Let's stop portraying women as victims

"Good on you for trying, but next time let's make it about something that actually matters," Toni Street wrote.
GRANT MATTHEW/Fairfax NZ

"Good on you for trying, but next time let's make it about something that actually matters," Toni Street wrote.

OPINION: Two storms have blustered their way across the country this week. One of them deserved the title and the other was little more than a storm in a teacup.

A third, very violent, storm was also raging, but hardly anyone noticed. However, with the help of the teacup storm, we'll get a glimpse of its seriousness in just a few sentences. 

The teacup storm, by the way, was a weird and wonderful kaleidoscope of confusion brought to us by the modern feminists. It started earlier this month with someone getting offended by Mike Hosking's very excellent question, "When do we stop celebrating women's achievements?"

Most of us were relieved to hear a public figure finally point out the patronising nature of such celebrations. It is difficult to feel you are taken seriously as a women when there are all sorts of silly ceremonies honouring you for something you had nothing to do with.

Men don't have to endure such horrors.

Besides that, singling us women out in business or politics is tantamount to saying, hey, great job ... for a woman! It doesn't so much suggest as shove down our throats the idea that we women can't quite cut it if we compete against the men. 

Modern feminism is amazingly sexist.

The comedy took full flight with Steve Kilgallon's article on Seven Sharp's relegation of presenter Toni Street to a "junior role", while the male presenters swirling around her were plonked into the senior roles.

The only problem, of course, is that Kilgallon claims to be a feminist in an article in which he speaks on behalf of a woman. 

That makes him a chauvinist, according to feminists, meaning he is a chauvinist feminist. 

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Life gets complicated to the point of comedy when every woman has to be a victim and every man a perpetrator.

Poor Street did eventually respond to all this nonsense, and thank heavens she did, because what she had to say was inspiring. "Good on you for trying, but next time let's make it about something that actually matters," she wrote.  

And that brings us to the third storm I mentioned earlier, the "something that actually matters" which I would like to address: family violence.

You see, everyone from the Ministry for Women to those of us sitting in the suburbs quite plainly miss terribly serious issues when we let modern feminists make men problems and women victims. Take, for example, one of the four core principles of the Ministry for Women: keeping women free from violence. Throughout the information page, we find references to women as victims, and "gender equality".

Yet we know from New Zealand's very own world-leading, groundbreaking research in the Dunedin Study that women and men are equally likely to be violent towards one another, and we know that children are the victims of violence from both men and women.

It is the violence that is the problem, not the gender of the perpetrator. 

And that is the issue with the teacup storms created by modern feminists. They get us all tied up in knots about nothing while the real problems - and real victims - rage just outside the front door.

That is bound to keep on happening so long as we insist the problem with the world is located in our sex, instead of in our humanity - in our equal ability as men and women to hurt or be hurt by one another.  

It is high time, don't you think, that we turned our eyes to the real storms, and stopped trying to solve problems that don't exist.

 

 - Stuff

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