The Patriarchy, and why I think it’s a Bad Idea™

This blog has been up for a while now, and I’ve been getting a bit reactionary, so I think it’s time I started posting some more original commentary of my own. It’s time for some hardcore, man-on-woman feminism. (Apologies to any readers who I deliberately strung along there for half a second for my own amusement. I assure you it was worth it 😉 )

The Patriarchy is a critical concept in Feminist theory, and it’s actually a concept that is really worthwhile for men to understand if they’re interested in their own rights- even if casual references to it in feminist writings make it sound like it’s a conspiracy theory. (hint: it’s not, they’re just using jargon you don’t understand, which in any other field has exactly the same effect: you make stupid comments to it if the reference looks dumb out of context) Continue reading

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A tip o’ the hat

Time for some blog pimping. 😉

The ladies at The Hand Mirror continue to be awesome and insightful. I’d like to quickly plug the ex-expat again, for her wonderful post that gives a balanced account of her experience with her father as primary parent, and her regret that his choice is marginalised in society. Any woman who supports better recognition of fatherhood- no matter what type- is onto a good thing in my book.

The institutional discrimination in demographics that she points out has also been blogged by Idiot/Savant of No Right Turn. He also has a great discussion of the Kingmaker Debate which I blogged about below. Really neat comments.

And the backlash begins…

You’ll excuse me for taking a couple of days off on the weekend- that’s going to be a regular thing, and frankly, five updates a week is more than enough, even though you’ll probably get more 😉 Let’s play some catch-up!

The “Kingmaker” debate on TV7, ignoring its moronic title ringing of sexism and lack of clarity on MMP politics, raises a very interesting issue- the issue of racial backlash, where privileged groups, like Pakeha in New Zealand, feel undervalued because of positive discrimination that is used to urgently relieve the symptoms of racial discrimination. This has deep implications for feminism and politics that advances women’s causes in general- especially as backlash against feminism has already started in New Zealand. Continue reading

Appearances can be decieving

Both The Hand Mirror and Frogblog have made excellent posts on the way we judge the appearance of politicians, and especially on how it diverges for men and women.

I pretty much agree with everything they say there, but it’s worth expanding a little on why the two male MPs Frog singles out as being judged by their appearance are subject to that kind of scrutiny, which is really the only time that men experience the kind of ridiculous scrutiny on appearance that the ex-expat talks about on The Hand Mirror. Continue reading

Referenda and Human Rights

So recently I stumbled across a site advocated binding citizen-initiated referenda. This is an issue I’m really conflicted over. Basically, they want multiple referenda each year that the government is required to follow on contentious issues- so most of the issues that are today considered a conscience vote, where MPs do not have to vote along party lines, would instead be put to referendum.

On the one hand, I believe that in terms of experimenting with economic policy and social initiatives, public opinion is a very useful guide, and overwhelming public opinion should be respected. This is part of why a proportional system like MMP is so important to New Zealand politics- it ensures that the values represented by the various parties are as close to proportionally weighted in parliament as they are in wider society. It is also excellent that the select committee process is so much more important under MMP, and that citizens have the opportunity to point out flaws in legislation that MPs may have missed, or are simply more evident to specialists in a particular field. This wider consultation benefits everyone. Continue reading

You’re not funny, you’re a jerk.

So, you’ve heard something that you think is hilariously funny. Maybe you were introduced to the idea of front-bums, or someone lamented the growing dykocracy in New Zealand. Maybe someone accused the government of being a nanny state, or perhaps you called your mate a girl, or you describe anything unfavourable as being so gay.

Now, I like to laugh as much as the next guy. That’s part of why I can still stand to comment and debate on the internet- because they’re a certain serendipity to extreme stupidity that wraps it around to be funny again. That’s why George W. Bush has been the greatest thing for comedy since the Germans invented Schadenfreude. Continue reading

Tails: Men’s Rights and Angry Fathers

OK… let’s do a quick Men’s Rights 101. Having kicked off with a post on feminism, it’s time to venture into the relatively murky territory of masculism, which is kinda like feminism from an alternative dimension with a goatee that likes to laugh inappropriately.

Masculism is a word, as I understand it, coined by a dissatisfied former-feminist, (pro-feminist if you prefer) who had come to believe in the importance of men’s rights as a counterpart to feminism. It has since attracted many feminist sceptics, divorced fathers, and sometimes other supporters of feminism. Where Masculism and the broader men’s rights movement stand is a subject of controversy at best. The labelling has gotten a little confusing, but generally speaking it goes something like this: (pro-)feminists think that men’s rights and women’s rights are interdependent and need a co-ordinated response, masculists think men’s rights are independent and refuse to engage women, and anti-feminists want to return to traditional gender roles to protect women. Continue reading