Friday, March 12, 2021

Piers Morgan

I don't know much about this guy Piers Morgan. His face is recognisable from a British talent show I watched for maybe a season? I live in New Zealand and don't follow social media  - or barely - so am unfamiliar with his views.

Verity Johnson's column Stop shouting, Piers Morgan, we're not listening in today's DomPost presented the perfect opportunity to hear them.

She begins, "...he’s basically just been that drunk dude outside a pub who yells at you when you walk past."

Then , "...he constantly, publicly, screams at successful, opinionated young women like Meghan Markle, Greta Thunberg and Ariana Grande..."

No example of what he screams at them though.

Regarding Meghan Markle, "She continued to ignore him, causing ever more acidic outbursts, to the point where, on Monday, he trashed her mental health confessions (subsequently crossing a line that made even Meghan’s detractors draw in their breath sharply)."

I didn't watch the Oprah interview. What did Meghan say and what did Piers subsequently say?

Again no dialogue forthcoming.

Historically Piers' offensive statements have apparently been made "so openly and for so long" they are "part of the script that we as young women always struggled with."

I scrutinise Johnson's own script but still no examples.

She continues, "No-one stopped his ranting on Monday. And it took a calling out by his weatherman on Tuesday, the devastatingly rational Alex Beresford, for him to shut up and flounce off."

Rational! I love rational. At least we are going to hear what the rational weatherman had to say... 

No such hope.

"A good 40 per cent of social media is predicated on the formula of angry man rants about something a woman has said and gets increasingly annoyed when she ignores his @s and invitations to “enter into a rational debate”. I’ve had it myself when male broadcasters have loathed columns I’ve written, repeatedly trash talked me on air, and been infuriated when I consistently won’t engage with them to “defend my position”.But why would we? We know the difference between rational debate and a drunk outside a pub."

Verity might yet grow up to be a Prime Minister who declares that Mike Hosking is the 'drunk outside the pub' simply because she preferred not to debate the ideas.

Whatever happened to the fearlessness of feminism?

Monday, March 08, 2021

Here's the problem with National

 From Scoop:

Women’s Wellbeing Survey Launched

Monday, 8 March 2021, 10:40 am

Press Release: New Zealand National Party

In recognition of International Women’s Day, National’s spokesperson for Women Nicola Grigg, has launched a survey looking into the wellbeing of women in the Selwyn electorate.

“We know that women have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of job losses, but what we don’t seem to have a full understanding of is the overarching psycho-social impact the lockdown and enduring stress has had on our wāhine.

More (if you can stand it)

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Maori: "...gentle, kind and involved fathers"

Continuing with Stuff's 'Our Truth' crusade Michelle Duff has a piece profiling five good Maori Dads to show that they do exist. 

We all know there are good Dads - Maori and non-Maori - everywhere. The reason it isn't reported is that it isn't news. It's abiding fact.

She goes on to bemoan Once Were Warriors - "the spectre of Māori fatherhood, ground into New Zealand’s cultural fabric like a long stain of Double Brown on a pub carpet" - and some sensationalised  2006 research about the 'warrior gene' reinforcing stereotypes that sadly, "Māori start to believe".

Inevitably the narrative moves on to how Maori child-rearing practises were so much better in pre-European times. Duff lifts this 1840 quote from a writer called Polack:

 “The father was devotedly fond of his children and they were his pride and delight”, wrote Polack, a Jew and a trader for some years.

I went to the source and found that the immediately preceding sentence reads, "Child prisoners were greatly prized and lived with the whanau but they remained slaves for life." That part of the quote was naturally excluded. The practise of slavery - so abhorred internationally today - was ended by colonisation.

Stuff's obsession with selectively re-educating the audience is utterly patronising.

I form my views from a mix of: what I see with my own two eyes, reading, statistics,and anecdote. 

If 47 percent of those on the Sole Parent Support benefit (for caregivers with children up to 14 years-old) are Maori, commonsense dictates that the degree of contact Maori fathers have with their children is lower than for non-Maori.

Yes, I accept that not all of the fathers of mothers on SPS would be Maori, and some of the SPS recipients would acually be the fathers of the dependent children. Some of the claims will even be fraudulent - Mum claims despite Dad being ever-present.

However, from a PHD thesis held at the University of Waikato:

During the 1990s Yeoman and Cook (2008) estimated that around 40% of Māori children lived in a single parent household, predominantly with the mother. In other words, 2 out of every 5 Māori children were raised in homes with only one parent; a trend that is likely to keep increasing (Hutton, 2001). This also means that a large majority of fathers are absent from the everyday lives of their children or have limited contact with them. It also poses a question, where are all the fathers?

Asked, I believe, by a young Maori man.