Question: Is this a good year for a minor party to achieve the never-before-achieved?

Short Answer: No—on current polling this will be the worst MMP election ever for minor parties.

It looks like it will take a major game changer for TOP to get close to or beat the threshold, and they are running out of time.

Question: Could TOP win a local seat?

Short answer: There is no evidence to suggest they will come close to winning any local seat. Morgan might have had a chance, but he isn’t standing in a local seat.

That Morgan is targeting the polls and the threshold (without any evidence) supports this. TOP dabbled with targeting the Ohariu electorate a couple of weeks ago but that effort seems to have fizzled.

In some ways TOP have been impressive. Their evidence based approach to developing solid policies has been very good. Morgan has impressed sizeable crowds at campaign meetings.

But TOP has been shut out of small party debates. And they have failed to attract enough positive media attention. Morgan and Plunket have also been too cranky on Twitter and possibly elsewhere in social media.

Yesterday Plunket tweeted a challenge:

A bizarre approach.

It must be frustrating to have put so much time and money into their campaign, but making up shit about polls looks desperate and not based on any evidence.

Moaning about polls is almost certainly not going to change the game and suddenly boost support for TOP. Morgan might be better trying a different last gasp approach.

It’s sad to see another new party beaten by the ridiculously high threshold. Parliament could benefit from a different approach and some fresh ideas and MPs. But facts are facts, and TOP look like failing.

TOPling?

In some ways Gareth Morgan and his TOP party were a refreshingly different addition to the election mix.

They had well researched and specific policies, they weren’t after power, they wanted to influence policies. And Morgan connected well with audiences.

But the last few days in social media they look like toppling over. Perhaps it’s due to the pressure of what has already been a long campaign for Morgan.  Or perhaps it’s the pressure of not getting enough progress in the polls.

Whatever the driver, both Morgan’s PR sidekick Sean Plunket as well as Morgan have been acting like arses in social media, especially on Twitter.

This has involved petulance and abuse, and has gone as far as a sustained period of harassment of Lizzie Marvelly by Plunket.

I think it is destroying any credibility and goodwill they may have had with the media, and that won’t help their chances of getting traction.

I thought that TOP on the cross benches could have added a useful new dimension to Parliament.

But if they keep acting like arrogant ignorant arses they won’t get close (they may already have destroyed any chance they had).

Plunket with Alex Wright on Shane Reti and bullying

Sean Plunket interviewed dusty roads activist Alex Wright on RadioLive yesterday about her claims that Whangarei MP Shane Reti bullied her.

PRIVATE EMAIL LEAKED TO MEDIA BY LOBBYIST

Up to 100 logging trucks a day use a network of unsealed roads in Northland. Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health & Safety Group have have been campaigning for years to improve road funding in the region. Sean Plunket asked spokesperson Alex Wright, the woman who claims she was bullied by a National MP, who is doing the bullying?

I haven’t got time to transcribe it all but here are some key points followed by some transcription.

About fifty members in the group that has been campaigning for about four years.

The group has no rules or a membership list, in the process of making it an incorporated society. Very informal at this stage, they have meetings.

Advocate only on dusty roads.

Not a political group, a community group.

Wright has never been in a political party.

Advocating to get rid of dusty roads.

Been on TV 1 twice covering what they have to live with – Choking dust from trucks has Northland residents demanding help

No contact with Shane Reti before. He phoned her early February.

And then phone call made by Dr Reti Wednesday last week about emails sent out by Andrew Blake referring to the campaign. Nothing threatening in emails. Sent to all Parliament last Wednesday  how Northland is neglected in ‘Mike Sabin’s electorate’.

Group’s banners are red.

Then Wright got a phone call from Shane Reti talking about “threatening email, very wish washy.

Email was not signed – anonymous? No name at the bottom. Heading – from AD and CE Blake.

Reti made connection with group and Wright.

Blake is part of the group, Wright didn’t know Blake was sending email.

Dr Reti should have phoned Mr Blake.

Phone call totally unplanned, not forewarned. Out of the blue phone call from MP.

Reti said it was going to be more difficult to advocate if they campaign against National during the campaign.

Political reality.

He doesn’t threaten to do anything.

Plunket “I really can’t see where the huge threat is, it’s just politics isn’t it Alex?”.

Wright “Well, it’s everybody’s interpretation isn’t it.”

Plunket” Have you talked to Andrew Blake about his emails?”

Wright “No but I would be very keen for you to phone him”.

Plunket “Ok but you didn’t tell Shane Reti to phone Andrew Blake which would have been the natural thing to do.”

Wright “That’s right but as i said to you at the beginning the phone call took me quite by surprise, and I basically just listened.

Plunket “The problem is we don’t have the whole conversation do we.”

Wright “No and I only managed to start recording part way…”

Plunket “When was the last time you released, recorded and released to the media,  a phone conversation you had?”

Wright “I’ve never done it before in my life”.

Plunket “Who did you release the phone conversation to? How did you get it out there?”

Wright “How did i get it out there? Well in the modern day of technology you just, it’s so easy to  email recordings”.

Plunket “Who did you email it to?”

Wright “I emailed it to Radio New Zealand.”

Plunket “Because you knew a reporter there?”

Wright “We have quite a bit to do with the media”.

Plunket “Ok so you basically leaked a private conversation to the news media?”

Wright “Yes. Well I don’t know…”

Plunket “Well how do you feel about that, how do you feel about doing that, how do you think other people might look at that? That an MP rings you and gives you a heads up and says look it’s gonna be difficult for me to advocate for you if you keep stirring during the by-election, that’s just the way politics is. You record that conversation, and then you leak it to the news media. You just, and it’s a free country, you can do that .”

Wright “That’s right, it’s great isn’t it. It’s, I have rights, you realise that?”

Plunket: “Yeah I do, I do, I just wonder if you’re exercising in the best interests of your strategic objective to get rid of dusty roads, that’s all.”

Wright “I think we’re a lot closer now than we ever have been.”

Plunket “Really. So what are you going to do? I mean if you felt so bullied presumably you’re gonna quiver in fear and stop protesting your issue.”

Wright “No, not at all.”

Plunket “No I didn’t think so. So what are you planning, I know there was talk of blockading roads, are you going to do that?”

Wright “Um there’s all sorts of things up our sleeves at the moment, and I’m not going to disclose them of course.”

Plunket “Are you also disappointed that say New Zealand First hasn’t done much for your dusty roads in the last wee while either?”

Wright “Well I wouldn’t say New Zealand First hasn’t been um actually in the background. We’ve had Winston Peters at a marae meeting and he’s ah attended a Northland Regional Council meeting with our group, some of our group members. So actually…”

Plunket “Does your group have a preferred outcome for the by-election…”

Wright “Mr Peters is the only MP that has actually been and met with us. We invited Mike Sabin to try and um…”

Plunket “Yeah. Well he’s not standing in the by-election is he?”

Wright “Who? Who’s that?”

Plunket “Mike Sabin’s not standing in the by-election is he.”

Wright “I don’t know.”

Bizarre.

Plunket “All right Alex, do you have a preferred outcome for the by-election? How are you voting?”

Wright “How am I voting. Well I’ll just say I’m not voting for National. And I’m a straight up person sean.”

Plunket “Yep”.

Wright “I’m down to earth, I’m straight up, and I have nothing to hide. I don’t work in secrecy. I try to email everything that I can because there’s a paper trail. A lot of our politicians choose not to do that.”

Plunket “Ok. Could you email me the emails from Andrew Blake so we can all take a look at them and decide for ourselves whether or not we thought they were threatening?”

Wright “Now, um, I, I better just check with ah Mr Blake that he…”

Plunket “Why? You’re happy to release Mr Reti’s, the recording, the phone conversation with Mr Reti without asking…”

Wright “Oh yeah no problem at all. So so what…”

[email address exchange]

Pluinket “You don’t seem someone who’s too traumatised by being bullied”.

Wright “Not at all. You should ask some of my long time friends. They would know what I used to get up to.”

National, Sabin, Osborne, train wreck

National’s Northland candidate Mark Osborne was the treasurer on ex-MP Mike Sabin’s electorate committee so will obviously have had some contact with Sabin. It has been asked (and will keep getting asked) what he knew about the police investigation of Sabin that resulted in a court case.

Osborne was interviewed by Sean Plunket on RadioLive yesterday – NORTHLAND CANDIDATE KNEW ABOUT SABIN RUMOURS.

Plunket: What political experience have you got?

Osborne: Oh look I’ve been a member of the electorate executive up here for the last three years as treasurer and Northern Zone chair.

Plunket: So you were involved in the selection of Mt Sabin?

Osborne: No I wasn’t, no I wasn’t involved back at that point.

Plunket: At all?

Osborne: No, not at all.

Plunket: Didn’t know about it. Did it just happen while you were away or something?

Osborne: Oh look it happened before my time, so ah I’ve been…

Plunket: I thought you’d been there for three years.

Osborne: Yes but ah…

Plunket: Ok, but what about his re-selection or confirmation as candidate before the last election, where you involved in that?

Osborne: Yes, yes…

Plunket: Ok so you were involved. Did you know anything about the shadows that hung over him?

Osborne: Not at all. Not a thing.

Plunket: Nothing? You didn’t, hadn’t even heard a rumour?

Osborne: Oh I saw the rumours and the…

Plunket: Oh there were rumours. And you had heard the rumours?

Osborne: Oh yes.

Plunket: Yes. Did you ask Mr Sabin or did anyone ask Mr Sabin to clarify those rumours when he was re-selected as the candidate?

Osborne: Well I can’t speak for anybody else, but ah I asked if he was ok.

Plunket: Well what do you mean, did you ask if there was anything that might damage his candidacy or the National party?

Osborne: No no I didn’t, no I just…

A novice in an awkward situation trapped by an old pro. If the timing was awry he should have jumped on it straight away.

Plunket: Why on earth not?

Osborne: Why on earth not.

Plunket: Yeah. If you’d heard the rumours.

Osborne: Well I just wanted to make sure that he was ok.

Plunket: So you wanted to make sure that he was ok, rather than the party was ok, or that he would be in a position to serve the electorate if he would be re-selected and elected as the MP.

Osborne: Oh well look this was at the very end of last year after he’d been re-elected so ah it was more just as a treasurer you know just saying you know are you ok…

Plunket: So when did you first hear the rumours Mark?

Osborne: Ah right at the very end of last year when they were in the newspaper.

Plunket: Didn’t hear them before he was re-selected…

Osborne: Oh no not at all. I knew nothing.

Still no denial that it wasn’t a known issue pre-election though.

Plunket: Ok. So you knew nothing even though you were on the executive?

Osborne: That’s right no, nothing until it was in the media…

Plunket: The executive knew nothing?

Osborne: Ah well I can’t speak for them but I certainly knew nothing.

Plunket: Well why not? You must have had meetings.

Osborne: Well we never had any meetings that discussed that.

Plunket: But when you, ok when did you confirm his re-selection as candidate before the election?

Osborne: (pause) Well I ah, I was the treasurer so ah I didn’t reconfirm his selection.

Plunket: Where you at meetings where it was discussed?

Osborne: Ah no.

Plunket: Ok. All right. So no one knew. It was just suddenly then after the election ‘Woh, there’s a problem?

Osborne: That’s right. Well from my perspective absolutely had no knowledge whatsoever.

That oozes implausible deniability.

Osborne left wide open the possibility, perhaps probability that this was a known issue before the election, but claims it wasn’t discussed at all by the executive in any meetings.

And that he knew nothing until it was in the media. Even from Dunedin I had heard rumours a month or two earlier. There have been many reports of rumours swirling in Northland.

Key’s and National’s handling of the Sabin issue has been abysmal.

The feeling I get from this is that National chose a candidate who could deny knowledge of or complicity in the Sabin issue.

Of their own doing the Sabin train had very wobbly wheels. And now they have installed a novice driver to try and drive down a very shaky track with the National Party ducking for cover en masse.

I can see a high risk of political wreckage.

Winston was always very adept at political opportunism.

     ^ likely votes  –  National’s Northland train

UPDATE: the train has a stoker – John Key to boost National’s Northland by-election campaign

He’s stuffed up on his handling of the Sabin issue so far so he may add fuel to the Sabin fire.