There has been a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth from PC zealots, after TVNZ Breakfast host Paul Henry giggled about the facial hair of a female guest, anti-nuclear campaigner and Greenpeace worker Stephanie Mills.
The Sunday Star-Times devotes space to the incident this morning with news that TVNZ has received “a handful” of complaints from viewers and has started a formal complaints procedure as outlined by the Broadcasting Standards Act.
For his part, Henry says he has nothing to be sorry about and viewers expected him to speak his mind.
Alf isn’t surprised that the celebrity-obsessed news media would get in on the act.
He was surprised to read the remarks of Otago University Gender Studies head Annabel Cooper, who said Henry’s comments were “discourteous.”
“They should get grown-ups to host those shows.”
She said anything that appeared to blur the distinction between genders, including facial hair on a woman, caused a lot of social anxiety, explaining some of the responses.
Gender studies? Is good public money being pumped into gender studies at our universities?
That’s got to give scope for trimming tertiary education budgets as the Government trims its spending.
More bothersome, if social anxieties are so prone to being heightened by such trivia, won’t Cooper’s ill-considered advice be highly wounding to young people?