Auckland Museum panel discussion: Mana Wahine

The history and current state of feminism was the subject of a lively panel discussion recorded by Radio New Zealand at the Auckland Museum.

“According to Dr Pala Molisa, pay inequality is one of the most fundamental economic issues that a lot of women fought for in the early years of feminism, and it’s still a problem today.

However, he thinks that it’s really only one of the symptoms of gender inequality which exists in a patriarchal culture greatly affected by colonisation. “We really can’t start to get our heads around pay equity,” he adds, “until you start confronting the wider structural realities of colonisation as a whole.”

Not necessarily so, according to Dr Ngahuia Te Awekotuku.”

Click the link above for the Radio New Zealand podcast.

Breaking the silence on prostitution and rape culture

When Pala Molisa argued in an article on E-Tangata that prostitution was a form of male violence against women that’s fuelling our rape culture — and that the government was wrong to legalise it in 2003 — he was accused of being “whorephobic”. Sex work was empowering, said his critics, and sex workers weren’t selling their bodies, but a service, much like the dentist or physio. Click here for Pala’s response to that.  

 

White Ribbon — too white and too polite

Anti-violence campaigns like White Ribbon are all about men being “part of the solution”. Around White Ribbon Day each November, for example, men are encouraged to “Take the Pledge”, go on anti-violence marches, and do more to speak out against the crisis of male violence against women.

And fair enough, too, because this crisis is one of the most important we face as a society. In New Zealand, a third of all women experience physical violence from a partner. Globally, a third of all women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime.

Some people see this increased activity by men in anti-violence campaigns as progressive — as feminist successes. But I don’t think they are. And I can’t bring myself to support them because, by and large, they’re just too white and too polite.

Click here to continue reading Pala Molisa’s article on E-Tangata.