Here’s a matter worthy of protest action – Te Papa’s advice to pregnant and menstruating women

October 12, 2010

Pregnant women shouldn't walk under ladders, either...

The mandarins who run our national museum have succumbed to superstition, although they tell us they are simply respecting somebody’s belief system.

They are advising pregnant or menstruating women against attending a Te Papa exhibit “for their own safety.”

An invitation for regional museums to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of some of Te Papa’s collections included the condition that “wahine who are either hapu [pregnant] or mate wahine [menstruating]” were unable to attend.

Te Papa spokeswoman Jane Keig said the policy was in place because of Maori beliefs surrounding the taonga Maori collection included in the tour.

“There are items within that collection that have been used in sacred rituals.

“That rule is in place with consideration for both the safety of the taonga and the women,” Keig said.

Oh yes. We can always come up with a credible-sounding rationale for a ridiculous rule.

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