Debate may be too noble a word to describe the level of blather that ensued in the wake of Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter's remarks about old white men.
However, ensue it did, and I feel that as a white man in his 60s I am qualified to add my tuppence-worth.
Or whatever it is young people are using for money these days.
It's a fact that older white men have for a long time run pretty much everything and — despite some advances and statistical anomalies involving prime ministers, governors general and chief justices — still have the majority of the power and all the stuff that matters when it comes to deciding what society will be like.
Such anomalies and other advances in the position of women in society mean there are people who think it's all over, that women have got what they want, so if they could just shut up and let us get on with it that would be great.
And the same applies to all those other whiney groups complaining about not getting their fair share.
But didn't a lot of people — mainly old white men — get their adult diapers in a bunch after Genter spoke to kids at Cobham Intermediate School in Christchurch?
There was the threat of a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.
She was a hateful person. She was prejudiced.
She got all the usual labels thrown at someone who suggests a fair go for all would be a bad thing.
I've often observed, in cases like this, that the strength of reaction to a comment is in direct proportion to its accuracy.
For some people the worst of it was that Genter's vile hate speech was vomited out in front of a group of innocent moppets.
They probably didn't know the reason she was at Cobham in the first place was, according to a news report, to visit 10-year-old Maia Devereaux.
Maia sent the minister a pay equity petition after a class project on what a utopian society might look like.
Genter had to explain her initial remarks, carefully, and making sure she used language that anyone could understand, in a much lengthier opinion piece.
There are some people who can never have things explained too often.
"I said that around 81 per cent of board members are men," she wrote.
"The vast majority of them are white, and in their 60s and 70s.
"And I said with a rueful smile, 'Some of them should move on and make room for new talent and diversity'."
The "rueful smile" reference was probably over-egging the pudding a little but the first part of Genter's statement is fact, and the second part is reasonable opinion.
The Minister for Women is not coming for your cushy board seat, old chap.
Here's another out of context statement from Genter, in the same opinion piece: "I strongly believe that older, white men should be on boards."
That looks a pretty bad comment out of context.
No, wait, she goes on to say, "I just also believe that people from other demographics should also be, too."
On the face of it, it looks like a plea for diversity.
I can't think of much worse than being trapped in a room populated by my demographic.
In my experience, they share characteristics inimical to creative thinking and problem solving.
Chief among them is an unshakeable conviction they know best.
And they don't mind you knowing they do.
The more diverse a group is, the more diverse will be the ideas it brings to the boardroom or any other table.
Some large companies are aware of this and actively pursuing diversity, but given what happened to Genter, you can forgive them for keeping it on the down low.