Andrea Vance on sexism

Jacinda Ardern cracking
Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Andrea Vance has criticised Simon Bridges for his sexist attack on Jacinda Ardern. Imagine, accusations of sexism from someone who gave Peter Dunne the glad eye, and who used her gender to wheedle secrets out of the fool.

However, in this instance, Andrea has used her extraordinary imagination, and looked into the mind of Simon Bridges. What she found there, she believes, entitles her to make the determination that his criticism of Jacinda Ardern for being distracted and weak, actually means that she has baby brainQuote:

While female MPs were sipping orange juice at a celebratory Parliament breakfast, and their male colleagues were pinning white camellia to their suit lapels, it was sexist business as usual in the corridors of power.

Jacinda Ardern was distracted. She had too many papers crossing her desk. She was weak for not firing Clare Curran.

Don’t think this is sexist?

When Simon Bridges accuses Ardern of being distracted dealing with Winston Peters, his underlying message is: baby brain. It carries the scent of paternalistic condescension.  End of quote.

Wow, that’s a galactic leap, Andrea.

The role of the opposition is to ensure the government is held to account.  That means challenging decisions leaders make, and their handling of crises.  It is a robust environment and no quarter should be given.  This is the government of our country, not a kindergarten.  Simon Bridges was perfectly correct to call out Ms Ardern for the Clare Curran fiasco.  It was a complete debacle and did indeed show very weak leadership.  Clare Curran should have been fired immediately after the Carol Hirschfield deception came to light, but the prime minister wasn’t up to the job.

To describe Ms Ardern as distracted for confusing GDP with crown accounts is actually quite polite.  I would have said she was completely incompetent.

Or is it simply that Mr Bridges is not allowed to challenge her at all, because…well …because she’s a woman?  Not so says the all-seeing Andrea.  Quote:

No-one is “playing the woman card” here. And no-one is suggesting criticising Ardern is off-limits. She’s made plenty of mistakes – but they are nothing to do with her gender.

Winston Peters is running rings around her because that’s what Winston Peters has done to successive coalition partners. His disruptiveness is gender-neutral.  End of quote.

Can’t argue with that.

But back to the sexism argument.  Tell us please Andrea, if Simon cannot call Jacinda weak and distracted because it’s sexist, what words can he use instead that are not sexist?

Is there an approved list of words that you have decided are not sexist?

Well, here’s a list of words he’s not allowed to use:  Quote:

Politicians must stop referring to loaded and emotional characteristics: moody, weak, whiny, hysterical, bitchy, bossy, control freak. No more prima donna, drama queen, mean girl. end quote.

Noted, although I would argue that most of those characteristics apply equally to men and women. Quote.

But the key difference is male MPs’ masculinity is rarely correlated with incompetence. end quote.

What about pale, stale male.  That’s flung about all over the place and is used to describe incompetence based purely on race age and gender.  But I guess that’s okay?  Quote:

No matter how subtle and nuanced the discrimination is, it all combines to de-legitimise a woman’s authority, and to depersonalise them.  End of quote.

Let me put this unsubtly and unnuanced.  If a woman is pants at her job, she will lose her authority.  It’s got nothing to do with name-calling or gender.

I believe Jacinda was elected, primarily, because she was a woman.  Under Andrew Little, Labour was tanking.  Jacinda swept in with her ovaries aglow and suddenly, without any change in policy, Labour was pulling in the votes.

I guess sexism is okay, as long as the bias is in favour of women.  Or practised by women.

 


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