Tagged: rape: it’s not fucking okay

Lani Wendt Young on rape culture in Samoa

Trigger warning for sincere victim-blaming and sarcastic discussion of rape.

I’m glad you have identified the cause of the sexual abuse epidemic because you’re so right – if more women were just honest about how much they enjoyed sex with their fathers/brothers/uncles/cousins/abusive-partners and how much they LOVED being forced to have it – then the horrifying rape statistics would virtually, magically disappear.

Read the whole thing here.

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A brief history of Chris Trotter, Waitakere Man, and John Tamihere

2005: John Tamihere interviewed in Investigate Magazine.

INVESTIGATE: What is the most powerful network in the Labour executive?

Tamihere:

The Labour Party Wimmins [sic] Division. Whether it’s bagging cops that strangle protestors they should be beating the proverbial out of, or – it’s about an anti-men agenda, that’s what I reckon. It’s about men’s values, men’s communication standards, men’s conduct.

I spoke to the boards and principals association in Wellington, and I showed them a picture of two girls with their fists clenched, standing on top of two young male students. The object of the exercise was to prove that once again the female students had romped home academically against all the boys. If the positions in the photo were reversed, all hell would break loose.

Where else in the world do Amazons rule?

In our constitutional base you could kill the Prime Minister – sure, there’s a deputy prime minister – but in the interregnum the second in charge is the Speaker. The Governor-General. If those three die you go to the Chief Justice, another woman.

I don’t mind front-bums being promoted, but just because they are [women] shouldn’t be the issue. They’ve won that war. It’s just like the Maori – the Maori have won, why don’t they just get on with the bloody job. I think it becomes more grasping.

Other comments include “I’m sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed”.  Tamihere loses his seat in the 2005 election to Dr Pita Sharples and goes on to host a talkback show on Radio Live.

2009: Chris Trotter coins the term “Waitakere Man” in a post urging Labour to return to its working-class roots.

To win in 2008, National had to break Labour’s grip on the mixed metropolitan suburbs.
The voter escorting National to its First Term Ball turned out to be the sort of bloke who spends Saturday afternoon knocking-back a few beers on the deck he’d built himself, and Saturday evening watching footy with his mates on the massive flat-screen plasma-TV he’s still paying-off.
His missus works part-time to help out with the mortgage, and to keep their school-age offspring in cell-phones and computer games.
National’s partner – let’s call him Waitakere Man – has a trade certificate that earns him much more than most university degrees. He’s nothing but contempt for “smart-arse intellectual bastards spouting politically-correct bullshit”.
On racial issues he’s conflicted. Some of his best friends really are Maori – and he usually agrees with the things John Tamihere says on Radio Live.
National was getting two (or more) votes for the price of one. Sometimes Waitakere Man brought with him the votes of his mother, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces as well. How had Clark forfeited the trust of Waitakere Woman?
What broke their connection with Clark was the anti-smacking legislation. They felt affronted – as if their parenting skills had been weighed in the balance of the Prime Minister’s conscience and found wanting. Clark, who had no children, was telling them how to raise their kids. She seemed to be passing judgement on their whole family – turning them into criminals. They felt betrayed.
Waitakere Woman’s sense of betrayal, combined with the ingrained misogyny and cultural diffidence of Waitakere Man, was what got National onto the dance floor in 2008. Key should read both Rodney Hide’s intransigence on Maori representation, and the recent Referendum’s unequivocal result, as timely reminders of the price of his party’s admission.
When the band begins to play, Waitakere Man and Waitakere Woman must not be left standing.

2010: Chris Trotter revisits “Waitakere Man” in a post criticising the Labour Party for selecting Carmel Sepuloni for the seat of Waitakere.

In making this decision it has not only chosen wrongly, but it has also dealt what may prove to be a fatal blow to the career of one of its more talented MPs, Phil Twyford.
“Waitakere Man/Woman” is the key to Labour’s recovery.
…[quotes previous post on Waitakere Man]…
Carmel Sepuloni’s going to win back those voters?
Yeah, right.

Following a judicial recount, Sepuloni misses out on the seat by nine votes and was not returned to Parliament due to her placing at 24th on the party list.  Phil Twyford returned to Parliament after winning the seat of Te Atatū.

2012:  Chris Trotter identifies John Tamihere as the “avatar” of Waitakere Man.

Mulling over the Labour Party’s decision to re-admit John Tamihere to its ranks, I’m beginning to understand how Dr Frankenstein felt. “Waitakere Man” – the monster I created more than three years ago on the pages of The Independent Business Weekly – has not only gone its own way, it’s acquired a powerful, new, flesh-and-blood political avatar.

Waitakere Man proved troublesome from the moment he emerged from my computer keyboard. Many people believed he was myavatar. They charged me with counselling the Labour Party to embrace this bigoted blowhard and tailor its policies to suit his prejudices. Not true. My intent was only ever to make Labour aware of Waitakere Man’s existence.

It seems that Phil Goff has coincidentally started following Trotter’s advice, but Trotter, ever the voice of wisdom, warns:

When, inevitably, [Waitakere Man] brings his knee up between progressive Labour’s legs, let no one who voted for Mr Tamihere’s re-admission feign either horror or surprise.

August 2013: Chris Trotter theorises Tamihere will run for Waitakere under New Zealand First, and win.

But, if Tamihere (JT) runs, it won’t be in Labour red. Though the party eventually agreed to accept his 2012 membership application, the word in Labour circles is that a Tamihere candidacy in Waitakere would be approved only over the dead bodies of the party’s women’s and LGBTI sector groups.

That the very attitudes and values that produce such an allergic reaction among Labour’s social liberals and identity politicians might also be the attitudes and values of the average Waitakere voter, is as neat a summation of Labour’s dilemma as one is likely to find in the topsy-turvy context of contemporary electoral politics.

By recruiting JT to the NZ First cause and putting him up in Waitakere against both Paula Bennett and whoever Labour chooses (probably Carmel Sepuloni) Peters could grow the overall NZ First Party Vote by as much as 2-3 percent. On election night that could mean a NZ First tally of 8-10 percent – rather than the 6-8 percent it is currently anticipating.

Trotter also refers to Paula Bennett as “oozing BBW appeal”.

5 November 2013:  Following media exposure of the “Roast Busters” rape club, John Tamihere and Willie Jackson bully a rape survivor on their talkback show.  [Post by Giovanni Tiso featuring transcript of the questions asked]

Tell me this, how old are you?

How did your parents consent to you going out as a 14-year-old til 3am in the morning?

So anyway you fibbed, lied, whatever, and went out to the parties –­ did you not know they were up to this mischief?

Well, you know when you were going to parties, were you forced to drink?

Don’t youse [sic] know what these guys are up to?

Yeah but girls shouldn’t be drinking anyway, should they?

6 November 2013: Danyl Mclauchlan posts on the Roast Busters/John Tamihere issue.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in and around this instantly-infamous Radio Live clip …

… Finally, there’s a huge amount of affection for Tamihere amongst the Trotterist factions of the Labour Party. People like Mike Williams and Josie Pagani feel JT’s well-documented pathological contempt for woman would be an electoral asset among blue-collar male voters, and David Shearer gushed that he’d be an amazing Minister for Social Development. The core tenet of Trotterism is that identity politics isn’t important, and if that faction in the party had its way they’d have a welfare spokesman who thinks that young girls who drink alcohol deserve to be gang-raped. So let me say again that Tamihere would be a poor choice for that role, and that, like Shane Jones he is basically un-electable, and that people in the Labour Party should stop promoting these weird, creepy misogynists. 

Chris Trotter responds:

I’d exercise a little caution if I were you, Danyl.

8 November, 2013:  Josie Pagani (whose views on these issues would have to be the subject of a separate post) posts at Pundit on the issue.

I am disgusted with the attitudes of Willie and JT … But I don’t support banning them from radio. The painful, ugly truth about the attitudes of Willie and JT is that they are shared by tens of thousands of men who think women should take responsibility for not being raped.

Willie and JT’s job is to discuss stuff. You don’t fix their faulty attitude by telling the part of our community who think they have a point, that it should not have a voice. You deal with it by argument.

Because where do you end up if you get banned for expression? You end up like the pathological blogger Dimpost, who effectively attributes blame to me for the words and attitudes of Willie & JT.

It goes something like this – I have previously spoken out in support of Willie and JT, as politicians with something to contribute to the community. Therefore, I am responsible for everything JT says (and therefore the inference is that I agree with everything he says).

How perverse do you have to be to implicate a woman in the anti-woman views expressed on radio? What is really happening here is that he is trying to silence me (and others) because he disagrees with me about other political issues. This is where you end up when you try to have Willie and JT removed from the radio – banning people you disagree with, not just those who hold offensive views.

And Chris Trotter responds in comments:

Danyl McLaughlin’s [sic] association of Josie and myself with the behaviour of the Roastbusters and their defenders – based on nothing more substantial than that we share a political analysis with which he disaggrees – marks a new low for his blog. Perhaps you should ask yourself whether Danyl’s compulsion to denounce, denigrate and distress those by whom he feels threatened makes him more, or less, like the Roastbusters he purports to abhor?

The TLDR of all of this:  Chris Trotter has repeatedly made it clear that he thinks there is a “Waitakere Man” archetype of NZ voter who is a narrow-minded white dude who likes, and is even embodied by (except for the whiteness, obviously) John Tamihere.  Chris Trotter has repeatedly urged the Labour Party to appeal to this archetype – though always in every-so-slightly cagey terms like “dance partner”.  Which makes it very convenient, when Tamihere is an abusive fuck to rape victims, for Trotter to distance himself from the whole situation and paint himself as the victim.

You don’t get to constantly grind down identity politics and put your view of working-class (or is it self-employed?)/lower-middle-class men on a pedestal, then complain when the obvious misogyny and bullying behaviour which comes with that archetype explodes into the public view.

Here endeth the lesson.

Homework: consider the idea, posited by The Egonomist and others, that the promotion of a particular type of bigoted redneck thinking is identity politics – and the reason we don’t recognise this is because some identities get to be “normal” and not “other”.

A very important contribution to our current discussion of rape culture

This comment is just so important, so original and such a game-changer that I wanted it to have its own space:

This isn’t going to go over well, so you might as well get angry before I even get to my point. As a male the problem I have with feminism is that the word and the attitudes of many who self identify with it implies elevating females and female causes above males. There are plenty of doucebag males and cowed females, and that’s societies stereotypical fantasy of New Zealand, but in my experience there are just as many, if not more, dominant and even douchey females and cowed males. I’m all for equality and fairness, and I’d love to see any systemic gender inequalities New Zealand still has corrected, but there are inequalities in both directions and I cannot believe that any equality can be brought about by promoting one gender/race/religion/sexual orientation/etc over any other.

Oh, Anon.  I’m so sad that you think so little of me.  How could I possibly get angry with such a thoughtful, insightful comment?  Truly, when our nation is experiencing a cultural shift around our treatment of sexual assault survivors, when we’re having serious conversations about victim-blaming and power structures which allow rapists to walk free …

Wow.  You’re so right.  What we should really be talking about is how some mean feminist women don’t give you a boner.

I ‘m not mad, Anon.  You’ve opened my eyes, man.  This is a whole new day in the life of Queen of Thorns, and I shall go forward and feminist no more.

Thank you for educating me about the real nature of feminism.

May I do you a favour in return?  I feel like we’re really friends now.  We’re on the same level, you know?  And I want to help you like you’ve helped me.

Maybe you – and every other person who has, in the past week, made comments like “let’s remember we have to be anti-rape, not anti-men!” or “it’s unfair to act like all men are scary rapists” or “freedom of speech!” – could take some time out and ponder the following questions:

  • When people are discussing rape culture, why is your first response to downplay it?
  • When we are faced with a very real case of a gang of rapists preying on young women, why is your first response to start talking about mean women who “cow” men?
  • Do you think you’re just terrified of having to act like a grown-up when negotiating sex with a partner, instead of relying on alcohol and peer pressure to get your wick dipped?
  • Or do you not want your previous sexual partners to start feeling more comfortable using the r-word to describe your coercive, abusive behaviours?

This might not go over well with you, but don’t get angry, I’m just expressing my problem with rape-excusing women-hating doucebags [sic].

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.

THAT story

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

So.  I don’t really have words, right now.  I have a lot of SHITFUCKING SWEAR WORDS but they don’t add up to anything incoherent.  My whole body is tensed with anger.

There’s this latest revelation, from 3 News, that Police did have a fucking complaint and they asked her – a 13-year-old – to re-enact the fucking assault with FUCKING DOLLS.  And Willie Jackson and John Tamihere are officially scum.  And I’m going to be fucking angry about this forever.

If you want to call out RadioLive’s advertisers, Giovanni did the hard yards and has listed them on Twitter:

And the wonderful Ally Garrett has a post at The Wireless about self-care.  May I also offer zooborns.com as a great online source of happy feelings.

I’m taking some comfort in the fact that yes, there are the detractors and the victim-blamers and the fucking scumbags who must literally be okay with rape and sexual coercion – but this week we’ve seen a lot more pushback from the side of good, and a lot more people taking that side instead of brushing off the issue.

I’m going to hold on to that.

Fuck off, Bob Jones, and everyone else: stop reading the Herald

[Trigger warning for rape and rape apologism]

I wanted to write some satire, but I just don’t have the spoons.  I don’t have the sheer mental energy to snark Bob fucking Jones, someone who is only considered relevant because of modern capitalism’s irrational belief that having money means your opinion is worth listening to.

I just can’t deal with a major newspaper printing an article which so perfectly encapsulated rape culture that, were it written by anyone else, would have been assumed to be taking the piss.

Bob Jones has hurt people with this column.  Bob Jones has re-victimised people who have survived rape.  Bob Jones has basically taken a giant shit on everyone who has been attacked, no matter where or when or how it happened.

Bob Jones has, in a few hundred words, probably obstructed the course of justice, because there’s got to be at least one survivor out there who saw it and was convinced they could never tell anyone because they’d just be told it was their fault.

And the New Zealand Herald has enabled this.  It has happily published an attack on all rape victims, and all women, in order to generate pageviews.

Even when the circumstances of someone’s rape are absolutely “legitimate” – it was a stranger, it was during the day, you were wearing a refrigerator box with eyeholes cut into the front – survivors know that whoever they tell, the odds are very, very good that the response won’t be “that’s so fucking terrible, how can I help?”, it will be “But why did you … why didn’t you … what were you …?”

Bob Jones wants you to believe that he’s just being the voice of reason, the rational one, the dude who just tells it like it is.  But Bob Jones is actually the voice that tells rape survivors – even survivors of the perfect, legitimate rape – to sit down and shut up and never tell anyone because you won’t be believed and you must have done something to cause it.

And he does it, and the Herald publishes it, for pageviews.

Do you think it’s more evil if he really believes what he’s saying, or not?

~

Highly-recommended reading on Bob “strangely desperate to deny that certain things count as rape” Jones’ antics:

Marama Davidson

Diane Revoluta

Tallulah Spankhead at The Lady Garden

Nat Dudley (Dropbox link)

Thomas Lumley at StatsChat

Rape Crisis Dunedin

[Daily Blog reposts] Rape culture: we’re living in it

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 7 March 2013.

What is rape culture?

If you ask people who are scared of feminism and radical concepts like “equality”, it’s all a big lie, it’s a conspiracy theory, it’s a meaningless jargon term which we women throw around to justify our seething hatred of all men.

If you ask me, I’ll steal a handy definition from Tumblr and say it’s

a term that describes a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence.

But what does that mean in real life?

It’s Seth MacFarlane making jokes about seeing famous actress’ breasts on screen – while referencing tragic, violent movies featuring brutal rape scenes.

It’s the constant use of passive language when the media reports rapes, or downright describing rape as “sex”, even “consensual sex” – often disclaiming, “oh, but legally, the suspect hasn’t been convicted of rape” – when no one has a problem reporting that a murder victim has been murdered.

It’s women living lives, if not of fear, then of wariness, because it could happen to you – and it’s almost certainly happened to your friends and loved ones – and even when it hasn’t happened, you know you’ve been close.

It’s not being able to assume that any man you meet or talk to or invite into your home isn’t Schrodinger’s Rapist.

It’s talking about our lived experiences and being told we’re being silly, or self-centred (because sexual harassment and sexual assault are compliments) or lying.

You want cold hard facts?  Like Coley said,

1 in 4 women in New Zealand will experience unwanted and distressing sexual contact in her lifetime. Yet our Government has consistently failed to fund services which help survivors and their communities. Last year, this went so far as Wellington Rape Crisis needing to accept funding from famously feminist Hell’s Pizza to stay afloat.

That’s what rape culture is.  And once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.

The first step in fighting rape culture is acknowledging it exists.  The second is pointing it out so others are forced to see it.  The third … I’ll figure out once we get people even to step one.

I know this post won’t end rape.  But maybe it’ll pull another thread out of the rape culture tapestry.  Maybe it’ll mean one rape joke at the water cooler gets called out.   Maybe it’ll stop one “friend” making light of an assault.  Maybe it’ll make one guy think twice about how hilarious it is the way his buddy always hits on the really drunk girls.

If I didn’t believe that, I’d have to lock myself in a small room for the rest of my life.

Anti-abortion logic in a nutshell

Spotted on Tumblr, not linking because I don’t want to single out the person:

One of the many reasons I have found that pro choice supporters use as a reason for abortion is in the cases of rape or a baby that will have medical problems, for example Down’s Syndrome. But in fact rape only accounts for less than 1% of the reasons why people have abortions. As for medical difficulties I ask you this, who are we to judge who lives and who dies? How sad is it that we seem to think only those who are ‘perfect’ can positively contribute to society?  Also the my body, my choice argument.  Yes, your body it your body, but the unborn baby inside you isn’t.  In my personal opinion if you are willing to consent to sex, then you are also consenting to the possibility of a baby. Even for those born with sever difficulties, they can still have a positive impact and effect on those who they come into contact with, even of that is just for them to appreciate what they have.

Let’s unpack this!

Rape

But in fact rape only accounts for less than 1% of the reasons why people have abortions.

If it accounted for 2%, anti-choicers would be totally okay with abortion.  Just kidding!

“Medical difficulties”

As for medical difficulties I ask you this, who are we to judge who lives and who dies?

And you thought I was kidding when I said anti-choicers would prefer pregnant people to die.  Yes, the specific context is talking about “foetal medical problems”, but come on, it’s just so perfect.

Biology

Also the my body, my choice argument.  Yes, your body it your body, but the unborn baby inside you isn’t.

Yet it demands the use of my blood and oxygen.  All I’m doing is cutting off its supply.  It’s like tough love.  Surely we can just expect the foetus to pull itself up by its own bootstraps?

Rape again

In my personal opinion if you are willing to consent to sex, then you are also consenting to the possibility of a baby.

See, dear antichoicer, this is why prochoicers talk about abortion in cases of rape.  Because even the densest, most wilfully-ignorant sex-negative fundy has to acknowledge (okay, some of them don’t) that not all procreative intercourse is consensual.

Disability porn

How sad is it that we seem to think only those who are ‘perfect’ can positively contribute to society?  … Even for those born with sever difficulties, they can still have a positive impact and effect on those who they come into contact with, even of that is just for them to appreciate what they have.

Now, the issue of abortion in the case of disability is gigantically complex, and I’m not going to pithily sum it up here ’cause that would be gross.  What I want to highlight, though, is the antichoicer’s attitude:  even the most fucked-up person can still ~inspire~ the able-bodied to ~appreciate what they have~, so who cares about that person’s own experience or point of view, right?

The antichoice movement, people:  it really, really, really is all about controlling pregnant people’s bodies and letting them die if it tightens that control.  Otherwise I’m pretty sure I would have seen a coherent, internally-consistent argument in its favour by now.

Random recommended reading: Steubenville roundup

I’m seriously glad that the outrage and discussion around the Steubenville case is continuing – because often these stories are just a “oh shit, look at this terrible thing” and then next week it’s back to “did you see what happened on Celebrity Apprentice?”

The Belle Jar: I am not your wife, sister or daughter.  I am a person

Melissa Harris-Perry’s open letter to the Steubenville survivor

Jim C Hines on Steubenville’s Promising Young Rapists

Laurie Penny on Steubenville as “rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment”

Accidental Devotional on The Day I Taught How Not to Rape

Rant against the random: So you’re tired of hearing about rape culture?

This is rape culture: Steubenville verdict

[Trigger warning: rape, rape culture, victim-blaming]

I was honestly surprised to learn that two of the boys heroes football players men charged in the Steubenville rape case had been convicted (albeit sentenced to paltry terms with the possibility of serving longer).

I was honestly completely unsurprised to read posts about the response to this.  Including CNN acting like the real problem was that two promising football careers had been destroyed, people tweeting that the men involved “did what most people in their situation would have done“, that one of the rapists felt the need to apologise for taking pictures and distributing them because “that never should have happened” … but not for actually assaulting her in the first place.  Doesn’t that sound a little “sorry I got caught” to you?

I was pleasantly surprised to see Serious Mainstream Media Sources acknowledge that this is rape culture, and that it’s linked to jock/bloke culture, and that it’s not an inherent, natural phenomenon.  (It’s not perfect but it’s a start.)

So there’s some hope there.

Rape culture taught these young men that because they were on the football team, they were faultless – and their coach would “fix” anything that happened.  Rape culture taught these young men that an unconscious woman’s body was theirs to penetrate.  Rape culture taught these young men that they had the right to bargain and plead with their victim because their football careers were more important than acknowledging they violated her.  Rape culture means they were tried as juveniles.  Rape culture means that even with public video evidence of what happened, their lawyers let them plead not guilty.

Rape culture means that even when it is unequivocally rape – because even a court of law has said so – people will defend these men on Twitter because “they did what most people in their situation would have done.”

Want more? Manboobz is covering the victim-blaming on Twitter.  Black Girl Dangerous has a thought-provoking post on why you can feel sorry for Mays and Richmond … but for different reasons.  Two more Steubenville teens (young women) have now been arrested for menacing the victim.  Mmmm, delicious culture.

Rape Culture 101.  I suggest you read it before commenting.