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Wed 22nd April 2015

The ponytail ‘pulling’ prime minister

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 12:26 pm

Today Prime Minister John Key sparks debate on the issue of ponytail pulling. (I’m not pulling your leg)

Should men be allowed to pull women’s pony tails?

Should men in power be allowed to grab hold of a woman’s power pony?

The story is attributed to NZ blog The Daily Blog but is later followed up by Stuff.

Given that our Prime Minister has apologised for his ponytail pulling, it’s reasonable to assume he did in fact pull the ponytail.

According to the dialogue the ponytail pulling occurred during some taffy-tugging at a local Parnell café near the Key’s home residence but also on more than one occasion. (So, if someone pulls your ponytail and you don’t say, “no, don’t do that”, are you consenting to further ponytail pulling?)

Should the Prime Minister be prosecuted simply on the basis of the number of times he pulled the ponytail?
(As we saw here in Boobs and Bums quantity was considered by the police to be a valid reason for prosecution – even if there is no complaint from the woman concerned.)
It would be interesting to see the Police apply the same rationale to offensive behaviour in this case.

Another way to put some context around this issue would be to look at the Roger Sutton case although there is the obvious difference of a public place and a work place.

Anyway what do you think about ponytail pulling in general – an effective means of stopping your daughter running into the traffic – or it’s like flicking a stranger’s bra strap and totally unacceptable?

What about when our prime minister is ‘the offender’?

Should we quickly pass a law, that all future male prime ministers be over age 60 so they are past the frisky stage of life?

25 Responses to “The ponytail ‘pulling’ prime minister”

  1. Vman says:

    The issue to me is that if a male staff member had his hair pulled, then it would be up to the male staff member to tell the ‘offender’ to stop it. He would be expected to handle it as an adult.

    If it is a female staff member then apparently she is a helpless victim and not a real adult. Once she acted like an adult and told the offender to stop it, he did stop it and apologised.

    There appears to have been an environment of practical jokes – which suggest that this woman is happy to dish it out but not happy to get it back.
    To be fair, she probably felt she deserved it the first time, as some kind of pay back, but grew offended once it continued. If so, I can understand. However claiming victim status in a national publication belies that she is somehow a timid victim.

    Personally I wouldn’t pull anyone’s hair even if they were horsing about with me.

    The good side of this is that the Prime minister gets a little taste of how fast the sisterhood will turn on him for any perceived transgressions.

    At the end of the day – it not the biggest issue facing men or women.

  2. Trying feminism for a day says:

    How can we as responsible citizens just ignore this atrociousness?

    Its one thing to send troops off to Iraq to fight, er teach others how to fight terrorism!
    You see we have so little terrorism in New Zealand were the best ones to show those Sunnies how to make peace.

    But clearly the only thing we need to further ascertain (as he is judged by media) is if this attack was an attempted rape, murder or both.
    Its obveous that all the no means no crap needs to be played more often. John was a little excited after his election win and forgot that he was a rapist and these oversights cant be excused.
    We will have to tighten up security around all cafe’s. Not just for polititians but for all men who- like Mr Key are born rapists that need to be reminded several times a day that their existence is unnecessary.

    I note this was some time ago that the “victim” (am i really the first to call her that) was attacked.
    Perhaps she was in shock or perhaps she wanted more penis grease so she decided the world should know about the attrocities that occur to nz women.

    I propose we immediatly introduce a new legislation banning ponytail fondelling.
    sorry — Banning ponytail fondelling of FEMALES!

    We will need many more feminist lobbyists to take the reins and ensure this kind of crime is not dealt with lightly.

    Not to act swiftly – might discourage others who have been attacked from coming forward to tell on other abusers.

    Now lets just think back girls… when you were at school did you ever wear your hair in a ponytail. ? yes….. Did any of the boys ever playfully touch..The PONYTAIL?

    Perhaps if we had dealt with the matter by castrasting those young boys we wouldnt have to accept it now..?

    Im sure the media would love to hear from any other women who have been simmilarly abused.

    As for John, well he should be imprisoned until the lobbyists decide if and when its safe for him to return to society.
    Register as a sex offender after being castrated, which is bound to piss him off somewhat so anger managment programming will be necessary.

    I wonder how our troops are going in a never ending war against an ideoligy but its all so secret squirrel.

    So now that we have dealt with Dirty Johnny and pinned the tail on his career.

    How much child support Prince William will to pay if he has two children to Support?

  3. Downunder says:

    So, has anyone out there pulled a ponytail today?

  4. Downunder says:

    How will we remember our prime Ministers?

    Rob Muldoon – asked about the increasing exodus of New Zealanders leaving the country to work in Australia, his comment was that by doing so, they were raising the average IQ of both countries.

    David Lange – at the Oxford Union debate; “I can smell the uranium on your breath!”.

    Jim Bolger – So to that extent that was a very sharp reminder a few months out from the election that we weren’t performing in the eyes of the public to the level that they wanted if they were going to re-elect us. So we went out and were much more upfront on issues.

    Ok Jim was a bit of a waffler.

    There was some bird in here briefly.

    Helen Clark – “If there was a nuclear war, all that would crawl out from under the rubble would be the cockroaches and Helen Clark” – Hillary Clinton.

    John Key – pulled a ponytail.

    And we thought it was just the public that was dumbing down.

  5. Doug says:

    Well the sisterhood will try to make this all about the patriarchy but my 2c says it’s not a male-female thing, it’s about a guy with a lot more power than sense and a waiting person getting paid not enough to put up with this sort of crap. The responses of various groups will be of more interest to menz than the actual pony pull which is just some guy being a dick imo.
    You can assume that waitress believed that the café owners would probably side with their best celebrity customer and tell her to pull her head in if she complained to them, although maybe not. If it had been a male waiter getting his hair tousled repeatedly the issue would be the same, although women’s groups would not be doing their best to turn it into something it is not ie male violence against women.

  6. Man X Norton says:

    “I realize you are just trying to friendly and be light-hearted but I don’t like you pulling my pony tail and I would appreciate it if you don’t do that again.”

    Surely the ability to make a clear request like this in a diplomatic (no pun intended) way is a core skill for someone working in an alcohol-licensed service industry?

    Instead, it seems this young woman brought feminist ideology to the situation and chose to feel incensed. She handled the situation poorly by not saying anything for some time despite feeling unhappy, then overreacting (putting up her hands and saying “no no no no no no no no no no”) but still failing to make a clear request or to acknowledge the relaxed context and Key’s benign intentions. Instead, her reaction implied that Key was some sort of ogre (which he then unwisely but accurately parodied when he next saw her).

    She then chose to take the events into the public arena in order to shame and embarrass Key. If I were this woman’s employer I would have treated this as serious misconduct. Her actions will have lost to the cafe these distinguished and regular customers as well as damaging the business’ reputation at least to the extent that Key’s dining there increased it. No business can tolerate unnecessary actions by employees that jeopardize its income. More generally, I would have seen her poor customer management as an inadequacy requiring management and correction.

    Ah but this is a woman and any criticism of a woman is misogyny, so the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) would probably award her heaps of money for my attempt as an employer to hold her accountable for her incompetence in the first instance and her mischievous breach of client and business confidentiality in the second instance. Yet if the genders were changed such that a male waiter had his pony tail toyed with by a female customer and he responded in exactly the same ways as this waitress did, neither the public nor the ERA would be likely to show him much sympathy. Indeed, if he had eventually overreacted as this female did, he would be quite likely to be seen as behaving in a threatening and emotionally abusive manner towards the female customer.

  7. Doug says:

    Ok my assumption of the café owners siding with Key may be wrong, the news reports that she reported it to them and they had a word with him which he chose to ignore.
    Going to a left wing blogger may not be the right move though, it does seem a bit like the idealogically driven Malaysian diplomat complaint.
    But as I’ve discovered, I don’t know all the facts in either case.

  8. Lukenz says:

    Seems the pony tug thing is going to court to test it was assault or even a sexual assault. Even Ms Bailey (the victim) is considering legal action.

    For me I do not think anything of the prime minister giving the girl a light tug on her pony tail. The action taken against the PM is probably more politically motivated than anything.

    And I might add I feel sorry for the drama John Key is going through.

    However what I do think significant is the fact that now the most powerful politician in the country is feeling for himself the anguish of being held a second class citizen without rights and without name suppression. Subject to just how far the laws have gone. Subject to being a just being a man with some risk of loosing face, votes, a job or a future.

    I hope that now that Mr Key may put at least some consideration towards future men being caught up in a similar situation. Not much hope though.

  9. Man X Norton says:

    Good comments Lukenz. Maybe we can bring this home to him. I think you’re correct in that the whole incident shows how innocently-intended trivial behaviour from a male is turned into some heinous crime simply because it was done by a male. If behaviour is clearly not intended to upset but you don’t like it, then surely the thing to do is simply to make a clear request for it to stop, not turn it into a male-blaming witch hunt.

    The frequent claim that the ‘power imbalance’ was a significant factor also deserves challenge. Firstly, there is probably no such thing as ‘equal power’ between any two people interacting. One will be stronger, bigger, richer, prettier, more popular, more socially skilled, more intelligent, more associated with the local area etc etc than the other. If behaviour is exploitative or abusive, one or more of these imbalances may be relevant but even then, unless the people are in a country in which the law favours any such factor, none of the factors really adds any power. If behaviour is not ill-intended, then ‘power imbalance’ becomes pretty well totally irrelevant.

    Secondly, if someone is too star-struck or lacks the assertiveness to ask someone else to desist from a behaviour, then that’s their responsibility, not the responsibility of the other ‘more powerful’ person.

    Sure, an employer, landlord or police officer will be in a position to use the particular power they have to exploit or to harm another person, and that deserves to be taken seriously and curtailed. A customer in a restaurant or of any other service may well have some vicarious power in being able to complain to the employer about an employee, but employment law provides considerable protection against unfair treatment of that employee. Asking a customer in a decent way to desist from a behaviour you don’t like is most unlikely to result in bad consequences for you.

    Feminists have long been obsessed with the concept of power imbalance and its role in all manner of contexts. One can understand that, given that women in past era undoubtedly felt less powerful than men. But their analysis of events on the basis of ‘power imbalance’ is usually spurious.

    The abuse of power that we see in the Ponytailgate saga is mainly from feminists taking advantage of their fashionable, false ideology to harm a man without regard for fairness, honesty or empathy.

    I have never been a supporter of Jonkey and I will not be now. Rumour has it that his nickname in the currency markets was ‘The Smiling Assassin’, and personally I wouldn’t trust him at all. His focus on financial profit and on his own interests is largely devoid of both ethics and deeper wisdom. His behaviour towards the waitress was unaware and possibly arrogant, and I might not have respected it if I happened to be dining at the neighbouring table. However, his human imperfection shown in the situation and the ridiculous demonization of him for that has caused me to empathize with him on this occasion.

  10. Downunder says:

    I think this needs to be separated into its various facets.

    1. Male v Female:

    Nothing atypical about some form physical contact between people. This sort of stuff goes on all the time between male and female.

    2. Age difference:

    I have the expectation that the older person will so show form of leadership and know when to give up. He was asked to stop. He doesn’t represent men well. We expect our views to be given so credence in the Family Court, not just to be fobbed off because we are male or fathers. He hasn’t done us any favours here.

    3. Aspects of circumstance:

    This girl is at work, it’s her job, she’s expected to maintain her composure in the face of difficult customers. She’s on the back foot in the face of power balance in that respect. This is her employer’s celeb customer – but that doesn’t entitle him to behave like a Hollywood jerk.

    In his defence Key said there was a bit of humour at the restaurant that went a bit too far. These things happen. Apologise and get over it.

    He missed his cue – even from his wife who told him ‘in public’ to stop. That was arrogant and stupid to continue on.

    4. Media field day:

    Today’s obsessive media cretins lose sight of news priority. There’s plenty of stories that deserve more attention that this one has got. They’ll cook it for all it’s worth because it’s a girl’s story.

    5. Behaviour of the Prime Minister:

    This is completely separate. This is the point which Key descends to the indefensible and the unacceptable. It’s a public position of national importance. This is like the Queen pulling down her knickers and pissing on the lawn at Buckingham Palace in view of the public.

    It should never have happened. Key’s defence that he is the most casual prime minister this country has had, is a load of rubbish. He knows how to dig a hole.

    He’s an international political joke. I’m not enjoying that, are you?

    6. So long after the event:

    It was over and done with. Turning a molehill into a mountain generally tends to lead to regret. I don’t think those people who encouraged the girl have done her any favours, but they got their story – that’s all that counts to them.

    7. Politics:

    Key hung Sutton out to dry. People coming to Sutton’s defence were few and far between. Key has been fortunate in that respect that some high profile women have swung in behind him, and tried to calm this down. Perhaps he understands the men’s position a little better now, but I don’t think so. I don’t think he actually gets it at all.

    Conclusion: Key really screwed up on this one – this hasn’t done anyone any favours. Two bottles of his personal wine was insult to injury.

    In one respect it’s not the end of the world, he’s apologised and we should be able to move on and put it behind us.

    On the other hand I no longer want to see this man as our Prime Minister. If the position is that much a joke to him, it’s time for him to move aside and bring up the replacement. That’s the sign of a true leader, that they have their replacement ready to step into their shoes, and we won’t even blink.

    It was Clark’s failure also, it killed the Labour Party, when she bailed at a failed election and left them rudderless. We can see the personality of the politician rather than the leader.

    This is where I think the man will fall woefully short. He’ll be out to organise his own glorious exit, rather than a smooth transition of power.

    Male leadership: What exactly is that these days ? What do men expect these days of male leaders?

    That perhaps is the better question to be asking ourselves.

    For me, certainly not what we’ve seen here, but the idea that the private prosecuting McCready pursues this in court – that’s just being a real wanker.

  11. Man X Norton says:

    My understanding is that there was never any clear request for Key to stop the ponytail touching. Is my understanding incorrect?

  12. Downunder says:

    From what I’ve read – it was made abundantly clear to stop.

  13. Man X Norton says:

    I would be interested to see the references that caused you to believe that. My reading suggested it was very unclear and there was no mention of a clear request.

  14. Downunder says:

    Is that how you interpret the above links?

  15. Man X Norton says:

    Yes, definitely. Read her own account. She said nothing when it happened initially over a number of occasions. She repeatedly states she felt she shouldn’t HAVE to ask him to stop. She refers to ‘everything about my body language screamed “I DON’T LIKE THAT”. But she didn’t scream it or even whisper it. How often have men been expected to ‘know’ how a woman feels, or to ‘know’ not to behave in particular ways because they should ‘know’ a woman wouldn’t like it.

    The waitress also refers to exclaiming ‘Really?” whilst looking at her manager on one occasion it happened. That appeared to be the extent of her making a complaint to management about the hair touching.

    The waitress also refers to telling Key’s security guard that she was sick of it and one day she would punch Key, and posting on the National and John Key Facebook pages that she didn’t like it (already she was attempting to embarrass Key publicly). The security guard apparently did not convey her comment to Key, and that suggests that she may have appeared to say this in jest. What were her actual words to the security man, her expression as she said it, etc? One cannot reasonably trust her retrospective account of what she said. She may just have said light-heartedly “One day I’ll punch him for doing that”, as friends or partners might say “One day I’ll murder him when he tells that joke”.

    This waitress showed an appalling lack of communication skills, certainly insufficient for anyone working in licensed premises. She made a threat of violent assault for which she should have been at least warned (as would be likely to happen to any male threatening to punch someone). She also showed an appalling lack of fairness to a man who didn’t mean any harm but only affectionate humour.

    Harassment can only be harassment when the harasser is aware, or could be expected to be aware on the basis of social norms, that his/her behaviour is unwanted. In a relaxed, familiar restaurant where digs and humour have long been the norm both to and from the PM, light-hearted ponytail touching would not be seen by many participants as inappropriate. Fair enough, being who he is one might expect Key to be more aware and to take more care. One factor nobody appears to have mentioned is that being a celebrity constantly accompanied by security staff and constantly dealing with other people’s attention might limit the extent to which a person notices details of others’ responses.

    But the issue here is one affecting all men. Men are constantly at risk of having their innocent behaviour misrepresented into something ‘-ism’ or sinister in order to be humiliated and falsely shamed by women determined to foster their own hard-done-by victim status.

  16. Downunder says:

    This girl is about mid twenties (if my memory serves me correctly) from what I’ve read. At a slightly younger age my early career put me in in the vicinity of the then Governor-General Sir Keith Holyaoke.

    I was brought up in a household that taught respect for age and authority amongst other things, so the prospect of meeting Sir Keith was a significant event in my mind but the way it happened was not something I had anticipated.

    I recall the first time I met Sir Keith, it was a rather intimidating experience for a young impressionable man, which we are whether we like it or not at that age, something we come to realise as we grow older.

    Our paths didn’t actually cross, so the times we did meet were not coincidental.

    Sir Keith made the effort to come and talk to me when I was working. It always made me a little nervous at first but he would quickly put me at ease. I had often seen him on TV as a sombre statesman, but he had a congenial light hearted side to his personality as well, in private.

    It was because of this I developed immense respect and admiration for Sir Keith, not because I understood his political career, not because he was a former long serving Prime Minister, or even because he was the Governor-General.

    No, it was because of the way he treated me. He took time out of his day, made the effort to come and talk ‘with me’ not in a curious manner, but interested in me, my opinion – they were grass roots conversations.

    He respected me in those conversations, I enjoyed his presence.

    That was a long time ago now, but as you can see the man imprinted himself in my memory. I have never forgotten these occasions and even to this day they leave a vivid and significant memory of one of this countries leaders.

    That’s my bench mark.

  17. Downunder says:

    @Man X Norton

    The unfortunate thing is that John Key’s behaviour has left YOU placing unrealistic expectations on a young worker in the face of the very difficult situation she found herself in.

    I through my own experience have a realistic concept of how this person would or could have felt.

    They way this came out in the open wasn’t, I think wise, and in different circumstances we could have a much better conversation about male and female hostilities in the world today, if it didn’t involve our Prime Minister.

    I respect this person’s (the fact she’s a girl is immaterial) right to complain loudly about the position she found herself in, and any difficulty she may have had in knowing how best to deal with it.

    The ‘Prime Minister’ showed a severe lack of maturity and judgement which created a very difficult situation that makes an apology and two bottles of wine look rather trivial.

    My position is that the circumstance created here leaves the men’s discussion out in the cold.

    That’s why John Key so very quickly became an international laughing stock.

  18. Man X Norton says:

    Well Downunder YOU are entitled to YOUR opinion but I disagree. (I don’t usually shout in these blogs but I’m following your example in this case…)

    I think it an exaggeration to refer to a ‘very difficult situation’. Waiting staff can expect to experience much more difficult situations like customers sending food back, customers claiming the waitroid got the order wrong, having the chef or manager blame the waitroid for reductions in clientele, having the chef or manager make sexual overtures to him/her (in my experience working in restaurants this was common), customers making personal criticisms or complaining to management about the waitroid’s performance, customers accidentally or deliberately spilling food or drink that the waitroid must clean up. Where alcohol is involved workers can expect occasional drunken threats or being accosted outside after work, perhaps being followed home. In comparison with many challenges, having one’s ponytail touched gently in good humour with compliments about that ponytail isn’t really so onerous. That’s not to say that this waitress should have accepted it if she felt uncomfortable.

    This waitress Amanda Bailey referred to having her ponytail ‘pulled’ and compared it to the schoolyard bully pulling little girls’ hair, but this ignores the fact that schoolyard bullies usually pull hard, cause pain and do so in hostile fashion. The PM’s ponytail ‘pulling’ was unlikely to consist of much more than a touch or gentle grasp that caused no pain or physical, as opposed to attitudinal, discomfort. Yes of course it’s valid to criticize the PM for his lack of care, lack of respect for personal boundaries, lack of sensitivity to ‘women’s issues’ and his poor awareness of others’ body language. Sir Keith may well have shown better skills. But it’s not fair to misrepresent Ms Bailey’s story as an issue of harassment, bullying or even ‘a very difficult situation’.

    Ms Bailey could have used some basic communication skills to challenge firmly and fairly any customer’s behaviour that she found uncomfortable, but she didn’t. I don’t agree that it was unrealistic to expect her to both have those skills and to use them. If she didn’t have the skills or felt too star-struck to use suitable skills, that’s her responsibility not that of the star. But from her blog this didn’t seem to be the case; instead, she got on her high horse and asserted that she should not need to use the communication skills that she possessed so she did not use them. This amounted to setting the PM up.

    A significant reason that Ms Bailey took such umbrage appeared to be her pre-existing feminist ideology that demonizes any male behaviour when it doesn’t conform to women’s preference or when it is something feminists have told women they should dislike (whilst rejecting any notion that women should care about male preferences).

    Ms Bailey is an adult woman (in her mid-20’s not especially young and certainly not a ‘girl’) and her gender was highly material to her exaggerated and demonizing view of the situation as well as to her unethical way of dealing with it.

    While it may be true that media has left ‘out in the cold’ most male ideological perspectives related to Ms Bailey’s ‘traumatic ordeal’, it’s quite important I believe for men to recognize the abuse of men, ultimately caused by feminist ideology, involved in this story. YOU are quite welcome of course to brush aside or deny those ideological considerations. I haven’t yet however read any actual rebuttal of them.

  19. Downunder says:

    One factor nobody appears to have mentioned is that being a celebrity constantly accompanied by security staff and constantly dealing with other people’s attention might limit the extent to which a person notices details of others’ responses.

    Yes you’re right there. He can’t see what his wife can see, and he doesn’t notice that she is actually saying stop as well.

    As far as basic communication goes. The most basic communication is body language frowns, smiles and physical movement. All of which are present and observed by other people.

    Easy for a mature (in age) person to suggest that formulating intelligent verbal responses in a situation in which a person feels lost and out of their depth is basic communication. People are often lost for words in unfamiliar situations, in circumstances they don’t know how to handle.

    I’m not defending any of the politically motivated language or concepts that have come through in this story.

    I still think your (Man X Norton) world view and expectation of a ‘young’ (first level) inexperienced worker in these circumstances is unrealistic.

    Ms Bailey is an adult woman (in her mid-20’s not especially young and certainly not a ‘girl’) and her gender was highly material to her exaggerated and demonizing view of the situation as well as to her unethical way of dealing with it.

    Many perhaps even most young adults in their 20’s do not have the maturity we had as teenagers 40 years ago.

    The world is a different place.

    If she didn’t have the skills or felt too star-struck to use suitable skills, that’s her responsibility not that of the star.

    It’s also the responsibility of the next level of management which let her down.

    There could and should have been an intervention but there wasn’t for the same reasons.

    In intimidating circumstances people often hope the cause of the distress will simply stop and go away.

    It didn’t.

    I’m all for you attacking the gender politically claptrap, but not for you landing the failures in the circumstance on a young employee who’s stuck in her workplace with the country’s prime minister and his security entourage.

  20. Man X Norton says:

    Well Downunder, you’re welcome to mount your white knight steed to ride to the rescue of the honour of this damsel in distress. Instead, I see her as a scheming woman out to damage men who needs to be held accountable for her backstabbing sabotage.

  21. Downunder says:

    Man X Norton Really!

    You seem quite determined the only way this should be viewed is from a gender politics perspective.

    We’re fathers on this website as well.

    So those of us who have children who have worked in restaurants while studying, or even work fulltime in the trade; Would we be happy if our child came home with tales of a persistent ponytail pulling prime minister?

    This person is over the age of 18, it’s none of your business. A father’s opinion doesn’t count anyway.

    John Key has a daughter who no doubt has some form of protection accompany her when she’s out and about. Would she have been put in this position? Would she not be able to be put in this position because of that? How would he respond to someone annoying his daughter in a similar way?

    John key’s daughter is over the age of 18, shouldn’t be big enough to look after herself, why does she still need his protection

    Would your average 55 year old man walk around pulling waitress’s ponytails or grabbing waiters and putting them in headlocks?

    If your average 55 year old man did, would he be welcome back at the establishment. Would the loss of that customer be an issue.

    Political figures engaging with the public, in particular the younger generation; should they express their interest in ‘communicating’ (high on your priority list MXN )by pulling ponytails rather than talking to people as seems to be the usual means of ‘communication’.

    Should New Zealand become a country of ponytail-pulling-politicians?

    Or should it be the sole reserve of the prime minister to pull ponytails when out and about in public?

    Should ponytails be banned in the workplace so the irresistible temptation that seems to overcome some people to pull them is removed.

    Should we consult girls with ponytails and get a majority decision on whether your average ponytail wearing girl wants her ponytail tugged in public or while she is at work.

    There would be a variety of tee-shirts out by now if they were a commercial viability.

    What would probably be more viable is a tee-shirt that read

    “I’m not a ponytail puller”.

    But when it comes to basic communication what exactly is it you are communicating when you’re pulling a ponytail?

    If you can communicate this without saying anything and the other person should naturally understand what you’re expressing when you are pulling their ponytail, isn’t it at least reasonable that the ponytail puller should understand the same level of non-verbal communication and know when that person doesn’t want their ponytail pulled … anymore!

  22. Man X Norton says:

    Downunder (#21):

    You seem quite determined the only way this should be viewed is from a gender politics perspective.

    Actually, I acknowledged your right to your own opinion and to your own response, and I made it clear that the perspectives I explained were the way I saw things. Every person can only see through their own eyes albeit influenced by others.

    Almost every social issue arising today can be seen from a gender politics perspective and in my opinion it’s important that someone does that. Discussion, debate and clarification of the perspectives is an important part of that.

    It seems to me that your reaction reflects the ongoing phenomenon of special empathy towards females. We are genetically programmed to protect and rescue females. While such empathy may still be justified where males use their greater physical strength to harm women (or children, disabled, sick and elderly of either gender), in my view feminists have lost the right to special empathy in most other situations. That includes situations where another person’s humour (or courtship approaches, or friendship overtures, or collegial ice-breaking) may be unwelcome but can easily be stopped through a polite request. But feminists both demand equality and continue to expect special empathy when it suits them.

    This person is over the age of 18, it’s none of your business. A father’s opinion doesn’t count anyway.
    John key’s daughter is over the age of 18, shouldn’t be big enough to look after herself, why does she still need his protection

    I don’t know where these sentences came from but I want to make it clear that they weren’t from me.

  23. Downunder says:

    It seems to me that your reaction reflects the ongoing phenomenon of special empathy towards females.

    Special empathy is being empathetic from a position of similar experience, which as expressed above, yes.

    You seem to be saying to me that if Judith Collins had been continually pinching the waiter’s bum down at her local café , and blaming it on her husband, I’d just say ‘suck it up Buttercup, and carry on’, and not express the same opinions that I have above, because I’m a sexist horseman on a white steed?

  24. MurrayBacon says:

    Thanks for the intense debate between Man X Norton and Downunder.

    Although the issue appears a bit trivial, it has nicely brought out the /white knight/’suck it up Buttercup, and carry on’/how many women need their ponytails pulled but are too embarrassed to demand it/ discussions.

    As a group we do waste too much time on these circular arguments, but it is only by understanding the circles, that we can hope to escape from them. I should have said move strongly forward, not escape. So, the discussion has moved forward… This dynamic applies in the same way on so many other issues, that dissipate our discussion energy and prevent action energy.

    Anyway, the first rule of politics is distract.

    So, while media have been so easily distracted, by changing the ponytails and pulling old flags, what are the real issues that we should be putting more attention into?

    Keep your eye on the ball. [Make sure you know what the ball is?….]

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