Andrew Dickens: Women are in charge, so what?

Theresa May's appointment as British PM is nothing to get excited about.
Theresa May's appointment as British PM is nothing to get excited about.

Andrew Dickens is a Newstalk ZB host and presenter of Sunday Cafe
9am noon Sundays on Newstalk ZB.

Andrew Dickens
Andrew Dickens

This morning I heard Jack Tame breathlessly announce that the new British Prime Minister is a woman.

As is the German Chancellor, the head of the IMF, the head of the Federfal Reserve. Women are in charge of Facebook and YouTube. The next president of the United States and Un Secretary general could be a woman as well.

So what? Was my first reaction. Maybe I've gone to some place beyond progressive where i don't think this is an issue anymore or something noteworthy. As long as the best person available is doing the job and doing the job well than I wouldn't care if it's man, woman or anything in between.

I think that's the benefit of living in New Zealand, where we've had strong women in power from the Supreme Court right through to the Governor General and the Prime Minister and even a transgender MP

So when people like Theresa May, the new PM, starts mumbling about quotas at board level I say why? I don't think there are any barriers to women going as far as they want other than their choice to participate or not. And women have more options for participation than men. Motherhood for instance.

And they can choose that or not. Andrea Leadsom's bid for British PM can unstuck when she said May couldn't be PM because she's not a mother. So what? Was that a problem for Helen Clark or Georgina Beyer?

And then there was the story on Seven Sharp last night about the single women who did not have a male partner but wanted a child and so sought a sperm donor. One woman spent $150,000 to become pregnant, so she obviously has the wherewithall to provide that child with a safe and secure home. Possibly even safer than many homes with men in them.

The same concept can be extended to the race debate in America. Yesterday Rudy Giuliani said the Black Lives Matter campaign is racist. He said all lives matter. Black, white, yellow, green. Progressives tut-tutted and said he was a dinosaur. I don't think so. He's right. This debate about black versus white hides the real debate. The violence behind an armed population with real economic inequality. And yes, a lot of blacks are shot and it's disgusting. But more whites are shot in America. It's because there are more of them. But every life matters and everyone shot in America is basically poor.

Yesterday the Dalai Lama tweeted this and it stopped me in my tracks. "We are now so interdependent that it is in our own interest to take the whole of humanity into account." What a great sentence. It covers Brexit and globalisation and racism and sexism. We all matter: black, white, male, female, rich, poor, tall, short, skinny, fat. We need to stop framing our debates on skin colour and gender and look how we can all be winners in the race of life.

Andrew Dickens is a Sunday morning Newstalk ZB broadcaster.

- Newstalk ZB

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