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For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Old Oct 12th 2010, 12:57 am
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Default For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Although the Maori are the "indigenous" New Zealanders, or at least a less recent arrival than the Europeans, how can New Zealand Kowtow to the Maori so much that they completely discriminate against women?

This, in my opinion, makes New Zealand look more like a land of witch doctors and bongo-bongo tribes than a westernised nation.

What do you guys think?

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LATEST: Wellington's Te Papa says it is advising pregnant or menstruating women against attending one of its tours "for their own safety."

An invitation for regional museum staff 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.

She said there was a belief that each taonga had its own wairua, or spirit, inside it.

"Pregnant women are sacred and the policy is in place to protect women from these objects."

Women who plan to attend the tour on November 5 are expected to be honest about whether they are pregnant or menstruating as a sign of respect to Maori beliefs.

Te Papa insists the request is not an outright ban.

"If there are pregnant women who want to go on the tour we don't stop them. But we do prefer they respect the belief." Keig said.

The policy is not in place for the general exhibition.

The email sent to regional museums offered women who were pregnant or menstruating the chance to go on the tour at another time.

Feminist blogger Bogannette said she was disgusted by the museum's stance.

"It's disgusting that in this day and age women can be told they're "forbidden" for menstruating or being pregnant. It's a completely archaic belief that is oppressive to all women."

She said she would encourage women who are pregnant and menstruating to attend the event.

"Are they going to check to see if a woman is menstruating? A belief that there is something wrong with women if they are menstruating or pregnant is ridiculous. "

"Te Papa is taxpayer funded. It's a public museum that is supposed to be inclusive of everyone. Religious and cultural beliefs should be ignored if they're going to insult or oppress women for any reason."

However, Margaret Mutu, head of Maori Studies at Auckland University, said women should not be offended by the request.

"The reproduction area is extremely powerful and can do damage to things that are not tapu. It's about the power of women, not about stopping them."

Mutu said the objects were obviously dangerous and the hapu they came from would have told the museum about how to treat them.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/new...f-Te-Papa-tour
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 1:32 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Shouldn’t imagine it would have been a popular exhibit anyway, they’ve done a few recently that I’ve felt compelled to see(John Constable and the Formula 1 exhibits where the last I went to! I feel dirty and uncultured suddenly).

Agreed with you however on the silliness of the warning.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 2:01 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

I guess that it's happening because it IS a westernised country and there is a western cultural tendency toward being liberal and respecting other peoples' beliefs.

I guess there is a chance that the staff risk offending religious sensibilities or feminist sensibilities depending which way they jump.

I think you're showing an anti bongo-bongo tendency by the way.

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Old Oct 12th 2010, 2:12 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Te Papa insists the request is not an outright ban.

"If there are pregnant women who want to go on the tour we don't stop them. But we do prefer they respect the belief." Keig said.

The policy is not in place for the general exhibition.


Sounds like you're totally overreacting to a gently-worded request about a different culture.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 2:56 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?



The policy is not in place for the general exhibition.

Why isn't the policy in place for all Taonga in it's collection & to protect all women , if it's an important enough issue for Te Papa to request this for a behind the scenes tour.

Nothing is mentioned about menstruating or pregnant women here. You'd think the belief would have appeared as a 'barrier'.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 3:22 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

It was only regional museum staff who were invited to the preview - not the general public. Also, as has already been said - it was only a request.
"If there are pregnant women who want to go on the tour we don't stop them. But we do prefer they respect the belief.
New Zealand (even though it is a secular country) values people's rights to freedom of speech, expression and religion. Many people supported that idiot Paul Henry's 'right' to say what he thought, yet I bet most of them are now slamming Maori for their freedom to express religious belief.

When we go abroad do we refuse to take our shoes off when visiting temples, or do women not cover their heads when entering shrines? do we not dress modestly when visiting Muslim countries?

Why should Maori beliefs be treated any different in New Zealand?

I just hope this 'ban' isn't just a cynical attempt to drum up interest in the exhibition - to get people to visit to see what all the fuss is about. Nothing like a bit of TVNZ-like controversy to get the ratings up is there?
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 3:24 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

[QUOTE=Expat Kiwi;8912231

I just hope this 'ban' isn't just a cynical attempt to drum up interest in the exhibition - to get people to visit to see what all the fuss is about. Nothing like a bit of TVNZ-like controversy to get the ratings up is there?[/QUOTE]

Now youre talking.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 5:45 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
Although the Maori are the "indigenous" New Zealanders, or at least a less recent arrival than the Europeans, how can New Zealand Kowtow to the Maori so much that they completely discriminate against women?

This, in my opinion, makes New Zealand look more like a land of witch doctors and bongo-bongo tribes than a westernised nation.

What do you guys think?

BB
It is rare that I get annoyed on here, but for flips sake.
If more time was spent looking outside your own little world you might find that you will learn something about how other people think. That means that you might not stick you foot quite so far into your mouth calling anywhere a 'bongo bongo nation'
And what is so special about being westernised anyway? It not like it has made the world a better place.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 8:07 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Ultimately all religions and belief systems are just beliefs. This doesn't mean that they're not real for those people involved, and thus I very strongly feel that their beliefs should be respected, regardless of what you think about it. After all, many Christian churches have signs requesting women to cover their shoulders etc before entering the church. Mosques ask people to remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering. Synagogues have separate sections for men and women. It's about respecting others' beliefs and culture, even if you don't share their beliefs or views.

I'm not Catholic, nor am I Muslim or Hindu. Still I have no problem respecting their traditions if I visit places that are sacred to them. I am also a hardcore feminist, but don't see this as a feminist issue at all. It's first and foremost a spiritual and cultural issue, and I feel they have every right to ask people to respect the beliefs of the culture that made the objects on display. They're only asking nicely, and it's up to you to decide whether you want to go there.

(Interestingly, menstruation and childbirth are so important spiritually for many Western churches that they have been used as reasons for banning women from priesthood. At least a pregnant woman is tapu for Maoris and not filthy or unclean... But that's another story...)
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 8:27 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

[QUOTE=Mgee;8912629] Still I have no problem respecting their traditions if I visit places that are sacred to them. I am also a hardcore feminist, but don't see this as a feminist issue at all. It's first and foremost a spiritual and cultural issue, and I feel they have every right to ask people to respect the beliefs of the culture that made the objects on display. They're only asking nicely, and it's up to you to decide whether you want to go there. [QUOTE]

As far as i understood we are not talking about sacred places but about an exhibition in a museum (which is probably paid for by tax payers money which includes money from menstruating and pregnant women).
BTW, I think it is funny how people accept discrimination against women in the name of religion but if the religion would say something like black people cannot enter our establishment everybody would be outraged.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 8:46 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

As far as i understood we are not talking about sacred places but about an exhibition in a museum (which is probably paid for by tax payers money which includes money from menstruating and pregnant women).
We are still talking about sacred objects used in sacred ceremonies -not about teacups and saucers. I'm fairly sure that most religions have rules on how such objects should be handled, and respecting someone's beliefs does, IMHO, require a certain level of respect towards the objects too.

As I said, they're only requesting politely, not barring anyone.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 9:27 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

FFS!
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 9:29 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Originally Posted by southerner View Post
FFS!

Would you care to elaborate.
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Old Oct 12th 2010, 10:02 am
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Smile Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Would you care to elaborate.
Very interesting, the responses to this. I was just so shocked by the article that I felt I had to share it. I honestly thought any ladies would be too and most guys.... guess I was wrong.

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Old Oct 12th 2010, 11:31 am
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Default Re: For an apparently westernised country - how can this be acceptable?

Originally Posted by Mgee View Post
We are still talking about sacred objects used in sacred ceremonies -not about teacups and saucers. I'm fairly sure that most religions have rules on how such objects should be handled, and respecting someone's beliefs does, IMHO, require a certain level of respect towards the objects too.

As I said, they're only requesting politely, not barring anyone.
Sorry, but to me that is not acceptable. I always wondered why we should show respect to religious people and their (sometimes hateful) attitudes towards others while non-religious people have to shut up and be nice, show respect, stay outside when requested etc.
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