The bullshit about Helen Clark’s supposed “sham marriage” that cropped up again with the release of Ian Wishart’s paranoid pot-boiler got me wondering why tories feel so strongly about it. That they do feel strongly about it is evidenced in these comments threads at Poneke and Kiwiblog. Here at No Minister, I’ve commented several times at the barrage of ugly shit from mentally disturbed commenters that often arrives when Fairfacts Media posts innuendo about Clark being gay, and I think it’s that abuse that indicates the origins of the right-wing obsession with Clark’s marriage.
Like Clark and Davis, my then-girlfriend and I “upgraded” our de facto marriage to an official one in the early 80s. Unlike Clark and Davis, I’ve yet to encounter anyone with the cajones to declare that we’re in a “sham” marriage, or a “marriage of convenience,” and can only suggest to anyone contemplating such an accusation that they’d better not try it to my face if they want to keep their teeth. After all, those of us like me and Helen Clark, who’ve clocked up a quarter-century of married life, with years of cohabitation before that, needn’t look kindly on some bunch of strangers shouting the odds about what kind of marriage we’ve got. I can only assume it’s the fact that being a Prime Minister carries some behavioural obligations with it that prevents Clark from giving the only answer these allegations deserve: “Fuck off.”
The official line from tories on this matter is that Clark is “misleading” the voters because she married to avoid putting off conservative Labour voters back in the early 80s. That’s bullshit – for one thing, she’s never concealed that’s why they made their marriage official, so it’s difficult to see where “misleading” comes into it. For another, no-one has given a shit for a good 15 years or more whether people living together are married or not, and yet Clark is still married. She was living with Davis before she married him, she’s still married to him long after anyone ceased to care about whether politicians are married or not, and yet right-wingers want to claim she’s in a “marriage of convenience” to “mislead voters.” No – that may be the official version, but not even you lot believe it.
The thing that’s really getting the right-wingers all worked up, of course, is that they think Clark and Davis are gay but pretending to be heterosexual. I find this one much more interesting, if just as offensive (hell, more offensive). So where does this come from? It’s not like there are photos of Clark with her face in another gal’s crotch, after all. So where, then? This is where we get a good look into the psyche of the right-wing ranters who fill comments threads with vile abuse whenever the subject comes up (which it does with regularity, right-wing bloggers being what they are). What makes Clark and Davis “gay” is that they don’t fit these guys’ (well hell, you almost always are, and you know it) view of what a “real man” and a “real woman” should be like. Well, too bad. For a lot of us, trampling all over your cherished stereotypes is a point of pride. I would dearly love to think that if you met me, I wouldn’t fit your view of what a “real man” should be like either.
Please feel free to go on with your "it's not the gay, it's the deceit" line. Just keep in mind that nobody believes you. But don’t worry about it too much, guys. When Key takes over, a real man with a properwife who knows her place, you can go back to feeling like the “right” people are running things. Until that day comes though, yeah, we have a PM that don’t play that shit - too bad, asshole.