Gareth Morgan lashes out at 'femo-fascists'

Seconds after claiming he was a feminist, Gareth Morgan has railed against "femo-fascists" criticising his speech because he's a guy.

Appearing on The Nation's minor parties leaders' debate on Saturday, the Opportunities Party leader was asked by host Lisa Owen if he considered himself a feminist.

"Definitely, absolutely," he replied, before talking about "last week" - likely a reference to his use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" to describe Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Party.

Many took offence to the term, suggesting it was sexist because he wouldn't have used it to refer to a male leader.

"I say it and all the femo-fascists come out and say, 'You can't say it Gareth, because you're a guy. That's crap, man," he said on The Nation.

The other minor party leaders appearing in the debate all claimed to be feminists too.

"I'm the son of Titewhai Harawira; I'm the husband of Hilda Harawira; I'm the father of Te Whenua Harawira; and I'm the grandfather of Maioha Harawira," said Mana's Hone Harawira. "With all of that power around me, I am a positive and upstanding Māori gentleman."

"Absolutely," said ACT leader David Seymour. "But I'm the sort of feminist that says we should be making everyone equal - not dragging people down. Sometimes too much of feminism is about dragging men down. It should be about making people equal."

"I'm a feminist, and the ultimate form of feminism is that you can stay home and be a stay-home mum if you want, and that's okay," said the Māori Party's Marama Fox. "Women can rule the world, top or bottom."