Q: Aren't there more important things to be worried about?


When some of our members proposed a campaign in response to Paul Henry’s comments sexualising and trivialising the work of a guest scientist on his TV3 show, we were tempted to let it pass. After all, New Zealand is facing some really big challenges right now, like climate change and child poverty. Puerile sexism masquerading as humour on television seems like an insignificant problem. Except it’s not, is it?

Henry’s question, like our impulse to dismiss it as trivial, is a symptom of a bigger problem. Covert persistent sexualisation of women is a bigger problem for our whole society. Trivialisation of the work of women scientists is a bigger problem for our innovation and technology industries.