Tuesday, 8 March 2011

international women's day

well, it's been a few days since i commented here, but i have been writing over at the hand mirror. i wrote this piece about attending the launch of nz book month (and mostly i went to get my mind off things), which happened on the same day that news came out that the government would no longer fund tvnz7 after june next year. not that there was any press release from the government or any other reporting - i heard about it on facebook. and yes, since i wrote that piece last week, i'm still pretty angry.

i also wrote posts about simon power retiring, and linked to an excellent piece about the 3 cities christchurch has become in terms of the response to the earthquake. yesterday, i found myself being a sportswriter (who would have thought), writing about the assault charges against benji marshall.

this evening, i've put up a speech that was given at an international women's day event in hamilton, which had the theme "poverty, why should we give a damn". it was given by a friend of mine who is also on the board of shama, and i really liked the way she talked dealing with poverty, not on the basis of morality but on the basis of rightful demands. i also gave a speech at this event, and i'll put that up in a day or two.

there were several wonderful speakers, including julie timmins from the child poverty action group, angelina greensill, leafa williams from the waikato museum, jane stevens from community waikato, and many others. these women were inspiring advocates,

there was, however, one disappointment to the day. mayor julie hardaker was scheduled to speak. she did turn up, and she did in fact speak. for less than two minutes. and all she had to say was that we should have a positive approach, and that if we wanted change, women should stand for leadership positions.

given the depth and the passion of the speakers that had gone before her and who came after, it just sounded very glib and hollow. i'm sure she's incredibly busy, but even so, it would have been nice if she had listened to more than just part of one other speech and it would have been nicer if she had actually engaged with the topic and the real challenges all of us need to deal with. she is actually in a position to make a difference, but didn't address what policies, projects or actions she was currently undertaking or might undertake in the future to deal with poverty. in fact, she showed no interest in the subject at all, and i think it would have been much better if she hadn't come at all.

finally, i'd like to finish with this clip (hat tip to maia) in tribute to the unions and protesters in wisconsin:

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