Saturday, 19 July 2014

Pat Rosier and Who We Remember

Pat Rosier died on 12 June. She was many things to many people and won’t be forgotten by any of them. Her death, from a heart attack at age 72, was unexpected, and it prompted an outpouring from all those whose lives she touched: both personally and politically.
Pat, left, and Prue; and Pat's son, David with partner, Julia
And it’s for both personal and political reasons that her life is important to remember; her death important to record. The personal is best left to those who knew her intimately, particularly her partner of 17 years, Prue Hyman and her son, David. I contacted Prue, wondering if it was OK to write something for The Hand Mirror about Pat: “As far as I am concerned,” she replied, “the more people write and talk about Pat the better.” The first thing you should probably read is what Prue herself has written, in a tribute titled “Pat Rosier – Shalom” and which is online at the Kapiti Independent. That piece also includes lots of links, including to Pat’s own blog and to the video of the 300-strong celebration of Pat’s life, held at Paekakariki where Pat and Prue lived together.
As Prue writes, Pat’s early life was relatively conventional. Her dad was a railway clerk, and she grew up at a time when no one in a working class family, “let alone a girl”, went to university. She married, had two children and trained as primary teacher, which was her job from 1973 to 1985. Then, something happened. Pat found Simone de Beauvoir, the Women’s Liberation Movement, lesbianism – and reinvented herself.
Pat chronicled at least part of that reinvention in the 1991 collection, Changing Our Lives: Women Working in the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1970-1990 (eds Christine Dann & Maud Cahill, Bridget Williams Books). Her entry was a spare but powerful three pages composed entirely of bullet points. Here’s a selection with ellipses indicating where things are missing (with thanks to Bridget Williams Books, Prue and Christine Dann for permission):

In 1970 I was:
• twenty-eight years old
• trying hard to be a good wife and mother, and succeeding rather better at mother than wife
• sure that men were more interesting to talk to than women, who were stuck in domestic and kid stuff (apart from one or two good friends)
• bored, bored, bored, but not recognizing it
• back-combing my hair, shaving my legs, and making my own dresses

Pat, left, and Prue
By 1980 I had:
• discovered Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex in a bookshop in Takapuna and read it with an increasing feeling that, for the first time, something made sense of my life
• bought an automatic washing-machine and a car
• realised that among women teachers I was considered opinionated and outspoken
• almost reached the end of my marriage
• noticed that there was something going on called a women’s movement and wondered how you got into it.

By 1990 I am:
• a radical lesbian feminist with both socialist and separatist tendencies
• co-editor of Broadsheet, New Zealand’s feminist magazine
• an experienced women’s studies tutor
• cynical about the media, the government and the state
• totally sick of everything to do with it being 1990, especially ‘celebrating’ a treaty that’s never been honoured
• hardly ever bored
• angry about phonecards, post office closures, user-pays education, and all the other exploitations of rampant capitalism
• more at ease with myself and my life than at any earlier time
• planning to become more outspoken and outrageous.”

It was in 1985 that Pat took over the editorship of Broadsheet magazine, getting the job after Sandra Coney stepped down, and holding it for the next six years. (She was also a co-founder of the Women’s Studies Association journal.)
Anyone wanting an understanding of the so-called “Second Wave” or “Women’s Liberation Movement” of the 70s and 80s would be well advised to spend some quality time with Broadsheet, which published its last issue in 1997 and is apparently in the queue to be digitised by the National Library. Even if you don’t have access to the magazine itself, Pat made sure there was another entry point. Been Around for Quite a While: Twenty Years of Writing from Broadsheet Magazine, (New Women’s Press, 1992) is a compilation of selected articles and brief history of the magazine’s first 20 years, edited and introduced by Pat.  
 Like the magazine it’s drawn from, the compilation is both uplifting and depressing. Uplifting for the impressive range and diversity and power of the writers and topics; depressing for how many of the issues are still with us. Or, as Pat put it in her introduction: “Few of the issues raised in Broadsheet have ‘gone away’ or in any way been resolved. New ones appear, and they all move in and out of the foreground.” Also in the intro, she chronicles some of the discussions, debates and phases, for want of a better word, that both Broadsheet and feminism went through, from abortion in the 70s (and still!), contraception, marriage
Sharon Alston's illustration of Pat's 1986 article 'Fighting Fat Phobia'
(and alternatives), child-rearing, equal pay, Māori women’s voices (and challenges to the WLM), lesbians (“with a ‘lesbian cover’ appearing in June 1973”), violence against women, rape in marriage, attacks on beneficiaries… and so it goes. In Broadsheet proper, Pat also wrote numerous feature articles, including in 1986 “Fighting Fat Phobia”, about “how hatred and fear of fat is used to control women”, and several in-depth pieces on reproductive technologies.
After leaving Broadsheet and Auckland in the 90s, Pat continued her activism and writing – turning to fiction, and eventually publishing four novels. (Details of her nine books are available here at her blog.) According to Prue, more publications are planned: “Her lesbian writing group is hoping to produce two posthumous volumes – the first their already planned group volume where they will attempt to use some of her partly written fifth novel (she and I were both convinced this would be the best – and the others were good). The second will be a book of her poetry – including some written for me and never yet published or seen by anyone else.”
Pat's 2004 novel
Those post-Broadsheet years were also marked by terrible sadness with the death in 1996 of Pat’s daughter Helen, then 32, from bronchial pneumonia. Prue quotes from something Pat wrote about this, the “saddest event in her life”:
“The death of a daughter changes my reality; everything after is different from what was before. The grief and pain are a blanket of fog for months and I welcome the fog, fear its ending. I grab and cling to the grief, the loss, the sadness — I cannot bear to lose that gnawing, grinding, consuming pain, for this is what I have of her; I must keep her always in my mind, my heart, be overwhelmed, or else she is fully lost to me… Time does go on. A year and more. The grief is just as intense, but smaller in size… I have a grief in me. My grief at the death of my daughter will not die, I will not ‘get over it’, it will not be ‘healed’ by time. She is in me for my forever, a forever I grasp fiercely, demanding joy.”

            I got to know Pat at a distance when she was editor of Broadsheet in Auckland and I was doing some writing for the magazine including a fairly short-lived “Our Woman in the House” column I wrote while working as a journalist in Wellington at the press gallery. I was insecure, she was supportive. More recently, she was just as supportive and helpful (and I was probably just as insecure) during the five years I was researching and writing my 2013 book on the abortion rights struggle, Fighting to Choose.
            Thinking about Pat these past few weeks also got me thinking about what an important role she played in the politics and culture of this country, and yet how invisible it probably is to those outside her circles. In turn, I began to wonder (yet again) how the WLM years will be remembered – or not remembered – given that we are starting to lose some of the women, like Pat, who were there.
I hope you will excuse the segue into a bit of research, but following these thoughts, I’ve started work on a longer piece about this question, (will, for example, our WLM/ “second wave” have to be “rediscovered” as the so-called first wave of feminism had to be?) and I’ve arranged a few interviews with older, middle, younger feminists. To that end, I would very much welcome any thoughts readers might have on these questions, just pop them into comments. (You can also email me directly at alisonmccull[at]gmail[dot]com)

More importantly, of course, do write about Pat. Reiterating Prue, the more people write and talk about Pat the better. (And for northern readers, a celebration of her life is planned for Auckland on Saturday August 30 at 1:30 pm . I will add location details to this post when they are available. Venue: Auckland Women's Centre, 4 Warnock Street, Grey Lynn.)
Kore rawa atu e wareware.
Above and below, flier for Pat's life celebration

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Shouting from water skis

Sometimes being a woman in a male dominated field feels a bit like trying to teach from water-skis.
No, water-skis are not the best platform to teach from.
No,  people don’t hear you as well over the roar of engines and water.
Yes, you will probably fail more often
You lose people’s attention more when people are focused on where you are, rather than what you are saying.
It’s exhausting, and even the easiest lesson is hard to do from a difficult place to stand.
But if that is the ONLY space you have to teach from, and people will watch because of the spectacle then what are you going to do?
Quit and lose your voice and audience?
Fight for a better space and risk people refusing to tow you?
Or carry on, and hope like hell that eventually someone sees how stupid this is and gives you a more appropriate space to teach from in the future.
All of the above options are entirely legitimate, and I wouldn’t judge anyone who took any of those options. I also don’t blame people who don’t even go into those spaces because they aren’t well enough, fit enough, have enough time, or can deal with the stress of such an unpleasant work environment.
Refusing to work on skis isn’t unreasonable.
Refusing to provide a better space for women to work and have a platform IS.

The fact that some of our most interesting scientists in New Zealand (I can name Siouxsie Wiles, Christine Winterbourn, Heather Hendrickson, Margaret Brimble, and Judy O'Brien off the top of my head) are not seen regularly in our media is a damn waste, and frankly it’s a bit of a surprise that even Souxsie with her bright pink hair and award for science communication, is mostly under the mainstream radar.
Dr Dickinson is getting there, and she is getting there on the shittiest water skis possible. BUT SHE IS GETTING THERE.
While we watch the rubbish she has to deal with, hoops she has to jump through, and unreasonableness of her environment, let’s take the focus off the stunts she has to pull, and on why that’s the ONLY SPACE SHE HAS FOUND AN AUDIANCE.
Because I’m pretty damn sure that if anyone had any kind of choice, they wouldn’t work with people who undermine them, degrade them, and bring their personal life into a professional discussion. But we do.
Because that is the only space we have.
Let’s stop pointing at the women who are the spectacle and start looking at why that’s the only space women have voices.

This post has been Crossposted from my home blog.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A cloak of privilege

The other day I was attempting to do some surveying about a local project in the Roskill shops.  The person who gave me the most time of day was a young woman of Pasifika descent, I think she had a bible in her hand and had probably been to the Church of Christ just around the corner.  I asked her a few of my questions and she struggled to answer one so I said "what don't you like about the area?"

The answer was quite shocking to me.  I've lived in this area for 12 years, and spent a lot of my childhood staying with my Nana nearby or visiting her.  My mum grew up here.  She met her first boyfriend at the (then) milk bar across the road from where we were talking.  I know it's a bit scuzzy, and not a great place to hang out these days, and part of the point of the survey is to work out how to fix that.  I catch the 267 or 258 there regularly, at the bus stop we were talking at.

The young woman I was talking to told me that what she didn't like about the area was the random cars driving past trying to pick you up.  And how they have strangers in them, and they won't leave you alone even when you tell them to go away.

Fool that I am, my immediate response was "Wow, that has never happened to me".  Which was when I realised the cloak of privilege I wear within my own community.  Which is why that has never happened to me.  I didn't mean to be denying her experience, and quickly told her I absolutely believed her, and she told me a bit more.

On the one hand I want to share my cloak of privilege, to cut it up into bits that can be shared around as widely as possible.  But on the other wouldn't it be better if no one had or needed one?

We had a bit of a chat about safety - how do you change a culture where that is happening, that sense of entitlement to young women, to harass them, to ignore their own agency?  We didn't talk about it quite like that.  All I could think of was making the town centre a nicer place to be, so that people will be around, will hang around and get to know others, where you can feel that you know some of the people that work in the shops, and go to them for help if you need it.  Where asserting yourself against unwelcome behaviour will mean instant support from those around you, not a blank stare and a scuttle in the opposite direction.

Urban design can help make a place better, more people focused and friendly.  But really the $500,000 we have to spend on the town centre upgrade isn't going to touch the sides of the real problem.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Why I think you are creepy

Cross posted from my home blog.

I started to write a piece on what sends out warning signs for “rapey” behaviour, and before I got too far I decided I wanted current examples from twitter discussions. Scrolling through the conversations happening under the terms rape and consent on twitter I came to a startling realisation.I had never considered why someone would argue in support of someone’s rape behaviour, and I suddenly realised that my firm belief that most people are decent humans and wouldn’t deliberately hurt someone goes completely against what I see every day – assholes gagging to argue with me about what they are “allowed” (see legal definition of rape) to do to someone else’s body.

People on what I would call “My side” of the argument (pro-consent, anti-rape-culture) were making impassioned pleas for people to stop and listen to the idea that they should wait for full consent.
-To try to understand that simply not fighting back isn’t consent

-To stop minimising how fucking traumatic date rape is just because the victim knows the rapist.

In one particularly revolting discussion they failed to make a man understand that a wife has the right to refuse sex, and ignoring that refusal IS rape.

In most of these arguments a man (I try REALLY hard not to make this a gender issue because rape affects both men and women, but I’m sorry to say the majority of rapists are cis men.) is working his little heart out to validate his point. Getting really worked up, really distressed and at times incredibly ANGRY trying to make the point that is not REALLY rape because

And I suddenly thought... why the hell they are fighting SO HARD for their rights to someone else’s body.

I could only come up with 3 possible answers

1) They are so sheltered they genuinely have no idea of how horrific these discussions are for many people, and they are so privileged they genuinely believe it, and so arrogant they won’t consider that they might be wrong.

2) They have acted in a manner that would fit under the heading of rape, but isn’t straightforward violent, stereotypical rape, and they only just realised that, and they are fighting for their reputation, even if it’s just to feel ok about themselves.

3) They genuinely believe they have the right over other people’s bodies at certain times, or with certain people, or under certain circumstances.

Group one and three are easily solved with a better understanding of rape culture from the get-go, better education of men and women about consent, and a society that supports people’s right to choose. I’m going to leave them to one side except to say that if you fit in those categories sit down, shut up, and listen. JUST LISTEN. Maybe you will learn something.
I don’t think group 3 are particularly common, until you start to raise the issue of inebriation. And then the line gets really freaking blurry, and there are a scary number of “good people” who will fight a person’s right to bodily autonomy because they WANT them and the target isn’t in their right mind anymore.

And then it struck me like I had run into a wall.
All these people fighting alongside me are fighting for the right to never be touched again if that is their choice. This choice hurts no one, and changes no one else’s life. But it means the WORLD to us.
Those fighting against us are fighting for their right to someone else’s body, on their terms when they want it. Just because they WANT IT. They don’t NEED it. It doesn’t change their world or make them a different person. They just WANT it.
You SERIOUSLY think that your right to someone else’s body is more important than anything else.
You will fight tooth and nail for that right.
What do you get if you lose that right? Nothing. You get to go home and have sex with yourself.
What do I lose if you rape me? A sense of bodily autonomy, safety, strength, health. I lose a lot for your “right” to touch me.
So you people arguing the ins and outs of ‘date rape’ or ‘is it really rape if you have had sex before’ or ‘is it rape if she is my wife’. Either you are so fucking selfish that your right to pleasure using another body is more important than my bodily autonomy…

Or you aren’t actually arguing about sex at all. The ingrained sense of entitlement to someone else’s body is so strong that you are scared that you won’t just walk away and leave the drunk girl passed out on the couch. You are frightened that your communication is so crap that you won’t see the signs that they don’t want you to keep touching them but they are too scared to speak.
And you don’t want to be charged as a criminal.
That’s why you seem creepy.

Either you are arguing THAT passionately for your right to MY body... Or you have already decided that you want it, don’t have enough control to wait until I’m sober/conscious/in a better frame of mind, will take it, and are arguing that you shouldn’t be charged.

Creepy. Super super creepy.

Have some self-control. Yeah, maybe you will have less sex with other people, but who the hell told you that was a right, rather than something you earn IF someone cares enough about you, or finds you appealing enough to suit their tastes.
I can tell you right now that if someone left a note in my purse at a party saying “wow, you were toasted, and I really like you, call me when you are sober and we can hook up” I would probably call that person.

Consent, it’s sexy.

Silence, because not everyone feels able to speak up.

Cross posted from my home blog.

Today is the National day of silence.
This is a piece written by an ally for allys, it is very 101 level, please keep this in mind.

I often worry about feminism on NZ twitter being an echo chamber, but I haven’t seen much this week about today’s call to action, which made me think that if I’m in an echo chamber, surely this message should be coming through?
Perhaps enough people aren’t sharing the issues that rainbow youth are struggling with…
It seems counter intuitive that a day of silence should empower voices, but the aim is not simply to not speak up. It is to share the cause, using a multitude of ways.

Selfies for silence is one of those non-verbal ways; take a look at the great messages coming through.

Often those who are in a position where they feel unsafe don’t or can’t speak up to enable their cause. The people who are on the frontlines of Rainbow youth are immobilised in a variety of ways.
Of the students who had been bullied in NZ, FIVE TIMES AS MANY (33%) had been bullied because they were gay or because of perceived sexuality compared to their heterosexual peers (6%).
The Youth 12 report on transgender students shows that nearly 20% had attempted suicide in the previous year and nearly 50% had been physically abused. I sure as hell wouldn’t feel strong enough to speak up on the little stuff in those circumstances let alone advocate vocally for the rights of my peers.

Often those who are in support are afraid to speak up because they don’t want to become targets for bullies themselves. I’ve been in that trap myself, even as an adult. There are days when I don’t have the mental capacity or I’m too afraid of repercussions to speak up on my beliefs outside of my twitter bubble.
The Day of silence is a timely reminder that there are more ways to show our friends, family and community that we are allies, and for those who don’t feel able to speak up, to be able to do it in a variety of ways.
Being the person shouting at the front line isn’t for everyone, and shouldn’t have to be.

Ways I can lift the silence.

Wear a set of 100% OK coloured bracelets. Give them away to the people in your life who also want to be allies.

Display a 100% OK sticker, rainbow sticker or other symbol prominently at your café / shop / church / marae / place of work, you might be surprised at how many people come out as an ally, or part of the rainbow community.

Don’t let slurs or derogatory jokes slide at work or school.
“Can you use a different term to mean bad please” is all you need to say.
Or “I don’t understand the joke”. And then walk away.
You don’t owe an explanation, the expectation of not demeaning other people is entirely reasonable.

Read, research and learn and keep lines of communication open. If you feel “attacked” for your lack of understanding, take a breath, learn some more and apologise if you realise you were wrong.

The NZ day of Silence has made it to the mainstream media but only in small pieces, and much like all activism, it needs amplifying and sharing in order to help the message get out to a wider audience. Below are two links you could share on Facebook.

TV 3 news - Day of Silence sweeps schools

Monday, 23 June 2014

Save the Date! Women's Choice Debate 2014

When:  Tuesday August 19th, 7pm
Where:  LibB28, lecture theatre underneath the University of Auckland library, Alfred St
Who:  Female speakers from National, Labour, Greens and the Maori Party and possibly a couple more.  You and your friends and acquaintances.  Women's organisations with stalls in the foyer.  Dr Judy McGregor chairing.

Please save the date now :-)  You can even add it to your Facebook events!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The invisible women

On Friday I went to the Wellington launch of a new book, Child Poverty in New Zealand, by Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple (Bridget Williams Books). It's been heartening to see the recent upsurge of attention being paid to child poverty, with 285,000 children living in families with incomes below the most generally accepted poverty line: 60% of the median income after housing costs. (The book explains in detail exactly what such "lines" mean and how they work.)

But I've been getting steadily more concerned about what seems to be a general refusal to consider mothers' poverty. Children are almost never independently poor, they are poor when their parents are poor. The group of parents-and-children who are far and away the most likely to be poor in New Zealand are sole parents and their dependent children. And the vast majority of these families are headed by women: 125,000 out of 151,000 in June 2013.  The percentage of those receiving a sole-parent benefit who did not have enough income to meet daily needs was 42.2% in 2008, 45.7% in 2010, and 51.1% in 2012. Close to two-thirds of poor children (64%) do not have a parent in full-time paid work. BUT 29% of poor children do have at least one parent in full-time paid work. Despite the state topping up low wages through Working for Families, even full-time paid work does not necessarily keep families out of poverty.

When I've finished reading Child Poverty in New Zealand, I'll be writing more about this issue. But the focus should not and cannot be solely on poor children, and to come up with useful solutions, any analysis has to take the effects of gender inequality fully into account.

Friday, 20 June 2014

A Woman's Place: Greens 2014

The Greens have a strongly stated commitment to gender balance both for internal party positions and candidates.  They currently have more women than men in their parliamentary caucus.

Historical representation of women:
The Greens first stood in their own right under MMP in 1999, and in that time they have had 23 MPs of whom 12 have been female (52%).  They have long had gender balance for shared leadership positions both of the caucus and the party.

2008 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 20 out of 48 (42%), with 50% in the top 10.

2011 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 16 out of 42 (38%), with 40% in the top 10.
Current representation of women:

The Greens currently have 14 MPs in total and 8 are women (Catherine Delahunty, Metiria Turei, Eugenie Sage, Jan Logie, Denise Roche, Holly Walker, Julie Anne Genter, Mojo Mathers), making 62% of the caucus. Turei is co-leader.  There have been some issues in the present term with Turei receiving some quite sexist treatment, in comparison with Russel Norman, the male co-leader.   

2014 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 19/53 (36%), with 60% in the top 10.

Top 5: Two (Turei at 1, Sage at 4) 2/5 = 40% (Same as 2011)

Top 10: Six (as for Top 5, plus Delahunty at 6, Genter at 8, Mathers at 9, Logie at 10) 6/10 = 60% (Increase on 2011)

Top 20: Ten (as for Top 10, plus Walker at 12, Roche at 14, and non-MPs Marama Davidson at 16, Jeanette Elley at 20) 10/20 = 50% (Same as 2011)

Top 30: Fourteen (as for Top 20, plus Sea Rotmann at 23, Susanne Ruthven at 26, Teresa Moore at 27, Dora Roimata Langsbury at 28) 14/30 = 47% (Increase on 2011)

Top 38:  Sixteen (as for Top 30, plus Rachel Goldsmith at 31, Anne-Elise Smithson at 35) 16/38 = 42%

After 38 the list candidates are unranked, and include only 3 women, out of 15 (20%), which skews their total figures considerably.  The Greens followed a similar practice of unranking after a certain number in 2008 and 2011, which is a practice I still personally support for smaller parties.  

Likely future representation of women:
The Greens did much better than I anticipated when I did this analysis for 2011.  This time they are aiming for 20 MPs, which would require about 17% of the vote. The Greens have had a good term, and are currently polling at about 11% (which would see them return 14 MPs again). They have a history of coming up during the campaign too.  

If they do reach their 20 MPs they will have a 50/50 caucus, including two new women (Davidson and Elley).  If they get 14 again it will be 8 women (57%), 15 MPs (53%), 16 MPs (56%), 17 MPs (53%), 18 MPs (50%), 19 MPs (47%).  I'd say there was a deliberate intention there to ensure their caucus is likely to be 50%+ female, in the likely range of seats they will win, except that they could have achieved that if Elley was at 19, rather than 20, and they didn't.  Many considerations do go in to the ranking of a list! 

The co-leadership arrangements will continue to ensure a gender balance in the top spot for the forseeable future.  

Other observations on candidate diversity:
As always with this section, I am interested in comment from those with more knowledge than I. Gender is often easy to determine, other aspects of diversity less so.  I would note that there appear to be no candidates who identify as any gender other than male or female, and as far as I know none of the parties which have made it into, or close to, Parliament have put up anyone who identifies outside the binary.

In regard to Maori candidates in the top 20, Turei, Clendon, Roche, and Davidson all identify as such.  The rest of the top 20 are Pakeha though* and there is little evidence of Asian or Pasifika candidates (one Tamil that I could find).  

There's a lot of diversity on age, and some great experience on disability in the candidate pool, not least Mojo Mathers MP (who is deaf), Catherine Delahunty MP (who has personal experience of disability), and long time disability advocate Chris Ford (37) who I remember from my long-ago days in the Alliance.  

The Greens also have a good record on selecting people who identify as LGBTI, returning Kevin Hague last time and adding Jan Logie.  

The final observation I will make on their list is that for a party that many dismiss as Sensitive New Agers there are a lot of people with serious qualifications and experience in actual real science.  I stumbled across this interesting blog post about Green stereotypes that I thought many of you might like :-)


In 2011 when I did this analysis I was disappointed the Greens hadn't really lifted their gender balance from 2008, however that was because I vastly underestimated how many MPs they would get!  This time it looks pretty good to me in the higher portions of the list, but becomes troublesome as you get lower.  I wonder if this is a reflection that more men than women have put themselves forward?


Green Party candidates
Idiot/Savant's analysis, including ups and downs since 2011's list.
A Woman's Place Index for 2014
A Woman's Place Index for 2008 and 2011

*  Jan Logie gives "Tangata Tiriti" as her ethnicity which makes me want to give her a high five.  

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Woman's Place 2014: Internet Party

For 2008 and 2011 I did some analysis of the likely party caucuses after each election, based on list and electorate seat selections, in regard to women's political representation.  I'm hoping to do it again for 2014 but will depend a lot on time, as these can be very time-consuming for the bigger parties.  Here's my first for this time, cos it came up today and was easy to do.

The Internet Party is brand new this election, in fact this year, and released their 15 person list today.  It will be zipped in some fashion with the Mana list, and I'm not sure quite what that will look like yet (Mana have only announced their top 4 so far) so I'll have to do another post on this when that is all out.  

Historical representation of women:
New party so not relevant.

Current representation of women:
No current MPs, or caucus.  Leader (Laila Harre) is a woman.

2014 Internet Party selections:
Women represented across the whole list: 6 out of 15 (40%).  

The top ten are alternated female and male, 11 is a man, 12 a woman, and then 3 men for the lowest 3 spots.
Top 5 - Three (Harre at 1, Pierard at 3, Ballantine at5) 3/5 = 60%
Top 10 - Five (As for Top 5 plus Farvid at 7, Sami at 9) 5/10 = 50%
Top 15 - Six (As for Top 10 plus McClintock at 12) 6/15 = 40% 

Women selected for electoral seats: 6 out of 15 (40%)

All of the list candidates are running in electorates.  Realistically the list is far more important, as the Internet Party will be getting MPs from Hone Harawira winning Te Tai Tokerau rather than breaking the 5% threshold (although we shall see!).  They have clearly strategically picked seats where they think there will be wider spread media coverage than the immediate electorate - and it looks to me like the ones where the Alliance used to do well, but that could just be my own past filter* ;-).  Which makes me wonder if the seat Harre will run in may be Epsom?  Another theory is Upper Harbour, which is closer to Harre's roots in West Auckland and her past efforts in Waitakere, plus no worries in that seat of having to talk about coat-tailing more than usual.

Likely future representation of women: 
Depends very much on percentage of the vote for Internet/Mana combination, whether Harawira holds his seat, and how the combined list works after the sixth spot.  At this stage it seems that they might get down as far as the combined 5th spot, which would mean two Internet MPs, Harre and Yong, so 50/50 gender-wise.

Other comments on candidate diversity:
Youth is a big feature, deliberately and highlighted.  The youngest candidate is 23 (Ballantine at 5) and only two are over 40 (Harre at 1 and Keinzley at 11).  Salmon is a "digital Maori" at number 8, while there are a number of candidates who appear to have Asian heritage, and one (Farvid) who is Iranian.  No mention of disabilities or sexuality, that I can see.  

Internet Party List on their website
Index of A Women's Place posts for 2008 & 2011 - analysis of all the likely caucus outcomes for as many parties as I could a) get and b) give time to look at.  
Index of A Women's Place posts for 2014 

*  I was in the Alliance Party from 2000 to 2007, and ran for them in 2002 and 2005.  

A Woman's Place: Index for 2014

In both 2008 and 2011 I did some analysis of the party lists (and electorate selections to a point) to determine likely future women's representation for each party.  I'm intending to do it again in 2014, as time allows.

Here's what I wrote about doing this series, back in 2008, and it held true in 2011 too:
The idea of this analysis is not to say "you should vote for the party with the most women candidates." The point is to provide some information that may give you some insight to the role of women within the party in question, and to also highlight the women who are standing in this year's General Election.

[In 2008] When we our current and immediate past Prime Minister have both been female, a Queen is our Monarch, a woman sits in the Speaker's Chair, and [laydeez] fill a variety of high profile roles in our democratic institutions it is sometimes easy to forget that our current Parliament has only 40 women MPs, out of 122. That's around 33%, when women are a little over 50% of the general population. Better then most other countries in the world, but still a long way from parity.

And how do women get to be MPs? They need to rise up through party organisations to be nominated for electorates and for list spots, and in order to actually make it into the House they need to be candidates in winnable positions. So it's important to not only consider how many women a party puts up as its representatives, but also whether they are likely to get that opportunity in a practical sense.
Since the 2008 election we have only had a lady Queen and Chief Justice.  The purpose of this series of posts remains the same.

In 2011 this issue finally got some mainstream media coverage, particularly around the poor level of representation for women in the likely National caucus (only 25%), both through the list and safe seat selections.  It will be interesting to see if this happens again (both the media attention and National's low level of women).

The 2014 A Woman's Place series (alphabetical order, added to as I do them):