Monday, 27 July 2009

answer the question

i was listening to question time in parliament last week (yeah, i know i'm a bit of a geek like that) and at the end of one question about the minister of social development, hon bill english (on behalf of the PM) tagged this line to the end of his answer:

What is it about female Ministers that irritates Labour so much?

this totally pisses me off. the implication that questioning a minister about her portfolio responsibilities, or questioning the prime minister about his confidence in any minister, is sexist simply because that minister happens to be female is rather pathetic. it speaks more to mr english's view of female ministers in his cabinet, that he can't see beyond their gender and restrict his comments to their portfolio responsibilities.

you can find a full transcript of the questions here, and it clearly shows that none of the questions regarding confidence in hon paula bennett had anything to do with her gender. so why did his answer include it?


Tui said...

It's also kind of bizarre because, right, Annette King obviously has enormous problems with female ministers, right? I wonder if it's an attempt to stir up a kind of backlash in post-Clark years? Or to disclaim National's embarassing record on women's rights this year?

stargazer said...

yeah, the hypocrisy was quite stunning, given the number of female ministers and the range of portfolios they held over the term of the last labour government!

Moz said...

I think he's got a fair point - why do Labour attack the poor helpless women so much? Can't they see that National's female MP's are just there to fulfil a quota and are not actually competent?

Anonymous said...

So far this year Labour has attacked Paula, Tolley and Rankin while Goff has an issue with "strikenly beautiful" women on top of that.

It's probably a build up of tensions since the sexist men in Labour have had no fun for over ten years.

stargazer said...

anon, how were any of those "attacks" based on gender? absolute rubbish. so when they raised questions about mr worth's trip to india, when they legitimately question the performanace of any male minister, that's ok? but they should never be able to question the performance of a female minister? didn't see national behaving in that way (ie failing to ask questions of or about) female ministers when they were in opposition.

Anonymous said...

Oh ok, so there is no sexism inside Labour... sure thing!