Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A wretched editorial

100 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to David MacGregor,

    David I really do not like your response. What do you feel like you are defending?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Just to rehash the blindingly obvious, rape is what rapists do. Rape culture is what allows them to get away with it, typically by blaming the victim.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to David MacGregor,

    It seems an hysterical term applied in New Zealand

    hysterical
    1610s, from L. hystericus "of the womb," from Gk. hysterikos "of the womb, suffering in the womb," from hystera "womb" (see uterus). Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus.

    Khrist David, you really are one sick puppy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    You are assaulted in your home. The suspected attacker flees the country. He is allowed to do so by government ministers.

    How is it possible to not take the side of the victim here?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to linger,

    True, the number of men who publically voice utterly hateful opinions about women may be similar to the number of men who hold those extreme opinions, but beneath them is a titanic-sinking iceberg of 'unreconstructed blokes' who think that women have it pretty good these days. The kind of guys who, while they mightn't make such a joke themselves, think the Wicked Campers are kind of funny, who pride themselves on being a bit useless around the house, who roll their eyes and think we're hysterical when we talk about the pay gap, or privilege, or, heaven forbid, rape culture.

    Even within my, significantly more liberal than average, social circle there is a reasonable percentage of men (and a few women) who I just wouldn't have these conversations with because of how dismissive they would be.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I’m not sure which of part of David’s post I find more amusing: the implication that the media shouldn’t have talked to the victim of an extremely newsworthy sexual assault *because she’s pretty*, or his low opinion of the “data” used in support of a feminist theoretical term he had apparently never heard of before this week.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Buckman, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Why do people talk about political affiliations the same way we would talk about financial conflicts of interest?

    Broadly speaking, they should be – and for much the same reasons.

    Okay, I think maybe the issue is partially how we treat any sort of conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is a motive to act in a biased manner, in the case of speech to use incorrect facts or invalid arguments, or to ignore facts and arguments that support the other side. It does not mean that you will, merely that you are more likely to do so. So in your hypothetical situation:

    If Helen Kelly wrote an op-ed about how John Key eats babies and anyone who isn’t a total monster should vote Labour, then I think it would it would perfectly relevant to note that many (but not all) of the CTU’s members are formally affiliated to Labour.

    The affiliation should be an indicator that we should take a close look at the facts, whereupon we discover that John Key does not, in fact, eat babies. But it seems that it is common for people to use the affiliation itself as a justification for dismissing the opinion, which is absurd.

    But I do still think it is even more absurd with a political interest than a financial one. There is a big difference between 'X is only attacking John Key because it is to their advantage to do so' which implies that if they were being impartial, they would not have a negative opinion of John Key, and 'X is only attacking John Key because they are a member of the Labour Party', which means 'X only has a negative opinion of John Key because X has such a strong negative opinion of John Key that they joined the Labour Party'.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Rape culture = the tide of stupid shit that rape etc complainants face that other crime victims do not, including nitpicking over their appearance, motives, behaviour and so on, that conspire to make it that much less likely for a complaint to be lodged.

    It's certainly ironic to provide such good evidence for a concept at the same time as dismissing it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Lewis' law: the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Samuel Buckman,

    A conflict of interest is a motive to act in a biased manner, in the case of speech to use incorrect facts or invalid arguments, or to ignore facts and arguments that support the other side.

    Just to put this in context though, a woman whose alleged attacker has been allowed to flee the country by government minsters is attacked FOR BEING CRITICAL OF THE GOVERNMENT?

    Rather than putting the heat on the underdog, can we please put some heat on the authorities who are supposed to keep us safe, and ensure that justice is served?

    The victim's political views really have no relevance here, while the government has a case to answer.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Just to put this in context though, a woman whose alleged attacker has been allowed to flee the country by government minsters is attacked FOR BEING CRITICAL OF THE GOVERNMENT?

    It’s remarkable how often that argument has been advanced in the past week. Also, creepy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lilith __,

    can we please put some heat on the authorities who are supposed to keep us safe

    But but but but John Key is such a nice man - sigh.

    What really Fs me off about the politician's behaviour is that they are very quick to explain how hard they work and the tremendous weight of responsibility on their shoulders and all the very very hard work they have to do to prepare for the couple of weeks a year they spend in Wtgn sitting in the house or sitting on committees etc etc etc.

    But the moment they are asked to take responsibility for the departments they are responsible for leading and managing it turns out it was always somebody else job to be responsible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    .. especially if they belong to political parties fond of espousing ‘personal responsibility’.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Just to put this in context though, a woman whose alleged attacker has been allowed to flee the country by government minsters is attacked FOR BEING CRITICAL OF THE GOVERNMENT?

    It’s remarkable how often that argument has been advance in the past week. Also, creepy.

    Very creepy if citizens are vilified for criticising the government. We're familiar with the Bennett-vs-beneficiaries saga, but one had hoped that was an aberration.
    If we're not free to criticise and protest, we don't have democracy.

    And what kind of crazy world view thinks we need to be kind to authority when it messes up and hurts innocent people? Seriously?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Bart, Ministers do a lot more than their parliamentary duties. It's their job to sort the vast pile of reports they get presented with into those they can safely tick off, those they'll need to issue directions over, those that should have appeared but didn't, and those whose writers should have been doing something more useful.

    I don't really understand how "minister, we have this tricky diplomatic issue" became "sorry minister, it didn't work out as we wanted" without some thought and direction being applied by the minister in question, possibly with stern conversations and regular updates. That's how the whole point of having a minister - to set direction to bureaucrats. I can only wonder if Mccully's views on feminist issues played a role, but even that seems hard to credit.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,

    Ministers do a lot more than their parliamentary duties.

    Of course they do. But key amongst all those duties is - being responsible for the successes and failures of their ministries. It's a bitch but if you accept the job and the salary then you accept the risk with the reward ... except most of this current bunch (and the previous lot weren't much different) are only willing to accept responsibility for success ... failure is always someone else's fault.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ugh. Perhaps Billingsley simply and understandably felt that she was due a personal contribution to a political debate that had been going on around her for a week and a half.

    And I don't think I was the only person more than a little... disquieted by how sharply the victim of a crime got elbowed out of the way so media commentators could get to the "real issue" -- how it affected the political interests of an awful lot of men both in New Leeland and Malaysia. IMO & YMMV, of course, but that seemed to me another symptom of how rape culture works -- if you push rape victims to the margins of their own story, as it were, you don't have to bother yourself with them. Right?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Buckman,

    Just to put this in context though, a woman whose alleged attacker has been allowed to flee the country by government minsters is attacked FOR BEING CRITICAL OF THE GOVERNMENT?...The victim’s political views really have no relevance here, while the government has a case to answer.

    I'm not sure what you think I was saying, but I definitely agree with you.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Suzanne McNamara,

    That editorial made me feel ill, it was cynical and totally insulting to Tania - so what if she's a leftie, would they have been so critical if she was a member of the Young Nats? Now the Malaysian government probably has a case to say he would not be a fair trial anywhere in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And I don’t think I was the only person more than a little… disquieted by how sharply the victim of a crime got elbowed out of the way so media commentators could get to the “real issue” – how it affected the political interests of an awful lot of men both in New Leeland and Malaysia.

    There was a real tone of that.

    IMO & YMMV, of course, but that seemed to me another symptom of how rape culture works – if you push rape victims to the margins of their own story, as it were, you don’t have to bother yourself with them. Right?

    I would not disagree with you there, at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to B Jones,

    I can only wonder if Mccully’s views on feminist issues played a role, but even that seems hard to credit.

    McCully certainly has a track record of playing to the misogynist constituency. Back at the end of the 80s he issued a press release mocking a grant to women's rugby, couched in such a way as to suggest that the recipients were a bunch of barking lesbian separatists because, well, they played rugby.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Yeah. The reason I can't quite credit it is that even the misogynist crowd accept that in some limited circumstances, breaking into someone's house and assaulting them is probably worth prosecuting, if the complainant isn't going around being all feminist about it, which she wasn't until it all went wrong.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Suzanne McNamara,

    That editorial made me feel ill, it was cynical and totally insulting to Tania – so what if she’s a leftie, would they have been so critical if she was a member of the Young Nats?

    Rodney Hide pulled a spectacularly gross and ill-conceived concern troll on Maggie Barry in his Herald on Sunday column this week. I'm rather glad we didn't do the usual local cafe Sunday brunch this weekend, because more often than not I end up idly flicking through whatever Sunday papers are lying around. A very public scene was avoided, I guess.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Roger Douglas famously and apparently sincerely offered his resignation for some printed copies of the Budget getting accidentally released early. That's a very broad interpretation of ministerial responsibility. Most subsequent resignations have been over their personal actions, although Denis Marshall's resignation over Cave Creek is a classic example of real ministerial responsibility. He didn't build the platform, but he set the policies and budgets that led to its construction.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I'm not feeling that I'm being picky in expecting the police to investigate an allegation of a home invasion and rape against a clearly identified suspect, and in expecting my representatives in government to assist that investigation. Or at the very least not to actively block the investigation by colluding in helping the suspect leave the country.

    This sequence attacks the heart of the country's justice system. Diplomatic immunity is clearly inappropriate.

    Then for various news media to attack the complainant -- when she dares to tell the public about her treatment and why she believes it is unjust -- is beyond appalling.

    Justice is for all, no matter their beliefs, or gender.

    I'm not feeling relaxed about this.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

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