excellent post by elsewoman in response to mr trotter's request that the labour party get "back to its male working class, er, roots". i remember listening to him last week on radio nz, raving about the "testosterone" visible at the labour party conference. i was there for almost all of the conference, and seemed to have missed it.
he talks about reconnecting with "the dream of thousands of young and idealistic working class men", but i can't see how those dreams would be any different to the dreams of women. and why only the young - do the rest of us not have the capacity to dream; to wish for and work towards better things?
in all the analysis that i've seen on labour's election wins and losses, they've done best when they've captured the women's vote, and when they lost in 2008, it was the loss of the women's vote that was crucial. i can't remember where it was, but i'm also pretty sure i've seen research to say that women are more likely to vote for parties of the left than men are. given all of that, i'd say it's just as important, if not more so, to reconnect with issues that are important to women.
but further, what i really don't get is the fact that women in leadership can't be seen to be protecting the interests of men as well. record levels of low unemployment, strong savings, paid parental leave, interest-free student loans, low government debt, working for families, pay equity, investment in early childhood education etc etc etc ie all the major policies of a party with a female leader have been just as beneficial to men as to women. most have benefitted men directly, some indirectly as men are part of families who benefit.
in the end, there was only one thing that was different at this conference which could possibly account for mr trotter's view. it was that, instead of a female leader and a male deputy leader, there was a male leader and female deputy leader who gave the main speeches at conference. if that somehow makes a difference to how he views the labour party, then it seems to me that mr trotter has taken a very shallow look.