Ladies, step up to the platform – just not to the mic

This isn’t a post about why I stopped blogging at The Daily Blog, but it will refer to some of that history.  Obviously my experience is going to bias my opinion, and I expect some people will reject what I have to say because of that.

But there have been new developments over at The Daily Blog, and in a month when we’ve seen some amazing progression of feminist views and thinking in the mainstream media (I literally keep smiling at the thought of Matthew fucking Hooton for god’s sake) it’s important to be very clear about the difference between real progress and egotistical douchebags riding the feminist train for cookies.

So Chris Trotter wrote a post, which I shall pseudo-link to because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone accidentally clicking through to a wall of privilege-defending misogyny: http:// bowalleyroad. blogspot.co.nz /2013/11/a-disturbing-precedent.html.  The short version is “poor Willie and JT, trial by media, won’t someone think of our freedom of speech?”

And Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury responded at The Daily Blog, fellating Trotter appropriately before criticising him because he’d already filled his “worst pus-filled cancerous ulcer on the penis of Genghis Khan” metaphor quota for the day. http:// thedailyblog.co.nz /2013/11/15/to-my-dear-learned-colleague-chris-trotter-you-are-terribly-wrong-and-i-disagree-strongly/

Here are some interesting things he said.

I personally believe that what is required now is for the male commentators to step back, shut up and listen to the women and whanau who have been damaged by rape. What will be said will be angry, it will be cutting, it will challenge our privilege and it will force many men to re-evaluate our role in rape culture while popping and deflating some male pride and ego.

It’s time we let the wahine speak, Chris, and it’s time we just listened.

PLEASE NOTE: In light of what has been exposed by the Roast Buster debate, TDB will be actively seeking more female bloggers for the site. Our commitment is to provide more women with a platform.

A few points.

1.  It’s really fucking funny in a not-at-all-funny kind of way that Martyn wants to wax lyrical about how sometimes women might be angry and cutting and challenge our privilege but we have to re-evaluate etc etc. Because that sure wasn’t his attitude when Coley Tangerina called out Chris Trotter for being an epic douchebag.

2.  There is little so condescending as a leftwing white dude who refers to women as “wahine” and “sisters” in that very, very deliberate “look at me I’m totally on your side” way.

3.  Ah, the fucking platform.

When I first took a step back from TDB – it wasn’t quitting so much as my meatspace life was getting rocky and I lacked the spoons for regular blogging – one of the many hilarious things Martyn said to me was

you are simply too important a voice to allow quieting my dear QoT

I had a couple of guys from out of town … and they were raving about you and the impact you have made on their girlfriends in helping them find their voice.

And that bugged me a little, because I’ve been running Ideologically Impure all on my lonesome for five years now (I’m even ranked!).  I’m an author at The Standard.  I have 800 Twitter followers and I’m sure at least some of them aren’t spambots.  The fact I was taking a total break from internet stuff because real life was getting a bit heavy aside?  I’m hardly without a fucking platform.

But there is a much bigger issue at play.  The idea of the platform.  The idea that, if we take Martyn at his word, he absolutely wants to get more women’s voices on board and provide a broad range of left/liberal views to attract a wide audience and raise the level of political debate in New Zealand.

Just one question.

How the fuck are you going to do any of that when you’ve already got a roster which is 38% women …

But those women only provide 6% of the posts?

I have done this math.  I have a goddamned spreadsheet.  Because I’ve seen so many people comment about the fucking flood of chaff which covers the TDB front page.

38% women posters.  6% of the total posts.

Okay, okay, naughty QoT, the problem there is that you’re including the endless stream of reposted media releases from Labour and the Greens and Mana and the CTU and Oxfam and Unite.  And the endless stream of clickbaity memes with no commentary on them.

So let’s take out everything published under the “The Daily Blog Reposts” user.

Women are now 39% of the TDB roster, and produce … 19% of the posts.  Half what they should be proportionally.

And heck, now I’m playing around with numbers, let’s ask a key question:  how much of TDB’s content is just Martyn, his partner, reposts, and six of his closest white male friends?

90%.

Oh, wait, I’m being unfair again.

89.3%

Eight-nine point three percent of all posts on TDB are reposts, Martyn, the Liberal Agenda, Chris Trotter, John Minto, Keith Locke, Tim Selwyn, Selwyn Manning, Frank Macskasy.

How the fuck does anyone claim to provide a platform for a wide range of voices with that kind of record?  And that’s just on women; I haven’t gone near the representation (or lack thereof) of POC bloggers, queer bloggers or bloggers with disabilities.

As I write this, Martyn has published another post of Chris Trotter’s, meaning the front page of TDB is dominated with straight white guys talking at each other about women (noting that Trotter’s latest only uses the word “women” once).

With those kind of numbers, you’ve got to ask exactly what is being served by getting more women’s names onto the TDB roster.  Is it women, or is it one guy’s liberal cred?

~

Statistics taken from The Daily Blog posts February to October 2013.

10 comments

  1. Tove

    Ahhh, Martyn throwing the ladies a bone so they will shut up like good workers of the revolution. Perhaps we should be writing about how to make ‘Anarchy Pie’, and then we will get some air-time.

    OR, perhaps they could start paying fucking attention to womens issues, as opposed to jumping up and down with socially acceptable outrage when it is safe to do so. You know what? This shit happens ALL THE FUCKING TIME, and it’s not fucking sexy. It doesn’t get the ‘cool white liberal dude kudos’. Just because the mainstream media isn’t picking up on it, doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.

    And yeah, I’m still bitter. But I think I have earned that.

    xx

        • adam white

          God no – don’t mention anarchy, they will drag you back to the 19th century and yell at you. It’s gotta be the correct boys club you know – and those damn anarchist think women are there equals along with all the lesbians, the Maori, and every other person who isn’t Anglo-Saxon male of good health. Those bloody anarchist, embrace identity politics and think any road to liberty is worth embracing. No don’t mention anarchy – it will piss the boys club right off.

          • QoT

            Adam, we’ve discussed this before: anarchy is far from a perfect movement in terms of its acceptance of marginalized groups.

  2. The Ruminator

    Your last point sums Martyn up for me. It’s all about the cred. But it’s so disgustingly hypocritical. He had a Crack at me for having a guest post by Judith Collins saying if he wanted to read right wing trash he’d read the herald. Then ran an interview with Hooton and Colin Craig. I find him insufferable. He pretends so much to be something he’s not.

    • QoT

      Yeah, with having people like CC on Citizen A there’s this attempt to be like the mainstream media – look at me, I’m fair and balanced – while at the same time he wants to tear down the MSM for being horrible and biased. It all seems to boil down to “why don’t I get paid to do this the way people I hate do”. I can sympathize with that to a point, because John Armstrong’s whinge about how haaaaaaaaard it is to be a journalist flying around the world to churn out a couple of 500-word columns still makes me eyeroll. But yeah, no standard is too low to be breached if it makes him the centre of attention.

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