With its mainstreaming in New Zealand, feminism has lost its radical and anti-Establishment edge. No longer is feminism decried as an unsavoury ideology for hairy-legged, braless angry young women, but now feminism is for everybody. In this guest blog, John Moore argues that the mainstreaming of feminism has reduced a complex and varied set of tools and theories - regarding women’s oppression - down to a simple catchphrase of “If you believe in equal rights for women, then you’re a feminist”. So, if everyone can be a feminist now, has the term really been emptied of all content? That is, has feminism been turned into feminism-lite – feminism without the critical analysis, without the radical spirit, and without the nuance?
Everyone must be a feminist now
Militant feminists of the 70s-era in New Zealand saw their battle for gender equality and women’s liberation as a fight against the old boy Establishment that ran New Zealand. For the women liberationists of the late 60’s and 1970s, the fight for women’s rights was one that necessitated radical societal change. Radical action was what was needed, and the bastions of patriarchal power needed to be totally dismantled. The state, organised religion, and the rugby establishment to boot, were the enemy.
For the feminists of this period of counterculture and transformation, their struggle was not about just getting a few elite women into the bastions of mainstream power. Their struggle was for a total transformation of society and a smashing of patriarchal power structures. Sexist culture in all its forms needed to be challenged.
But that’s all old hat now. Modern liberal-feminism is all about joining forces with the Establishment, mainstreaming watered-down feminist thought, and elevating elite women into elite positions of power. Now it’s all important to pressure elite political leaders to call themselves feminists, rather than to bring about radical systemic and societal change.
Now we have rightwing TV and radio presenter Mike Hosking declaring himself a feminist. A huge gain for women? And Establishment capitalist Theresa Gattung is apparently leading the feminist cause forward. God help us! If only our anti-abortion prime-minister would embrace the feminist label. Then full equal rights will be on the horizon. And so it seems we are all expected to be feminists now.
Feminism is more than about equal rights
Feminism - as a radical and emancipatory theory and praxis - has been collapsed into a set of easily digestible catchphrases and slogans. When everyone is expected to be a feminist now – regardless of one’s political views, social position, or general belief system – then the term seems almost meaningless. Liberal feminists have reduced the term to a feel-good identity, and a means for liberal virtual signalling. But this modern day liberal projection of feminism buries a rich and diverse feminist tradition.
Feminism’s diverse traditions
To reduce feminism down to simplistic slogans such as “women are humans too” defies the diversity, contradictions and fullness of the living history of modern feminism. Whereas trendy commenters tell us we can all be feminist now, feminism is in fact not one single idea, but a range of believes, theories and approaches to questions around the position of women.
Rather than there being a single, easily digestible feminism, there are in fact a range of feminisms - from liberal feminism to socialist feminism, from lesbian feminism to Muslim feminism. And along with this diverse range of feminisms, comes a variety of approaches to political action, organisation and theory.
It time to put aside the lib-splaining that goes for feminism these days. Those of us who identify with women’s liberation need to delve into the rich and diverse history of the women’s movement. We need to talk to a few old hands from the women liberationist days. And we need to reject the idea that women’s liberation and feminism is for everyone. Let’s make women’s liberation radical and anti-Establishment again.
John Moore is a blogger and student radio political pundit – post-gender and anti-Establishment: Jaz Moore (@jazmoore)
Here's some of the more interesting and insightful tweets in reaction to the National Government's announcement of the age of superannuation entitlement rising. The most recent tweets are first. More to be added.
Sorry, but any temporary party of government saying they'll start doing something in 20 years time is just fanciful. #upto67
Superannuation age change will hit exactly the cohort who got super-interesty student loans. Yay us!
Is this the last vestiges of John Key's legacy in tatters or is there something else he defended to the end that I can't remember right now?
Time to get those fake IDs from your uni days ready, Gen Xers.
Actually I was born on 15 March 1972 so even I'll get me super at 65! I applaud the bold new policy!
Pity for all the millennials planning to use superannuation to finish saving for their house deposits
2040 is the new 2020. Long-term goal that's so far away that no one cares, no one around to take responsibility
The years 2037-2050 are going to be a great time for this government's promises.
John Key is going to have to resign as prime minister now.
Great to hear @pmbillenglish moving on NZ Super. Scheduling a shift early enough and phasing it in was always going to be the best approach.
Great to hear @pmbillenglish moving on NZ Super. Scheduling a shift early enough and phasing it in was always going to be the best approach.
2040 is setting to be one hell of a year, we can almost swim everywhere, pests will almost be eradicated & some workers will be extra tired
Can everyone over 45 please agree to be quiet and let the people affected by this talk about it sensibly?
No, no boomers, that's fine. Don't feel the need to contribute more. You've done enough, like...
It's a bold policy in the sense that the Govt gains absolutely nothing from it other than it being the right thing to do.
Poor me & my generation .. too young for super at 65 or free education ... too old to get my head around Snapchat
So 45+yos are safe. Under 40s probably never thought they'd retire at 65. Can NZ First scaremonger enough to shift the polls?
Generation X: National wants to fight the election on making _you_ worse off. Again. #BoomerGovt
Let’s just promise to solve all our problems in 2040. That should do the trick.
"The change will be legislated for next year". English betting he won't be in coalition with Winston then.
So all baby boomers get to retire at 65 but X and Y will have to wait until 67? #WorstGeneration
If this is true then Bill English (with Steven Joyce) will have already established himself as a more noteworthy PM than his predecessor
90% of superannuitants 67+ to be swimmable by 2040
So quite soon, a lot of people are going to realise that abstract debates about superannuation are going to hit them first. That's positive.
.@1NEWSBreaking start making change in 2037? Verging on satire. Super costs rising a billion dollars a year now, need to start now. Sad.
I'm not fussed about any changes to superannuation because I honestly do not expect it to exist when I retire.
More copying of earlier Labour policy which was to increase age of retirement to 67 by 2031 ...
Turns out this PM uses the old PMs tricks - Implement Labour Party policy.
The Maori parties have been delivered a sucker punch with Labour’s successful courting of Willie Jackson and John Tamihere, who are now both firmly within the party’s embrace. With Jackson being promised a high list pacing, and with John Tamihere likely to be given a prominent campaigning position by Labour, the Maori Party and the remnants of the Mana Party have lost their big chance to present a more urban and working class image to the Maori electorate.
Most Maori in Aotearoa New Zealand are disproportionately poorer compared with Europeans/Pakeha, face higher rates of unemployment, have lower incomes, achieve lower education outcomes and face poorer heath and lower life expectancy. Maori also make up half of this country’s prison population, despite being 15% of the general population. How to account for such socio-economic disparities? Can economic inequality faced by Maori be understood by focusing on racism, ethnicity and New Zealand’s colonial history? In this guest blog post John Moore discusses the flaws of anti-racist and anti-colonial politics in Aotearoa New Zealand, and argues that a radical egalitarian and class-based understanding of Maori oppression needs to be developed.
The Maori Party and the Mana Party’s decision to put aside their differences and enter into a pact will lead once again to a new order in Maori politics. Labour’s fragile hold on six of the seven Maori seats is now seriously in doubt. In this guest blog post, John Moore argues that all the Maori seats are up for grabs, due to the fluid and dynamic nature of the Maori electorate. Yet this dynamism within the Maori electorates is more-often-than-not under-analysed by political commentators who over-emphasise the “traditional” aspects that are seen as shaping the indigenous political world in New Zealand. [Read more below]
Modern social-liberalism – in the form of identity politics – has been exposed as an elitist scam. Gender politics, LGBTQI+ movements, and tino rangatiratanga struggles were all presented as a way to alleviate the poverty, oppression and discrimination of those at the bottom of society. Instead these ideologies have only acted to elevate a few coming from various subjugated groups.
For example, gender politics has been mainly about putting middle class women into positions of power within the political and business world. The LGBTQI+ movement has been easily incorporated into the market economy with “pink capitalism” and with a normalisation of rainbow diversity. And tino rangatiratanga struggles seem to have only led to a few more brown faces amongst the rich listers.
Clearly identity politics – whether in the form of feminism, kaupapa Maori politics or LGBTQI+ movements – has not helped the majority of subjugated people who are at the bottom of society.
So, if identity politics has only helped an elite of those from subjugated sectors of society, is an anti-Establishment class-centred politics then the way forward? The identitarian-left argues that those who focus on material wellbeing, economics and class politics act to ignore other social divisions that exist under capitalism? A class-centred analysis is seen as crudely reducing questions of gender inequality, homophobia and racism to questions of economics and capitalism? Guest blogger John Moore explores these critiques of class politics, and offers an analysis that rejects both the crude economism of the traditional left and the politics of contemporary social liberalism. [Read more below]
Here’s some of the more interesting tweets (so far) about Gareth Morgan’s just-announced TOP political party. The most recent tweets are first.
Fair point to say that populist parties often have contradictory ideology. But new Morgan party seems more centrist than anything
New Gareth Morgan party seems to be blue-green with a twist of Roger Douglas- era Act and some Internet Mana rolled in.
Gareth Morgan is NZ's equivalent of Trump.
Plenty of dollars, 0 sense.
Ego driven publicity stunt.
My new political party: The TipTop Party. We have free ice cream and we're better than Gareth Morgan.
Flag campaign failed. Beach campaign failed. Cats. This party will fail.
For an economist, he's not that smart with money is he?
So if the Morgan Party takes 119,865 votes (4.9%) off the Greens and Labour, that would be pretty great
A white dude with money wanting power and saying he's good because he's anti-establishment. Of COURSE he's inspired by Trump.
Always a smart move to start a political party in NZ and immediately compare yourself to Trump. Very popular here, will go down well.
Gareth Morgan's target voting demographic is native birds.
Is Morgan just trying to steal a few percent of nats to disappear that vote? Pretty funny if so.
Jokes aside would you rather have Gareth Morgan or David Seymour in Parliament?
Tell you what though, all joking aside, it is nice to see these sorts of fundamental principles up for discussion. http://www.top.org.nz/vision
On Gareth Morgan: he's actually seen the refugee crisis first hand, unlike every single National MP.
"Make New Zealand Fair Again" this is like Trump for the NZ psyche/delusion.
tbh compared to other people who have started parties Gareth Morgan is relatively sensible. Will be watching this closely
I've always dreamed of a political party that didn't give af about winning, and could be a vehicle for unpopular policies...
Twitter does not like Gareth Morgan! But I do! His policies are so de
eply Kiwi: equality, environment, education, innovation. #topnz
I think a Nigel Latta Party could also be a good idea.
@henrycooke Seeing a hole in the market where Dotcom and Craig used to be seems optimistic, but that's what makes an entrepreneur, I guess
Will National run a scare campaign that a millionaire is trying to buy the election again? That was fun
I suspect this'll be terribly embarrassing for ol @garethmorgannz but an alternative to corrupt incumbents is needed
There you go, Red Peak goes from inspiring modern symbol of NZ to political logo. Clap clap
Cats around New Zealand fearing the worst as Gareth Morgan enters politics
Three kinds of parties fail in NZ 1) Rich dude vanity parties 2) Parties lead by economists 3) Christian parties 2 out of 3 ain't bad
The party is one hour old and according to my sources it's already polling higher than ACT.
Why isn't it "The Opportunistic" Party? Rich white guys bring back equality. Yeah, OK then.
if gareth morgan's aim is to reach 5% i'm fairly sure he will fail. if he just wants to get his ideas on the table - act do it with 1%
The pedant in me would like to point out that, to the best of my knowledge, Gareth Morgan has never killed a cat
Will Gareth Morgan get a visit from the police for saying he wants to light a fuse under Parliament?
December 2017: coalition talks between Gareth Morgan's Opportunities Party and Anne Batley-Burton's Cats Party turn acrimonious.
I wonder if Gareth Morgan will post out all the unsold copies of his various books, like Richard Prebble did with "I've been thinking"
The Greens should look out....this could hurt them.
If Gareth Morgan really wants to be the economist from Borgen, he's got a lot of Danish to learn.
How to make a small fortune? Start with a large one and launch a political party...
Thinking Morgan party will be good for National if he peels votes from Labour & Greens but doesn't make 5% threshold
We now know the answer to every "Could Donald Trump happen here?" panel: Gareth Morgan http://www.top.org.nz/
Do you like Red Peak and Ted Talks? Think that the Green Party isn't quite businessy enough? Then have I got the political party for you!
The Opportunity Party: Heading towards just under the 5% threshold.
What system do you reckon millionaire NZ white guys have to determine whose turn it is to screw up general elections with vanity projects?
Really needs to front foot that whole cat thing, electoral poison otherwise
It genuinely kinda freaks me out that Gareth Morgan used the Trumpian phrases "establishment parties" and "career politicians".
Great to see but think his conventional economics education will hold him back. NZ needs a 2% MMP threshold to really break open status quo
Kim Dotcom. Gareth Morgan. Can we actually have a person entering politics we actually like and admire? How about it @JohnJCampbell?
Sinister confluence as Top Shop opens in Wellington and Gareth Morgan starts up the TOP. Coincidence? Wake up sheeple.
Will Gareth Morgan spend as much as Colin Craig and Kim Dotcom in their efforts to influence Parliament?
Gareth Morgan says he wants to light a fuse under Parlt. Will he find himself hauled in front of Privileges Cttee for contempt? (No.)
How much is Sir Bob laughing at Gareth Morgan right now for following in Bob's footsteps?
Just what the political landscape needs another old white millionaire who thinks he knows it all…
Bob Jones. Colin Craig. Kim Dotcom. Gareth Morgan. Anything's possible, but NZ rich dude parties have poor form.
Good on Gareth Morgan. A good test of the Blue-Green theory.
Gareth Morgan successfully ruins #RedPeak for everyone who loves cats.
I can see the billboards now: "Vote cat-hater!" #YeahNah
Topcat was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. Maybe not so much now #TOPcat
A new political party being set up by Gareth Morgan. Will it campaign for a universal basic income? A home for blue-greens?
Prediction: maximum 25,000 party votes (1%) at the election.
Gareth Morgan's party already made me smile: "we also acknowledge the contribution of unpaid work. Without it our economy would collapse."
There was a double vacancy in the millionaire vanity political vehicle market. Enter Gareth Morgan. http://www.top.org.nz/
So Gareth Morgan just launched a political party. http://www.top.org.nz/ 2017 might be more fun than I expected.
Sweet, we needed a new joke party for next year's election, thanks Gareth.
Things stay the same for us at the Morgan Foundation, while the boss moves on to taking on the halls of power
Gareth Morgan's new political party plans to build a wall. And will make the cats pay for it.
You know what New Zealand really needs? Another rich white man's vanity project political party. Thanks, Gareth Morgan.
The Opportunities Party, led (presumably) by Gareth Morgan. DOES THIS MAKE HIM TOP CAT?
Big day today, I’m going into politics, this is going to be a wild ride but I’m determined to see NZ do better. http://www.top.org.nz
Some of the more interesting and insightful first reactions to the Auditor-General's report on the Saudi Sheep scandal. The most recent tweets are first. To be updated:
In case of questions: its a crime in NZ to receive a bribe. And to offer a bribe. Has been for 106 years. Saudi sheep?
Just hired my new accountants! They're certified by the New Zealand Auditor General as "having significant shortcomings, but not corrupt."
Dude is a dark lord of the Sith, he ain't going to get sacked for a few sheep.
Saudi Sheep Deal "Legally valid contract for services". A good defense if I'm ever accused of bribery and corruption.
Auditor general says Saudi sheep deal not technically a bribe, as payment not in brown paper bag with bribe printed on it..
Matthew Hooton Retweeted Ryan
Somehow I don't think 'Look, I wasn't caught doing anything actually illegal' is going to cut it this time. t
I’m just re rereading the AG report. What on earth does McCully have over @johnkeypm for the latter to be standing by the former?
Now McCully wants some credit?! What for? Not being corrupt or a criminal?? #rtpt
@johnkeypm an official report has proven Murray McCully lied to you and cabinet. When will you be asking for his resignation?
"I am paid to get the job done." No. You are elected to govern with integrity. http://nzh.tw/11740591
Report says because he doesn't gain personally, it can't be corrupt. Surely that's not the only std in politics. What about political gain?
Government is celebrating finding that McCully's #sheepgate behaviour is not corrupt. This is a very low threshold for a Minister ...
The allegation was never that McCully took bribes, but that he gave them. The fact that it wasn't illegal doesn't mean it wasn't a bribe.
Good that McCully's name's been cleared. He did nothing illegal. He simply used govt money to buy a guy a Saudi farm for unexplained reasons
OAG report in a tweet: McCully did nothing illegal. But it's not just about not doing bribes, it's about not being seen to be doing bribes.
Could it be true that Provost is correct, and McCully is less completely corrupt, and more totally and absolutely incompetent? A tricky one
Pretty legal. http://www.oag.govt.nz/2016/food-security …
Nothing to feel sheepish about #mccully
Not corrupt, just inept. http://www.oag.govt.nz/2016/food-security … "I share many [NZers'] concerns about the arrangements. I found significant shortcomings"
Saudi sheep: Not "corruption" but a lack of "transparency." Oh, Lyn. You just played with semantics. http://www.oag.govt.nz/2016/food-security …
MFAT seems to have refused to accept govts decision to ban live sheep exports, told everyone it would go away #DeepState
No corruption, but concerns! and six uses of the word complex in the introduction alone. Meh.
Murray McCully's collection of critical #OAG reports must be getting quite large. How many is this now?
Brace for impact: ewe know the sheep jokes are coming.
I don't know what the fuss is about, it's perfectly normal for the NZ govt to buy a Saudi citizen a farm because of hurt feelings.
Opposition will make noise over Saudi sheep findings - but the fiasco is the natural result of corporate welfarism supported by all but ACT.
Is McCully a lamb for the slaughter? #nzpol
Entire press gallery waiting to see if upcoming auditor general report on Saudi sheep will be the Dead McCully Scrolls.
Auditor General speaks to camera: "Everything is fine, it's all above board." Camera pans out to see her speaking from a sheep farm. Fin.
Almost 18 months after my first phone call on the Saudi Sheep deal, the Auditor General is finally releasing her report. Hoorah!
It certainly is good news. But unemployment should go up by one when #saudisheep report comes out at 2pm NZT
Looking forward to seeing more of parishioner @DavidCunliffeMP next year after he moves on from politics.
We have David Cunliffe to thank for not having to pay probably $300 a month for dial up internet to a monopoly. Give him that.
David Cunliffe is retiring from politics to spend more time with his mansion #nzpol
On David Cunliffe: for all the times he embarrassed himself, his achievement on telecommunications reform changed New Zealand.
I've been friends with @DavidCunliffeMP since 1980s university debating. Great intellect, genuinely cared, did his utmost for people. 1/2
Stand a cat in Cunliffe's electorate and you'll be all good, I reckon.
I'm gunna miss David Cunliffe. Especially when he talks like a pirate
Talk of Labour's vulnerability in New Lynn may be overstated - National has also lost its local champion & ace campaigner Tim Groser
Cunliffe to retire from politics http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/317003/cunliffe-to-retire-from-politics … Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
New Lynn could be interesting in 2017. @DavidCunliffeMP 's held it easily , but National's won the party vote there at the last 2 elections
Who knew that David Cunliffe couldn't continue in politics without Hekia Parata.
David Cunliffe is living proof that if you dedicate your life to politics you can almost achieve something.
So David Cunliffe isn't standing in New Lynn again. Thoughts on who'll be putting their hand up for that seat in 2017? #nzpol
@KirkSerpes Priyanca would be great for that seat. Very competent. Very connected.
Trevor Mallard for New Lynn?
Laila Harré for New Lynn 2017?
Len Brown for New Lynn 2017?
For real tho, he was a v good telco minister but suffered from the unusal problem for politicians of seeming far less authentic than he was
Farewell to David Cunliffe! He was truly the best of us. (*source: Cunliffe, D., Curriculum Vitae, 2012)
Chloe Swarbrick for New Lynn 2017?
SZABO FOR NEW LYNN
@NewstalkZB I suppose Labour needs that train to go to New Lynn now too?
I got kicked out of young labour for supporting @DavidCunliffeMP and tbh I'd do it all again. Best of luck David. You'll be missed
One of my favourite @DavidCunliffeMP moments was telling him he was one of my favourite people. He told me I needed to meet more people.