How is "stick to your knitting" sexist?
National MP Paul Goldsmith said it yesterday in regards to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's new role as CEO of large companies, now that she's finished being an epidemiologist.
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He said for her to bully business through the media was not cool, that she should "stick to her knitting".
This all came about after she said she was "angry" with The Warehouse layoffs. This is ironic all by itself, given not moments earlier she'd been telling us all to support New Zealand business and focus on the economy. Yet she seemed to throw her much feted kindness out the window and now be "angry" with a retailer.
Clearly New Zealand business gets support only when it does as the Government wants, which is not to let people go because that's a bad look.
Stick your knitting - is like saying "stay in your lane".
It's a widely used and accepted metaphor in business, universally acknowledged as being genderless, it's not remotely sexist. I'm not sure how anyone could claim it was.
The only way that's sexist is if you're looking for it to be, and you're perceiving it as such, which actually makes you sexist, because you're assuming only women can knit.
What's even worse here, is that the National Party leadership allegedly "had words" with Goldsmith about his language. Are you kidding?
Have they seen the language politicians throw around? "Stick to your knitting" seems like playschool compared to what gets said.
What about Stuart Nash calling Nick Smith a "bloody loser"? What about when Winston Peters asked the Speaker to "throw fatty out", referring to Gerry Brownlee? Or when he called Steven Joyce "weak, wobbly and woeful"?
David Seymour called Winston Peters "Grandpa". Tamati Coffey referred to Melissa Lee as "love". And the Prime Minister herself once referred to Simon Bridges as "Simple Simon".
My point is, "stick to your knitting" does not even come close to these barbs and insults, because it isn't one. And it certainly isn't sexist.
If I was the Prime Minister, I'd be offended that people keep jumping up and down to defend me - based on the fact I'm female.
Are they saying that because she's a woman she can't hold her own? Is every criticism levelled the PM's way now going to be called sexist? Does she need constant rescuing and defending and other politicians have to adjust their language around her?
The worst part of all of this is of course the National Party's response.
Reacting to the Prime Minister's defence dogs by "having words" over the metaphors raised around her is a complete waste of their time and energy. It's a manufactured distraction and they fell right into the trap. They need to harden up.
Less time talking to MPs about their language, and more time working up an effective election campaign.
Otherwise the only people left knitting come September will be them.