An astonishing article on National Radio this morning about Marianne Tremaine, described as “an executive of the Centre for Women and Leadership at Massey University” (what’s the bet there isn’t one for men…). The National Radio link will only last for a week but after that I will have a copy of this interview for anyone who wants it. Ms Tremaine is about to be awarded her PhD for her research into women mayors, and she has already won an international journalistic literary award. Here’s a Listener article that describes some of her findings. Apparently, she interviewed a number of NZ women mayors, no male mayors, and concluded that women mayors were much better than men at their jobs because they had “balanced egos” and unlike men were not “too concerned about themselves” to be able to see what the community needed. Apparently the lady mayors tended to admire the kinds of attributes that women mayors had rather than men mayors (how surprising). According to the women mayors, communities were much more impressed with women mayors and formed much closer bonds with them (so how come many communities vote for men?).
Ms Tremaine had “noticed” that since women had become mayors, “suddenly people were starting to talk about OUR mayor rather than THE mayor” (now that sounds like good, reliable demographic research). Women were less hierarchical and bonded better etc etc. A woman mayor, also on the radio interview, claimed that women are not like bulls in the paddock (what, no testicles?), and are not as competitive as men are (Na na, I’m a lot more noncompetitive than you are). But wait, there’s more! Women are much more willing to let a project go rather than to pursue it even if it’s important to them (Sue Bradford was a good example huh?), they like strong debate (but isn’t that what protection orders are for?) and they will always prefer consensus (yeah, Bradford clearly had the country behind her…). A male mayor was also interviewed and said that he would have liked to be interviewed too if he was to be compared to female mayors, and that he found the research sexist (what patriarchal cheek, I don’t know why anyone would even bother to interview a man…).
Ms Tremaine was able to reach these insightful conclusions even though she did no study whatsoever of male mayors, because for some reason this would have made her study “too narrow”.
This seems typical of the stuff on which feminism is founded. To be fair, Ms Tremaine’s writing may be meritorious in a literary sense, but as a contribution to our understanding of mayoralty and/or gender how can it possibly be helpful except as feminsit propaganda? In my view this kind of contribution to human knowledge represents a serious threat to our education process and to any role for logical rigour in determing our beliefs.
An irony here is that the biased methodology and the circular, self-serving, chauvinist nature of the conclusions it generated directly contradicted the attributes that Ms Tremaine claims make women superior to men.
I recall after the first term of the Clark government several women MP’s retired, finding the lifestyle too tough. In her valedictory one claimed that with more women in parliament the standard of debate had improved markedly. What? Debating may have changed to suit women better but did that mean it had improved? Is Helen Clark’s patronizing, ridiculing, sarcastic and evasive way of debating, or rather avoiding real debate, necessarily better than the robust, loud, clear, cards-on-the-table argument more typical of men? Apparently so, according to feminism. Male behaviour equals violent behaviour. And of course, don’t give men any credit for creating all existing systems of government, democracy and methods of political participation. If they were designed by men they must be badly flawed. Now that women are on the scene, everything will be better. Yeah, right.