Three days to go until the election and I'm working hard on achieving a Zen-like state. So many deep breaths have been taken, and so much counting to 10, I'm in danger of becoming a yoga teacher.

It's hard not to get caught up in the endless hype, the twists and turns, the tractors running over people's feet, the treadmill of promises and outright lies. This election has been as exciting, and as childish, as they come.

Like many others, I'm sensing a shift in the public mood. Change is in the wind, and a day after Suffrage Day, I'm convinced that women are going to make the difference. Polls are showing that women are moving towards Jacinda, and at a steady enough clip away from National.

Why? It's a multitude of factors.


With Andrew Little leading Labour, I wasn't inspired. Sure, he wasn't saying anything substantively different from Ardern, but he was just another man saying it - and looking just like all the other men saying it.

You need to understand that women like to see ourselves reflected back to ourselves. Strange, but true. Ardern is young, capable, charismatic and decent. She is who many women are, or want to be. Someone for us to look up to. Or just simply like.

The other issue steadily bubbling away under many a female skin is injustice, inequality, inhumanity. We can all agree that women comprehend the unfairness around pay equity in a way that men do not.

Domestic abuse, sexual violence, homelessness, poverty - women are at the forefront of leading change in these issues because they are statistically more affected by them.

For many women though, it's as simple as watching an endless parade of National's men (and some women) who seem oblivious to what misogyny is. Under John Key there appeared to be a misogyny that chilled many women to the bone.

How do we all know Key doesn't trim his "downstairs", has urinated in the shower, and had a vasectomy? He told us. Happily. On radio and TV.

Further to this, and far worse was his predilection for ponytail pulling, and his 2015 appearance on The Rock, where he engaged in "a bit of light-hearted banter" about prison rape by bending over and picking up soap while in a cage.

Apologists for Key's antics said he was "ambushed" and wouldn't have known what was going to happen. All I can say to that is, it's The Rock. What did they think was going to happen? Puppies and rainbows?


Some will say - even women (no doubt National supporters) - that I'm over-reacting. Key was just having fun. By doing so, it becomes women's fault again? You know the drill.

Coupled with this carry on was the deadly serious business of National massively cutting funding to Rape Crisis during their reign.

And do you recall them attempting to silence women parliamentarians when, in the House, they spoke out about their own sexual assault experiences? I do. The Speaker shut them down faster than you can say "gay red top". They walked out.

It felt then, and still feels now, like women are living in a Boy's Own Annual. At the farmers' protest in Morrinsville this week, the protesters saw no problem with signs like "pretty communist" or "Tinkerbell" to describe their likely future Prime Minister. Not an eyelid was batted.

Is Bill English better? Am I tarring him with John Key's brush made from ponytail hair? Well, misogyny comes in many shapes and sizes.

For example, English's treatment of his loyal staffer Glenys Dickson during the Todd Barclay debacle spoke volumes to me.

I'm also far from alone in believing abortion is solely a women's decision. English feels entitled to espouse his view against it. I consider that an overstep, and wrong in a modern-day leader. But, hey, I'm just some woman. Since when would I know what's best for me, my body and my life?

All I know is this election is close. It's not necessarily going to be won or lost on whether National lied (they did) about raising GST to 15 per cent or not. There are far more issues at play than just tax or the economy.

It's so close that it may come down to Stephen Donald needing to step up to take the decisive kick. How about we call it the "Beaver" election.