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Category Archives: Gender

Not so devious maids: Living with slavery

Slavery is alive and going on in homes around the world, including in homes in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand.  Large numbers of domestic workers (AKA, in archaic terms, as “housemaids”), have little power or employment rights, and do most of their work behind the closed doors of people’s homes. Yet mainstream movies and TV programmes, from Downton Abbey to Devious Maids tend to present such jobs as being for caring and protective employers and/or as being powerful and glamorous.

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The Hillary Clinton TV fictions: “State of Affairs” s01e01

The pilot/season one episode 1 of State of Affairs, is a higher quality production than Madam Secretary (I wrote about this and other Hillary Clinton influenced TV fictions in earlier posts) .

State of Affairs (SoA) draws fairly innovatively on recent portrayals of female characters with, or connected to, political power. It slightly redefines women’s roles, but this is contained within the wider, masculine political and social institutions. – and corporate-dominated capitalist system.

Trailer for the first episode (episode shown this week on NZ TV3):

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The Hillary Clinton TV fictions: women and power – Madam Secretary

As I wrote in the first part of this series of posts,

Women who have political power are to some extent undermined by dominant attitudes about characteristics and values associated with male and female behaviour.  There is a fine balance that needs to be negotiated by women in, or seeking, the highest and most powerful political roles and leadership….

TV dramas inspired by Hillary Clinton’s public life have been achieving some renewed significance at a time when many are expecting her to make a second run for the US presidency.

The last post focused on The Good Wife, which was partly inspired by Hillary and Bill Clinton’s relationship, and is now looking to veer towards Hillary’s more political activities. Another such Hillary Clinton inspired dramas is Madam Secretary.

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The Hillary Clinton TV fictions: women and power – The Good Wife

Women who have political power are in an ambivalent position.  Their power is to some extent undermined by dominant attitudes about characteristics and values associated with male and female behaviour.  There is a fine balance that needs to be negotiated by women in, or seeking, the highest and most powerful political roles and leadership. Previously I have posted on some of these contradictory forces with respect to recent coverage of issues related to NZ Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei: those to do with leadership, and issues to do with economics, finance and state intelligence services.

TV dramas inspired by Hillary Clinton’s public life have been achieving some renewed significance at a time when many are expecting her to make a second run for the US presidency. Some of these representations are showing on NZ TV screens, and thus likely to have have some influence on political and gender attitudes in this country. One of these programmes is The Good Wife.

Hillary Bill Clinton

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Metiria Turei – challenging the old boys Surveillance State Club

I have written before on how, in politics, “economics”, “finance” and leadership roles have strong masculine and power associations. Men largely being given responsibilities for these high profile portfolios.  The same is true of issues of international conflict and state surveillance services.

Yesterday, NZ Labour caucus leader, Andrew Little, was deeply insulting towards the NZ Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.  Little failed in his obligation to consult with opposition parties when selecting opposition MPs to sit on the governments Intelligence Security Committee.

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Metiria Turei: A leader for our times

Metiria Turei has been a strong and influential co-leader of the NZ Green Party: a leader whose political direction has been shaped by growing up in meagre circumstances; a leader who hasn’t pulled the ladder up after her; a leader who can speak at significant Māori events with a deep understanding of cultural processes; a leader under whose watch there has been an increase in Māori candidates standing for the Green Party; a leader for our most difficult and complex times.

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