Thursday, 14 February 2013

questions that were never asked

since there's no avoiding it, i thought i may as well do a post about a certain mr prosser.  contrary to what it might, my post of yesterday at my own blog wasn't actually about him.  but having listened to various media interviews over the last couple of days, i'm surprised that there are a whole range of questions nobody is asking mr prosser.

given that he wrote this:

“I will not stand by while their [his daughters'] rights and freedoms of other New Zealanders and Westerners are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan"

i thought some of the following questions might be appropriate:

- if you are concerned about your daughters' rights & freedoms, do you support pay equity legislation, and do you commit to bringing back the pay equity unit that was housed in the former department of labour?  and what other policies will you actively pursue to reduce the gender pay gap?

- what actions have you taken to promote women's leadership, and in particular, the very small numbers of women appointed to the boards of directors in nz private sector companies?  what would you do to improve women's participation in governance and leadership in all sectors of nz society?

-  do you support greater gender balance in parliament and in cabinet?  and if so, can you point to any past statements you've made to indicate such support?

- women's refuge have struggled with funding in the past few years, to the extent that were relying on a donation from a pizza chain in order to function.  since you've become an MP, what steps have you taken to increase the level of funding to providers of support services for women who are abused in their own homes?

- rape crisis centres and other services for victims of sexual violence and abuse have struggled even more in the past couple of decades.  what effort are you making to ensure that sufficient funding is provided so the those who suffer from sexual violence and abuse are able to get the support they need in a timely fashion/

-  did you make any public statements when ACC introduced new procedures that severely restricted the provision of services to victims of sexual violence and abuse?  surely you were outraged at the huge drop in the numbers of women able to access the counselling they needed, and you would have had plenty to say about it?

- what are you views about women having the right to make decisions about their reproductive health?  are you prepared to advocate for women's right to make decisions about their own bodies?

- what changes to the justice system have you advocated to ensure greater access to justice for victims of sexual violence and abuse?  more than that, how have you worked to  change to our current culture which blames victims of violence for the crimes against them and where actively seeking consent is seen as  being a boner-killer or akin to asking for a signed contract prior to any sexual activity?  in fact, have you ever, even once, talked about rape culture and it's destructive effects?

 - how do intend to improve women's participation in non-traditional subjects like computer programming, engineering and the like?  at many high schools today, it is still common to only have 2 girls out of a class of 20 for subjects like IT programming.  and one of the reasons i've commonly heard from young women who chose not to take them is that they don't want to be in a class of mostly boys.  a related question:  how will you make the trades more accessible as a profession for women, and a safer environment for them to work in?

- have you ever used the words "feminazi", "sisterhood" or other derogatory terms, or ever complained about the feminisation of society, particularly when writing for investigate magazine?  how is it, if you care about the rights and freedoms of women, that you can bear to be published in a publication where such statements are common?

so, ok, these are just some things off the top of my head.  i'm sure some of you can come up with other and better questions.  but you get my point.  the basic question is this: if you are concerned about the rights and freedoms of women, where is the evidence that you have in any way advocated for women's rights and freedoms in this country? because if that is one of your basic values, then you should be widely known for it (your public advocacy that is), without anyone having to go looking.

ETA:  i forgot that i also wanted to link to this piece, which says a lot of things very well.  thanks to soraiya for pointing me towrards it.


K said...

Ooooou, good questions!

Anonymous said...

Nice work. May I repost this (with link . acknowledgement etc) on The Standard?


stargazer said...

absolutely rob, no problem.

Anonymous said...



AlisonM said...

Great post Stargazer. Thanks. And impressed at your brave engagement over at The Standard.

stargazer said...

thanx alison. it has felt pretty harrowing. and as i expected, there were very few comments that focused on prosser or women's issues in this country. it very quickly turned into a thread about the "evils of islam", and it's really disheartening. so i really appreciate your comment.