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Why I left the left: New Zealand's activist scene is sexism saturated

Like many other Gen X New Zealanders, I grew up with a social conscience, but in a climate of political lethargy. So it was not until my mid twenties that I became an activist. Before then, I would volunteer or collect for charities on and off, whilst struggling to make sense of the world and …

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Protect women's rights and spaces: Submission on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill

1 March 2018 Submission on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill To the Governance and Administration Select Committee, I am making this submission to the above committee as an individual. My submission is in response to the opening up of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act (BDMRRA) for amendments through a …

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The people who wrote to support feminist action at Auckland Pride: Thank you.

Note: GNC is an abbreviation for gender non-conforming.   On the evening of Saturday, February 17, Charlie Montague and I jumped the fence at Auckland Pride to lead the parade and conduct the first televised interview of the event. We – proudly – held a two metre banner reading STOP GIVING KIDS SEX HORMONES – …

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The birds and mice will hear you: On transactivism and the characteristics of totalitarian rule

As soon as I was old enough to understand, my mother warned me that I should be careful about what I was saying. “Remember, Yeonmi-ya,” she said gently, “even when you think you’re alone, the birds and mice can hear you whisper.” Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live   “North Koreans,” writes Yeonmi Park, who …

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Whitewashed "feminism" and the women building Pacific and global solidarity in spite of it

This article can be read in Turkish here.   For Grace and Pala Molisa, though it may not do you justice. On the surface of things, it appears that New Zealand has a thriving feminist movement. Several thousand women marched on the day of Trump’s inauguration in 2016, liberal feminist platform Ace Lady Network has …

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The new troubadours: On the male crusaders for the left facilitating today's witch hunts

“Make love not war” is still a phrase that captures the left. Tracing its origins takes us back to the medieval troubadours – specifically, to William IX, grandfather of Queen Eleanor. William IX (called “gloriously randy” by one commentator) was Duke of Aquitaine in southern France before he lead the Crusade of 1101. He is …

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It's time students told pro-sex trade academics: #TimesUp

When I began university as an undergraduate, in 2003, I was far from calling myself a feminist. Like many New Zealand school leavers, I had heartfelt but fledgling convictions and, feeling poorly informed, scarce confidence in them. For me, resistance meant making posters targeting the beauty industry that I never pasted anywhere, and fantasising with my …

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Climate change is not the definitive issue of our time – male violence is

There is a word activists often use to describe environmental devastation. Like the gaping hole that has gutted a glacial mountain peak to construct Freeport mine in Grasberg, West Papua; like the dying off of Northland kauri forests, the beaching of hundreds of whales while seismic testing and deep sea oil exploration continue; the plastic …

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