“Too Many Pricks not enough Roses” on Left Wing Blogs


When I first started writing for Whaleoil both Pete and Cam encouraged and mentored me. They both wanted a female voice on the blog and wanted to continue to grow Whaleoil’s audience. I don’t really think that female writers necessarily attract female readers. I read articles that interest me without looking at the sex of the person who wrote them.

On The Daily Blog and The Standard there have been rumblings from within about male dominance of both blogs. Unsurprisingly they take gender balance very seriously over there. Considering that they all seem to share the same view points, I am not sure why gender balance is so important. You couldn’t find a more dedicated feminist that checks his white privilege at the door than Martyn Bradbury. But then again, all is not well on The Daily Blog according to a commenter at The Standard.



We really, really need women writing for the Standard. We need more women commenting. And we men, we left men, here at TS, we need to make women feel safe, supported and welcome.

There’s too many pricks, not enough roses.

My suggestion is that we need to look again at the structures of the Standard, from the ‘owners’, through the moderators and onto the authors. The undemocratic, male dominated and authoritarian ownership structure of the Standard is fundamentally wrong for a left blog. There are moderators who do little or no blog writing, don’t contribute much in the comments, but hang on grimly to their tools of power and control. There are authors who are bigots, authors who hate the left, authors who hate women. One author is all of the above. Why are they here on a left wing blog?

The Standard is broken. But it can be fixed

– Te Reo Putake

Ouch! Bigots, misogynists and right wingers on The Standard? Who would have thought it?



Maybe the real problem is not gender related but moderation related? Maybe Whaleoil has a larger female audience than it used to have because it is a safe and civilised place to debate issues? What do you say female audience? Why do you come here?

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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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