Day of the Triffids. Plants vs Zombie.

Dare I say it? Maggie Barry was pointing out the bleeding obvious:
 Jacinda Ardern has no personal knowledge of the rigours of infancy and cannot speak with authority on the necessity of Paid Parental Leave from a parent’s point of view. She can speak to PPL from a politician’s point of view, sure.
However, she knows Sweet Fuck All about breastfeeding, returning to work, or the non-stop nature of being a parent.  
The Barrygate angle in the media is: “Barry is mocked for childless snipe.”. This angers me far more than Barry making a supposed “inappropriate”, comment about Jacinda Ardern’s childlessness.
Barry asked Ardern during a parliamentary debate: “How many children do you have”?
This question was designed to give Ardern a sharp reminder that she was debating an issue that she had no particular knowledge of. Far worse is alluded to during parliamentary debate. If you don’t believe me, watch from the gallery at Parliament and watch the noses. If they look like they are calling someone a “munt”, then note that it is quite common for the nose to lift on the pronunciation of a hard “c” sound.
The “childlessness”, jibe was politically unwise by Barry because childlessness was a wave that Helen Clark surfed to success in the emancipated 2000’s, but surely alluding to childlessness does not equate to hate speech.
The left and other assorted liberals hate this aspect but a pertinent truth is highlighted by Barry’s question. It serves as a reminder of how little life experience Ardern has. She went from being an academic to a politician.This does not preclude her from being an effective politician but it does preclude her from having any personal knowledge of parenting.
I don’t think being a parent is better or worse than not being a parent. To a great degree, you can’t go through life without being a parent. By parenting animals or stray kids; as important influences on children’s lives; as an Aunt or Uncle or close family friend.
But the angle pursued by the media makes me angry because it belittles my own personal experience in life. By the time I was Jacinda’s age I had had two children, had had multiple miscarriages and been crippled, not because of, but during, parenthood.
I’ve struggled with breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, and the feeding of ungrateful little fuckers.  children. Many other women like me have had far worse to deal with and in this light I think Barry’s question was well warranted.

Discuss and share:
  • nasska

    Back, not so long ago, when women were taking to the ‘glass ceiling’ with sledgehammers & discarded bras the oft heard cry was about how much better NZ would be when the caring, nurturing sex were better represented. I haven’t noticed much of a change for the better to date.

    The strident feminists either didn’t realise or didn’t care that until a woman has a child (or children) there is a part of her that hasn’t developed. Career women who forsake this part of their lives are ill equipped to empathise with mothers & in their endeavour to foot it with men present as screaming harpies.

    I have absolutely no desire to turn back the clock until the time when women were consigned to the nursery or the kitchen but at the risk of a bad pun, somehow the baby & the bathwater have been discarded to no ones benefit.

  • Unknown


    You might see better if you remove that eye patch. Maggie’s greatest claim to fame is as a gardener. What you’re saying is that she should stick to talking about gardening and keep her trap shut on other issues for which she has no experience or qualifications? That’s odd because I can distinctly recall many issues on which she has ponitificated for which she has no experience or qualifications…she really is an A grade hypocrite. You are allowed to criticise National MPs and still find your way to heaven.

  • Unknown

    > alluding to childlessness does not equate to hate speech.

    Hmmm I’m not sure anyone has suggested otherwise. You are missing the point. From now on whenver Maggie talks about an issue, Opposition MPs are likely to ask her what experience she has in regards to that issue. What’s her response going to be?

    As for experience, Barry is a first term MP. It shows.

  • Monique Watson

    I’m not saying that Maggie Barry wasn’t treading a fine line. I am wondering however if Jacinda Ardern would be able to speak to the subject of Erectile Dysfunction with equal authority and if anyone jibed her for not having a penis would there be as much of an outcry? No?

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