Monday, June 23, 2014

Our misogynistic political media

In previous elections, the major parties have submitted lists heavily dominated by men, and this passes without comment. This year, Labour has submitted one with a slight imbalance (53:47) towards women. The reaction is sadly predictable:

Not mentioned: Labour's list is gender-balanced up to position 40; that slight imbalance comes from the bottom, unelectable end of the list and will not translate into caucus places. Meanwhile, its electorate candidates are heavily male. The interaction of these facts is expected to produce a caucus which is roughly 45% female. But again, let's not let that fact get in way of some good misogyny. Men's "right" to dominate politics is under threat! Labour women are going to cut your penis off! To the barricades!

And seriously: Labour should be congratulated for trying to ensure a caucus that properly represents the 50% of New Zealand with two "X" chromosomes, and I look forward to the day when they actually get there.