Louise Upston, Michele A’Court and Feminsism – A reader’s view


A reader emails about Michele A’Court’s column and Louise Upston’s comments regarding feminism. It is fair to say she is extremely annoyed.

Dear Cam,

I am not usually one to get angry at things I read in the paper. Nor am I a feminist. At least, not a feminist in the modern sense of the word.

Having read Michele A’Court’s recent article regarding Women’s Affairs Minister Louise Upston’s recent statements about her not branding herself a feminist, I was surprised to say the least at her supposedly ‘feminist’ interpretation of the Minister’s speech. I cannot for the life of me reconcile in my head what I hold to be true feminism and the drivel she spouted; and it was the final straw.

Let me clarify some things. I am, indeed, a woman. I may be young, at 22, but I do pay attention to world events and take the time to formulate my own opinions about our society. This is what I believe ‘feminism’ should be about: choice. A woman (in fact, any one) should have the right to choose what she would like to do with her life. She should be able to choose to perform in a beauty pageant without censure from others, and to feel good about herself in what she does; just as a woman should be allowed to choose to be a stay-at-home mother without such censure. I know personally I could not stay at home all day, but that does not mean that as a ‘career woman’ I should censure those who do make that choice. Just the same, I don’t think I would like to perform in a beauty pageant, but that does not mean I should hurl abuse at those women who do wish to participate and perhaps for them, it is their expression of themselves as a woman. When did feminism become reduced to a bunch of extremists censuring other women for doing what they want to do? Isn’t that what women in previous generations have fought against? 

A woman’s choice not to sympathise with the feminist movement is also something I believe in. Am I the only woman who agreed with Upston’s speech? As a Member of Parliament, she must want to represent ALL peoples’ concerns and issues – and feminism certainly alienates some people, no doubt about that. Not wanting to be branded a feminist is perfectly fair in my opinion. Certainly, her words could have been chosen better,  but what people like A’Court don’t seem to grasp is that the definition of feminism has changed in modern times. The most prevalent brand of ‘feminism’ I seem to encounter is that which could be better classified as mysandry (i.e. man-hating). These women seem to believe that men are now the ones to be oppressed, and it occurs daily. “Man up,” “grow a pair” – the culture of putting men down and insulting their masculinity is rampant in this society, and insults like these come out of women’s mouths just as much as men’s. Why can’t a man be sensitive if that’s in his nature? It concerns me that in the news we hear about how women are so unequal to men; but what of men’s inequality to women? Indulge me in a few examples: early childhood care, nannies, rape. These are all things in which men seem unequal, and let me tell you why: in the first two professions, men never get a look in, and why? Because women do not want men near their children. Again, why is that? Sexism, pure and simple. The third is something that angers me to no end, as a feminist and equal rights enthusiast: under New Zealand law, men cannot be raped. They can be ‘sexually assaulted’, but not raped. I cannot communicate how much that angers me.

Back to A’Court. She closes her article with this: “”I don’t ever want anyone to look at me,” Upston says, “and say ‘she’s there because she’s a female’.” Sorry, minister, but so far I can’t find any other reason why you got this job.” Excuse me, Michele, but do you not hear yourself? Spouting the sexist comments that feminists rail against daily? How ironic. I agree whole-heartedly with Upston; a woman should never be given a job because she is a woman. The left’s gender quota notions insult me deeply. A person should obtain a job because they are the ideal candidate, not as a result of their sex (or race).

The core truth is this: there will never be any such thing as complete equality of the sexes; and that’s something that brings me comfort. Want to know why? Because men and women ARE unequal. We are totally different in the way our biology works and the way in which we think and perform tasks. A small tidbit of advice from my grandmother (who is a pragmatic woman when it comes to such things, having been a nurse her whole life):

“What women don’t understand is that men approach tasks in a completely different way. When a woman has several tasks to complete, she will multitask; that is how we work. Men, however, like to perform one task at a time and to complete that task satisfactorily before moving on to the next. And that can frustrate a woman; she can’t understand why a man won’t jump to doing what she asks straight away, when he’s already engaged in another task. This leads to nagging, and to arguments.” Just something that may lead to peace in the household. Men are told to understand women; why should we not return the courtesy?


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  • Jaffa

    Well said!

  • Hedgehog

    Well said. Really good to see sanity and common sense is still alive and well. Pity we don’t have this sort of article in MSM. And they wonder why we come to this site for news and views.

    • Captain Darling

      Especially in one so young, there’s hope for this country yet.

      • FORIDIAN

        Indeed, when I was at Auckland University, in 2011, it angered me that there was an election for “Womenspace” women’s officer or somesuch, and that I couldn’t vote because I am a man. You had to be an AUSA member too, but that didn’t really bother me, because AUSA let BOTH men and women join (not that I did, would never be a Labourite, ever) Seems discrimination laws only ever apply one way in this country, and never the other.

        I am 21, just in case anyone’s curious.

        • FORIDIAN

          But of course, well done to her, a thousand times over. It takes balls of steel to do *that*, especially in today’s world.

  • Sally

    As a woman in her 60’s I totally agree with you. It is your choice what you want to do with your life.

  • Great letter… and such wisdom.
    I hope she continues to write and post… it gets kinda addictive..

  • Monito

    Me too 60+ and I absolutely abhor the heavy duty, often dramatic so called feminists of the day – like most women I would always stand to oppose rape, abuse and violence but some of these hard arsed women are bringing shame and disgust on women’s rights because they make up stuff, they tell lies and they fight dirty to make their point. How so many of these these women have managed to root themselves into government departments in apparently senior positions with authority bothers me. Have they been so lost in their lives that they have gravitated towards men hating professions? The shocking reality is that they are grooming young ones to follow their lead. Sure seems that way to me. I don’t know much about Louise Upston but I certainly agree that she is correct to be concerned about everyone’s rights and women must learn to treat men the way they want to be treated – respectfully as equals – albeit with a different makeup.

  • Jonat

    I read the same article by A’Court and had a similar
    reaction. I believe men and women are equal, but they are not the same. Just
    like 2 + 3, 1 + 4, and 5 are all equal, and yet they’re all different. This might be stating the obvious, but it’s something that feminists get confused about.

  • spanishbride

    Brilliant article that I agree with wholeheartedly. Our society even jokes about men being raped in jail and no doubt it is a regular occurrence.In fact if my son were ever arrested and put in jail, rape would be my biggest fear for him while he was inside.

    • The Whinging Pom

      The examples of inequality go on and on:

      It’s ok to suggest that a male has a small penis, for example, if you want to ridicule him (Mr Politically-so-correct-and-so-smugly-leftwing Mr Tiso), but you try making the equivalent comments about a woman.

      Men in general are continually criticised for having too much testosterone. We didn’t ask for it to be there, people! It’s just a natural function of our pitiful male bodies. But suggest that natural biological/hormonal effects affect the way women behave/perform and it’s sufficient to have the chatteratsi hounding you out of your job.

      EDIT – grammar/spelling

      • Kopua Cowboy

        Just as an interesting aside, homosexual males have the highest levels of testosterone

  • Kopua Cowboy

    A dog might be a mans best friend, but other women tend to be a womens biggest enemy.

  • Bartman

    Impressive, and all the more so given the tender age of the writer involved. Really great insights, this woman will go far, perhaps a high-powered political future awaits!

  • Ztev Konrad

    “The third is something that angers me to no end, as a feminist and equal rights enthusiast: under New Zealand law, men cannot be raped.”

    Where does it say that ? I know what you think you are saying, but the reality is if women are penetrated anally they too are not ‘raped’

    • Hedgehog

      No, I don’t think she was meaning it in that way. Normal sex, but not consensual.

    • Mark C

      Section 128 of the Crimes Act 1961, Ztev. Rape is when genitalia is penetrated; the other means of sexual violation is termed Unlawful Sexual Connection, I believe.

  • onelaw4all

    Great letter.
    Absolutely bang on.
    I hope that they become regular commenters here.

    The whole topic reminds me of this oldie but goodie:

  • Halcyon

    A great article. It contains fantastic insights and the writer is only 22 years old. The writer demonstrates wisdom far beyond those 22 years.

  • Whitey

    An excellent article. Thank you for writing it.

  • Tony

    Really well written – thank you

  • HunuaRanger

    Q. How do you make a woman equal to a man?
    A. Remove half her brain.

    • Imogen B

      Did you read the article above?

      • HunuaRanger

        Ironically, I did.

  • Michael

    “We are totally different in the way our biology works and the way in which we think and perform tasks.” It is important to remember that most of the differences between men and women in their cognitive styles and abilities are more statistically significant than actual – they are far more alike each other than they are like any other being in the known universe.

  • Catriona

    Michelle who? I don’t give a toss about MC’s viewpoint on anything.

  • Mikex

    Oh wow, what a refreshing approach and well said. Lots of savvy and maturity here from someone who obviously has accepted that men and women are different and we should celebrate the differences.
    The sexes are designed for complementary roles in our quest to continue our gene lines, thats the way it is. Equal opportunities yes, but demanding equal outcomes is frankly stupid.

  • old dad

    Bravo. A breath of fresh air amongst the sanctimonious PC claptrap.

  • Sir Henry Morgan

    Great piece. I had similar thoughts at your age. The whole business about how men cannot be legally raped pisses me off too. Sad there has been no law change. I forget all the details, but when I was at university there was a period when someone was reportedly raping men in toilets and parks around the campus. I think he was eventually caught, then charged with ‘sexual assault’. It all just seemed wrong. I believe there was some discussion on campus about how the law should be changed, but of course 20 years later and apparently (I’ve not been following this) things remain just the same.

    I am convinced these issues are important to a truly equal society. Defining men as ‘legally unrapable’ is silly. Besides causing issues in courtrooms it sends out strange messages that infect other areas.

    To your excellent list of areas men are not equal I’d add genital mutilation.

    It remains both legal and socially acceptable in most western societies to take a knife to the genitals of little boys. It’s ‘just a snip’, a ‘useless flap of skin’, a joke really, and everyone knows men are indestructible anyway. Flip the situation around so it involves girls, and not only is it illegal in the west (as it should be), but citizens of western countries will even get worked up enough to campaign to have it made illegal in far off Africa.

    Obviously achieving complete equality is a tough ask for a society, but there are obvious areas where simple law changes could improve things immensely.

    Quite honestly, the fact I can’t legally be raped bothers me. I’ve never been raped (thank god), but were I ever raped the law would be a whole additional level of insult.

  • James M

    A very good read from a young woman who I think gets it spot on. If the writer of this email is reading these comments I’d like so say you have a great head on those shoulders.

    I’d like to say also that men too can be feminists. And I believe a lot of them (like myself) will share your refreshing point of view.

  • cows4me

    “Men are told to understand women”, don’t worry yourself about that. We’ve been trying for thousands of years and we still don’t understand women and I doubt we are about to anytime soon.

  • Pharmachick

    I really enjoyed this article, the clear and forthright tone is fantastic.

    I particularly like the recognition that we can be “for women” without being “feminist”. Even my generation (X, I am 37 so tail end of “X”) sees “feminists” as [to hyperbolize somewhat] terribly unattractive because they are bra-burning, fringe elements that have tipped into misandrism (as the writer so eloquently articulates).

    The feminist movement had a strong mandate in the late 60s and early 70s but completely lost it, because they were unable to recognize true progress and move with the times.

    Now they’re just an anachronistic embarrassment.

  • la la land

    This letter is the first time in ages someone has expressed exactly what I think. This is exactly the problem with some “feminists” – they are actually out of date and behind the times. Feminism has moved on and they don’t get it any more. True freedom and equality means having the ability to make choices for yourself… And having those choices accepted by others. Michele Acourt is spouting the feminism of the sixties – she has been left behind and doesn’t realise it…


    I am willing to put a tenner on her being our PM one day :))

  • NotGandalf

    you definitely hit the nail on the head there, very well put, I hope I have the mental alacrity to repeat it in sufficient terms to the next ‘feminist’ who I feel indulges in my-sandry (thanks for the new word too!)

  • Jack

    Excellent analysis. And there are lots of sensible women who think the same. Only a half-wit would think otherwise. Men and women are clearly equal in value but ‘different’ – complementary – in attributes. To try to shove them into the one mould is idiotic. And there is a world of difference between feminine and feminist. There is something gracious and gorgeous about a feminine woman that evaporates with feminist ideology. Feminism might believe it has achieved some things but the losses far outweigh the gains. ‘Feminine’ brings out the best in men but feminism has degraded both men and women. Feminism has contributed to the breaking down of values, standards, morals, respect and self-respect, discipline and sel-discipline, manners and courtesies that we are all suffering from now – as witnessed by women and child abuse, let alone some
    vicious forms of man abuse.

  • The Accountant

    Michelle A’Court is a comedian. Surely hers is a humour piece?

    • David

      Comedian? The unfunny comedienne would be more like it. She is also a bitter leftie.