Friday 5 June 2009

Grown-Up Stuff

WHAT IS IT with left-wing women? Why does it take a Cactus Kate to spell out the bleeding-bloody-obvious about Phil Goff’s damsel-in-distress? And, where’s the advantage, when it comes to living a fulfilling, exciting and, yes, occasionally risky life, of behaving like a permanently helpless victim?

So Dr Richard Worth hits on women. So what? It’s a thing men do. Some with genuine style and panache, others with all the finesse of a slobbering dog. Women worthy of the name take the stylish ones to bed, and tell the slobberers to take themselves somewhere else.

And, if the silly sods refuse to take the hint? Well, that’s what, workmates/bosses/girlfriends/boyfriends/husbands and, if worse comes to worst, police officers are for.

By the sounds of things, Dr Worth is a slobberer. A slobberer, moreover, who seems to have real difficulties taking the hint. Presumably, that’s why he’s become the subject of a serious allegation of wrong-doing, and why his political career lies in ruins.

If you behave like a slobbering prat, entirely unmindful of your responsibilities as a husband, a father, a minister of the Crown, a member of Parliament, a member of the National Party caucus (not to mention a member of the human race) then you deserve nothing better.

The curse of Karma has caught up with the erring member of the erring Member. So what is all the simpering and mewling and tut-tutting and isn’t-it-awfulling about?

Sex is a thing that grown-ups do. Learning to negotiate one’s way through the reefs of lust and longing is, therefore, an important and inescapable part of becoming a mature human-being. In a culture (one of the very few cultures, in fact) which proclaims and enforces the principle of sexual equality, it looks really bad when left-wing "feminists" start behaving like a bunch of Victorian maidens confronted with a naked table-leg.

If "girls can do anything", then surely they can tell some randy old bugger to fuck-off and leave them alone?


ConorJoe said...

C'mon Christopher,
the woman says she was bewilderered and overwhelmed by this powerful mans attentions and subsequent offers, and also unsure of the apparently 'obvious "undertones"'.
she also references to a culture (korean) that knows corruption so well
Something this Manister knows - thru experience - all too well.

Whaleoil said...

Great post Chris

Anonymous said...

put whale on ya blog list you leftist prick :)

Andrew S said...

Absolutely agree! And another thing, as her husband knew about the phone calls and text's from the beginning ... Why the f**k didn't he tell worth to piss off.

If someone was sending my wife those kind of texts i'd drive over to his place and smack him the mouth. Imagine having to ask you husband what 'xxx' meant at the end of as text message ... i mean really! something smells if you ask me.

Ari said...

Worth didn't just "hit on women", he harassed people who were telling him to stop and offered them jobs in a severely inappropriate and corrupt manner.

As usual Chris, your analysis is highly comprehensive :P

Can girls do anything? In the sense of being capable of doing, sure. But asked in a more direct way to the issue, such as: "does society make it easy for women to deal with men harassing them?" The answer is a big fucking no. If you're too subtle you can confuse him or make him think you're playing hard to get. If you're too gentle it won't necessarily stop. If you're too aggressive or intimidating or you get too much help from your friends to deal with it, you're a killer bitch who he has to get back at.

Any way that work for one guy can backfire easily on the next. You've effectively said that because there's an unmarked way safely out of the damn minefield, we shouldn't bother to clear the thing. You're blaming the victim. Stop it. She's not the one that has to "deal with it properly". That's the responsibility of the person who's engaging their sex drive.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Ari. Glad to have found your blog- much prefer your take on this issue. Been enjoying Bowalley Road until I came across this confused posting, which veers between condemning the bloke and condemning the woman for bringing the bloke's attention to his boss.

It seems there's a pile-on onto the woman who complained about the guy. Doesn't matter if you disagree with how she dealt with it: it's impossible to find the "right way" to deal with a serial harraser. It is actually very intimidating behaviour (she says she told him a number of times that she didn't want a relationship). The intimidation comes from the guy not taking the hint, no matter how subtle, or blunt, you are. There is something very frightening about that: you suddenly realise that you are not a human being to this person. Sometimes with an older or more powerful man, appeasement and the subtle approach seems the safest option.

Now look: she was right to be scared. Everyone blames her.

And to everyone, including Cactus Kate, who thinks a woman should appeal to her husband/boyfriend to protect her- what century are you living in? That just perpetuates the idea of a woman as a man's property. What about all the women who don't have a husband or boyfriend? Or father or brother? And why should that individual (the male relative) put himself at risk? What if he's small, or physically unfit, or disabled?

This guy was a high-level government person and he deserved to be brought down. If this is how he sees half the human race- as fodder to be harrased and chased, as sex and only sex, then he shouldn't have any power over anything. Boys will be boys doesn't cut it.

The woman did the right thing. Sorry she didn't comport herself like Lara Croft, but not everyone has the tools of language, social skills or physical prowess that some have. Those people still deserve justice, and they still deserve to be heard.

Cactus Kate said...


He is married. Simply threaten him that you will tell his wife if he doesn't piss off, and do if he doesn't. It's quite simple. Why do women have to always be painted as victims?

This doesn't mean Worth is a victim or that by questioning the motives of the woman that you must be supporting Worth.

This woman is anything but a victim. She was cold and calculating and ran off to the leader of the opposition party and they didn't tell Worth's boss until AFTER allegedly another woman had suffered the Wink of Worth.

Her race is utterly irrelevant ConorJoe. Chris never even mentioned it and neither did I. You have confused yourself here - this lady is apparently Indian, not Korean. The Press have neatly termed them "the Indian" (dirty phone and text messages) and "the Korean" (criminal complaint) for your listening pleasure. Keep up with the program.

Bogusnews said...

Good work Chris,

For an analysis from the female side, the post of Cactus is well worth a read. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Did you mean " Karma " or 'Korma"

Anonymous said...

hey good on you chris!!

way to approve of what appears to be police investigating a charge of serious sexual assault!

wow!! allegations that have resulted in the resignation of a minister, and you're all for it!!

way to go, tiger.

Tom Semmens said...

Ah yes Chris, but to go back to the days of yore, when class was all that counted, we were all working class and equal, and to celebrate our solidarity the Sheilas brought a plate and the Maories brought a guitar.

Anonymous said...

Geez Tom, I knew you were racist, but sexist too? Get a grip.

Cactus Kate said...

"And to everyone, including Cactus Kate, who thinks a woman should appeal to her husband/boyfriend to protect her- what century are you living in?"

What century are YOU living in that a woman can't defend herself against non-physical advances? Yes, women are all victims who can't defend themselves.

You are the one living in the stone age. My first comment was that this woman is more than capable of deflecting off unwanted advances. if she is as Goff describes "strikingly beautiful" she would have been doing this for years.

Then if she can't do that there is no shame in turning to a boyfriend or husband to deal with it. That's what husbands or boyfriends do....not because they own the woman but because they care about them.

I now the left find that concept a little hard to understand. That a man could actually care about a woman.

Danyl said...

What's wrong with chicks these days? Just because a rich, powerful, elderly, married politican calls them hundreds of times and asks them if they wish their husband was dead so that they could be together they freak out and go all psycho! Why can't they just be cool?

SeaJay said...

Yet again - nice one Danyl

Anonymous said...

chris... is that picture off an album in your music collection?

Cactus Kate said...

Yeah, more glibness from Danyl that demeans the real issues being discussed. What a surprise.

Anonymous said...

but kate, you're not discussing the real issue, which is what transpired in the hotel room between worth and the woman who laid a complaint with the police.

instead you'er swallowing the party line by obfuscating the issue with another woman entirely who alleges "mere" sexual harrassment.

lurgee said...

[b][i]What century are YOU living in that a woman can't defend herself against non-physical advances? Yes, women are all victims who can't defend themselves.[/b][/i]

Weird how your suggested mode of defence is to spill the beans to his spouse, "turning to a boyfriend or husband to deal with it," because he should be "doing his job as a protector".

To me, that seems to be the archaic option. Hey, women don't need the law, just a quiet word in her soul sister's ear and she'll geld the randy stallion. Of get a Big Man to deal with the Big Man.

You also approve of people doling out other forms of informal justice, I assume? Hey, why bother with laws and the like at all? If people are only willing to stand up and take repsonsibilty for themselves, we don't need them, right?

Let me reason it out ... You wanted her to deal with it in an informal, off the record way. Not because there was something more 'feminist' or 'empowered' in doing that. Any response would have the same 'weight' int hat respect, only doing nothing and letting the behaviour continue unchecked would be a negative choice. But you disapprove of what she's done because it's added to the problems of the Nats over Worth.

Anonymous said...

Chris, once again your complete non-comprehension of what solidarity actually means just blows me away. The fact that your writing mostly appeals to right wing folks who don't like thinking too hard should be telling you something. So should the fact that you've just allied yourself with a pitiful, deluded old bloke who can't work out why young women don't want to sleep with him. Hmmmm.

And your contempt for left wing feminists is reciprocated. If you can't manage some basic concern for other people's dignity, you maybe need to find yourself a new place on the political spectrum, comrade.


Amanda said...

If you think that Chris's writing appeals mainly to right wing folks go take a look at their web sites- there ain't too much admiration there.And Anna ,sorry, you and your comrades are not the arbiter of who is or is not left wing.

I simpy cannot buy a tale of harassment from the story so far. Sorry but spending the night with a guy and having breakfast with him the next morning shows some-one quite interested in what was on offer.

Chris Trotter said...

Oh for Goodness sake, Anna, grow up.

Anyone possessing the English comprehension skills of a five-year-old, reading the above posting, would understand that I have nothing but contempt for Worth's behaviour.

As for having some "basic concern for other people's dignity", well, in my book that means not infantilising grown-up human-beings - male or female.

If contemporary feminism has degenerated to the point where every adult female is cast in the role of victim, and every adult male becomes a victimiser, then it richly deserves the contempt in which more and more people appear to hold it.

And, BTW, "comrade", those guilty of "the soft bigotry of low expectations" really aren't in any position to be parcelling out real-estate on the political spectrum.

T.P.T. said...

This Powerful Man wanted something.
power. full. man.
not joe bloggs out looking for a missus
A Powerful Man.
not 'what we all do'
Tory Power Too. controversial i know

Anonymous said...

Yeah, well.... i guess whale, cactus and Chris cuddling up together for marshmallows and titillation is a pretty good metaphor for the state of the world and nz political commentary this week....low expectations win again, softly bigoted or not...

Anonymous said...

Chris, do you tell the working class to stop being victims and just tell capitalists to fuck off? Or do you reserve the 'victim status' argument only for those social movements you can't reconcile with your 1950s view on the world?

The astute observer would have picked up a wee power imbalance in a Minister of the Crown cracking on to Joanne Average. The fact that Worth used the possibly of employment as a means to try to lure a woman into the sack should make you think about both the integrity of public sector employment, and the conditions affecting women workers.

Nope. You've argued instead that we have to expect men to behave disrespectfully to women, and it's a woman's reponsibility to put a stop to that behaviour if she doesn't like it. This sounds like the self-serving 'low expectations' of dirty old men. You claim to condemn Worth's behaviour, then focus on the reaction of women to said behaviour, not the actions of Worth himself. The fact that you've put a picture suggesting consensual sexual activity at the top of a post about Richard Worth suggests you're a bit confused. This thread is now host to a comment suggesting the Korean woman's experience must have been consensual because it involved breakfast. Sex may be a thing that grown-ups do, but making drunken phonecalls to a young woman who thinks you're a clown is not something that lechers do. It's good to be able to tell the difference.

And your 'soft bigotry of low expectations' comment is apologist, reactionary crap designed to deny structural inequality. It's an argument that's routinetly used against collective activity, including unionism. In fact, Phyllis Schlafly came out with something pretty similar - women don't need the ERA because if they want something badly enough they'll go get it.


Chris Trotter said...

As a matter of fact, Anna (and as anyone who has followed the exchanges between myself and Steve Cowan would know) that's exactly what I tell the working-class to do.

One of the central problems facing male, blue-collar workers in NZ is the prim hegemony of middle-class unionism within the CTU.

One of the shrewdest sentences ever uttered by that irracible old right-wing bear, Rex Jones (former General Secretary of the EPMU) was: "The Engineers Union represents workers - not victims."

Perhaps the women and men of America were responding in a roughly similar vein when they rejected the ERA. Maybe Phyllis understood her sisters and brothers just a little bit better than the feminists, Anna. You think?

Anonymous said...

you are Darth Vader of the blogoshere - don't forget to swap your light-sabre for the different coloured one...

Cactus Kate said...

objectdart, I am not discussing the hotel incident as it is not relevant to this incident Chris refers to which is the phone and text incident.

The hotel incident is also under police investigation. Never fear, if it is what I suspect it is, I shall be commenting.

But please keep up or shut up.

ms p said...

"If "girls can do anything", then surely they can tell some randy old bugger to fuck-off and leave them alone?"

Yes, you can tell them. But what do you do when they don't fucking listen or take no for an answer? Harassment isn't 'grown up stuff'. It's refusing to take no for an answer. So lefty women aren't the ones with the problem, its people who seem to think its always women's responsibility to control men's sexual behaviour.

Chris Trotter said...

So, Mrs P, what do you do when the people next door are having a ragey party, it's 2 o'clock in the morning, and when approached politely (or impolitely, for that matter) about the noise, they refuse to turn the stereo down?

Do you:

a) Curl up in a little ball and cry about your neighbour's inability to behave responsibly?


b) Call Noise Control?

When someone refuses to be anything other than a pain in the ass - you take steps.

Pretty simple really - even for lefty women!

lurgee said...

Plotting to gain revenge on the creep by destroying his political career isn't taking steps?