Thursday, August 25, 2005

Don't yell at her, she'll cry!

Man, you can always rely on the Don, can't you? Just when we were all starting to really switch off from the election campaign, nauseous at the blatant bribery, Don slips his minders and suggests that women just can't cut it in politics.

It wasn't that bad when he started, and I'm really hoping there were minders somewhere going, "Yes, good, civilised discourse, above all that, NOOOO, stop talking! Don't mention her sex!" He could have got away with being too nice to debate, that could have worked for him, but no, he had to say he would have treated her differently had she been a man.

And I think he genuinely believes what he says, and that's the really alarming thing. Because any assessment that Helen Clark is somehow weak and can't handle the cut and thrust of politics has to be based on seeing her as a woman first, and as the person she is a distant second. She can be justifiably accused of a lot of things, but 'weak' simply isn't one of them. He can't see past her being a woman. It's yet another way that he appears to be fundamentally out of touch with reality.

So, let's assume he's not lying and that he genuinely doesn't think women are up to politics or that they should be treated the same way as men. That is what he said. How can he then work with them? How can he work with women in caucus, or on his front bench? Hmm, okay, yeah, forget that. How can he take advice from female civil servants? How can he possibly be an effective Prime Minister if he can't deal with women as equals?

Now, at the risk of sounding just like him, I'm not a rabid feminist. Too many years around the University Feminist Cabal for that. I call myself an Equalist. One of my favourite uni stories is watching a classmate of mine, M, ripped into by a woman because he held a door open for her. And the half-dozen other people with her, some of whom were men. She wasn't even next through the door, she was several people back, she was just that desperate to be offended by something. And we just had to shrug and say, next time, drop the door in her face. And if Don had stopped with saying he's just the kind of guy who doesn't drop doors in people's faces, that'd be fine. But he had to say, no, I held it open for her because she's too weak to handle it.

What really sends me to the floor cackling with glee is that the Don has an interview coming up, with Kim Hill. I do hope he takes it easy on her. She's only a woman.

3 Comments:

Blogger Comrade_Tweek said...

Poor Don!! Not even the Tory Press can help him.

It's a good thing he didn't start stamping his feet in frustration at not being able to pull her hair...

4:25 pm  
Anonymous TP said...

I think his inexperience is showing! He was really just feeling smug about how "well" he did in the debate, a bit of bravado "heheh, took it easy on her" and it all turns to custard, he can't take the statement back so he tries to run with it. Amateur.

9:48 pm  
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4:07 pm  

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