Listen up you white male oppressors. It’s time you repent

Our country has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the world, and a shocking incidence of sexual abuse. It is only recently that same-sex couples won the legal right to marry.

But, in the way our political debate is framed, these issues are “Maori”, “women’s” and “LGBTQ” issues. They are distractions and peripheral matters, and should not be discussed in the mainstream of political discourse. Instead, it is suggested that we need to focus on important matters such as the economy.

And, in turn, “the economy” is defined in a way that suits the elite. “The economy” is about the Official Cash Rate, the deficit and tax cuts. It is not about why Pasifika women are the lowest-paid in the country, earning only 69.9 per cent of what white men are paid, or why Maori women earn only 76 per cent of the white male pay rate.

There are Maori women making good money. ?They make more than I do. ? But I’m a white man, so somehow all the blame lays with me. ?

The following is a brief dictionary to assist those who find dealing with the language of the genus white male confusing.

“Broad church” – a phrase commonly used in relation to political parties. It means white men should retain control of all the key positions in the party.

“Merit” – a subjective criterion which holds that traits displayed by white men are the most desirable qualities in job applicants and political candidates. Once women and non-Pakeha acquire the prescribed qualifications and experience, the goalposts are shifted to say other qualities they do not possess are vital to the role.

“Political correctness” – any move to protect the human rights of anyone other than white men. Epitomised by the supporters of United States President Donald Trump who have reportedly assaulted women since his election win because “political correctness” no longer applies.

“Racial or gender quota” – a plainly unfair device to deprive white men of their pre-ordained right to the overwhelming majority of top jobs and political positions.

“Shrill”, “screeching”, “shrieking” and “screaming” – words applied exclusively to women engaging in political debate. The men who use these terms are under the misapprehension it is February 1817, rather than February 2017.

? Catriona MacLennan is a barrister and former press gallery journalist.

It is people like her who lay the guilt trip on voters that gives politicians like trump their power


– NZ Herald