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Is it plausible NZ is misogynist and that forced Ardern’s resignation? 

In brief

  • Many in the media blame Ardern’s exit on misogyny, seemingly blind to the role her divisive politics played in angering voters.
  • Is there evidence that NZ has a problem with women in politics? 
  • Does scapegoating fringe-dwelling misogynists help the Government?

Ardern denies while Hipkins mansplains

There’s extensive speculation that misogynists prompted Jacinda Ardern’s resignation, notwithstanding her denial it was a factor. Even PM Chris Hipkins said: “We’ve got a way to go to ensure women in leadership receive the same respect as their male counterparts.” 

Convenient distraction

Identity politics promotes a victim mentality so isn’t it advantageous for leftists, who think they score points that way, to focus on haters, real or imagined? Besides, it beggars belief that New Zealanders, who gave Ardern a historic victory in 2020 amid a wave of “Jacindamania”, would turn on her because of sex. She did conceal a number of important things that she then sprang on voters, but her sex wasn’t one of them.

Suspicious minds might think Labour’s spin doctors were hard at work to find something explaining her departure other than plummeting poll numbers. Blaming misogynists conveniently distracts from otherwise legitimate grievances.

Legitimate grievances

To make the generalisation that Ardern’s unpopularity is due to misogyny seems like a magician’s misdirection. Public trust and social cohesion were huge issues during Ardern’s reign.

In addition to deceiving people, Ardern has smeared critics as “conspiracy theorists”, and divided NZ along lines of vaccination status and race. Crime has skyrocketed and educational achievement plummeted.

The irony of it all

Ironically, some of the policies Ardern enacted had a very visceral result on women. For instance, banning unvaccinated women from hairdressers and barring a pregnant journalist from returning to NZ from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

It’s also ironic Ardern was recently called out for her misandric slur towards ACT leader David Seymour, calling him an “arrogant prick”. 

Hate’s not OK, unless it’s Trump

In discussing Ardern, TVNZ published an article with a passage explaining hatred against female politicians this way: “The focus on the individual was partly due to a ‘Pākehā’ worldview favouring the individual over the collective – the opposite of which was true in te ao Māori.”

Ironic again that TVNZ was called out for a Breakfast Television segment promoting hatred against a politician with a mock shooting of a Trump doll. Host Matty Mclean went so far as to tell viewers “Get a little doll, a Donald Trump doll, and go hard.”

Would the hosts have thought it funny if an Ardern doll had been used?

Is NZ politics misogynistic?

A few facts…

  • NZ was the first country in 1893 ever to enshrine the principle of one person, including women-one vote.
  • The Beehive boasts gender parity among MPs – until recently, including the PM.
  • Since 1999, half the PMs have been women.
  • Ardern was made PM as the youngest female in NZ history – “Jacindamania” suggests she wasn’t held back by her lack of experience, let alone her gender.

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