We’re having a discussion about rape culture

Massive content warnings for rape, rape apologism, and police rape culture.

What has happened in the Waitematā police district is fucking awful.  And it’s fucked up a lot of people’s lives (please note: not referring to the perpetrators or their media supporters.  Fuck right off with that shit.)

I have to take heart from the fact that, even though there are still apologists everywhere, and even though media outlets like RadioLive keep perpetuating rape culture for the ratings … this conversation is so much less terrible than it has been in the past.  There have been cases in the past – the trial of Louise Nicholas (and yes, that’s deliberate phrasing) is the one which springs to mind first – where the voices demanding that we take survivors seriously and stop making excuses for rapists were lonely ones.  It was just the feminists, just the rape crisis organisations, just the people with a “stake” in the matter.

Today, Matthew fucking Hooton went on RadioLive and explained that young men presented with vulnerable, drunk young women have one course of action, and that’s get them home safely, you douchebags.  And I can have all kinds of cynical feelings about this – the man is a walking brand statement, not an idealist of any stripe – but it was still huge.

The conversation has shifted.  We haven’t won, but fuck we’ve made progress.

Here are more of my favourite voices.

Tove recalls her own experiences with the police and rape culture – including abusive police informant Rob Gilchrist.

Julie Fairey on rape culture and how to raise boys, not [rapists].

A guest poster at The Ruminator recounts their own experience of rape.

Joshua Drummond has a great column in the Waikato Times.

If you want some black humour, No Right Turn covers just how quickly the police will respond if they’re the targets.

And this post of mine on police recruitment campaigns has seen a bit of traffic recently.


  1. Pingback: Perhaps a positive? | The Ivory Tower
  2. weka

    “The conversation has shifted. We haven’t won, but fuck we’ve made progress.”

    Ae. I think we are witnessing a true sea change. I’m glad you are noticing this too, because it’s been a hard week, and there’s not really any way to celebrate this yet, and there hasn’t even been time to talk about this aspect of it so much. But I keep wanting to say to people, do you have any idea what this conversation was like 10, 20, 30 years ago?

    I’ve been mostly on the standard this week, and the number of people who already get what rape culture is is actually quite moving. I might say something over there at some point, and it might even be too soon to say it here, but I feel relief. It’s not like we don’t still have a long way to go, but I feel good about NZ as a nation and I don’t get to feel that very often. I think we actually got it right this week.

  3. Rhinocrates

    I have to disagree with you about Hooton. It was pure calculation on his part. He saw an opportunity for a stunt and took it. I don’t believe for a moment that he cares in the slightest.

    • QoT

      It’s absolutely a stunt, I agree. He may also actually agree with what he said.

      The thing I take from it is that you can either read it at surface-level as an excellent condemnation of victim blaming (and as much as it sucks, it is important for privileged men to make those statements publicly) OR you can look at it as a calculated stunt – which still means that we’re at a point in our society where someone whose whole brand relies on being the mainstream voice of reason LOUDLY CONDEMNS RAPE CULTURE.

      So either way it’s good.