Category Archives: News

The category name is pretty self-explanatory isn’t it? Sometimes we comment on current affairs.

Roast Busters, Rape and the People Who Victim Blame.

I wasn’t going to broach the subject here, because Lord knows I’ve exhausted the topic enough on twitter, however the more tweets I come across of people blatantly slut-shaming and victim-blaming the more I wanted to make a quick post about the nasty vindictive attitudes these people have in regards to rape, rapists and victims.

Now don’t get me wrong, the overwhelming general public reaction, once the story broke, to the Roast Busters has generally been that of outrage. However there continues to be an alarming amount of people (we’re looking at you RadioLive’s Willie Jackson and John Tamihere) choosing to slut-shame and victim-blame the girls, with others even defending the Roast Busters’ actions.

It’s bad enough that the Police handled the situation rather poorly, having made no convictions despite three informal complaints and even a formal complaint made two years ago by a, then, 13-year-old.

It’s bad enough that these girls were raped (because that’s what it was) and then shamed on a social media site.

It’s bad enough that these boys thought that what they were doing was alright and even had other people think the same, painting their abhorrent behavior as that of ‘boys being boys who need to grow up’ or overlooking it altogether.

But to then flip it around and blame the girls for the abuse inflicted upon them? No. It’s not okay to then make statements implying that these girls should have known what they were in for. It is not okay to say that what occurred to them was their own fault for being where they were and acting a certain way as to encourage the perpetrators- completely ignoring the fact that girls as young as 13 were exploited, violated and humiliated.

It’s not okay, it’s deplorable.

Trigger Warning: The following Victim Blaming/Slut Shaming/Rape Apologia will contain stupid to the 10th degree and will make you question your faith in human decency.
I came across people who asserted that the girls shouldn’t have been going out and drinking at 13 anyways, that they were garden tools who cried rape after the fact and that the boys shouldn’t be blamed for their actions.

  • Get drunk? Expect rape. Because, why are you even out of the house?

drinkgetrapedwhywere13yroldsout

drinkandexpectrape

  • The girls ‘claimed rape’ / ‘played the victim card’ afterwards once they were named and shamed on facebook. Because, garden tools.

hoesmad

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 1.23.50 am

claimrapevictimcard

  • Is rape hilarious?

roastbusterfunny

  • Roast Busters’ actions weren’t illegal because the girls followed them, the girls ‘put themselves in that situation’. It’s not rape, it was consensual sex between a Roast Buster and an intoxicated and often underage girl. So, these guys are ‘innocent until proven guilty’. If you agree at all with these statements then you, and the people below who do, should have a read of the Laws regarding rape, and consent to sex, in New Zealand. I’ve picked out the pertinent sections for clarification.
128A Allowing sexual activity does not amount to consent in some circumstances
  • “(1) A person does not consent to sexual activity just because he or she does not protest or offer physical resistance to the activity.
  • “(4) A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is so affected by alcohol or some other drug that he or she cannot consent or refuse to consent to the activity.
134 Sexual conduct with young person under 16
  • “(1) Every one who has sexual connection with a young person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

     In this section,—

    • “(a) young person means a person under the age of 16 years

aintrapeIFroastbustersinnocentnocomplaintnoraperapistsntguilty

The ignorance doesn’t just perpetuate rape culture, it informs the way these crimes are investigated and more importantly how the victims are treated and viewed both by those around them and by authority figures (looking at you investigating officer who advised a 13-year-old that she shouldn’t have gone out in clothes that basically ‘asked for it’). The thoughts and views of a select few I’ve come across on twitter and facebook indicates why too many rapes go unreported.

What does victim blaming promote, other than the idea that a person is at fault for something someone else does to them? Despite the ignoramus group I’m referring to, the overall sentiments from the public make me slightly optimistic for the future. I’m looking at you, companies who’ve pulled their ads from Willie and JT’s RadioLive show. Because no matter the circumstances, rape is rape and it’s never okay. People shouldn’t be taught ways in which to avoid getting raped, instead everyone should be taught to respect each other as human beings and to not rape. 

– Mata

Spare us from Brain-Clogging Misogynistic Drones

Two days ago, sitting at my desk somewhere in Auckland, I decided to check my tweets. Scrolling through my entertaining, heavily trafficked, Twitter timeline there were a few tweets that caught my eye, hilarious comments about life, informative tweets about current affairs, the odd retweeted misogynistic joke which made me furrow my brow, and then there was a tweet or two about a columnist named Bob Jones.

At the time I did not give any thought to the correlation between the last two things. In fact, I thought nothing of it. I had to sign out as I was a guest speaker in the lunchroom about the importance of having reading material or a friend to talk to during your break, afterwards I regaled a colleague about my tweets, leaving out my Twitter-handle for obvious reasons.

At the time I was voicing my dislike for the stupidity of misogynistic parody accounts and the lack of originality prevalent in ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen’ jokes. My colleague called over another colleague, a male, to join in the debate but he interrupted and told me my topic of conversation was actually blowing up on the New Zealand Twitter scene as a column posted by a Mr Bob Jones was currently being criticised for its rather mind-numbing misogyny. “Excellent! Let’s pull up your timeline, then,” I urged, and, unsurprisingly, both colleagues concurred.

Accordingly we read the Bob Jones hashtag and many tweets from irate users, both male and female, in regards to Mr Jones’ NZH column made me exceedingly curious.

https://twitter.com/LowScoreAttack/status/392428703260499968

I read the post in question, the title itself was enough to set off alarm bells, and it wasn’t until he really got into the ‘unintended consequences’ of replacing traffic lights with roundabouts that things became and remained chaotic. His misogynistic tirade describing the unanticipated ‘women problem’ caused what could only be likened to a brain embolism.

The problem, with Bob Jones and his crippling misogyny, isn’t new. In fact, about one hundred per cent of his columns are filled to the brim with gender, and sometimes racial, stereotyping, sexist jokes and self-appreciation all written with the conviction of a privileged white-male, causing multiple embolisms in the brains of intelligent people who happen across his columns.

This isn’t an attack on the man, rather his narrow-minded, antiquated, views on women, life and the world. It’s an attack on the fact that he thought it okay to state that while he ‘normally doesn’t condone police violence’ he’d make an exception for women drivers and that the police would be doing ‘God’s work’ by going to the homes of the women complaining about the speed with which he drove (in order to surpass the incompetent women drivers driving slowly in his overpriced vehicle) and ‘beating the crap out of them and burning their houses down’. It is a condemnation of his constant perpetuation of misogynistic ideals.

If we were to complete a two-question ‘tick the box’ form, after reading a Bob Jones opinion piece, what would the two questions be? The first would no-doubt be a question of whether or not the piece offended you and why, with options ranging from ‘yes, because this is the most ridiculous piece of trash I’ve ever read’ to ‘yes, please tell this man that the year is 2013 and not 1913’ with everyone ticking each box, even the one that says ‘yes, but who is Bob Jones?’ The second question would be related to age, and there will be one answer, ‘you’re not too old to learn new tricks’ namely how to not be sexist.

To overcome the pain in my brain from reading too many Bob Jones articles I read more tweets about Bob Jones (#BobJones) and the following pieces by what I am assured (only by the sheer fact that they are not Bob Jones) are decent human beings.

This following tweet may be my favourite.

The Price of a Kidney.

Tonight, or last night as I note that it is now five minutes to two in the morning, I watched TV3’s 3rd Degree presents The Vote and even participated in the debate. Texting in was free, take that X Factor NZ. The subject being something a few of us will most definitely encounter, if not in our own lives than at least through someone we know or people we encounter:

‘Our kids – The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting. Do you agree?’

I voted no, by the way, going against the grain it would seem. Poverty plays a huge role in ensuring that the lives of children in this country, and anywhere abuse/malnutrition is a prevalent issue, is sub-par. However it would appear that most of whoever was voting on all of the platforms offered by the show believe that the problem does in fact stem from bad parenting. I may have voted against the idea that parenting is the problem for reasons like a parent’s inability to provide the bare minimum for their children if they don’t have the means, however to be honest I’m of the mind that it’s a mixture of both. A parent, drowning in poverty, can’t completely focus their energy on their child alone when they’ve got to figure out how to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and the electricity going. It would seem so easy to say things like ‘it’s down to the parents to be good parents and prioritise’ when you don’t have to wonder each week whether you’re going to have enough money to pay the bills. Like Celia Lashlie pointed out ‘the only people who say it’s not about the money are the people who have money.’

Poverty is the state of being extremely poor, or the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount. Now although this definition pertains to the party in question’s financial situation I can’t help but start to wonder at what point, for a person living in squalor, does it go from being the state of being inferior in quality to just being inferior. It’s no secret that no one wants to feel inferior, however when you’re unable to financially provide certain amenities for your family, or you’re part of a family that seems to perpetually be stuck in the poverty rut, you start to feel that you’ve become your financial problems. That is to say that you begin to believe the root of it all is you, and that’s what blaming it on the parents seem to perpetuate.

I understand the argument that some parents are spending the little money they happen to get on stupid, selfish, things like cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. But that’s because it’s more than just bad parenting, or poverty, it’s an amalgamation of both! A cycle, even. Poverty breeds ignorance that leads to bad parenting, which leads to poverty, that often leads to making desperate choices that are in conflict with what constitutes being a good parent and these decisions impact the next generation who grow up in poverty and so on and so forth. Those who voted for bad parenting can’t honestly expect us to believe that in order to make things right you have to treat everyone the same and just teach the parents to be better with what they have. Because you can’t honestly say that people living in poverty have the same opportunities as those who are not.

Now in saying this, does anyone know how one goes about selling a kidney on the black market? You laugh, but if you’ve managed to read all the way down to this here last paragraph I would wager you have the mental dexterity and endurance of someone who knows how to get out of a tight jam. A financial jam. Yes, staying topical! Seriously, hit that comment button or tweet me with some information. No harm in shopping around, you only need one kidney to survive. If you’re in need of one [stage whisper] kidney, or perhaps you have something to say about the poverty vs parenting issue, then leave us a comment. (Mainly if you have information about how one goes about selling one’s kidney though.)

New Zealand Legalises Gay Marriage!

We’re so proud of our small country. Tonight, history was made in the Land of the Long White Cloud when Parliament passed a law legalising gay marriage, 77 votes to 44.

The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill redefines marriage as a union between two people, rather than a man and woman. This, fellow humans, is what equality is all about. The opportunity to commit to whomever you wish whether it’s to someone of the same sex or not, it’s your decision. Don’t get me wrong, marriage itself is an antiquated institution and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. However that’s neither here nor there. We’re here to celebrate! Because if a man and a man, or a woman and a woman or a man and a woman love each other enough to want to try this ‘death til us part’ thing out, who are we to stand in their way? Even without a piece of paper, they’ll still love each other and want to be together despite what other people think or say.

If John wants to marry Greg then let John marry the crap out of Greg, and guess what? If they live in New Zealand they totally freakin’ can! The law itself will come into effect within the next few months so… nice spring wedding?
EDIT: And in other EXCITING News the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Bill passed its third reading by 61 to 60!!!!!! AWWW YEAH HOLIDAYS ON MONDAY IF ANZAC or WAITANGI DAY FALL ON A WEEKEND WE STILL GET MONDAY OFF. MAN I LOVE OUR COUNTRY.