An Auckland barrister and solicitor has been criticised for a quote he used to invite people to an event.
Gregory Thwaite, the Auckland chair of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA), included the quote “the best party has women with a past and young men with a future” while inviting people to an annual dinner of the organisation at the Wellington Club, according to Stuff.
NZIIA executive director Maty Nikkhou-O'Brien said that the institute has asked Thwaite to retract the quote. “Gregory Thwaite made his comment in a personal capacity which in no way reflects the position of the Institute. Indeed, the Institute abhors sexism in all shapes and forms,” she said.
In a response to the publication, Thwaite said that in the modern world, the quote recognises the achievement of many women in middle age.
“Further, women occur in a pairing, with younger men with ambition. The linkage suggests the desirability of mentoring between an older woman and a younger man. A reversal of the traditional relationship,” he said.
“Given various female networks that encourage young women, they seem better supported than young men. For example, they appear to be the majority in Law School. The publicity for the quotation may be a ‘wake-up call’ to slipping educational and career aspirations of young men,” he said.
He continued that older men might resent that their past achievements are ignored in the quotation.
“Perhaps, older men are due more recognition for their achievements. The recent Ministerial suggestion that older men resign from company boards may reflect the ingratitude of the times,” he said.
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