We saw a shocking new side to the Prime Minister today. Nothing, really prepared me for the shear idiocy and ignorance that erupted from the comments Key used to personally insult Laila Harre with. Key labeled Kim Dotcom, the founder of the Internet Party, Harre’s “Sugar daddy”.
Let me explain why this is completely inappropriate – let alone for a head of government to say in public.
The term is extremely derogatory and understandably offensive. Wikipedia defines the term as “… a slang term for a man who offers to support a typically younger woman or man after establishing a relationship that is usually sexual”. Essentially then, Mr. Key was labeling Laila Harre a whore. Had he cut to the chase and called her this instead, you can imagine the outcry. Well guess what? It has disgustingly similar connotation.
What seems lost on many is that had the Helensivlle Internet Party candidate been male, the term ‘sugar daddy’ would have been out of context. Therefore, the term is sexist. The fact that Ms. Harre is female was not lost on Key when making that statement.
I wrote on Facebook earlier today: “Now, there will *of course* be those who label this candidate’s complaint as ‘soft’ and ‘politically correct’, but I’d tell them to look further into the issue. The fact is, New Zealand has a rape epidemic, and a culture of horrifying sexism and objectivity towards women (and the acceptance, or ignorance to the issue) is adding fuel to an already raging fire.”.
Key’s Roast Buster comments now seem completely hollow. Mr. Key personally spoke out against the rape group last year.
The third point is the obviously horrendous media bias. Viewers of the TVNZ One news would have seen what could only be described as a very light grilling. 3 News, I am told, barely mentioned it. This, quite opposed to the Cunliffe gaffe, in which he was speaking out against increased violence towards women.
Key should apologise. I don’t think he fully realises the connotations of the term nor the rape that exists in New Zealand.