Thursday, 27 March 2008


hi, i'm back! ended up taking a longer break than expected, cos i didn't really end up having too much of one. although i did have some fun experiences, like having lunch with a bunch of bangladeshis on saturday, and a bunch of keralites on sunday (kerala is a state of india, in case you were wondering), and attending an ethnic festival on sunday evening.

actually, the lunch with the group from kerala was interesting. mostly because, on the face of it, i was with a bunch of indians and i'm ethnically indian, so you would think we had a lot in common. but that's the thing with india - each state is like a separate country. they have their own language, style of dress, cuisine, traditions etc. so now i know a lot more than i did about traditional food from kerala - next step is to get my friends to cook some for me!

i was thinking about my last post over the weekend, and one thing that struck me was how quickly the josie bullock story died down. it was a major decision in terms of its impact on maori tikanga in the workplace, and i would have liked to see some debate in the media around that. i suspect the main reason for the lack of discussion lies elsewhere. when ms bullock first went to the media, she was immediately, publicly and very vocally supported by ms judith collins, MP. you may recall at the time that there was a pretty nasty atmosphere created by the don brash orewa speech. i do recall hearing ms collins on tv, radio and reading her quotes in the paper. but she appears to be curiously silent now. i've not seen a single press release from her on this issue. very strange, but i can assure you that i'm eternally grateful for her silence, long may it remain so. i'm also grateful that we seemed to have passed that unfortunate stage of our history - may dr brash have a lengthy and successful career in kiwifruit, and long may he continue to resist sir roger's advances.

i really hate to be agreeing with family first on anything when i oppose almost everything they stand for, but i find myself doing so on the issue of the "my bimbo" website. i totally refuse to link to it. to quote the family first press release (refuse to link to that too!) :

The website encourages girls to use plastic surgery and extreme dieting to get the perfect figure and children can earn “bimbo dollars” to buy plastic surgery, diet pills, facelifts, lingerie and fashionable nightclub outfits.

there was a bit about this at the end of world watch on radio nz today. i guess i'm feeling more annoyed about this because of coverage in the waikato times in the last week regarding the v8s. there are apparently jobs for about 35 attractive young women who have to be comfortable wearing hotpants, very short skirts and swimwear. these young women are apparently known as "grid girls". ok, i'm showing my ignorance - i've never watched motor racing before, so didn't know the terminology. but am well aware of the assigned roles for males and females. the boys get to drive the cars, the girls get to...

yes, i know there are some female drivers, but very few i expect. i hate that women get to be nothing more than eye-candy. i hate that the first story on this was on the front page of the waikato times, and the second story a few days later had a big picture of the girls on page 3. how is this even news? i'm sure the agency hiring these young women could pay for an ad in the situations vacant section of the paper. why all the free publicity?

i often feel like i'm one of the few women who would like to see more positive female role-models in the news - women who are celebrated for their academic, sporting or professional achievements (and no, i don't mean the "oldest" profession). it still annoys me that we have so little coverage of female sports in the sporting pages of our major newspapers, but for something like this they apparently have lots of space.

i know i've had a little rant before about the fixation on physical appearance. but "grid girls" and the "my bimbo" site go beyond a fixation - it's more of an active encouragement of women to spend little time thinking about serious issues, to be aware of gender disparities, to be politically active. instead, we should continue to be obsessed with our appearance, and to spend our hard-earned cash on cosmetic products and procedures.


1 comment:

strawbrie.jam said...

I completely sympathise with your thoughts on the lack of postive role models for females. I'm doing postgrad at Uni now, but I remember as a teenager looking at what was in the media and wondering where all the intelligent women were. Actually, to be honest, I don't think anything's changed. It scares me to see the women displayed in the media as role models for young girls now!