Compiling the best reading of the week from your friendly local website.
Alex Casey & Leah Damm: Looking back on a total shitter of a week for women in New Zealand
“Perhaps the deepest burn of all came from Margaret Comer, not only a certified woman but also a standing member of the Waikato Women’s Refuge board, who asked “if a woman takes her clothes off and walks around in a group of men, what are we supposed to do if one of them tries to touch her?” It’s a grim state of affairs when rape culture in New Zealand has seeped all the way to a figurehead for the Women’s Refuge. The call is coming from inside the house and there’s simply no escaping.”
The Spinoff presents a beautiful way to see what the new rulebook provides for your street, neighbourhood, and the city as a whole.
“Raukawakawa te moana. The sea of 100 kawakawa leaves. Why did Kupe come to Aotearoa? He was chasing a demonic taniwha and in trouble on Rangiātea, the transgressive navigator who knew his astral trigonometry.
Cook Strait. Why did Cook come? Because he was born in Whitby with the sea up his nose, into the age of enlightenment and the thinkers who sent him off to observe the transit of their Venus.
The stories we write over the top of others.”
“In what can only be described as an Olympic miracle, all of a sudden the New Zealand sporting public seems to have learned the phrase ‘beaten fair and square’ and decided to use it ad nauseum. It seems a little suspicious that this attitude only makes an appearance after the women’s team loses.”
“The Tribe entertained in a way that a lot of children’s TV does – without adults, these kids were in charge of themselves and each other. The dialogue was supposed to make the pre-teen characters look witty, urbane and adult because adults, children’s fiction demands, are essentially replaceable. I remember being in awe of these kids, which is really a marvel when you consider some of what actually made it to air.”
“In addition to having to work much harder to prove ourselves as capable and functioning members of society who don’t just laugh at salad all the time, women also have to deal with their appearance being used as a yardstick for success. Maybe sometimes women don’t want to wear heels to work. Maybe we need sturdier shoes to traverse the shards of the broken glass ceiling.”
“Mental health reporting – with the exception of a few journalists – has traditionally been tied to murder cases or high profile tragedies like Charlotte Dawson or Robin Williams. It’s not that this past year has seen a rise in suicides, missing persons, coercive practices or other questionable behaviour . Rather, the media has been reporting on the above, constantly and with vigour.”
Scotty Stevenson: New Zealand missed the memo, and the Olympic medals they wanted
“In order for teams to improve they require internal competition. New Zealand sevens just cannot get its hands on enough players to make that the case. Even in Olympic year, with two gold medals in Rio a key measure of success for New Zealand Rugby, the Sevens were off limits for All Blacks, for Super Rugby players, and for New Zealand under-20 players. Ardie Savea’s decision to join the team and then withdraw after it became clear he would make his All Blacks debut just shows what the real priority is.”
Hayden Donnell: Things I learned at the oldest, whitest meeting in the world
“Everything was white. The hair. The skin. The angels waiting to usher the crowd into heaven. Captain Scott was surrounded by more colour as he froze to death in an Antarctic blizzard.
It was an unsettling vision of my future, which I now assume will be spent sitting in halls listening to politicians who are somehow younger than me, fear and suppressed rage mixing a murderous cocktail in my guts.”
“It’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, really. I was taken captive by this seemingly innocent little franchise, then pummelled night after night with torturous drone shots of cars driving about, absurd challenges, flimsy storylines and far more costumery than is acceptable for a factual show featuring actual adults.”
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.