Man-oh-Man Ban, I'm white with rage.
What a great week to be a white female. One party almost promised to give me a shot at goal just because of my gender, and another could-be-one popped up to represent me exclusively because of my race.Although some might not see it this way, I say you've got to hand it to New Zealand. 120 years on from being the first nation in the world to grant women the vote, we are at it again, with the Labour Party (briefly) flirting outrageously with the idea of women-only electorates and quotas for women MPs. And despite what you might think of the Treaty now, back when it was first signed with the aim of recognising indigenous land rights, our neighbours across the ditch were still massacring their own first people en masse. This week with the arrival of 'The Pakeha Party' (admittedly in dubious Facebook-only format at this stage) we can now proudly boast to the world that not only do brown people have a couple of parties to exclusively represent their best interests, but white people do too. It's all so deliciously equal. Or is it? In their bid to be 'equal', this week's political developments have the very real potential to not just divide our country but draw and quarter it too because they don't just pit the brown against the white but the boys against the girls. Which is a shame when we have for so long and in so many ways been a shining example to the rest of the world. Regardless of what you think about how much still needs to be done to create equality between Maori and Pakeha and women and men, and how you think this could or should be achieved, the fact remains that in other parts of the world right now, people are continuing to be persecuted, killed and denied basic rights we take for granted purely because of their colour and gender. Although I am loath to air my own opinions and then have to sift through hate mail as well as junk mail to get to my bank statements, I have to say that I emerged from my regular political apathy just long enough to be annoyed at the Man Ban. While it clearly seems unfair to men and against the principle of being elected on merit, my feathers were mostly ruffled because I think women are long past needing a hand-out and can choose to rise to dizzy heights of political power or stay home and be brilliant mothers without any vote-grabbing directive from the Opposition. And although I think it's slightly awkward that we all made such a fuss about white-only Springbok teams but then proudly have our Maori All Blacks, I don't support a Pakeha political party simply because we don't have the same health, education and crime statistics to overcome. If I got three wishes and had one left after world peace and perfect hair, I would wish for a New Zealand Party...one that takes all comers, in all colours, in all genders. Except I'd have to think of a much better name, because that one is just way to close to New Zealand First, which then gets me thinking a Man Ban might not be such a bad thing after all.