Dompost editorial on Genter’s anti-old-white-males hate speech

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter

The Dompost editorial is scathing about Julie Anne Genter’s attack on old white men:

Maybe it’s because she’s young. Maybe it’s because the red mist remains in eyes still glazed over by a fresh access to power. Maybe it’s plain ignorance of the gender imbalance in her own parliamentary team.

But Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter imploring old white men to move on to help close the gender pay gap was insensitive, ignorant and certainly not becoming of an elected official holding high office.

There’s an argument that it also undermines the effort to address the issue of gender equality in boards and elsewhere, both in terms of pay and putting more women in those higher roles.

Or maybe she is just a nasty, stupid Green bint.

Genter delivered her blunt, ageist, misandrous message to students at Christchurch’s Cobham Intermediate.

Presumably in the audience were a number of young men, some maybe even white, who would have been able to do the sums and realise that, in barely 50 years, they would be part of a large group now deemed unwelcome in pleasant society.

Their older, more experienced, counterparts have been getting the message for some time, often put in very forceful terms. It has been delivered loud and clear through a variety of forums, both official and not.

Many of them have been good leaders and co-workers who have toiled long and hard to improve the lot of their families and others, both male and female.

Their contribution is now increasingly undermined and underestimated.

If any bloke said the opposite of what Genter said they’d be hanging from a lamp post by now.

Just recently, celebrated high-profile business leader Theresa Gattung declared that Fletcher Building would not have found itself in such deep financial waters had a woman been at the head of the waka.

As if failure now has a genetic code that favours the X rather than the Y.

Interestingly, Gattung ignored the involvement of former prime minister Jenny Shipley on the board of Mainzeal, another significant construction firm that waded into financial collapse.

Gattung also ignored the fact that were it not for Roderick Deane her tenure at Telecom would have been more ignominious than it actually was.

Genter had the opportunity to inspire the young girls in her audience to match her own achievements, and even maybe those of Gattung, among others.

She could have implored the boys to encourage, celebrate and respect the success of their female colleagues, while aiming for the top themselves.

Instead she chose to divide and conquer, to contribute to the growing narrative of suspicion, mistrust and resentment that pits women against men. To echo the worst of what appears in divisive posts in social media and other dubious channels.

That’s disappointing.

Women in leadership roles are clearly in a position to act as mentors, guiding lights leading the way for others. No doubt they made it that far not only because they were good enough but also with the support of others, both men and women. Like their male counterparts they have a responsibility to recognise the power and value of that position and carefully measure their own contribution. Especially if their role has a public profile.

Hopefully Genter learned a little herself later on that day, as one of 1000 guests at a dinner with former US President Barack Obama.

He may not be white but he is pushing on 60. And he still has a great deal to offer a world that is increasingly preaching the politics of division.

I’m waiting for Genter to get huffy about the gender imbalance of Jacinda Ardern’s ministry. The executive branch has 31 members (ministers and undersecretaries) and just 11 are women. What is she going to do about that? What will she say about all the pale, stale males taking up ministerial portfolios that she thinks would be better held by people of colour, just so long as they aren’t male?

She’s a Green MP though, so she is covered by the cloak of hypocrisy and shield of sanctimony.

 

-Stuff


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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