Monthly Archives: April 2008

2008, THE FEMINIST REAWAKING: Hillary Clinton & the 4th Wave!

The success of women in politics, is frequently cited as evidence that feminism has met it goals.  Hardly!  Too often the Exceptional Women – is also, ‘the Exception to the Rule’.  Amanda Fortini writes in the New York (April 21, 2008) – why does our culture take sexism seriously?  Sexism is often so subtle, threatening its insidiour existance…..and anyone who talks about it, risks sounding like an overzealous lunatic at worse – scrutinizing every interaction for gender – specific offenses.

 She goes on to say – ‘it was hardly a revelation to learn that sexism lived in the minds and hearts of right wig crackpots and Internet Nut Jobs,….but, it flourished among members of news media.  The MSNBC portrayed Clinton as the grieving widow of adsurdity, saying of her Presidential Candidacy and Senatorial Seat – that she didn’t win on her own merit.  She won because everybody felt, ‘oh my God…this women stood up under humiliation’.  Please….that displeases me – Political Success to rewards of Public Sympathy?  Okay….people loved Hillary – She kept going, when everyone thought she’d play the role of the ‘victim’ – but anyone who’s read books on ‘The Life of Hillary Clinton’ – know thats simply just not her style.  She played her cards right politically!  Yet, the media went to arms lengths, to show ‘sexism’, as though her intelligence and long record of public service counted for NOTHING!  So, why does our culture not take sexism seriously?, or do we?

IAN WISHART'S NEW BOOK – "Absolute Power"

Journalist and writer, Ian Wishard’s new book, ‘Absolute Power’ – advances his 2005 writing that began on the eve of a Major Feminist Conference.  At the heart of ever increasing social reforms, Wishard’s 15th chapter (focus on feminism) raises reservations, as to his conservative political views.  Chapters 12-16 cover interesting discussion on gender and sexuality, while the remainder of his writing focuses on Clark’s administration and how they have conducted businesss.  I wonder, why focus so much on feminism?  As you read his earlier book ‘Eve’s Bite’, it becomes obvious why.  I compared his writing.  As a Christian, Wishart believes that the feminist wing of the labour party, if it nurtured any notion of the ‘religious’ belief, would be closely allied to New Ageism and witchcraft.  He also states, in (Eve’s Bite), that he has shown that Labours core network of feminists and gay leaders have infiltrated the upper echolons of public service and Clark’s core networks dominate canadate selection and policy development.  He likens their actions, to SOCIAL ENGINEERING – that we are (in some ways) part of a conspiracy – that Government Social Service Divisions will end up owning our children….’the devils own’?  These are distorted and strong views.  However, he uncovers what most journalists would not have the courage to publically publish, and I think he’s a talented writer.  The question again for me, is why blame feminism for social reform?  Are we really that backward?  And yes….of course we need political transparency and freedom of speech.  We must call into accountability those in leadership.  But, where a direct democracy does not exist and Government is Supreme, in a representative democracy….how much political debate should be accept, in matters of personal privacy?  And really…is the real issue not so much the personal integrity of the Prime Minister, but sexism?….as everyone knows that politics can be ‘dirty’.  In some ways – its far more acceptable to be ‘male’ and be a ‘dominator’ in the political field.  But, when a ‘women’ takes a position of Government Leadership – we go digging a bit deeper to find ‘dirt’.  I find that rather erroneous!  Or, we state that her ‘assertive manner’ makes her ‘cold’ and calculated, not to mention if she chooses not to marry and have children, she must of course be a lesbian.  Clark’s faced disparagement, on a number of ‘sexist’ points of view.  With my experience in journalism, I’d love to write a book ‘Absolute Power: A Feminist View’, that interviews main women in politics and systematically reports on positive changes, and their achievements since 1999.  Without feminist input, we would not have today, the Public Policy Development, which has reformed our Country.  Does that mean – as many conservatives believe, that we are becoming a One World Government?, or social engineering ‘robots’ (in figurative terms). No.  I think that good journalism should report the facts, but not add speculation.    What remains out-standing, is that Helen Clark has proven in her 4th term to be a colossus, to the insults of many.  Some remarks from Mr Wishard’s book are:

“For all Clark’s readings on ‘sexual’ politics….Clark showed no sign of financial independence”.

“In Peter Davis, Clark struck the ideal man: one who would say ‘yes’.

 “Clark’s opinion of men are seen in 1984 disclosure – ‘there are collegues to whom I really speak….Rogers very intense and sexist…part of me being overlooked for office was beause I am a women”.

In the 1999 Women’s Conference, midst 2,000 women – the vision of Clark, Margaret Wilson and Marilyn Waring (attendee’s) was to change the face of NZ society.  Is it as Mr Wishart believes – social engineering of feminists likened to New Ageism? No!  And, if so – then wouldn’t the Christain Organisations Mr Wishart is affiliated to (in the same token) be likened to (how should I term it?) ‘A New Dictativeship’?  His writing mentions that four women use to only be in politics (mid-1970’s) and the Women’s Movement complained that existance of males and Old Boys Networks did not choose BEST person for job, only best man for job.  He believes that MEN are now making similar complaints in reverse.  I wonder if Mr Wishart has read the whole 2008 Report on ‘NZ Census of Women’s Participation’ by Human Rights Commission, as I think that would present us with a factual basis.  The only area where NZ outperformed other Countries was in POLITICS (with twice as many females Parliamentarians)…now that – I find exciting.  Which makes me wonder, could the negative view on feminism, be more insecurity of the ‘playing field’ in more ‘male dominant’ positions – that men may fear that equal pay and opportunities, may render some out of work?

Mr Wishart also states: –

“Historically the Patrichal Family…women were not equal to men economically…there was no complusion to remain with one sexual partner…the PM’s hostility towards modern nucluer family is seen in the way she regards Mothers….the radical feminist agenda was to take Marxism further than even Marx envisioned – to re-educate women and through them, change the world: an iron fist inside a velvet glove revolution.  A very female coup”.

 I find those statements rather extreme.  I wonder if Mr Wishard has considered the 2007 ‘Resolution on the Status of Women, Equality and Work’, in formulating his views.  As the UN Principles of Good Governance highlights that Government must develop strategies to increase participation of women in leadership and decision making in all sectors of society.  That’s not feminism ‘harsh domination’, thats ‘strategic leadership’….we don’t need re-education, we just require an equal ‘playing field’ were gender, does not result in ‘sexism’.

 The lastest publication of the Investigate Magazine May 2008 (I read), had an article by Melody Towns ‘The Father Crisis’, which raised the question of what role does a Father play in a child’s life and the life of a functioning society?  Research found in this article, stated that only 80% of men stated that the have involvement in their children’s lives…their too busy with work.  82% of respondents said their paid work negatively affected amount of time that could be spent with children.  52% said it affected their quality of time.  So when Clark is critized for her stance on believing marriage is not necessary and not wanting children, to advance her political career.  I think, if that was a male, saying – ‘I don’t have time to spend with my children’, – as they do strongly – thats highly acceptable.  Although research has stated – WE HAVE A FATHER CRISIS!!!  So, its okay to be the bread winner and leave the kids at home with Mum, if your ‘male’.  But be a women and its viewed that a successful political career and family life is not possible.  IT IS!  Why not have it all….lets break the sterotypical views and push forward for gender equality….we’ve come so far!