So this happened. The Victoria University debating society hosted an event at which one of the moots was:
“This House, as a parent, would tell their daughter to drink responsibly to avoid sexual assault”.
How breathtakingly daring of them.
As people have pointed out on Twitter, it’s not fair to say “all debaters are dudebro neckbeards”. So I won’t.
What I will point out is that this whole structured debating thing seriously reinforces a lot of patriarchal, privileged bullshit.
1. Because it treats serious social topics as completely morally relative
This is how you’re meant to argue when you’re eventually in charge. You’re trained for it, and part of that training is regularly being presented with morally indefensible positions to defend anyway or risk losing whatever competition you’re engaged with. I have seen perfectly decent young men get carried away defending genocide and torture because that’s the only way to win. Those who are unable to do so are taught that they have no business having political opinions. The people assumed to be the future elite are not rewarded for getting the answer which is most correct, most compassionate or humane or even sensible – they’re rewarded for smashing the opposition. And that’s how you get politicians who will argue anything they’re told to, enact any policy they’re told to no matter how many how many people will get hurt, just so that their team can win.
Chief adjudicator Stephen Wittington justified the moot by saying:
“As part of that discussion we discussed what the purpose of debating was, and as part of that discussion we talked about the fact that debating often requires people to defend ideas or arguments that they don’t personally agree with, even in circumstances where people do in fact have very strong views about those issues.”
As though the problem is that some people (in this case, women) just need to be challenged with different opinions. As if “I was raped and society said it was my fault so the rapist was never prosecuted” is just a strong view on the topic. Shocking news: it’s really shitty to use people’s real lived experiences of traumatic events as a thought experiment.
2. Because it holds “rationality” or “reason” or “logic” as supreme
Especially in comparison to emotion. Which is one of the reasons that moot above is supremely shitty. Hey, women, so 1 in 4 of you have experienced sexual assault, and probably been victim-blamed to hell and back, but now we’re going to grade you on how calm and reasonable you can be while arguing in favour of victim-blaming. Win!
Patriarchy privileges intellect and demonizes emotion. Totally coincidentally, men are held to be sensible rational creatures, and women in New Zealand have to convince two doctors that they’re so mentally fragile they deserve an abortion.
3. Because its judging criteria are privileged to hell
Guess what kind of people are most likely to be really good at the kind of speaking and preparation rewarded by formal debating? People from upper-class highly-educated families, that’s who. People who are able-bodied and neurotypical.
Please note that this doesn’t mean only rich white boys debate. Plenty of people from oppressed groups will be fantastic at debating in this format. But they will sure as hell have to conform to the expectations of privileged groups to do it. (cf Namond Brice)
4. Because it mistakes reinforcing oppression with challenging norms
There are a million ways to challenge people to think outside the box, or to explore current social issues, without going for the bog-standard Bob Jones line of debate.
The fact is, this was a completely unfair debate. Not because people were upset by it, not because it breaches the all-powerful Feminist Code, but because our society has already well-equipped the affirming team with arguments. Nobody arguing in favour of this moot had to think very hard about how they were going to make their case, because their case is made every single day to the point that many people consider it “common sense”. The negating team, on the other hand, had to fight not just their opponents, but centuries of social conventions and assumptions. And some of them will have been struggling with being triggered in the process.
So why do it? Because not all debaters are dudebro Grammar old boys, but plenty of them are, especially the ones at the top. And why would they do anything but reinforce the power structures which keep them there?
Spot the interesting trend in the names of the bloggers cited (in order of citation) in Bryce Edwards’ latest article about the “blog wars” taking place around rape culture:*
- Giovanni Tiso
- Graeme Edgeler
- “Prof Andrew Geddis”
- Chris Trotter
- Danyl Mclauchlan
- Scott Yorke
- Martyn Bradbury
- “Another identity activist”**
- Alan Alach [sic]
It just makes it all the more tragi-hilarious that Bryce, in the third paragraph of his article, says
Identity politics is, of course, the prioritisation of a person’s identity – ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc – over issues of ideology, and especially economics and class.
The phrasing’s very interesting. It might almost seem to suggest that a mere identity is unworthy of “prioritising” over important things like ideology. It absolutely suggests that silly identity politics doesn’t ever involve discussing important things like economics and class.
It kinda also seems to imply that things like ethnicity, gender and sexuality aren’t as important as the real issues. Do you think that might be an easy conclusion to come to when your own personal ethnic, gender and sexual identities don’t come giftwrapped in centuries of economic and social oppression?
And do you ever notice how the real issues which identity politics are apparently distracting us from are always the issues which the person complaining about identity politics wants to talk about?
And seriously. Why is it always the men who talk about “prioritisation” like they’re not capable of thinking about more than one thing at a time?
*I have not included Donna Awatere Huata nor Annette Sykes as they’re mentioned in an earlier section of the column – but let’s note the only brown faces to appear on this topic are both supporting Tamihere and Jackson.
**Hi there! I have a name!
This shouldn’t really need to be said. But just to be clear, because I’m sensing some confusion: I’m pretty sure I do not have the power to substantially affect the outcome of the next election.
This blog is not going to deliver a victory to David Cunliffe, and my tweets are not going to herald a John Key victory. If I switched this whole thing off tomorrow, the media would still be able to find a quote from someone which proves The New Zealand Left Is Hopelessly Divided, if that was their angle. But 2014 will almost certainly be the third election in a row where someone somewhere/everyone everywhere will decide that it is my “lack of unity” or “looking to be offended” or “call out culture” which is the problem – not their own lack of principle, clarity of message, or integrity.
You see, I’m a woman with opinions. Usually pretty loud, brash opinions. And sometimes I have them about people who are, in a very general sense, “on my side”, who I think (hat-tip to Craig) could do better.
And I am absolutely going to have a go (sorry, “conduct a witch hunt”) at leftwing, liberal men who expect to be thought leaders in our movement but consistently use women (and Maaori, and whoever else adds a flourish of diversity) to build their own cred while shouting over them whenever they disagree.
I am not going to change. I will continue to be bitchy, catty, picky, over-sensitive, easily-offended, hold a grudge and act like a total cow. Because that’s what you call women with unabashed opinions, isn’t it?
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?
Oh, wait, I’m being unfair again.
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.
2005: John Tamihere interviewed in Investigate Magazine.
INVESTIGATE: What is the most powerful network in the Labour executive?
The Labour Party Wimmins [sic] Division. Whether it’s bagging cops that strangle protestors they should be beating the proverbial out of, or – it’s about an anti-men agenda, that’s what I reckon. It’s about men’s values, men’s communication standards, men’s conduct.
I spoke to the boards and principals association in Wellington, and I showed them a picture of two girls with their fists clenched, standing on top of two young male students. The object of the exercise was to prove that once again the female students had romped home academically against all the boys. If the positions in the photo were reversed, all hell would break loose.
Where else in the world do Amazons rule?
In our constitutional base you could kill the Prime Minister – sure, there’s a deputy prime minister – but in the interregnum the second in charge is the Speaker. The Governor-General. If those three die you go to the Chief Justice, another woman.
I don’t mind front-bums being promoted, but just because they are [women] shouldn’t be the issue. They’ve won that war. It’s just like the Maori – the Maori have won, why don’t they just get on with the bloody job. I think it becomes more grasping.
Other comments include “I’m sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed”. Tamihere loses his seat in the 2005 election to Dr Pita Sharples and goes on to host a talkback show on Radio Live.
2009: Chris Trotter coins the term “Waitakere Man” in a post urging Labour to return to its working-class roots.
To win in 2008, National had to break Labour’s grip on the mixed metropolitan suburbs.The voter escorting National to its First Term Ball turned out to be the sort of bloke who spends Saturday afternoon knocking-back a few beers on the deck he’d built himself, and Saturday evening watching footy with his mates on the massive flat-screen plasma-TV he’s still paying-off.His missus works part-time to help out with the mortgage, and to keep their school-age offspring in cell-phones and computer games.National’s partner – let’s call him Waitakere Man – has a trade certificate that earns him much more than most university degrees. He’s nothing but contempt for “smart-arse intellectual bastards spouting politically-correct bullshit”.…On racial issues he’s conflicted. Some of his best friends really are Maori – and he usually agrees with the things John Tamihere says on Radio Live.…
National was getting two (or more) votes for the price of one. Sometimes Waitakere Man brought with him the votes of his mother, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces as well. How had Clark forfeited the trust of Waitakere Woman?…What broke their connection with Clark was the anti-smacking legislation. They felt affronted – as if their parenting skills had been weighed in the balance of the Prime Minister’s conscience and found wanting. Clark, who had no children, was telling them how to raise their kids. She seemed to be passing judgement on their whole family – turning them into criminals. They felt betrayed.Waitakere Woman’s sense of betrayal, combined with the ingrained misogyny and cultural diffidence of Waitakere Man, was what got National onto the dance floor in 2008. Key should read both Rodney Hide’s intransigence on Maori representation, and the recent Referendum’s unequivocal result, as timely reminders of the price of his party’s admission.When the band begins to play, Waitakere Man and Waitakere Woman must not be left standing.
In making this decision it has not only chosen wrongly, but it has also dealt what may prove to be a fatal blow to the career of one of its more talented MPs, Phil Twyford.“Waitakere Man/Woman” is the key to Labour’s recovery.…[quotes previous post on Waitakere Man]…Carmel Sepuloni’s going to win back those voters?
Following a judicial recount, Sepuloni misses out on the seat by nine votes and was not returned to Parliament due to her placing at 24th on the party list. Phil Twyford returned to Parliament after winning the seat of Te Atatū.
2012: Chris Trotter identifies John Tamihere as the “avatar” of Waitakere Man.
Mulling over the Labour Party’s decision to re-admit John Tamihere to its ranks, I’m beginning to understand how Dr Frankenstein felt. “Waitakere Man” – the monster I created more than three years ago on the pages of The Independent Business Weekly – has not only gone its own way, it’s acquired a powerful, new, flesh-and-blood political avatar.
Waitakere Man proved troublesome from the moment he emerged from my computer keyboard. Many people believed he was myavatar. They charged me with counselling the Labour Party to embrace this bigoted blowhard and tailor its policies to suit his prejudices. Not true. My intent was only ever to make Labour aware of Waitakere Man’s existence.
It seems that Phil Goff has coincidentally started following Trotter’s advice, but Trotter, ever the voice of wisdom, warns:
When, inevitably, [Waitakere Man] brings his knee up between progressive Labour’s legs, let no one who voted for Mr Tamihere’s re-admission feign either horror or surprise.
August 2013: Chris Trotter theorises Tamihere will run for Waitakere under New Zealand First, and win.
But, if Tamihere (JT) runs, it won’t be in Labour red. Though the party eventually agreed to accept his 2012 membership application, the word in Labour circles is that a Tamihere candidacy in Waitakere would be approved only over the dead bodies of the party’s women’s and LGBTI sector groups.
That the very attitudes and values that produce such an allergic reaction among Labour’s social liberals and identity politicians might also be the attitudes and values of the average Waitakere voter, is as neat a summation of Labour’s dilemma as one is likely to find in the topsy-turvy context of contemporary electoral politics.
By recruiting JT to the NZ First cause and putting him up in Waitakere against both Paula Bennett and whoever Labour chooses (probably Carmel Sepuloni) Peters could grow the overall NZ First Party Vote by as much as 2-3 percent. On election night that could mean a NZ First tally of 8-10 percent – rather than the 6-8 percent it is currently anticipating.
Trotter also refers to Paula Bennett as “oozing BBW appeal”.
5 November 2013: Following media exposure of the “Roast Busters” rape club, John Tamihere and Willie Jackson bully a rape survivor on their talkback show. [Post by Giovanni Tiso featuring transcript of the questions asked]
Tell me this, how old are you?
How did your parents consent to you going out as a 14-year-old til 3am in the morning?
So anyway you fibbed, lied, whatever, and went out to the parties – did you not know they were up to this mischief?
Well, you know when you were going to parties, were you forced to drink?
Don’t youse [sic] know what these guys are up to?
Yeah but girls shouldn’t be drinking anyway, should they?
6 November 2013: Danyl Mclauchlan posts on the Roast Busters/John Tamihere issue.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in and around this instantly-infamous Radio Live clip …
… Finally, there’s a huge amount of affection for Tamihere amongst the Trotterist factions of the Labour Party. People like Mike Williams and Josie Pagani feel JT’s well-documented pathological contempt for woman would be an electoral asset among blue-collar male voters, and David Shearer gushed that he’d be an amazing Minister for Social Development. The core tenet of Trotterism is that identity politics isn’t important, and if that faction in the party had its way they’d have a welfare spokesman who thinks that young girls who drink alcohol deserve to be gang-raped. So let me say again that Tamihere would be a poor choice for that role, and that, like Shane Jones he is basically un-electable, and that people in the Labour Party should stop promoting these weird, creepy misogynists.
I’d exercise a little caution if I were you, Danyl.
8 November, 2013: Josie Pagani (whose views on these issues would have to be the subject of a separate post) posts at Pundit on the issue.
I am disgusted with the attitudes of Willie and JT … But I don’t support banning them from radio. The painful, ugly truth about the attitudes of Willie and JT is that they are shared by tens of thousands of men who think women should take responsibility for not being raped.
Willie and JT’s job is to discuss stuff. You don’t fix their faulty attitude by telling the part of our community who think they have a point, that it should not have a voice. You deal with it by argument.
Because where do you end up if you get banned for expression? You end up like the pathological blogger Dimpost, who effectively attributes blame to me for the words and attitudes of Willie & JT.
It goes something like this – I have previously spoken out in support of Willie and JT, as politicians with something to contribute to the community. Therefore, I am responsible for everything JT says (and therefore the inference is that I agree with everything he says).
How perverse do you have to be to implicate a woman in the anti-woman views expressed on radio? What is really happening here is that he is trying to silence me (and others) because he disagrees with me about other political issues. This is where you end up when you try to have Willie and JT removed from the radio – banning people you disagree with, not just those who hold offensive views.
And Chris Trotter responds in comments:
Danyl McLaughlin’s [sic] association of Josie and myself with the behaviour of the Roastbusters and their defenders – based on nothing more substantial than that we share a political analysis with which he disaggrees – marks a new low for his blog. Perhaps you should ask yourself whether Danyl’s compulsion to denounce, denigrate and distress those by whom he feels threatened makes him more, or less, like the Roastbusters he purports to abhor?
The TLDR of all of this: Chris Trotter has repeatedly made it clear that he thinks there is a “Waitakere Man” archetype of NZ voter who is a narrow-minded white dude who likes, and is even embodied by (except for the whiteness, obviously) John Tamihere. Chris Trotter has repeatedly urged the Labour Party to appeal to this archetype – though always in every-so-slightly cagey terms like “dance partner”. Which makes it very convenient, when Tamihere is an abusive fuck to rape victims, for Trotter to distance himself from the whole situation and paint himself as the victim.
You don’t get to constantly grind down identity politics and put your view of working-class (or is it self-employed?)/lower-middle-class men on a pedestal, then complain when the obvious misogyny and bullying behaviour which comes with that archetype explodes into the public view.
Here endeth the lesson.
Homework: consider the idea, posited by The Egonomist and others, that the promotion of a particular type of bigoted redneck thinking is identity politics – and the reason we don’t recognise this is because some identities get to be “normal” and not “other”.
This comment is just so important, so original and such a game-changer that I wanted it to have its own space:
This isn’t going to go over well, so you might as well get angry before I even get to my point. As a male the problem I have with feminism is that the word and the attitudes of many who self identify with it implies elevating females and female causes above males. There are plenty of doucebag males and cowed females, and that’s societies stereotypical fantasy of New Zealand, but in my experience there are just as many, if not more, dominant and even douchey females and cowed males. I’m all for equality and fairness, and I’d love to see any systemic gender inequalities New Zealand still has corrected, but there are inequalities in both directions and I cannot believe that any equality can be brought about by promoting one gender/race/religion/sexual orientation/etc over any other.
Oh, Anon. I’m so sad that you think so little of me. How could I possibly get angry with such a thoughtful, insightful comment? Truly, when our nation is experiencing a cultural shift around our treatment of sexual assault survivors, when we’re having serious conversations about victim-blaming and power structures which allow rapists to walk free …
Wow. You’re so right. What we should really be talking about is how some mean feminist women don’t give you a boner.
I ‘m not mad, Anon. You’ve opened my eyes, man. This is a whole new day in the life of Queen of Thorns, and I shall go forward and feminist no more.
Thank you for educating me about the real nature of feminism.
May I do you a favour in return? I feel like we’re really friends now. We’re on the same level, you know? And I want to help you like you’ve helped me.
Maybe you – and every other person who has, in the past week, made comments like “let’s remember we have to be anti-rape, not anti-men!” or “it’s unfair to act like all men are scary rapists” or “freedom of speech!” – could take some time out and ponder the following questions:
- When people are discussing rape culture, why is your first response to downplay it?
- When we are faced with a very real case of a gang of rapists preying on young women, why is your first response to start talking about mean women who “cow” men?
- Do you think you’re just terrified of having to act like a grown-up when negotiating sex with a partner, instead of relying on alcohol and peer pressure to get your wick dipped?
- Or do you not want your previous sexual partners to start feeling more comfortable using the r-word to describe your coercive, abusive behaviours?
This might not go over well with you, but don’t get angry, I’m just expressing my problem with rape-excusing women-hating doucebags [sic].
So, after all the kerfuffle over yesterday’s post, Daniel Farrell came back to his keyboard to try to retcon his fail a little bit more. At this point, I have to ask if this whole thing is a marvellous piece of performance art from the Auckland Uni Law Revue performers. It would make sense for Auckland students to make their sockpuppet a Waikato dude.
I mean, it’s really hard to believe that right here in our own backyard is a dude who takes a faceful of criticism for whinging about “modern feminism” and thinks he’ll calm the storm by saying “I am not against feminism as it should be”. He thinks it’s going to help, somehow, to say anyone who criticised him is “childish” and “irrational” and then, after making a post in which he specifically attacked a woman for having sex he didn’t approve of, whinge about personal attacks.
Even his “apology” is troll-perfect:
I would also like to apologise to those who were offended by my comments as they were portrayed.
Daniel Farrell, basically, is a walking illustration of male privilege. He’s never learned not to shoot his mouth off on a topic he clearly knows nothing about – because his opinions are valid and people have to hear them! He firmly believes that people must spend more than 10 seconds on his page before commenting on his posts, because HE deserves their attention. Of course he gets to cast aspersions on other people’s sex lives, especially women who do bad things – but don’t you dare fucking call him a bad name, that’s getting personal! And childish!
And why shouldn’t he express his opinions about feminism, what about his freedom of speech?
This is not a person who’s ever had the weight of society telling him he’s a lesser creature who shouldn’t cause a fuss. That’s why he can’t comprehend feminism, or feminist criticism, as anything other than an attack on his very penis.
All I can say is take it away, good folks of Twitter.
It all started while I was at work, and had to limit myself to eye-rolling: Daniel Farrell, one of the Directors of the Waikato Students Union, decided to let us all know that he disagrees with “modern feminism”.
It might pay to clarify at this early stage that Daniel’s definition of “modern feminism” is, um, unique.
But you can’t beat this for logical thinking:
1. A music video is released which a lot of people find rape-y and gross. (full disclosure: I have chosen not to watch said video.)
2. Law students from Auckland University create a gender-flipped version of said video to highlight its misogyny and rapeyness.
3. Flipped version is taken down from YouTube, original is left up.
4. People complain about this.
ERGO: feminists are hypocrites because they complain about objectifying women but are totally okay with objectifying men.
You cannot fucking argue with the man’s logic. You cannot. Because it doesn’t exist.
I don’t believe in siccing people’s employers or future employers on to them because of things they’ve posted online. But you’ve got to ask if Waikato University is going to be happy with this dude’s critical thinking abilities being
blamed ascribed to their teaching.
… and that’s all I originally wanted to say, when I’d first seen Daniel’s blog post, because, well. The rest of it was just laughable, wasn’t it? I mean, we’re talking about someone presuming to pass judgement on feminism who literally sums up the founding ideas of feminism as “initially a movement to stop the “hey, wench, cook me some eggs” of the day. That’s noble enough.” NOBLE ENOUGH. I’m fucking dying here. I cannot breathe.
But then, by the time I sat down to write this response, Daniel had – thanks to a heaping of smackdown from Twitter – posted a clarification. See, he’d written the post in a rush, he’d expressed himself poorly, he just wanted to make it clear that:
There are a lot of people who call themselves feminists who are doing the right thing. They are good people who are simply trying to ensure gender equality. I hope that this is the majority of “feminists”, and I am not referring to them in any way and to any members of that group that thought I was referring to them, I apologise, as that was not my intention. I am referring to one specific type of “feminist” – the militant feminist who goes around saying all males are misogynists simply because they have a penis rather than a vagina. The feminist who goes around saying people who don’t agree with them 100% support things like rape. They are harming the good work that people under the feminist movement do. So when reading this, don’t read it with the pretense that I’m trying to say women are evil or anything silly like that.
Oh, yay! Despite earlier statements, Daniel doesn’t hate good feminists, he just hates bad feminists, the kind who “say all males are misogynists simply because they have a penis”. Sadly, he was unable to link to evidence of the existence of any such feminists, and that makes me sad, because I enjoy seeing mythical creatures. But he’s totally down with feminists “who are doing the right thing”, and shit, ladies, if Daniel Farrell thinks we’re doing the right thing we must be on to something.
The specific little bit about “the feminist who goes around saying people who don’t agree with them 100% support things like rape”? I suspect that’s connected to this tweet, where no, Daniel, nobody said “disagreeing with me means you support rape”. But someone did ask why it was more important for you to completely misrepresent anti-rape-culture activism than to actually confront rape culture.
To give Daniel full credit, though, anyone who questions his mighty opinion is silly. Or irrational. Or childish. Anyway, where are his cookies? He totally didn’t-actually-delete the section where he has a go at sex-shaming feminists who have sex with people (who just coincidentally are not him) in parks. What a sensitive fucking hero.
Final pedantic notes: Daniel has no idea how sex and gender work; and making a throwaway Once Were Warriors reference (LOL BUT IT’S HISTORICAL BECAUSE HE SAID WENCHES, LOL) basically proves any point anyone ever wants to make about his lack of basic empathy.
ETA: Of course, since drafting THIS post and scheduling it, things got better.
Stay tuned! Find episode 2 here!
(This post was written and scheduled before the announcement of David Shearer’s resignation – it’s still applicable though, especially as the Labour Party figures out what kind of leader it wants going into 2014.)
The bulk of this comment was originally posted here.
The problem is traditional Labour voters staying at home because their interests are continually put on the back burner in favour of identity politics issues that they don’t really care about, and that don’t affect them personally. Some of these people no doubt wonder whether folks like you are saboteurs funded by National and its business backers.
To which I responded:
Fuck I hate this line.
Class politics have never been put “on the backburner” because of identity politics.
The big gains in identity-politics areas – ignoring weka’s very good point that class politics are identity politics – have almost always been through Private Members’ Bills, not Labour-in-Government Bills.
The reason class politics have been put on the backburner is because some fucking idiot white dudes bought into the idea that class politics weren’t vote-winners. That being More Like John Key was the way to go. That pushing the idea of the “deserving poor” as compared to “bludging beneficiaries” would get the votes of Middle New Zealand.
Don’t fucking blame women and queer folk and people of colour for the consistent, deliberate efforts of the Phil Goff and David Shearer-led Labour Party to paint themselves as “good economic managers” who would be “fiscally responsible”.
The party can’t even design a solid, leftwing state housing policy – they have to make it about encouraging the private sector, framing $300k houses as “affordable”, and then slapping Michael Joseph Savage’s face all over it.
That’s got nothing to do with identity politics and everything to do with a party still in denial about the damage it did to our country and its own soul via Rogernomics.
Seriously, I must have missed the 2011 Labour Party election manifesto which was printed in rainbow colours with a wheelchair-using woman of colour on the cover, entitled: “KILL ALL MEN” with a First 100 Days plan consisting entirely of day spas, pride marches, nurse-ins at Workingmen’s Clubs and nationwide rallies to smash pink penis-pinatas.
The irony of kind of breaking my break to eyeroll at a creepy mansplaining douchebag breaking his break to make sure we’ve all noticed he’s on a break … is not lost on me. But I do have to co-sign all the below posts on Hugo fucking Schwyzer. Make he take an actual break from co-opting feminism for self-promotion any time he likes.
Hugo Schwyzer and the consumption of redemption narratives by Dianna E Anderson