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Jobs for the Girls

Filed under: Gender Politics — JohnPotter @ 1:13 pm Sun 18th November 2012

Addressing a meeting of MPs and staff in Parliament last week on child poverty, Professor Jonathan Boston noticed that he was the only man in the room. Boston is co-chairman of the Children’s Commissioner’s advisory group on solutions to child poverty.

The NZHerald article Men called to step up for kids, accuses men of “leaving it to the womenfolk”, “not stepping up and taking enough of a role in bringing up their own kids”, and being “deadbeat dads”.

Boston notes a significant gender divide in the level of male and female leadership and involvement in addressing child poverty and deprivation, and issues a challenge:

“Men need to step up and take responsibility for these issues, along with women.”

Fortunately reporter Geraldine Johns was onto it enough to speak to economist and social researcher Dr Paul Callister, who points out that men tend to engage with child welfare in practical ways, such as joining Big Buddy, Rotary and Lions, or becoming sports coaches.

Callister also raises the professionalisation of morality, noting that all the women at the meeting would have been on a salary.

“They’re in relatively good jobs … people can be very concerned about child poverty – but that’s their job.”


  1. Ha – can’t work out why he is the only man there. I can remember a contingent of men going to Wellington to a child welfare conference and we were asked at the beginning to leave because we were from men’s groups. In the end it came down to some women joining a walk out lead by rape crisis because we refused to leave.
    They didn’t put that on the news did they?

    Comment by Down Under — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  2. #2 Amen to that !

    Comment by golfa — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  3. Even since the Christchurch Civic Creche cases, men have left childcare rolesw in droves. If the government hasn’t figured out the connection between false allegations, risk of having careers ruined and being male yet, then there is no hope for them. That this man-drought extends to peripheral roles in child welfare streams is no surprise.
    For years custody and child raising beyond divorce has been the substantial province of mothers – ordained by family court. If that makes men – us – me – ‘not stepping up and taking enough of a role in bringing up their own kids’ – a “deadbeat dads”, well blame the femi-system. Not me. I for one was all-too prepared to have an equal role in child raising until family court took that away from me.
    I guess the only surprise in this now is that it takes a University public policy professor to discover the great divide, the significant gender divide, in terms of the level of male and female leadership and involvement in addressing child poverty and deprivation.
    Maybe now we need an official royal inquiry (led by women, of course) to further ‘discover’ the imbalances in male role modelling and child nurture and raising. If only to yet again tell New Zealand what we men have known and been saying for years.
    Jobs for the girls ….

    Comment by I'll Never Return — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  4. When it stops becoming ridiculously easy for false accusations of child abuse to be leveled against good caring men – with both devastating effect and absolute impunity for the accusers then I’ll gladly ‘step up’ to care for kids, as I imagine will many other men.
    Three words for this Children’s Commission, MPs and Journalists – Christchurch Civic Creche.

    Not so long ago I went through teacher training in NZ and the level of unwarranted suspicion against men was toxic. Examples included a Senior Teacher placing a bright red plastic ‘Post Office’ box on her desk and telling the kids to post any concern they had to her – the very day I stepped into the classroom; Another senior teacher warning me NOT to attempt to catch kids falling off a trampoline. Another Senior Teacher telling me if a kid fell in the playground and cut themselves NOT to touch them, but call for the school (female) nurse.
    And we wonder why so many men are absent from child care?

    Comment by Skeptic — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  5. #4 Skeptic, I hear you. I was watching Campbell Live on Friday evening. They were interviewing a School Principal about the whole Novopay debacle. There were shots of her in the playground surrounded by kids. Some hugging her and she was hugging back. Can you imagine the massive public outcry if that was a man ? An inquiry would be demanded and he’d be accused of molestation in a heartbeat.

    Comment by golfa — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  6. If this fellow could see the elephant in the room he’d realise he was talking to – most probably – the highest percentage per head of population in the world of the best paid, good for nothing, seat occupying women, who love to turn up for appearances sake, but have no intention of doing anything but bitch about why nothing is being done and expect government to solve the problem.

    Now that these women have got what they want I wonder how long it will take someone to report that in the news.

    And this fellow has the audacity to blame men. Who in their right mind would even bother wasting their time talking to them?

    Comment by Down Under — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  7. Men are too busy in the jobs that the women leave them to, you know, the jobs that kill and seriously damage them. And too busy paying between 30% and 50% of their take home income as fraudently-named ‘child support’.

    The Christchurch Creche case though is only a half good example for argument. Peter Ellis should not have taken children home to his place. Even then all child workers knew they needed to maintain careful boundaries to avoid allegations. The fact that he did so was suspicious, as was the case for James Parker whose domestic hospitality towards boy students was previously challenged and denied until it was recently shown to have been exploitative. Peter Ellis should not have been convicted on the basis of the contaminated and ridiculous evidence, but he certainly had something to answer for.

    Comment by Luther Blissett — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  8. something ive thought about for a while is women taking all the top a female is in charge of NZ’s largest naval vessel and when women get appointed to ministerial jobs in parliament you can almost guarantee another female has appointed her and while all these women are in meetings talking about child poverty i note they are too interested in their careers than their kids

    Comment by Ford — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  9. guess ing ppl want men to step up into these roles so they have someone to blame when it turns to shit

    Comment by Ford — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  10. The European Union now plans to force companies to have female board members and cites research to justify this on economic grounds. It seems some are stupid enough to believe that women are somehow better at business than men are. Even if the ‘research’ is valid in showing companies with a female board member achieve better share values, this doesn’t mean that the female’s presence is the causal factor. Quite possibly, companies including women board members are a bit more progressive and prepared to try something new, and these are the reasons for better performance. Simply forcing other companies to have female board members won’t give them those qualities. But gender discrimination in favour of women (and therefore against men) will certainly see more women promoted into big incomes even when they’re not the best qualified, and that’s what feminism is all about huh? And for fields of employment and education dominated by women, don’t expect any initiatives to promote gender equality there!

    Comment by Luther Blissett — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 8:07 pm

  11. #10..i think women do get results in certain jobs because men are too scared to argue/debate anything in fear of being accused of abuse etc..what better way for a female to manipulate someone..scream abuse

    Comment by Ford — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  12. females create the problems then moan about them

    Comment by Ford — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  13. He is treading on dangerous ground, if he speaks out more they will throw false allegations at him and he will be finished. Probably the only reason he is calling for men to step up!

    Comment by Scott B — Sun 18th November 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  14. My ex decided she wanted to step up into a mangerial role, and then promptly dismissed me from the business (without severence pay, not even the courtesy of a pleasant reference). Then she went further to ensure I could not even communicate with those below her, except were I to be supervised in doing so, by an independent company ultimately under her direction.
    It got to the point that we could only ‘negotiate’issues through lawyers, and the matter ultimately went to court. I won some consellation, but despite the judge ruling somewhat against her, there was never any redress or settlement.
    As for me, I was adjudged to have to pay her a six figure sum, by monthly instalment spread over some 16 years. If I fall behind, I can count on further penalties being charrged agsint my account.
    You got it. Child support.

    Comment by I'll Never Return — Mon 19th November 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  15. 14 yep, we’re always being fined for things someone else does.

    Comment by Scott B — Tue 20th November 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  16. The article linked to below exposes the truth about Child Support in my view.

    It’s time to ask politicians why they are promoting illegitimacy, adultery and broken families.
    How does that benefit their constituents?

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 27th November 2012 @ 11:10 am

  17. skeptic, along the lines of what I have been saying – except this is a PARENT concern – there are mothers as well as fathers being raped of there income – and what was not explained in this article – is the LEVERAGE system – using INCREASING Child SUPPORT DEBT to LEVERAGE BORROWIONG – huge money – to pay off more debt.

    Thats the kicker here – and we are seeing it first hand in NZ – why else would REVIEW people be allowed to make determinations – IN EXCESS of a parents INCOME -with SEVERE penalties if you DONT COMPLY – which many can not pay or wont pay because its wrong – and so they rightly refute it – because its NOT BASED ON INCOME – which then INCREASES the PENALTY industry and the alleged Child Support DEBT – so the bigger this DEBT , the more leverage in BORROWING.

    Make the system impossible to challenge, impossible to hold to account -and you have the perfect Modern day Extortion racket leveraging kids for debt.

    What a SICK system. Using Kids – Kids have ALWAYS been exploited throughout HISTORY – modern society just seems to have found a more discreet way of fking with them and persecuting parents.

    Comment by hornet — Tue 27th November 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  18. At #6 Note to self. ANDREA VANCE is on to it…

    Comment by Down Under — Sat 1st December 2012 @ 6:13 pm

  19. The expert advisory group’s final report on solutions to child poverty is due for release on December 11.

    Did anyone see this about the place?

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 25th December 2012 @ 2:15 pm


    Comment by Allan Harvey — Wed 26th December 2012 @ 10:41 am

  21. There is a list of working papers to go with the report too.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 26th December 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  22. The question has been asked; where are the men?

    The catch cry ‘Child-Poverty’ is doing the rounds again. It was well voiced when child support legislation was first proposed but if anything, child-poverty would be greater now than before and what about poverty in general, societal poverty, families, men and women, and not just the child. As the state regards us as individuals then this also is not about poverty of children in general but of ‘the child’ each generic building block of the state future.

    There are recognised mantras through history such as the Christian ethic; take care of the widow and the orphan – those most likely to suffer deprivation through lack of support. Notice how in the feminist era (and I am quite sure this period in history will eventually become known as such) the mantra has changed to women and children (and children in particular) but is it really the case that launching another child-poverty initiative is only about impoverished children and will this reverse the trends that have inspired this or will we simply aggravate a deteriorating situation.

    What is this ‘Child-Poverty’ I am hyphenating child poverty for a reason. Here is the recommended definition proposed by the Children’s Commissioner for this specific term.

    Child poverty should be defined as:

    Children living in poverty are those who experience deprivation of the material
    resources and income that is required for them to develop and thrive, leaving such
    children unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential and participate as
    full and equal members of New Zealand society.

    So, this is a definition affecting our social contract – who is responsible for who and who is responsible to whom. It is not only a policy affecting children it is a policy affecting every Mother and Father, and every potential parent and any children they might (want to) have but is that the way this is being portrayed, is that the way this is being debated, is anyone actually asking the question is this really about children hungry at school or is this about the constitutional nature of our society and our social contract.

    This is in effect a policy being created on behalf of some New Zealanders (our children) recommended to lawmakers when making laws on behalf of the people of New Zealand.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 27th December 2012 @ 9:02 am

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