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Gender Equity and Efstratiou v Glantschnig

© Peter Zohrab 2005

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This is a story about how Feminism is really Female Chauvinism. It is also a story about female lawyers. By extension, it is a story about how little hope a man has of justice in the Feminist-dominated legal system. And by extension from that, it is a story about how a man can expect Feminists in any job or position of power to discriminate against him if they can.

(N.B. Feminists do not need to be in a majority in order to dominate: Since Feminists are an organised group in the legal profession, with a shared (albeit vague) ideology, they can have a disproportionate effect on the culture of the profession. Having said that, I must point out that females are numerically dominant in law schools, so it is likely that they will soon, in fact, be a majority in the legal profession.)

The case of Efstratiou v Glantschnig ([1972] NZLR 596 (CA)) involved (in short) a wife successfully reversing the sale of the family home by her husband. He had sold it, while she was still living in it, when he came home from overseas to find her cheating on him in that house. He had not got her agreement to the sale.

The rights of the wife were based on her having paid half the deposit on the house -- since this occurred prior to any legislation on matrimonial or relationship property, she had no legal right to the house on paper. Her right was an equitable right, as opposed to a legal right. In other words, the legal right of the purchaser and registered owner were outweighed, in court, by the wife's rights in Equity. Legally, the wife did not have a leg to stand on, but she was held to have a property right in Equity.

As a student in a 2004 Property Law tutorial about this case, I raised an issue which I had heard/seen no one else (i.e. no participant in the case, lecturer, tutor, student, article or textbook) raise: One of the Maxims of Equity reads:

He or she who comes into equity must come with clean hands.

My point was that the wife's case was based on Equity. Therefore the Maxims of Equity applied. She had been cheating on her husband in the very house that she was coming into Equity to get back. Surely her cheating on her husband was a case of "dirty hands", which undermined her claim in Equity to the house ?

The tutor (a foreign, apparently non-Feminist woman) agreed with me, as did one male student -- but about three female students sitting opposite me immediately jumped down my throat. I beat them back (verbally).

Whether my argument was right or wrong, my point here is that their reaction, while similar to many Feminist reactions when I challenged Feminist positions in class, was not a reaction to a challenge to Feminist dogma. I cannot see any Feminist issue involved in what I had to say about this case. It was purely an issue of female solidarity vs male solidarity.

The one male student who had openly sided with me backed down and apologised when the three female students turned on him. And we had a different (female) tutor next time.

From that example -- and I have others -- of life in the raw at Law School, you can see that male law students (and indeed male law lecturers) are scared of Feminist students. Of course, such conflicts only occur when men dare to speak up -- and I have not come across one single male at Law School, other than myself, who had the inclination or courage to stand up to female bullying. I assume that male lawyers are also increasingly afraid of female lawyers and judges. It follows that the culture of the Law in New Zealand is increasingly one in which males (whether as lawyers, or as judges, or as parties) are oppressed. It is also my personal experience that Feminists in many professions -- to various extents -- use their professional power to oppress men and express their Female Chauvinism.

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Peter Douglas Zohrab

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27 July 2015

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