Sexist comments show how much attitudes still need to change

EDITORIAL

Comments last week by Paul Henry and the Prime Minister’s son Max would excuse people for thinking Trump disease had spread to New Zealand, and show that attitudes towards women still need vast improvement in this country.

Broadcaster Paul Henry is being taken to task for comments he made to his publicist Anneke Bode while being interviewed for the New Zealand Herald’s Canvas magazine by Greg Bruce.

Henry was reported to have commented to Bode on the “perfect breasts” and “adequate titties” of two women at an adjoining table.

Earlier in the week Max Key had a well-earned rebuke from his father for a video he posted on Snapchat in which he shouted at some cyclists that “real men ride women”.

Key, 21, can be excused for his immaturity — even though this is not the first time he has demonstrated it. He is, at the end of the day, a private citizen who would be unknown if his family name was Smith or Jones.

Henry, a highly popular broadcaster on morning television and radio, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

His response that the women would not have been able to hear him is lame and a statement released that he meant no harm or offence also looks contrived to save his bacon.

Veteran media commentator Brian Edwards is one who believes Henry has gone too far this time, describing the incident as a “career-ending wrecking ball”.

That is unlikely, simply because of his popularity and strategic importance to Mediaworks.

Henry’s continual use of the F word during the interview would also offend some people.

Neither of the two New Zealanders, mercifully, are campaigning to lead the free world but their comments indicate that despite this country having one of the worst records of violence against women in the world, there are still many men who just do not get the part sexism plays in perpetuating this. Sadly, many will quietly snigger in their beer and accuse critics of being too sensitive.

Comments last week by Paul Henry and the Prime Minister’s son Max would excuse people for thinking Trump disease had spread to New Zealand, and show that attitudes towards women still need vast improvement in this country.

Broadcaster Paul Henry is being taken to task for comments he made to his publicist Anneke Bode while being interviewed for the New Zealand Herald’s Canvas magazine by Greg Bruce.

Henry was reported to have commented to Bode on the “perfect breasts” and “adequate titties” of two women at an adjoining table.

Earlier in the week Max Key had a well-earned rebuke from his father for a video he posted on Snapchat in which he shouted at some cyclists that “real men ride women”.

Key, 21, can be excused for his immaturity — even though this is not the first time he has demonstrated it. He is, at the end of the day, a private citizen who would be unknown if his family name was Smith or Jones.

Henry, a highly popular broadcaster on morning television and radio, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

His response that the women would not have been able to hear him is lame and a statement released that he meant no harm or offence also looks contrived to save his bacon.

Veteran media commentator Brian Edwards is one who believes Henry has gone too far this time, describing the incident as a “career-ending wrecking ball”.

That is unlikely, simply because of his popularity and strategic importance to Mediaworks.

Henry’s continual use of the F word during the interview would also offend some people.

Neither of the two New Zealanders, mercifully, are campaigning to lead the free world but their comments indicate that despite this country having one of the worst records of violence against women in the world, there are still many men who just do not get the part sexism plays in perpetuating this. Sadly, many will quietly snigger in their beer and accuse critics of being too sensitive.

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