You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Dr Pani Farvid, an Iranian-born psychologist at AUT, proudly told a women's election forum in Auckland last night that the Internet Party was "a feminist party".
"The urgent task of advocating genuine gender equality is one of our top priorities," she declared.
But she was cut short when a questioner, Daily Blog blogger Chloe King, asked how she reconciled her claim with a Twitter exchange on July 22 in which Kim Dotcom tweeted: "Hi, I'm Batman. I mean Bruce. Shit. **kills hooker**." He deleted the post the same day, explaining on Twitter that party leader Laila Harre had told him to.
Ms King said the joke was an example of "toxic masculinity" and "sexist language that feeds into rape culture and normalises violence against women".
Dr Farvid agreed, and said she had talked to Dotcom about the tweet.
"Kim is a product of our Western culture," she said. "He has an unfortunate sense of humour. When he does things that are inappropriate, I message him and say, 'Kim, that is not appropriate.'
"He is not perfect. He is not the party, he's the founder, but we are a feminist party. He has apologised himself, I'm not excusing him, that sort of thing is not OK, absolutely. He just doesn't know any better and he should."
She agreed with Ms King that New Zealanders needed to "change the way we raise boys" to teach all children that they could be "the person that you want to be", rather than having to fit into cultural roles of strong men or beautiful women.
Afterwards she said she joined the Internet Party because "in my 15 years of voting age it's the first party that actually wants to bring radical change".
"Sometimes we need someone like Kim to get rid of what we actually have," she said.
"We are educating him, but he is the product of a sexist culture which we need to remedy. He is completely open to being educated."
- By Simon Collins of the New Zealand Herald