Some Labour supporters seemed to be almost welcoming a right wing backlash after Jacinda Ardern announced she was pregnant. Unfortunately for them, it never happened.
JACINDA ARDERN and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have announced that they are having their first child. My low tolerance limit meant I was incapable of sitting through the entire 'press conference', conducted outside their house, but they both seemed entirely reasonable, restrained and coherent throughout.
Which is more than you can say for many of Labour's supporters who jumped on the social media to express their feelings.
Some seemed to be anticipating a right wing backlash to the announcement. So we had typical comments like this:
"The enevitable (sic) cries from men, that it will effect her ability to run the country, is exactly why men are not given divine power to create humans. Too stupid & lazy." (@Eliota_Sapolu)
"The same people who were atrocious to Helen Clark for choosing not to have children are the same berating Jacinda Ardern for choosing to have children. That's the nub of it isn't it? It is women making choices that makes them so angry." (@kilbrniesanders)
"While celebrating Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford's baby news today, please spare a thought for New Zealand's misogynistic community. The coming months will be extremely trying for them." (#vlcnz)
Labour Party supporter Stephanie Rogers tweeted: "All right, time to roll up the sleeves and get ready for one HELL of a wave of sexist concern troll bullshit against our PM."
While I fully appreciate that Twitter is not necessarily representative of what is happening out in the real world, the right wing backlash that many Labour followers seemed to be almost relishing, never actually eventuated. While they were tweets of dissent and criticism, as was to be expected, it could hardly be described as "one HELL of a wave of sexist concern troll bullshit."
Indeed , writing on the RNZ website, Stephanie's Rogers 'one HELL of a wave of sexist concern troll bullshit' translated into little more than what Mark Richardson said on The AM Show last year. Since he was engaged in commentating on the New Zealand - Pakistan cricket match today, I guess he might of been surprised he was also participating in some sexist concern troll bullshitting and didn't even know he was doing it.
There has been an eagerness among some Labourites to use Ardern's pregnancy as an opportunity to portray themselves as the "enlightened ones" while the right are still living in the dark ages. Unfortunately for them, people like National Party leader Bill English and former minister Simon Bridges didn't cooperate and promptly tweeted their cordial congratulations to the happy couple.
The plain fact of the matter is that New Zealand as a country has moved on and Jacinda Arden's pregnancy is a non issue with most people. It is some Labourites, ironically, who have tried to make it an issue. It would be better for all concerned if they turned their attention to the policies that their government is pursuing. Because, whether they care to admit it or not, Jacinda Ardern - even pregnant- is leading a government that is still pursuing the policies of neoliberalism.