New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern has received high praise for her leadership during the pandemic. Early travel restrictions and prompt lockdowns were effective circuit-breakers and spared New Zealand the catastrophic waves most of us have endured. Ardern communicates with clarity and compassion. It’s easy to see why she’s adored.
However, while singing her praises myself, the sceptic in me started to weigh in:
“Hasn’t she also had everything in her favour? New Zealand being a hot, wealthy, easy-to-isolate, island nation with low international arrivals, low population density and who got their 1st case weeks after things went bananas for everyone else?”
Trying to disentangle sex & gender feels a bit like trying to diffuse a bomb. Without proper training.
And — I’m a straight, white, man.
God help us.
Sex & gender can be minefields. Problems include:
We’re all going a bit lockdown crazy in my house.
At one point, I walked in on Jenny and Polly giving Lola (Cockapoo) a haircut. They were, “Making a Valentine’s Day card for Louise.”
I backed out of the room slowly.
Coping strategies have mainly involved food. Rukmini Iyer’s Roasting Tin series is my new religion.
No more pans. No final 5 mins of chaos. Just get everything ready — pop it in the oven — watch Netflix while it cooks. Game changer!
A few months ago, our bubble introduced a weekly Come Dine With Me on Friday nights. When…
2020 was rough. COVID not only exposed weaknesses in our societies — it also reversed our strengths in 3 major ways:
Two observations pull in different directions:
Overall, this means higher death rates in countries with more advanced healthcare.
Grouping nations of similar ages shows this clearly. The chart below represents 151 countries, in 5 age groups, with example countries shown:
At first glance, male and female responses to COVID seem notably different.
Aside from the usual Trumpian ramblings,
“It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
Blunders such as Boris Johnson’s,
“I was at a hospital where there were a few coronavirus patients, and I shook hands with everybody,”
compared with Jacinda Ardern’s,
“Some countries talked about herd immunity as a strategy. In New Zealand, we never ever considered that. Herd immunity would have meant 10s of 1000s of New Zealanders dying and I simply would not have tolerated that,”
certainly place female leaders in…
In 2015, Justin Trudeau appointed a gender-balanced cabinet for the first time in Canadian history.
When asked why he replied,
‘Because it’s 2015!’
This was generally well-received and Trudeau became a symbol for male feminism.
His vision was admirable. So why were many feminists unhappy with his approach?
A closer look at the details shows how he could’ve achieved political balance by highlighting the effectiveness of women in power.
There is a strong relationship between the percentage of women in parliament and the happiness of a country.¹ Given the impact of policy — some causality is likely.² …
I’ve seen a few articles claiming that Trump made gains with black voters in the 2020 election.
This vox article states,
One of the surprises in the election is that President Donald Trump actually improved his standing with Black voters over four years ago.
Well — no.
The percentages are misleading because voter turnout increased. It’s comparing slices from different pies.
He goes on to question the Democrat’s strategy with black voters. Some of this may have merit — but he doesn’t quite understand the maths.
I looked at data from several sources and have chosen a few typical ones…
Do you engage with people who disagree with you?
How does it go?
It’s frustrating. When ideas converge, we make progress.
The more we agree, the better we feel.
Behind layers of confusion, defences, and misunderstandings, our fundamental needs are the same. We’re hard-wired for connection.
So what goes wrong?
While writing my last post, I read a great piece about protecting group identities¹. I found clarity in these paragraphs:
Social identity theory posits that people derive some of their sense of identity and self-worth from their group memberships (including gender, race, religion, politics, or even sports teams)…
Promoting the effectiveness of women in politics.