Women of #nzpol Twitter: on John Key, David Carter and using rape for political gain

The “Women of #nzpol Twitter roundup” is brought to you in the interests of amplifying women’s voices in the political debate and also because:

misandry coffee

If you’re even peripherally aware of what goes on in NZ politics you will have heard about what went down in Question Time yesterday. Harried and useless on the issue of New Zealanders being detained on Christmas Island by the Australian government, our honourable Prime Minister decided to scream across the House that Labour was “supporting rapists”.

And then David Carter cemented his position as Literally The Worst Speaker Of The House Ever, Possibly In Any Country In History by neither finding this comment unparliamentary, nor facing the music of a no-confidence vote.

Many props to the Opposition MPs who walked out on that charade. Here’s what the women of #nzpol Twitter had to say.

https://twitter.com/DeniseRocheMP/status/663889031239852032

https://twitter.com/Dovil/status/663889891860721664

They did.

Then they came back to hold David Carter to account.

The reaction was not good.

https://twitter.com/DearMama_/status/663960693637386240

Metiria Turei asked if John Key is losing it.

And there are a lot of issues to think about.

Deborah Russell has a great post up about the situation of the people in the detention centre.

Commenter weka at The Standard provides an interesting list of the government’s record on sexual harassment and assault.

Ultimately, I’m glad some people took a clear stand against the many levels of bullshit going on in this story.

Kelvin Davis spoke passionately about the situation on Christmas Island – which he’s seen first hand – at the Labour Party conference. We have to be clear: these are people who have already served their time for the crimes they’ve committed. Many of them have no family or community ties in New Zealand, having left when they were kids. They’re being subjected to utterly inhumane treatment on a rock in the middle of the ocean under a law designed for getting rid of terrorists.

But instead of doing something decisive about the problem, John Key has settled for slinging shit at the Opposition who are literally doing their jobs by holding him to account. And David Carter is letting him use the highest body in our democracy to do it.

Women of #nzpol Twitter: on the incarceration of trans women in male prisons

The “Women of #nzpol Twitter roundup” is brought to you in the interests of amplifying women’s voices in the political debate and also because:

beauty and the beast misandry

[Content note: transphobia, sexual assault, corrections]

It was reported on the weekend that a prisoner at the Serco-run prison in Wiri had been physically and sexually assaulted. But that wasn’t the whole story.

Unfortunately, the fact that the prisoner is a trans woman was initially missed from media reports – and the story then became about Serco, not all the other concerns about where trans women are incarcerated.

@cannibality posted a great set of tweets about the wider issues of incarceration – and why we shouldn’t just blame Serco – starting here (click the timestamp to see the whole thread):

I feel a bit sorry for Jacinda Ardern, who copped a lot of the frustration from people – because no other political party said boo about the story. But there are some good grounds for criticism in Labour’s past treatment of issues affecting trans people, and erasing the fact that this case involved a trans woman in a men’s prison – an issue which covers all correctional facilities in NZ – felt like opportunism to some tweeters.

Another great thread from @cannibality begins here:

It’s easy enough to say “oh well, realpolitik, the story is easier to sell when it’s about Serco being vile” or “let’s focus on one issue at a time” – if you’re not trans and this is thus a problem you get to treat as abstract.

We can think of more than one thing at a time. We can condemn Serco for their horrific mismanagement and criticise the government for pursuing a privatisation agenda and agree that it’s simply inhumane and demeaning to incarcerate trans women with cis men.

The thing we (cis people) shouldn’t do is think our options are to either remain silent or ignore the serious issues at hand in order to push a different agenda.

No Pride in Prisons are holding a rally against Serco’s actions and Corrections’ lack of transparency about its treatment of trans prisoners, this Saturday at noon in Auckland. Please go and support them.