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EXCELLENT NEWS for NZ: it's in The New York Times too!

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Author Topic: EXCELLENT NEWS for NZ: it's in The New York Times too!  (Read 50 times)
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« on: January 20, 2018, 04:43:43 pm »

from The New York Times....

New Zealand's Leader, Jacinda Ardern, Says She Is Pregnant

By CHARLOTTE GRAHAM | Friday, January 19, 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and her partner, Clarke Gayford, spoke with reporters on Friday after she announced that she was pregnant. — Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and her partner, Clarke Gayford, spoke with reporters on Friday
after she announced that she was pregnant. — Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — Jacinda Ardern, who became New Zealand's prime minister in October, attracted international attention when she denounced television interviewers who had asked whether she planned to have children if elected. Ms. Ardern, 37, told a television presenter that it was “unacceptable” for women in the workplace to have to answer that question.

On Thursday, Ms. Ardern announced that she was expecting her first child, due in June. She said her partner, Clarke Gayford, the host of a television show about fishing, would take a leave from his job after the birth to become a stay-at-home parent.

Although she would be the first New Zealand leader to give birth while in office, Ms. Ardern, at a news conference on Friday, played down the idea that her case was particularly special, saying that she was “not the first woman to multitask,” nor the first “to work and have a baby.”

But she admitted that her family's situation was unusual in some ways, saying that she had suffered “pretty bad” morning sickness during the first three months while forming a new government, and that she did not know “how the government cars would feel about having a baby seat in them.”

Ms. Ardern said she planned to work right up until she gives birth and would then take six weeks of parental leave. During that time, she said, the deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, will assume her duties.

After that, Ms. Ardern added, she planned to return to “full duties,” with Mr. Gayford traveling with her and their child as often as possible.

Ms. Ardern will be the first leader of New Zealand to take parental leave. Two other women have also served as the country's prime minister, Helen Clark of the Labour Party, who offered Ms. Ardern her congratulations on Friday, and Jenny Shipley of the National Party, who had children before she took office.

Mrs. Shipley offered words of support on Friday, saying Ms. Ardern would be able to juggle the jobs of prime minister and parent.

“She'll also surround herself with smart people who’ll help her do her job, and I think it's another, a groundbreaking, example of what women can do,” Mrs. Shipley told Radio New Zealand.

Ms. Clark, a former mentor of Ms. Ardern's who went on to lead the United Nations Development Program after being voted out as prime minister in 2008, said every woman “should have the choice of combining family and career.”

Social media sites were flooded with celebratory messages from New Zealanders after the announcement, with silence from the critics who had questioned Ms. Ardern's family plans before she took office.

Mark Richardson, the television presenter who set off the debate last year by asking Ms. Ardern whether she planned to have children, has not commented. At the time, Ms. Ardern, then leader of the center-left Labour Party, asked journalists whether they would have asked a man the same question.

Ms. Ardern took office after a volatile election campaign, by New Zealand's standards. The previous Labour Party leader, Andrew Little, quit amid dismal poll numbers, thrusting Ms. Ardern into what she, at the time, called “the worst job in politics.”

But her candidacy reversed the party's fortunes, with her Labour Party winning 46 seats in the September 23rd election. The center-right National Party, led by Bill English, then the prime minister, won 56, not enough to capture the majority required to govern in New Zealand's Parliament.

The decision about who would govern was left to Mr. Peters, the leader of the populist minor party, New Zealand First, which held the balance of power.

After weeks of negotiations and deliberating, Mr. Peters threw his support behind Ms. Ardern, whose call for change and youthful energy invigorated Labour voters.

On Friday, Ms. Ardern said she had learned of her pregnancy in mid-October, during the week Mr. Peters announced her as his choice for prime minister, but at the time she did not tell anyone at the negotiating table.

Early in her tenure, Ms. Ardern helped pass a bill that extended paid parental leave in New Zealand to 22 weeks from 18, but her baby is expected to be born before the bill takes effect on July 1st. New Zealand allows parents to split the allotted leave between them, as Ms. Ardern and Mr. Gayford plan to do.

She is believed to be the only national leader in recent years to give birth while in office. In 1990, Benazir Bhutto gave birth to her second child while she was the prime minister of Pakistan.


• Charlotte Graham is mostly based at The New York Times bureau in Hong Kong. When not there, she works as a frelance journalist, writer and broadcaster in Wellington, New Zealand. From 2006-2017 she worked at Radio New Zealand in various reporting, producing, editing and presenting roles. She still fills in on air as a host from time to tiem and does some work on Radio NZ's digital team.


Related to this topic:

 • Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Sudden Star, Gets Set to Govern

 • New Zealand to Be Led by Jacinda Ardern, 37, Returning Left to Power

 • New Zealand's Election Had Been Predictable. Then ‘Jacindamania’ Hit.

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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 05:52:18 pm »

That New York Post story appeared on page A3 of the print edition of the newspaper.

Meanwhile, a similar story appeared on page A4 of The Washington Post. I guess the story of the NZ prime minister being pregnant is big news around the world.

However, what is even more interesting is the huge number of nasty, sexist reader comments posted in reply to the news stories at both The New York Times and The Washington Post, no doubt from stupid, sexist Trump supporters and bible-bashers. Plenty of nasty comments moralising about Jacinda Ardern and her partner not being married too.

However, the following article published by The Washington Post (on page C1 too....the indepth magazine section of the print edition) is absolutely brilliant and says it all about sexist attitudes from many males, who are probably suffering from “needle-dick syndrome” and who therefore put women down to make them FEEL like a MAN.

from The Washington Post....

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern is pregnant.
Guess how the Internet reacted.

The announcement was met with some predictable stereotypes:
You have to choose between motherhood and leadership.

By CAITLIN GIBSON | 2:20PM EST — Friday, January 19, 2018

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with her partner Clarke Gayford, announced on Friday that she is expecting her first child. — Picture: TVNZ/Associated Press.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with her partner Clarke Gayford, announced on Friday that she is expecting her first child.
 — Picture: TVNZ/Associated Press.

NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is going to lead a country and have a baby.

“We are going to make this work, and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child,” she said at a news conference on Friday outside her home, where she shared that she and her partner are expecting their baby in June.

As a pregnant person with the bold plan to continue having a career despite birthing and raising a child, I immediately cheered when I first saw the news.

Then I made the mistake of scrolling through some of the online discussions about her announcement and promptly wanted to lie facedown on the floor.

Ardern — who, at 37, is New Zealand's youngest prime minister in more than a century — will be the first leader to have a child in office since Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto gave birth to her daughter in 1990. Bhutto, who was assassinated at an election rally in 2007, was also pregnant during her run for office in 1988; she once told the BBC that Pakistan's then-president and military general, Zia ul-Haq, had called the election because he assumed that Bhutto wouldn't be able to campaign: “I could, I did, and I won, so that disproved that notion,” she said.

But of course, women have to keep disproving it, again and again.

Witness, for instance, the unsurprising multitude of negative responses to The Washington Post's story about Ardern, many of which were apparently posted by men. A slew of online comments attacked Ardern's marital status (she's not married to her partner, Clarke Gayford), her ability to keep her feelings under control (because lady hormones!), and the amount of time she's planning to take off to care for her newborn (a whopping six whole weeks).

Together, these remarks offer a depressingly thorough overview of the various misogynist stereotypes women continue to confront:

  • She should resign ASAP and focus on family. She is ineligible to govern …

  • I guess millennial world leaders don't feel it's important to get married first.

  • That's just what New Zealand needs, a sleep deprived, emotionally volatile person running the show.

  • Women like this are responsible for breaking down traditional family values.

  • Shows irresponsibility as a prime minister and a parent, half a–ing both.

  • I just do not think women should be in such power if they are birthing babies. You can't argue with biology.

  • You have to choose between motherhood and leadership.

To be fair, there were many others who voiced admiration and joy for Ardern; a few brave souls even waded into the fray to point out that men are somehow exempt from similar inquisitions and expectations when they become fathers.

There's also the simple fact that pregnancy is a perfectly normal, healthy part of life for many women. It is not, for example, a serious illness, which can be far more distracting and debilitating, and which plenty of male leaders and lawmakers have found themselves facing while in office.

Consider the numerous United States presidents who have battled significant medical issues: Grover Cleveland, who had a secret surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his mouth; John F. Kennedy, who took steroids to treat Addison's disease, an adrenal disorder; Dwight Eisenhower, who suffered a heart attack during his second term and later had a stroke. Four U.S. presidents (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding and Franklin Delano Roosevelt) have died in office because of poor health. And plenty of male legislators — including, more recently, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Arizona Senator John McCain — have received serious or life-threatening diagnoses while in office.

None of these men resigned as a result of their conditions. And none of them faced an outpouring of public outrage because they dared continue serving as an elected leader while simultaneously having a personal life and a human body.

Ardern has already proven that her pregnancy isn't interfering in the slightest with her ability to govern; she pointed out that she managed to establish her entire government while juggling “pretty bad” first-trimester morning sickness. (Anyone who has experienced the misery of morning sickness will be the first to fully appreciate how impressive this is.)

When Ardern was asked how, exactly, she managed to push through her discomfort and do her job without anyone discovering her pregnancy, she answered simply: “It's what ladies do.”

And, sadly, she's right. Guarding against attack by masking any sign of vulnerability; exhibiting the strength of will and body required to overcome a patriarchal double-standard; answering insulting questions about our fitness, despite overwhelming evidence of our qualifications — that is what ladies do.

One can only hope that maybe, with the help of Ardern's example, we might not have to do it for much longer.

• Caitlin Gibson is a feature writer at The Washington Post.


Related to this topic:

 • New Zealand's prime minister is pregnant. ‘I am not the first woman to multitask’, she says.

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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 12:38:53 am »

she has bigger teeth than jaws
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