Greens to confront MP's 'misogyny'
Wed, 30 May 2012 12:57p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
An impending point-of-order war is on the cards in Parliament today as the Greens and Wellington’s Feminist Collective take on National’s Maurice Williamson and what they call his “patronising misogyny”.
Mr Williamson interrupted Parliament yesterday with an unruly point-of-order welcoming 10 Miss NZ contestants to Parliament.
His actions caused an uproar of laughter from MPs and despite his point-of-order being against the rules, Speaker Lockwood Smith allowed it, saying the girls’ presence was “very pleasant”.
Watch the video for footage of Mr Williamson introducing the contestants
Green Party MP Jan Logie says she found the whole affair sexist and offensive to women, and it was “patronising misogyny”.
“There are some clear messages around it in terms of him being the man and he can get into this space with all of these women.
“It is about objectifying women and he’s essentially saying how men become men is by hanging around gorgeous women,” she says.
Ms Logie will challenge the affair by calling a point-of-order today and asking the House to acknowledge finalists of a fictional ‘Feminist of the Year’ competition.
“It’s just a chance to acknowledge all those women who don’t feel like they have to behave nicely around creepy, old, senile politicians.”
She says she has nothing against the contestants but the way they were treated yesterday was like a flashback to the 1950s.
“There are quite a few women, myself included, who were fairly uncomfortable,” she says.
Founder of Wellington’s Feminist Collective, Nicole Skews, says today’s acknowledgement will be about reclaiming Parliament as a space for women.
She says Mr Williamson’s comments were sleazy, greasy and turned the debating chamber into a free-for-all.
“What does that say to women watching question time? If you happen to be good looking and you happen to be acknowledged in the House then you will get leered at. It’s just really gross,” she says.
“There is something inherently patronising about welcoming people to the gallery and have the entire chamber ring out in laughter. It sets up a nasty environment for women in Parliament.”
Ms Logie says she will have to be quick this afternoon otherwise her point-of-order will be shut down by the Speaker.
If Dr Smith does shut down the point-of-order, it will be disappointing and a double standard, Ms Skews says.
She says although the ‘Feminist of the Year’ idea is a fictional competition, it is a “collective prize” for all women.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
31/05/2012 11:11:03 a.m.
@michael steane and others: yes being made to feel uncomfortable just because you are a woman is pretty bad and should be complained about
30/05/2012 11:24:07 p.m.
Michael Steane wrote:
While men suffer most accidents at work, die 6 years younger than women, have less spent on their healthcare than women, are discriminated against in both the family courts and the criminal justice system, are uniquely subjected to conscription and so forth, this is what women have to complain about?
30/05/2012 9:06:52 p.m.
Why is it that it is always the HANDSOME women who complain about this sort of thing. Get over it. Some enjoy beauti pagents. Personally I wouldnt waste my time bu.t I also wish them all the best
30/05/2012 7:08:43 p.m.
RIP Lil' Sebastian wrote:
Go Jan and Nicole, you rule! Williamson's comments were gross. 'Creepy, old, senile politicians' - love it!
30/05/2012 6:51:24 p.m.
A waste of time and space, get on with the real stuff please. If this is all the Greens have to moan about I guess the Government are doing a good job.
30/05/2012 6:26:13 p.m.
Two things, our parliament always recognises groups that come visit the chamber. Both Labour and National have done this before, not just with female groups but with community groups, sports teams - you name it. This is a non story created by a Green Party radical feminist.
Second, specifically for commenter JohnMillan; Lockwood is very well regarded for being a good impartial speaker of the house by both sides of parliament. Your claims are laughable that you've watched it for years because then you'd have seen his two predecessors, Margaret Wilson - so biased and out of her depth, she was embarrassing, and Jonathan Hunt, a man so unable to control the house and hard Labour to the core, he was shuffled overseas quickly to be an even worse high commissioner in London.
Get your facts right!
30/05/2012 6:15:12 p.m.
It is standard PR to have this/that visit places, including parliment.If the Greens don't like it, they can always walk out. Surely its up to the contestants if they enter the Miss NZ contest? And surely a visit to parliment is a PR exercise. But then Nicole standing up with the greens is also a PR exercise. So is Shearer calling for an investigation into Jones 10 years on...
30/05/2012 6:09:49 p.m.
Yeah pretty patronising. But then Miss Universe is pretty patronising all round. To be fair to Lockwood Smith, he does know Lauren Mann the Wellington winner so was probably a bit embarrassed!
30/05/2012 5:01:56 p.m.
I see no one mentioned the fact that this was sponsered by a male Green party member - funny that.
30/05/2012 4:25:39 p.m.
Get a "life" woMan.
Viewers overwhelming voted yes to decriminalising soft drugs during TV3's nation...
A petition boasting more than 37,000 signatures against the use of animal testin...
A report by New Zealand's police watchdog into the Urewera terror raids has foun...
Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensi...
A Work and Income employee has emailed the private details of 34 beneficiaries t...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.