If John Key were a 'pretty little thing’

Pearl Going

See also: Jacinda Ardern: substance, not sex appeal, is the problem

OPINION

In the past week a fair bit of media surrounding a very talented woman rising the political ranks has filled my news feed.

I am of course referring to Jacinda Ardern. Two articles in particular caught my eye, ‘Ardern emerges as Key’s natural successor’ and another that actually had ‘Pretty Vacant’ in its URL ('Vote for me, I'm one of the cool kids' – the Ardern appeal').

The first article was more subtle than the second as it criticised the prime minister's political style in linking it to Ardern. It was written by Matthew Hooton and it raised some valid points about the direction of politics, points that I not only see his point of view on but can even agree with at times.  The thing that didn't sit fair was it labelled Ardern as part of the problem as though she's at the same starting block as John Key. She's not.

The second article took it a step further and finished reminding readers that they must not forget John Key won his electorate. There was no mention that Key's prime ministerial parliamentary apprenticeship was the shortest since David Lange.

So to begin where one article left off, let me clarify something quickly. Key’s electorate is Helensville, a safe National seat and in fact he is the only MP Helensville has ever had. Ardern’s electorate is Auckland Central and she was not the Labour MP that lost that seat; Judith Tizard  lost Auckland Central. Nikki Kaye, the current National MP in the seat, is not steaming home with the votes. It is indeed a very un-safe seat for National depending on whether the opposition parties ever properly work together.

Kaye may have a 600-vote majority on Ardern but Adern plus the Green candidate had more than a 2000 vote majority on her. I have no desire to have the pitting of woman against woman become the theme here. I champion both Nikki and Jacinda, because politics is not easy. They are both strong individuals to be commended. I must, however, note that only one MP who stands in the Auckland Central electorate has broken into the preferred prime-minister polling.

Would we tolerate Key's hijinks from a female PM?
Something these articles have done is get me thinking, which indeed is usually the purpose of opinion pieces. I have found myself wanting to ask, what if John Key was a 'pretty little thing' as only we women are usually labelled, how would we view him as a leader?

Would his blatant gaffes and frequent shortcomings be so tolerated?

If John Key were a fan-girl of the All Blacks as opposed to his current fan-boy status would you be so forgiving?

If a female prime minister fawned over Richie McCaw, would you be cool with that?

If as a woman Key failed to remember where he stood in regards to the Springbok tour riots, would we view her the way as you do him? Would you trust that woman?

If as a woman Key chose to cuddle a puppy outside Parliament and posted the shot to social media instead of honouring Pike River families with the respect of meeting them when they travelled to Parliament, would you think of that woman as caring about the people?

If the prime minister as a woman flip flopped on promises and answered the hard questions with generalist 'she’ll be right' waffle that has become a Key trade mark would this woman ever be thought competent enough to have made it into the prime minister's office? Would this woman even survive a term let alone three terms?

Let’s be clear here, that woman would be attacked. John Key would not survive as a woman, he would be held with contempt – as an example of female incompetence. 'She" would be labelled all manner of things and those things would go up in levels of demeaning depending on how attractive he was. You see, it appears in New Zealand while we have smashed through many glass ceilings, being pretty or attractive to any degree is not the same as it is for a man who is thought of as handsome or attractive. If John Key were indeed a woman, would the media report his 'sexiest politician' ranking with the same gravitas?

Lack of media savviness?
Commentators are quick to criticise Jacinda Ardern’s media savviness in mainstream media – including her appearance on the cover of Next, a publication geared toward career and life balance, and inspiring women to the level John Key has risen to.

Key donned a shirt he did not earn for a rugby publication. I don't even care that he's targeted such media, good on him. It's media-savvy and helps him connect with the general public.

What I care about is the fact Ardern is labelled a show pony when she does a single cover. I happen to think a woman of her age juggling what she does is interesting. I want to hear about her journey, not years after she's made it as Helen Clark was relegated to, but while it is happening. I'm equally interested in other women pursuing goals and chasing dreams.

A man's world
When you turn the tables, you begin to see the irony of the criticisms and comparisons levelled at Jacinda Ardern by men who are really in no position to lay claim to a true understanding of the degree of talent she has had to possess to get thus far. 

They are men in a man's world standing on the sidelines watching a woman line up in a male-dominated race where the deck is already stacked against her. Flaunting the blatant nerve to claim she does not deserve her place on the starting block. Then patting each other on the back and backing each other up.

Even worse, they lay claim to knowing exactly how much work she's put in and what she has sacrificed to even get to the race track. A section of men in certain society have done this for years. The shocking thing about this is that even in 2015 they still feel so very comfortable doing it in a manner that can only be described as heckling.

Can't win
If you look beyond Jacinda Ardern in politics, you find that while the heckling levelled at her is of the ‘show pony’ and ‘pretty little thing’ lightweight variety, there are indeed many women who deserve more praise than is afforded to them. 

Let me flip the switch on one example. If we had a man in Parliament who had studied for a law degree fulltime while also becoming a solo parent to a new baby, would we admire the never-ending passion he had for child welfare? If that same man had then had a successful commercial law career with a big firm before entering Parliament to become an MP, would you find that man admirable for his stance on not pulling the study ladder up on others, the very ladder that had helped him climb to where he was. Would he not be championed as a man of the people?

There is no man to my knowledge in Parliament who has built his political career under such circumstances, but there is to my knowledge a woman. Her name is Metiria Turei.

The heckling of choice levelled at Turei just these last couple of weeks is that she doesn’t look as 'commercial’ as her male counterpart, James Shaw. Not so long ago it was her choice of jackets. It would seem that women in the political arena just can’t win. Either way, they are too much of one thing, or not enough of the other.

Not John Key's successor
To bring the suggestion I am endeavouring to make to the forefront; Jacinda Ardern is not John Key’s successor. To claim so is a blatant mockery of her achievement. There is no old boys' club to give her a pass to the starting block.

She has worked bloody hard to get to where she is today and she has done it as a woman dealing with consistent heckling regarding the packaging her brain has come in. That's an achievement that the men on the sidelines will never be able to grasp.

Her critics are correct. She is indeed a career politician whose entire career is geared toward Parliament. If she were a man, she would be commended for going after what she wanted and grabbing hold of every opportunity with open arms.

She’s not though, is she? She like me has breasts that aren’t of the male middle age spread variety; the variety that make men wonder how on earth the 'pretty little thing' climbed the mountain under her own steam. She is all woman. A tough cookie, smart as hell but alas a woman. So the only thing left to really be done is for the women, in fact not even just the women, men too who value what is fair, to please make your way to the sidelines. I am often left lamenting that it seems more men stand up for our female leaders than women. We are half the population. It is up to us as women to stand toe to toe with the hecklers, to shout our cheers louder than the heckling. No matter what side of the fence politically you view yourself as sitting, we women must cheer each other on.

Don’t do it for left or right, do it for yourself. Do it for the women who put up the fight that affords us today some room to cast our votes to whatever part of the fence we wish to cast them. Men did not hand us those rights. The women before us took them with the kind of hard work and suffering that the average man of those times did not have to deal with to get their vote. If Jacinda Ardern or for that matter any woman is going to pursue higher office, you can bet it will not be handed to her, it will be taken. Just as it is taken by men. We each earn our climb up the mountain, we put one foot in front of the other and we climb. There is no magic helicopter on this climb dolled out to a 'pretty little thing' no matter what those on the sidelines may claim.

Bigger than politics
This issue is, however, bigger than politics. Lately we have seen a backlash against many women in New Zealand standing up for themselves when objectified. It just so happens politics is the field casting the most light on the issue as I write this. Which has got me thinking about Judith Collins, an email and a certain minister with his Saudi sheep bribes.

Possibly next week I will write about my opinion of Murray McCully as a woman. It would, however, be a stretch to imagine a woman doing anything so very silly, let alone being allowed to walk away scotfree. In fact, if McCully were a woman, he would have his voice muted and be relegated to repeating the line, 'I agree with whatever the prime minister thinks and does'. McCully would be told to take a breather. So, we shall see.

Here's to the women embracing leadership. Here's to the voices of both the men and fellow women cheering them on from the sidelines. There is great strength in femininity – do not allow the 'pretty little thing' or 'lightweight' jibes to convince you otherwise. The most powerful thing about a woman is that she could be leading a pack of wolves and not be noticed. The wolves may think they are leading but they are indeed being lead. Keep making your way to the race track and know that as each of us line up to whatever starting block it is we have chosen, just in doing so it gives those that will come after us the permission to do so as well.

Pearl Going is an Auckland-based media publicist.


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62 Comments & Questions

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There is no comment here on the ability or value of either John Key or Jacinda Adern, it is purely sexist and as such of no real value.

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Some people cannot read and understand, and will never be changed, regardless of their levels of education. You just have to pity them.

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If Jacinda was a man would this woman be defending him? And would he need it? And how many female politicians have had to put up with the abuse and incessant personal attacks that John Key has had to? I didn't notice Ms Going rushing into print on his behalf. The simple fact is that women do trade on their sex appeal and reap both the benefits and disadvantages from doing so.

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I think you'll find that the attacks on John Key are to the largest extent a matter of arising from the policies of his government - which have generally been quite a failure for one thing, and thus a completely different situation.

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Utter rubbish.

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Yes, his policies have been utter rubbish, I agree.
I know that's not at all what you meant, but it's true, so huzzah!!

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Three terms heading for a fourth. Your judgement (lack of) correlates exceptionally well with the Left's serial failures. Enjoy your delusions until the next election inevitably deflates them. Again. And keep up the personal attacks on Key and Bennett. They work so well and go down a treat with the man and woman in the street.

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You seem to have missed the point entirely. So just for the record, can you clearly state, yes or no, is there sexism against women?

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Where and when? Not in my house and I can't speak for yours.

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A somewhat limited response. Perhaps you would care to give a yes or a no for sexism against women in society as a whole?

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An absurd question. What society? What whole? Where? When? Which women? How much? Neither of us know everything that happens everywhere. Only an idiot would pretend to give an answer to such ill-defined nonsense - or expect one.

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its a pretty simple question alan, and its central to the topic - the fact your using semantics and idiocy to evade an answer is all that needs to be observed

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It's always illuminating the questioned answer with questions. It always feels like they feel cornered. I don't know what it is but there is often a note of fear of answering. Maybe it comes from school. Did you do that boy!? What sir?

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"had to put up with the abuse and incessant personal attacks that John Key has had to? "

kind of odd thing to say when the nats entire plan and sales pitch is "John key"

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Finally Pearl someone standing up for the right (sic) of Jacinda Adern and Meteria Turei on the Left and actually even Nikki Kaye to be valued beyond their superficial visual fsvia.
Sadly being judged by patronising old curmudgeons or actually sledged (more accurate) in 2015 in NZ and still beyond as indeed Gillard and others were, still seems to go hand in hand with the bingedrinking rugbyculture adulation that so many of us positively stroppy politically savvy women post Sandra Coney and Helen Clarke wish fervently was not the case.
I note however while mentioning Collins you avoid Key's apparent hat tipped female successor who actually DID do many of the things you infer our present Ponytail pulling
PM has got away with but would be frowned upon if done by a woman.

Pulling up ladders as well as having an interesting rumoured route to success.
Hypocrisy is so what it is isnt it 'Sweetie'.
Third time arrogance is always preceded by a mighty fall in my experience.
I hope Paula is ready for what is coming.
I have a feeling she won't be.

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Good examination of the "sexist" overview of Jacinda and women in the public eye. John Key is indeed allowed all manner of stupidity and devious behaviour because he is one of "them" with the appendage (is he?) I refrain from defending turncoat, state-supported Parliamentary beneficiaries--specifically, the one pulling up the ladder--who should be shamed for her self-interest and greed-- but not because she is female, because she is avaricious.

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The nastiness of women on women far exceeds that of the men they criticise, doesn't it?

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What a silly "old man" comment.

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A banal response to my accurate observation.

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Frankly it seems to me that you deserved the comment, and perhaps even much worse considering the "accuracy" of your comment is only in your own belief and not based on any empirical evidence.

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Suggest you elevate your gaze far enough to examine the post by Kate Lang that I addressed and you will find Exhibit A. If you want more viciousness, just search out what the Lefty women generally say about Paula Bennett, Judith Collins or anyone whose politics they dislike. In contrast, males are accused merely of assessing Jacinda as unremarkable politically other than for her physical attractiveness. I rest my case there.

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Someone told me you had some sort of scientific background, but clearly not if that is how you present empirical evidence. You clearly place a high value on your own opinion since you dominate the discussion here.

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I just reply when challenged and if that is dominating so be it. I have given the basis for my comment so I do indeed place a higher value on it than your unsupported assertions. However, I'll concede that if your vacuous insults continue you may yet tip the scales against males, assuming your pseudonym is not in drag.

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Ironic (or maybe just a little sad) that you follow a claim that there is no sexism in your house, with deeply sexist comments.

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your being an a* alan - grow up and behave like an educated human being - theres a good chap

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I suggest you take pause and read back over your comments. Try and imagine you are reading them from the perspective of a teenage girl or young woman who is regularly subject to subtle dismissiveness and innuendo. Reflect on it a while.

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Alan, thank you for your impassioned debate. While I don't agree with all of your feed back I respect your right to have it. You are correct, the nastiness of woman on woman is atrocious. It is something I lament and I did attempt to touch briefly on it it the article above. Further more, I never tore Paula Bennett down. I also did not attack John. My aim was to turn an issue on its head so to speak and then ask some questions I had genuinely pondered. I have no control over the answers to those questions they felt stir within themselves.

Have a great week!

Pearl

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A very magnanimous response - congratulations.

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"Adern plus the Green candidate had more than a 2000 vote majority on her"

Let me explain something Pearl, they don't count votes like this, so why mention it.

Secondly Adern hasn't worked hard; she has never had a job

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"there are indeed many women who deserve more praise than is afforded to them."

I totally agree with you, Pearl, maybe next week you could start off with an article on Margaret Thatcher?

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An article on Margaret Thatcher would be irrelevant to the point this article is making. Margaret Thatcher's achievements as a woman entering the arena of UK politics in that era are remarkable, but her achievements as a Prime Minister are to be less celebrated! It's obviously difficult for some men to tolerate that gender discrimination still exists, and that most are so conditioned to it that when it is named, as Pearl has so accurately done, it prompts knee jerk, sarcastic (as above), patronising retorts. I would suggest looking in the mirror and asking yourselves if there a reason why a commentary on the still prevalent practice of objectification and diminishment of women, (in this case incredibly accomplished professional women) bothers you so much?

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Pearl is right about the male club in politics, though the wimmin are just as bad.

However, the biggest and most lightweight show pony in the country is arguably John Key.

He's a national embarrassment to those who don't inhabit his world of heightened and unwarranted self-esteem and who think it's time we had a PM of higher educational standards and less exhibitionist behaviour.

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So you think we should have one of the chosen elite to tell us what to do. Instead of someone who has risen above his state house background, achieved success in his chosen field, and now has fifty percent of the voters supporting him for Prime Minister three terms running.

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I very much doubt he has 50% of the populations supporting him, and although he may have had an aptitude for his chosen field, making money, (by trading in currencies) he certainly apparently has no real affinity for NZers and their very real concerns. Remember for how long Key denied there was even a housing problem in Auckland?!

We don't need an intellectual giant as PM- but we do need some one who understands what constitutes a democracy, and respects the people of the country enough to allow them to make the decisions about our directions as with the TPP, selling off our assets, etc.

Chosen elite? Self-chosen you mean - very much those who now rule the country - a political oligarchy.

And nothing wrong with a state house background, though his parents are the ones who deserve the credit for supporting him. And why do we always hear about his mother, but nothing about his hardworking father, formerly a soldier, who was there for some of his childhood, at least?

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Where to start with that one?

Are you honestly trying to say that the party/PM that campaigned reduced ownership of some assets, then put the policy in place once elected, is anti-democracy? Or the party/PM that's letting the whole country vote on the flag change rather than doing what all others have done before him - just unilaterally change it?

We have representative democracy in this country. The people voted for a party and PM that was clear about the direction they wanted to take things, and have done exactly that. Just because you disagree doesn't make them anti democratic.

Seriously, pay attention.

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I think you need to think a little more deeply.

First we don't have anything like a representative democracy in this country. MPs now do as the leader tells them - they represent his and their own interests...making sure they don't offend the party hierarchy, keeping their limousines, their travel perks, their promotion chances. As Nick Smith memorably boasted. when the leader tells him to jump he asks - how high ?

Who from the National Party is representing his or her constituents - given that the majority in each electorate would be very much against the TPP ?- as most New Zealanders were against asset sales

And of course John Key ignored the 87% of the country who were against the anti-smacking legislation. He doesn't take any notice of the will of the people. This and previous governments have refused to put all proposed referenda to the public vote.

And if we don't have a representative democracy, what do we have? Ah, but John Key has graciously decided that we can have a referendum on the flag...apparently simply because he wants to weaken our links with the country from which so many of us are descended, and from where we inherited the traditions of democracy and freedom.

On the other hand, part-Maori are politically manipulated to celebrate their own highly chequered past - or at least a highly sanitised version of it.

The PM did not, as you suggest, have any mandate from the people of New Zealand for the selloff of our assets! Only 33% of the voting public actually voted for National at the last election.

And it is not the thinking of a free man to express gratitude that the Prime Minister is so very kindly " letting" the whole country vote on the flag . it's not up to him to "let" the country do anything, is it? And it's all part of his very personal agenda.

Just a great pity that someone like Richie McCaw has been careless enough to be now regarded as a spokesman for John Key, and is barracking for a flag chane - what valuable publicity for the PM - and no guesses whose idea it was probably was.

McCaw has scored an own goal here. It would have been far more appropriate for him to remain silent about his personal choice.

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How to respond to someone who believes she is the enlightened one:
Please back up these statement s with fact:
“MPs now do as the leader tells them –“
Where was Kelvin Davis and Peeni Henare last weekend?
“given that the majority in each electorate would be very much against the TPP ?”
Is this bold statement is garnered from what fact? Of course not!
“- as most New Zealanders were against asset sales”
National campaigned on asset sales then why were that the winner?
“ignored the 87% of the country who were against the anti-smacking legislation”.
Again you float figures with no reference, try this, 37 people in my work place 22 say the anti smacking legislation was a waste of funds, I think you will find that’s as scientific as your figures.
I could continue but it but you seem to believe the old adage the Pen is mightier than the sword, and you would be correct but one could suggest to wield the pen with effectiveness one also needs a good brain one that can think for both sides of the argument, it is here you seem to fail dismally.
Your final comments just confirm that you believe in your own righteousness and can have an opinion on anything and everyone and that you and only you are correct. McCaw was asked a question about the flag on live television he answered, he is allowed his opinion, just as you are allowed yours and given many opportunities to put it out there. Conrad Smith also said he wished to see a change, or was your self righteousness some far out of kilter you just had to use McCaw to attack the PM.
It is time for you to buy a mirror take a long hard look at yourself and if you can be balanced in your comments then please continue, if not find a nice place to curl up and take a nap.

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Thank you for your opinion. Always nice to hear another view. Jacinda has always impressed me as a speaker, however I have found her politics too communist to date. Although these may become more moderate if she really wants to successfully lead the labour party. Will be interesting to see how she goes.

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Great article Pearl. A thought provoking and well written respsonse to Matthew and Rob's pieces. Well done NBR for publishing it.

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Really? I thought it came across as lightweight, shrill "support her because of her gender" garbage. Each to their own, I guess.

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Well "my own" is in agreement with Simon. Very well done indeed Pearl. Fair and balanced. It is just a shame that there are those whose minds are so closed that they do not appreciate the issues she has addressed.

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Thank you for reading Simon. Also thank you to everyone else for reading and sharing your thoughts whether you agreed with the article or not, I appreciate you reading all the same.

Pearl x

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Not sure why some readers called it "great article". Nothing particular great - just another feminism tirade on the media and political attack on John Key / National. Nothing about Jacinda's ability or career.

As a voter - it makes no difference to me at all whether the Auckland Central MP is a male or female. What I care about is what she / he has said and done. It is time we simply acknowledge that male and female are different, but both are just as capable of performing at the highest level.

ps: Being called "pretty", charming, handsome etc - why is that offensive? Let's face it - a good look and charm goes a long way in politics. but hey , we all voted for Aunty Clark at one point.

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Hilarious article when you consider the only woman more vacuous and self-promoting in NZ currently than Jacinda could indeed be Pearl Going! A simple google will tell you everything you need to know about her.

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Even if there was any remaining doubt in my mind about rampant prejudices being alive and well in New Zealand (and there actually wasn't) .... the comments on this article display the full gamut of those prejudices. Instead of dealing with the points that are raised in the article, most comments simply move to attacking the author. That adds nothing to the debate that should be had. I think it's excellent that the NBR published this as well. I wasn't overly surprised by the familiar commenters weighing in with their versions of a collective belief which is still too common in our society. There is a real debate which should be had, and which still remains unaddressed about these things. In point of fact the ad hominem argument employed by many of the commenters to this article, and in the general media proves nothing of itself. If calling it that sounds too eliteist and intellectual for some of the commenters then it might be more familiar to you as "playing the man not the ball". Amusingly, the suite of comments on this article simply serve most strongly to support the original point that was being made. Of course, prejudice is the easiest thing to spot in other people. Rather than a simple google search on Pearl Going as suggested by one commenter, I would respectfully suggest a simple google search on "cognitive biases" - but of course there are those who might not be able to see themselves in that mirror, even if they choose to look.

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Tosh. I made no assertions about Ms Adern, but simply pointed out the selective blindness of the feminist critique towards the abuse hurled at Key and Bennett by their political allies and very frequently other women. Look in your own mirror.

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OK then Alan - take up the challenge of Rose above.

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Done already. But the "challenge" was so carelessly phrased as to be useless.

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What a rotten thing to say.

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Woah, way to go ad hominem. Pathetic.

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The trouble with the so called debate over Jacinta Adern is that no one, has yet found anything of substance in her. Not a single initiative that she has authored, a cause she has championed, an issue that she owns. Nothing. I care nothing about her appearance and even less about comments about her looks. But I do want to know "where is the beef". So far nothing, and whatever else she may be, no one claims she has any.

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Her CV and record of her achievements are available to anyone genuinely interested john .
Your concern for lack of substance and initiative in our MPs apparently doesn't apply to female MPs who are actually in power , Bennett, Barry ,Upston , etc, unbelievably Bennett is touted in National circles as future PM material .
Perhaps you could tell us why?

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Very well said Pearl. Thought provoking indeed. More of her comments please NBR!

Sad that so many men commenting here didn't actually get the points she was making and just lashed out at the writer, that explains a lot about the locked in attitudes really.

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the phoenix rises from the ashes ...?

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Now this is good journalism!

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Ms Going preferred to see misogyny, so we get another trending article about how the problem has a penis. This coincides perfectly with the media's desire to frame it as a gender war because that makes for good clicking.

Let's summarise the media's thesis via unwitting Ms Going: 1. sexism is a women's issue, never mind the men who are harassed. 2. The appropriate way to handle women's issues is not necessarily to solve them but to discuss them in the media. "It's called awareness." We are all aware. Are you aware of how much you made for the NBR at your expense and to no avail?

Ms Going is fighting the battles of 50 years ago because she was told to fight them by people who profit from the fight, and as a bonus it gets her out of any self-criticism.

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She's probably made them more than you this week, correct.

I believe you will find as I did when I looked into her. When I say looked into, I mean I didn't accept baseless tripe sprouted by some. I found the following.

Ms Going is a woman who stood on the right hand of Nobel Peace Recipient and former Timor Leste President, Jose Ramos-Horta. I assume working in some capacity. Photos litter the net to prove it. Hollywood Actor Manu Bennett sings her praises. There are also photos of her with the Bali Governor and mentions of her in Indonesian press if you look hard enough. In-fact her Twitter header shows her on a significant podium indeed. I found her on climbing expeditions and in photos with Jeremey Middleton (Middleton Enterprises, Advises David Cameron), Kevin Gaskell (one of the first people he followed on Twitter also). Her Instagram also has photos of journalists like Andrew Fowler. Her climbing partner Cason Crane is the son of NRG David Crane (look him up). I could go on and on. I also found some very candid interviews where she does not shy away from self criticism, so your claim there is baseless.

This article is far too clever in its messaging to be written by an unwitting amateur. Ms Going has infact not criticised anyone. Ms Going has asked some questions. It hasn't cost her a thing. Isn't it amusing how you've written her off indeed as a 'pretty little thing'.

Ciao.

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Nice try. But you're still missing the point.

This article was meant to change the way the media acts, because it certainly won't do a thing for "women's rights". But it failed miserably because she decided to see sexism rather than stop to think about why this was the first thing she thought to blame. She had a chance but screwed it up.

If someone’s advocating influentially for change in a media they don't own or control, you can double down and split the 10s, the dealer is holding status and quo. No change is possible on someone else's dime. The "ism" she was looking for was readliy supplied as a fault by the very media she thought she was attacking. 

More important is the question about what she thought would change. She is battling for power but fighting on completely the wrong battlefield. Even if she wins this argument, what will have been achieved? Of what good to New Zealand females would Jacinda Ardern’s political victory be?

Ms Going is kidding herself that the success of one female changes the status quo: that’s the trick, it's always been the trick. Jacinda Ardern is a tool of the system, she’s allowed to exist precisely because she doesn’t threaten the system.

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Are you suggesting that Rob and Matthew's opinion commentary pieces 'change' the media? Ms Going provided a pint of view, some commentary of her thoughts not unwittingly.

'Contradictions do not exist. Wherever you think you are facing a contradiction, check you premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. '

I think you completely missed the point she was making in the article. It's flown right over your sweet head. Battling for power? With a well crafted opinion piece? The woman who's got the people I mentioned in my first post at her finger tips is battling for power with an opinion piece on here. How amazingly important you believe your own audience to be. Can I suggest possibly she's a level above that and simply wrote because she felt like it then posted it here likely because she could.

I for one love seeing this kind of piece on the NBR. I especially like seeing this news medium trending. The editor is very smart, provide commentary and then ignite the debate.

Ciao

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If you're a guy, you probably don't realise the awesome pressure on women to let themselves get looked at: to reveal themselves online, to post a pic, to give everyone your attention, to stop what you're doing and give the other your self, even if they want to yell at you. "Hey lady, I hate you!" And yet that same pressure tells women they are valueless unless they are public. Madness.

The system is illogical, the things you want cannot actually coexist, but you dare not attack the system that promises everything, therefore something else must be blamed. As a basic example, Ms Going probably wants all the benefits of socialism and all the brand products of capitalism. When she can't have it, obviously the problem is misogyny.

She yells about a world of masculine power because she has the power to yell at it. But of course her power is limited only to yelling, she is impotent against a "sexist" who yells at her. But her mistake is in thinking he has the power. No one has it, the system doesn't allow it. Even the mighty NBR demo feels impotent. Are they all delusional?

This is the true critique of the system, not simply that one group reliably oppresses another; but that the entire system is based on creating a lack. This lack is not a bottomless hole that nothing could ever fill, but a tiny, strangely shaped divot in your soul into which nothing could ever fit: not money, not sex, not stuff, not relationships. Nothing "takes." Nothing counts. Nothing is ever right. Only novelty works, until it wears off.

This lack of power - not power to rule the world, but existential power - what is the purpose of my life? What is this all for? I get that I'm supposed to use my Visa a lot, but is that it? Shouldn't I be able to do more than this? Everything is possible, but nothing is attainable. Nothing tells them what is valuable; worse, everything assures them that nothing could be more valuable. That the media is the primary way the system teaches you how to want should have been obvious to Ms Going, she works for it, but for that same reason it was invisible to her.

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To be a little blunt in my response... Yeah, nah!

Unwitting. Blind. Lost. Spoilt.

Those are the four themes you are attempting to associate me with. Oh, and socialism. Your argument is solely based upon me playing the role of a lost little girl. How absolutely delightful.

My existential power is in fine supply. Thank you for your concern. Best of luck with the philosophical ramblings. I prescribe more to tested theories of change that yield return on investment of my resources whether they be time or financial. I wrote the above article in about an hour. So the real questions are, how long have you spent crafting these comments in reply? How long have you spent thinking of a reply?

An hour of my time.

Who indeed is the one buying into the broken system, 'yelling' into the hopeless void. Is it the woman who spent an hour of her time writing something that went on to be enjoyed and shared by thousands of readers or is it indeed yourself. We shall see.

Enjoy!
:)

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Ok, I've read all the above and other than a he/she discussion I really have no idea what Jacinda will bring to the table. How about some policy, plans, hopes, views of NZ under her potential leadership etc, etc. That way we can judge her political/leadership value. Her physical appearance and 'cuteness' is irrelevant. We have already had two female PMs and views on their performance or otherwise are now relegated to history. What would Jacinda as a potential leader (and a person regardless of sex) do better than the current PM and party? That is my question.

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