by Catherine Delahunty
Last week the media reported a “Radio Rock” promotion which involved winning “hot chicks” as wives. As Sue Bradford commented in the media, this is not an isolated incident. As a compassionate and forgiving feminist I thought I would run a parallel competition for all those women out there seeking a “hot husband” . We all know that “hot chicks” with a good sense of humour are just dying to be raffled, so there must be a business opportunity for a husband raffle. Let’s pick men from some part of the world we can call exotic and hopefully some desperate but compliant male refugees from “over there” will want to marry rich women here and do what they’re told. But I digress.
There is a trend out there called “laddism” which is actually old school sexism mutating as it does in many glorious forms. The Prime Minister is leading the way with his cosy chats with Tony Veitch. I am a great believer in second chances but Tony and his “hot chicks” list needs no encouragement, let alone from John Key. The counter attack on Sue Kedgely has been an illustration of ignorance and disrespect for women in general and for a particular woman whose leadership has changed this country for the better on many issues.
Another bizarre manifestation of“laddism” is the new police recruitment poster which targets young people hoping they will apply to join the force. It’s an advertising campaign that says things like “We’ve Got A lot in Common with Cougars We Like Em Young” . They have really multitasked with this effort by insulting older women and sounding predatory towards young flesh in one breath. A recent study stated that the police culture in this country has a way to go in terms of restoring women’s confidence after the Rickards affair. This new messaging is a huge step backwards!
The Facebook campaign against the “Radio Rock” wife raffle includes men and women and is having an impact on sponsors, but it’s going to take a more sustained effort to curb the new age of sexism. The mainstream media commentators are generally spinning any challenge as “ugly old women who are jealous”. This line is as old as the “men will be boys” justification. However, someone benefits from this behaviour. Ask yourself who?