Labour leader David Shearer has announced a new policy aimed at ensuring gender equality everywhere.
“The man ban furore got me thinking,” he said.
“The problem wasn’t that it was a step too far, it was that it was several strides too short.
“It’s not enough to ensure equal numbers of men and women in parliament, we need equal numbers everywhere.”
Mr Shearer said people had been focussing on areas where women are under-represented but no-one had paid any attention to areas where they were over-represented.
“It’s not just that there are not enough women in some occupations and callings, it’s that there are too many in others.
Mr Shearer said centuries of feminism have failed because it hasn’t gone far enough.
“It’s not enough to get women where they want to be. We have to get men where women are, whether they want to or not.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to redress the balance in endeavours which have a preponderance of men but none at all in ensuring we address the problem areas where there is a preponderance of women.
He said men are still a tiny minority in many occupations which have traditionally been regarded as women’s.
“How man men do you find in schools, pre-schools and child care centres? There are plenty of male doctors but not many male nurses and even fewer male midwives. How many men do you know who are receptionists, PAs, cleaners or tea ladies?
“And where there are men in those roles, they still face problems with acceptance and aspersions cast on their masculinity.
“What message does that send? It says that all of this is women’s work and therefore somehow less worthy and less valued than work which has traditionally been the preserve of men.
“If we want real equality and not just tokenism it’s not enough to get women doing men’s work, we’ve got to get men doing women’s work.
“We need to get men out of big rigs and into kindies. They’ll have to lay down their wrenches and pick up manicure sets, stop making the messes and start cleaning them up.”
“It’s the 21st century and there’s still too many people who discriminate between his work and hers. That won’t be solved by just getting women into roles which used to be regarded as man’s we’ve got to get men into positions that are still regarded as women’s.
Mr Shearer said he wasn’t suggesting the imposition of quotas but he’d be instructing his colleagues to hire only male PAs.
“We have to start somewhere and we must lead by example.
“I’m not anticipating any resistance to the idea but if there is I’ll just have to get out my inner bad arse.