Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Dear Dudebros

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  • Sister Mary Gearchange, in reply to nzlemming,

    >>It’s the pack mentality, not limited to sportsball fanatics, but certainly exemplified by them. “If everyone else is doing it I can’t be wrong to do it too ”. Any group of males is self-reinforcing in behaviour. <<

    Purely a side note, 'pack reaction' is not gendered. *Humans* do it. *What* they do as a group, or rather, the limits that the group will assume, are culturally and gender bounded. There's some fascinating research out there on group reaction across gender and culture.

    Since Oct 2015 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    But seriously, I think part of the big pattern of violence against women is that it is often perpetrated by men who are, given the chance, violent to everyone…

    So, there are some people who have genuine self-control issues and are violent pretty much indiscriminately.

    But. Most abusers are bullies. They are ONLY violent towards people they perceive as being weaker than themselves - children, women, non-Masculinity-Box-conforming men. They are only violent in circumstances where they feel there won't be consequences - in the privacy of their own homes, or in a social situation where they feel people are on their side. That last is vitally important. The higher they perceive the odds being of someone speaking out, the less likely they are to abuse. These people have ENORMOUS self-control. They exercise violence in a culture that supports them doing so.

    Also, let me say, there are things I write about because they're "my" things, and things I don't because they aren't. I don't feel, for instance, that it's my place to write on Trans* issues, because they're not MY issues. I did feel it was my place to write on the higher levels of abuse that bisexual women suffer, and when I did that, nobody was all "But what about straight women?"

    Male victims, particularly of sexual and domestic violence, are frequently and sometimes deliberately erased. If anyone wants to write on that, because it's "their" thing, I would happily publish that here, anonymously if necessary.

    Relatedly, I'll put my hand up and say, I am the person Lilith is talking about with the dating thing. When I go on a first date with a new guy, I:

    - choose the venue. Some bars, like Pomeroy's and The Twisted Hop, are Safe Places. Others, like Aikman's, are not. I will only go somewhere where, if my date turns out to be a Problem, the staff will back me up and help me out.

    - get there first. I have a table chosen with good sight and exit lines. I have bought myself my own drink.

    - let a select few people know everything I know about the guy, all the identifying details, in case I don't make it home.

    These are the "sensible precautions" I feel I need to take in order to lessen my chances of being raped or killed when I go on a date. Let that sink in.

    A while back, I asked people for their humorously awful dating stories, so I could do a column about it and conceal which stories were mine. After a bit, I specifically asked for stories from men, because I was only getting tales from women. I got two stories from men. In the meantime, the stories from women just kept getting more and more horrible, and less funny. A woman who let a man drop her home after their first date. He broke into her house and attacked her. I have a couple of dozen of these.

    Last year, I went out with a guy for four months. After we broke up, I politely asked him to please stop contacting me. He did not. For seven months. (I eventually got him to stop. If you want to know how, contact me privately, and I'll tell you.)

    So yeah, not all men. I know that, I've never said otherwise. Many of my best friends are quite literally men. But,as has already been pointed out, I cannot, simply cannot, afford to assume that any new man I meet is not one of Some Men.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Male victims, particularly of sexual abuse and domestic violence, are frequently and sometimes deliberately erased. If anyone wants to write on that, because it’s “their” thing, I would happily publish that here, anonymously if necessary.

    I think its all “our” thing. We speak out against all sorts of injustice in support of other people. We speak in support of human rights for children, people with disabilitys and people with minority sexuality and or gender. I don’t think we need to be the person we support by expressing an understanding of there circumstances. It’s helpful to know there experience, so thank you for offering to publish and obviously moderate a more broad spectrum of personal experience.

    Anonymity is probably the only way to get story’s of victimisation from men.

    Many of my best friends are quite literally men. But,as has already been pointed out, I cannot, simply cannot, afford to assume that any new man I meet is not one of Some Men.

    And that’s a general difference between men and women’s general experience. I paid attention to what you said about needing to feel safe with a sexual partner. I almost never feel unsafe around women and I don’t have sex with men, so it’s not something I naturally assumed would have been going on for someone that was dating me. Partly becouse I know I’m not dangerous. It’s been well worth your while to let us know how it is for you. Specially becouse most but nfortunately not all, men who go on dates with women want to be liked and wanted by them, I am now concidering how to nudge a few cultural levers, with my applied arts training. I’m not going to walk into the earth workers smoko shed next door and tell them to be more sensitive and new age, or give them a growling for being munters. What I can do, is remain mindful of the fears women carry, and try to intelligently influence my corner of our culture. It’s all about being a good mentor of men. A sence of humour is essential.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Emma Hart,

    But. Most abusers are bullies. They are ONLY violent towards people they perceive as being weaker than themselves – children, women, non-Masculinity-Box-conforming men. They are only violent in circumstances where they feel there won’t be consequences – in the privacy of their own homes, or in a social situation where they feel people are on their side. That last is vitally important. The higher they perceive the odds being of someone speaking out, the less likely they are to abuse. These people have ENORMOUS self-control. They exercise violence in a culture that supports them doing so.

    That's dead right - well said.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to steven crawford,

    But. Most abusers are bullies. ...

    That’s dead right – well said.

    Which goes to another real problem with NZ society. Bullying is an accepted, even encouraged behaviour. We're doing something wrong as a society and the consequences are horrible.

    quite literally men

    And because my brain can't help it now I want to know what a figurative man is ... there is probably a really obvious boring answer but I really want there to be some fantastical answer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Obvious boring answer:
    a quite literal “some of my best friends are…” statement.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    metaphorplay...

    I want to know what a figurative man is …

    I'm sure that a figure-eightive man is probably an ice skater,
    but it gets thinner the further I get from the shore...
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Which goes to another real problem with NZ society. Bullying is an accepted, even encouraged behaviour. We’re doing something wrong as a society and the consequences are horrible.

    It’s not just a physical thing. Anyone who’s abnormally psychopathic can be a bully, and that goes for hitting a family member with a hosepipe, just as much as it does for the Rupert Murdochs, Donald Trumps and Martin Shkrelis of this world who use big money to beat down those below them. Come to think of it, when the latter involve violence, it's probably when they outsource it to hired heavies.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Which goes to another real problem with NZ society. Bullying is an accepted, even encouraged behaviour.

    There are laws that are designed to protect people from bullying in the work place. I imagine, it would be more difficult for some professions than others to get protected by those laws. The striptease artist is an example of the different thresholds of what is considered abuse depending on occupational status. Mabe not becouse of the law itself, but by the social backlash from reporting it.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    I've been bullied in a workplace. A council, sorry to disappoint.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to steven crawford,

    There are laws that are designed to protect people from bullying in the work place

    Hah! Enforcement (also a kind of bullying?) is another thing altogether.

    A family member works in retail. Left the last job after a disgruntled older subordinate threatened physical violence and the Boss failed to properly address the issue.

    In their current job, (in a more senior role,) there is one particular staff member who is so awfully incompetent, obnoxious and generally arseholic that all the other staff...including the Boss...are running scared. It appears that workplace bullies are likely to cry "constructive dismissal" when rightfully confronted about their bullying behaviour.

    Family member in no position to quit yet another job and became really depressed. We hatched a plot. Obnoxious bully is a raving racist, who boasts of connections to white supremacists. Family member began celebrating the last Maori Language Week by greeting all customers in Te Reo...it caught on...big time...and for a while the bully was squashed.

    This situation is not 'gendered' in any way...this female bully bullies all.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Deborah,

    #notallmen..#notallmen..#notallmen..#notallmen..#notallmen..#notallmen..#notallmen

    Deborah I thought Emma wrote a really great post here, and what I liked most about it was that it was almost genderless – ascribing dudebros as an attitude more than anything – see Margaret Comer. As a victim of sexual assault I was disappointed that you chose to address Steven in this way, peppering the post with a hashtag explicitly designed – as Emma pointed out – to “ridicule” members of one gender group, a #hashtag so transphobic that Georgina Beyer would qualify as a man:

    A man is an adult male of the species homo sapiens. To clarify, “adult” here does not mean someone who’s able to pay their own rent, or treat others with respect. Adult simply means that this male has gone through puberty and is no longer a boy.

    Obviously our intersections with the victims here may differ. Yours appears to be that you are the same sex.

    As a transgender person in the lowest tax bracket working in the adult entertainment industry I see the issue – like yourself – as gendered, but I am also quite aware that this is but one intersection among many. In Scarlette’s case it’s also about rich versus poor, predator and prey, humanisation vs objectification, powerful vs weak, individual vs institution. It’s about many things and to be honest with you, speaking from personal experience I’m far more concerned about being beaten or raped by either gender than whether someone might question me walking alone after the fact.

    In Scarlette’s case the incident raised crucial questions about the treatment and safety of AEI workers in New Zealand, about internalised misogyny, about institutionalised rape culture, about the power of money and profile to influence public perception.

    In Kuggeleijn’s case, the issue raised questions about the fitness of our justice system’s handling of rape cases, it highlights the ineffectiveness of the jury system for cases of this nature and reiterates exactly why I would never dream of pressing charges against those successful members of our society who sexually assaulted me.

    I likewise have no doubt about your good faith, but it’s worth considering whether that kind of challenging gendered sloganeering is the most sensitive way to publicly address a victim of sexual abuse.

    As a top tier highly paid Caucasian academic equipped with networks to present your views about rape culture on national media platforms, it is worth contemplating whether you might have less in common with either Kuggeleijin’s (alledged) victim or Scarlette than some men do, #notallmen, but enough that greater sensitivity doesn't feel entirely uncalled for.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

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