Massey Chancellor: women graduates only worth 40% of a real veterinarian

Theoretically final update: Chris Kelly has now resigned.

Note: Chris Kelly has now apologised for his comments and stated they were “not factual“.

Note note: Massey have deleted the apology from their Facebook and Twitter pages. Unfortunately for them The Internet Never Forgets.

If anyone still questions whether there’s a lot of demeaning, retrograde attitudes held against women in scientific fields, may I refer you to recent comments by Massey University Chancellor Chris Kelly about changes being made to their flagship veterinary courses.

Chancellor Chris Kelly told Rural News that practical studies will start in students’ first year of vet and ag degree courses.

The move on the vet degree course responds to the vet industry saying that though new vets are well qualified academically they lack practical skills, especially for rural practice.

The vet course will change a lot, says Kelly. Until now first year studies have been general and academic, emphasising chemistry, physics and biology. But in the revised course students will start learning the real ag and vet stuff in the first year.

Well that all seems very logical. You’ve got to adapt to what the industry wants, in terms of skills and requirements, giving graduates the preparation they need to hit the ground running.

But then …

Kelly says 75-85% of vet students are women and in the first year when there is a high ‘cull’ it’s the women who keep on because the work is then mainly academic.

“That’s because women mature earlier than men, work hard and pass. Whereas men find out about booze and all sorts of crazy things during their first year.

“When I went through vet school, many years ago, it was dominated by men; today it’s dominated by woman. That’s fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal. So, though we’re graduating a lot of vets, we’re getting a high fallout rate later on.”

I’m sorry, what?

the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life …

nina garcia disappointed

because she gets married and has a family, which is normal.”

cersei eyeroll

Does this actually need unpacking? Are we actually on the cusp of 2017 and I have to spell out why it’s so insulting, small-minded and frankly bizarre to be write off women’s professional abilities and value because they might have babies?

What about women who don’t want to have kids? What about women who enjoy more practical study than theoretical? What about women who don’t just go into veterinary science because (as implied further on in that godawful article) they love puppies and kittens and ickle babby wabbits?

I mean, I don’t want to blow Chris Kelly’s mind or anything, but even Google Image Search knows that women can be large animal vets:

large-animal-vet

Of course, this is the great lie of “meritocracy”. Whenever someone talks about the lack of representation for women in politics, on boards, in senior management positions, the answer is always “oh but we must appoint on merit.” If something is dominated by men (like, say, the leadership of our universities), if men are being paid more, that’s just how it is.

As soon as young men were being academically outpaced by women, panic sets in. The course must not be structured properly! We have to stop this plague of women dominating our industry! They’re just going to throw all those skills away and turn into baby factories once they hit 27 anyway!

And men? You should be appalled too. Because the Chancellor of Massey University thinks you’re a bunch of meatheads who can’t handle academic study:

.. men find out about booze and all sorts of crazy things during their first year.

What the hell are y’all getting up to at Massey these days?

orange-mocha-frappuccino

That’s right, dudes. You just want to go off and get pissed! You don’t care about having kids, and if you do you certainly won’t want to spend any time with them! You definitely won’t ever explore flexible working options or want to change careers. You’re a good little productive economic unit, aren’t you?

I get that this is how some people think the world works. Men get to live whatever lives they like, and women only play supporting roles based around home and care. But it’s never been true, and it sure as hell isn’t how the world works in 2017. If men aren’t succeeding academically, maybe you patriarchs might want to have a word with yourselves about whether your ingrained sexist bullshit assumptions have something to do with it.

parks and rec go to the corner

And maybe, as the Chancellor of Massey University, Chris Kelly should focus on what his institution is meant to do – deliver good tertiary education – instead of making himself look a damned fool who just got transported here by a wormhole from the 1800s.

Getting more women into Parliament

Natwatch posted recently at The Standard about National’s difficulty finding enough women to put into Cabinet, and EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue, herself a former National MP, has also called for actual action on getting more women into Parliament:

“If anything, the Cabinet is the ultimate board in New Zealand, and if women on boards is now being accepted as good for business, it bloody is going to be good for New Zealand,” Blue told The Nation.

“So I don’t want to hear these sort of measly, ‘Oh, we appoint on merit’…

“We have to have that debate. I mean, we’ve asked nicely, we’ve implored, we’ve pleaded, not much is happening. Women’s representation in Parliament has gone static.”

National is the party of capitalism. Of course they’re also going to be the party of patriarchy.

But Labour’s meant to be better. Not just because of its progressive principles, either. In 2013 the party passed a conference remit mandating that after the 2017 election, 50% of caucus would be women.

So with another party conference done, candidate selections underway and the list moderation process looming, I did the math on how the party can meet its commitment.

Labour currently holds 27 electorates and five list seats (Little, Ardern, Parker, Cosgrove, Moroney). There are 12 women MPs – 37.5%. The Party was meant to achieve a 45:55 split in 2014, and even despite the horrible showing, we only needed 2 more women to make it in.

Most Labour seats are pretty safe. Michael Wood winning Mt Roskill doesn’t affect the count. In a best-case scenario – Jacinda Ardern taking Auckland Central, Ginny Andersen maintaining or increasing Trevor Mallard’s majority, and perhaps a woman candidate in New Lynn? – we get 13 out of 28 electorates held by women. 46%.

In a good result for Labour, Duncan Webb wins Christchurch Central, giving us 13 out of 29 – down a little to 45%.

So it’s over to the list to get women into caucus. Andrew Little as leader obviously takes the top spot, so our starting point is 29 electorates – 16 men, 13 women – plus Little. 43% women.

From here, Labour needs to hold 34 seats to get gender parity, from four additional women coming in off the list. That’s doable on just 28% of the party vote – but of course we’re aiming a lot higher than that.

At 35% party vote, Labour gets 42 seats, with four men and eight women coming off the list.

At 40%, being super optimistic (and certainly not wishing any ill on our comrades in the Greens) we get 48 MPs all up: 16 men and 13 women from electorates, eight men (including Little) and 11 women from the list. It doesn’t look too out-of-whack – but the fact remains that multiple women need to be up high on the list to give Labour a realistic shot at the gender equality its members want.

It’s simply a historical, structural issue. A lot of safe Labour seats are held by men. That’s not surprising if you have even the faintest clue we live in a patriarchal society. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t seem to get that – and as soon as you even think of putting a woman into one of those safe seats, they start screaming bloody murder about quotas and reverse sexism and “what about merit!”

I was at the party conference in Auckland, and let me tell you, Labour is not wanting for women of merit, qualification and principle. They’re not expecting a hand up or an easy go of it (they’re women in politics, guys). They just know, as anyone with any sense of the world knows, that we live in a society which doesn’t treat women as the equals of men. It doesn’t even treat qualified-but-problematic women as the equals of unqualified-and-actually-monstrous men.

hillary-clinton-unimpressed

We don’t set gender equity goals because women need help. We set them because our institutions need help, to step out of the past and be fit for the future. It’s nothing to be frightened of. It makes us stronger, not weaker, when we acknowledge the problems of the past and take action to rebalance the scales. So let’s ignore the squawking, and get some damned good women and men into Parliament next year – and not just on a Labour ticket either!

Beware, creepy men of the right: Rawshark returns (briefly)

An old handle flickered back into life briefly this afternoon:

Rawshark – presuming the account is still held and operated by the hacker who exposed the dodgy shenanigans between the WhaleOil blog, corporate lobbyists and senior National Party politicians – started with a screenshot from the previous run, in which Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams allegedly discuss how to get damaging anti-wharfie stories into the media at the time of the POAL lockout.

whaledump-screenshot-1

But something appears to have changed his or her mind.

So a bit more information has been released. (Highlighting added by me)

whaledump-screenshot-2If this is ringing a bell, it should, and not just because it’s no surprise that Jordan Williams has an … odd perspective on women:

It also sounds a lot like the way Luigi Wewege used sex to pressure Bevan Chuang to reveal details of her relationship with Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

Bevan Chuang told the New Zealand Herald she entered an intimate relationship with Luigi Wewege, a member of Mr Palino’s failed campaign team, who wanted her to expose the mayor’s infidelity when he found out about the affair.

“Luigi started pursuing non-stop about how I should tell on Len,” Ms Chuang said. “I was asked to record phone calls because that’s when Len would say all the dirty stuff.”

She says Mr Wewege wanted to publish the allegations on the Whale Oil blogsite, run by Cameron Slater, to ruin Mr Brown’s reputation before the election but she refused to swear an affidavit and produce text messages to corroborate her story.

It’s a bit hard to avoid the conclusion that rightwing men are so lacking a moral compass that they happily exploit sexual intimacy to manipulate women to gain political ammunition.

If women were doing the same thing to men they’d be denounced as cuckolding honeytrap Jezebels from every direction. That’s the patriarchal double standard for you.

So here’s my question, rightwing dudes: you love demanding that other people denounce extremism in their culture or party or religion. Are you going to denounce Jordan Williams and Luigi Wewege, and any other man who’s “taken one for the team” to manufacture a political scandal?  Or are you happy for us to assume that all rightwing men are sleazy creeps?

~

A quick note: I’m sure commenters will be quick to point out that leftwing men can also be abusive creeps, but show me (a) where a leftwing dude has used sex to gain political ammunition and (b) the bizarro universe in which I didn’t condemn that as scummy, too; otherwise sod off with your derailing tactics.

~

And a final thought, on a related topic: Rawshark’s brief return sent a very powerful message to the Dirty Politics crew. I’m still here. I’m still watching. And there’s a lot I didn’t reveal, so don’t make me want to come back.

Good on ya, mate.

A great few days for sexism in New Zealand

Team, I can’t.

But who needs feminism any more? Let’s just lean in, amirite?

If you haven’t been keeping a keen eye on the ongoing

I’m talking about this headline:

revenge-headline

And the perpetual nudge-nudge joking tabloid tone taken in almost every headline about Colin Craig’s sexual harassment of a person who worked for him – “Colin Craig’s love poem!!! More love letters to press secretary revealed!!! Details of explicit text read in court!!!”

And then there was this (thank God once again for The Spinoff’s cutting snark):

Good news: The Chiefs scandal didn’t really even happen!!!

… There was an apparently rigorous investigation into the events of the evening conducted by the general counsel of New Zealand Rugby – a guy who loves his job and has been on the NZR team for over a decade. Which means that one branch of New Zealand Rugby investigated another branch of New Zealand Rugby and found that everything was basically okay.

This is a little bit like Colonel Sanders being put in change of an inquiry into the 11 secret herbs and spices and pronouncing them delicious. At a press conference today three blokes delivered the verdict: everything is fine, none of it really happened and wow isn’t fried chicken the best.

Look, ladies, it’s easy to stay out of trouble in New Zealand. Just don’t break up with men, don’t work for men, don’t call out men for assaulting you, and generally just don’t be in the vicinity of men. Especially if they’re someone you know, someone you loved, someone you worked for or a team of someones celebrated as the peak specimens of your country’s masculine prowess.

Now let’s all get back to overcoming sexism by asking for payrises. Or alternatively, listen to some good angry music.

[Content note: sexual violence]

I say no to rape-promoting meetups in my city

[Serious content note for pick-up artist rhetoric, rape culture, racism, anti-Semitism, sexual assault and psychological manipulation]

6 February won’t just be Waitangi Day and Bob Marley’s birthday this year. It also sees – allegedly – a set of coordinated meetups for “neomasculinists” – adherents of the teachings/writings/bizarre YouTube videos of “Roosh V”, variously described as a “pick-up artist”, “relationship guru” and “incredibly creepy rape promoter”.

The Stuff article on the meetups planned in Australia/New Zealand provides a pretty good summary of the beliefs of Roosh and his fans. But it’s really easy to look at one paragraph with ridiculous concepts like “rape should be legal on private property” and shrug these guys off as a bunch of fringe weirdos.

It’s much worse.

Let’s put some numbers on this. RoK has 11,000 followers on Twitter, with 12,500 “liking” the RoK Facebook page. Roosh himself has nearly 18,000 Twitter followers. The Quantcast page for RoK’s January site stats show 1.1 million unique global visitors and 3.7 million pageviews. RoK’s advertising page suggests a sponsored post would garner “5,000 – 15,000 views”.

And immediate online reach isn’t where this ends. The attitudes and ideas promoted by people like Roosh V are tacitly reinforced by far too much mainstream culture. The dudes reading Roosh are telling their friends about it. They’re going out in public and putting Roosh’s teachings into practice. This can, literally, only end with women being psychologically bullied and manipulated and physically assaulted.

It still sounds a little extreme. But here’s a sample of what Roosh V and Return of Kings promote.

Roosh even has a crisis response strategy ready for the “inevitable”, i.e. one of his followers committing an act of mass murder.

Yeah.

The list goes on, and on, and on. That’s the thing. This isn’t a movement led by a guy who one time had a messed-up idea about when rape is or isn’t acceptable on private property. This is a full, active, insistent ideology.

It’s horrific. And now the kinds of people who idolize that kind of thinking are declaring their intentions to meet publicly in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.

There’s a silver lining. I know many other people will be there too, to let them know that we oppose their violent, hateful ideology. We don’t even need to be angry. We just need to be men and women of all stripes having a great time together, in defiance of every Roosh utterance about roaming witch mobs forcing men into sexual servitude and the dangers of pussy inflation.

RoK attendees at Saturday’s meetups are to perform the sign/countersign “Where is the nearest pet shop?” / “The pet shop is here.” So I think we’ve got our theme song.

My thanks to the tireless work of David Futrelle at We Hunted The Mammoth, the internet’s premiere documenter of men’s rights activist douchebags.

If you intend to turn out on Saturday, do keep yourself safe. It’s laughable that the RoK FAQ for the meetups has attendees worrying about being identified and doxxed when their own guru has actively encouraged the doxxing and harassment of his critics. Be aware that these are vicious, vindictive dudes. Your safety is more important.