A Woman (Joanne Harrison) Offends, A Male is Found to Punish
The case of Auditor-General Martin Matthews appears to be another example of men being held responsible when women misbehave. Not much has fundamentally changed in attitudes since the era in which husbands were considered responsible for their wives’ behaviour and debts.
Mr Matthews was previously in the role of Secretary of Transport, i.e. heading the Ministry of Transport, while one of his middle managers Joanne Harrison stole from her employer, i.e. stole our taxes, to the tune of at least $725,000 through a string of deliberate fraud offences described by the Court as a ‘web of deception’. Since her conviction some politicians have suggested Mr Matthews may not be competent to be Auditor-General because of Ms Harrison’s conduct under his watch.
Sure, the boss may be seen as ultimately responsible for what happens in his or her organization. However, one can only be responsible for one’s own actions. If those actions were remiss and thereby made it easy for staff to misbehave, then it’s important the boss is held accountable for that. However, we have heard no evidence or even allegations of wrongful actions on his part.
Sure, roles like Auditor-General need the confidence of government and the public, and any cloud that might hang over the role even if a fake cloud may need to be addressed. However, if all things were the same except that the Auditor-General was female it would be most unlikely her competence would be questioned or that she would be stood down. The hails of gender discrimination would be too irritating for anyone to dare call for what has happened to Mr Harrison. And if the offending staff member had been male, the female boss would have been treated as an unfortunate victim of his badness rather than as another possible offender.
The current events concerning the Auditor-General reflect the same attitude that underlies the law making partners financially responsible for what benefit fraudsters have stolen, even if those partners had no role in the fraud. Female beneficiaries far outnumber male beneficiaries and most benefit fraud is done by female sole parents paid by the state to live, or appear to live, without their children’s father in the household. That law is designed to make men share the blame and responsibility when women offend.
If indeed Mr Matthews is found to have erred in managing events concerning Ms Harrison, we can predict that will have been related to pro-female gender discrimination, such as ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’ naivety and/or fear of being attacked as misogynist or subjected to allegations of sexual harassment or worse should he have displayed more suspicion towards her or dealt with her more firmly at the time, assuming his position had any direct involvement at all.
What hasn’t been mentioned by commentators around this case is that women commit fraud and theft-from-employer offences at a much higher rate than men do. We will soon publish research confirming this. The little matter of female avarice and dishonesty isn’t considered by those calling for equal gender ratios in senior management (never for the low-paid roles…) and claiming that having more women managers magically improves the performance of organizations.
As for Ms Harrison, she was imprisoned for 3 years 7 months with no mention of a minimum period before parole, meaning she may well be released after one third of that time, i.e. not much more than a year. Not bad earnings on top of her good salary and it’s likely that many people would gladly volunteer to spend a bit more than a year in jail for a return of over $725,000. Police are said to be looking to recover some of her stolen assets but it’s interesting they have not used their draconian powers to do so earlier (as they are quick to do with males suspected of ill-gotten gains), and we have yet to see how cunningly she tied up her loot to protect it from recovery. Certainly, there’s no mention anywhere that she has paid back or offered to pay back anything she stole.
This might all sound like masculinist paranoia but we believe we are simply making observations about what is actually happening.
We thoroughly support an investigation about how her staff were treated, particularly those who raised concerns about her and were then ‘restructured’ into losing their jobs.
As a comparison, Heather Thomas, the former manager of the womans weekly who was the ceo of dreamworld when a tragedy killed 4 people, still got a massive bonus and now has been promoted.
Meanwhile…in entertainment news from australia…
Here’s a great example of how the NZ Herald loves misandrist news stories and eagerly publishes them. It appears that this airline customer is told of some unexpected extra fee to be able to board his connecting flight which presumably he already paid for. He understandably sounds annoyed and frustrated but asks reasonably to speak to the desk woman’s supervisor. She very disrespectfully ignores him and threatens to call security. He asks several more times for the name of her supervisor and when she continues to disregard him, he quite accurately accuses her of not doing her job properly and not treating him properly. He remains restrained, there are no threats or gestures of violence. When a white knight bystander waiting in the queue interferes and accuses him of ‘harassing’ the employee, the man does become more agitated and verbally abuses the white knight, but when he returns to dealing with the employee he is not abusive even though he disparages her tears amidst her ongoing serious disrespect towards him.
The article’s headline is ‘Vicious airline rant: Man abuses airline worker’. That is just utter nonsense amounting to fake news. There was nothing vicious in the man’s communication towards the employee. The article then made no comment about the employee’s appalling behaviour in deliberately ignoring the man and his reasonable requests to speak to a supervisor.
What the hell can a man legitimately do when faced with unreasonable treatment like this? Just capitulate because it’s an unreasonable female he’s dealing with? Just pay up or miss your flight mate, because she’s female, you can’t challenge her and she can be as much of a bitch as she wants. His behaviour is called ‘vicious’, ‘abusive’ and ‘harassing’ for no good reason except that he’s male and she’s female, and her appalling disrespect , absent customer and conflict-resolution skills are all ignored and portrayed as acceptable, while she is portrayed as a poor victim of male abuse. Wow, just wow.