Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fix up, young men

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    think morning radio shows and their ilk

    There's a very strong element of bullying in what those shows do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joanna,

    reducing to women to genitals

    eh?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Related and apt I think...

    Kindness Breeds More Kindness, Study Shows
    “Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks.” By James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107 No. 10, March 9, 2010.

    According to the the researchers, the explanation lies not in calculations of odds and rewards, but in simple behavioral mimicry: Monkey see, monkey do, human style. When people are irrationally generous, others follow suit…
    …However, the findings aren’t just a feel-good story. Selfish behavior spreads easily, too.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think Kim feels she made her point by confronting the idiots.

    Isn’t the point to change those guys future behaviour and raise their awareness of consequences.
    Kim’s ‘point being made’ will largely be preaching to the choir, those boys (and others like them) probably think that when push comes to shove, they got away with it…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    those boys (and others like them) probably think that when push comes to shove, they got away with it…

    And therein lies the danger. If the police don’t act then the blame is with them as far as I care.
    They are rather busy right now though.
    Protecting John Key's entitlement to rule.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Justice or jaundice?

    They are rather busy right now though.

    the thin yellow line...
    perspective makes them look like a fern
    and with fronds like this
    who needs enemies...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • selinamc,

    I am absolutely gobsmacked by the number of older men on here crying "not in my day". As a woman born in the 70s, whose teen years spanned the 80s, I can without a shadow of a doubt tell you that this sort of behaviour is not new.

    To be fair, I didn't attend many gigs as a teen (the drinking age being 20 in those days, and Dunedin not being a destination for bands big enough to play somewhere bigger than a pub), but I did have a social life, and I was on the receiving end of some pretty gross behaviour. And not just from teenage boys (although there was plenty of that). There were older male relatives whose compliments on my appearance were accompanied by knowing winks; bosses who felt entitled to stand over my desk and stare down my top; customers who thought that my being good at my job as a receptionist was actually my way of coming on to them. A friend at high school had to deal with a teacher who became excessively and creepily over-friendly towards her. This stuff has always been there. What was different "in my day" was that we didn't report it. We sometimes discussed it with our friends, but mostly we just internalised it, because that was what society had taught us to do.

    That PE teacher even became jokingly referred to as "Mr Fanny Hassler" (a play on his name) when word of his behaviour spread, because sexual harassment was apparently a laughing matter. In fact, why not go back and re-watch some 70s comedies; try Threes Company, I Dream of Jeannie or even M*A*S*H*, and you'll see a hell of a lot of entitlement, misogyny and objectification masquerading as humour. That was the sort of environment women were dealing with.
    ,
    Luckily over the years hard campaigning by feminists means that we women can now speak up about this stuff. Not always, but more than we ever have before. We're more willing to share our experiences, more willing to call out the men whose behaviour is wrong. You men who say it didn't happen in your day, it did. It either happened in silence and shame, or it was so accepted that it didn't make a blip on your radar. Either way, your disavowal of it further shames those women who have remained silent all these years.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2016 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    with fronds like this
    who needs enemies…

    Damn.... you're good ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    Not @bart…that’s accidental.

    None taken

    I am just tired of seeing folks who would themselves strongly object to having their experiences invalidated quite happy to turn around and invalidate other people's experiences.

    It's pretty clear there is a difference of experience being talked about here. As you say part of it is because victims (women) know they are being abused and bystanders (men) don't necessarily know.

    But part of it could actually be that some people lived in an environment that really was different to what is going on now and ignoring that possibility is ignoring the opportunity to identify causes.

    Either way this place has never been one where it was Ok to invalidate someones experience, I much prefer accepting that each person comes here with their experience and we have an opportunity to learn from it rather than trying to shut it down. By it isn't my house either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to selinamc,

    I am absolutely gobsmacked by the number of older men on here crying “not in my day”.

    This is what I wrote

    I honestly don’t remember my mates as a teenager being so utterly horrible to women. As I write that i feel like I’m shouting “In my day…”

    I don't remember it being that way. I didn't experience it. I didn't see my teen cohort do it.

    That was my experience.

    Your experience was different.

    Please can you accept that both things can be true. I don't have to be wrong for you to be right or vice versa.

    If my experience was real then somehow my cohort was different and there might be something to learn from that. Or I could simply have been blind and you can ignore my experience.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Please can you accept that both things can be true. I don’t have to be wrong for you to be right or vice versa.

    This.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • selinamc, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I absolutely can accept your experience, I am not in any way denying the truth of your assertion that you never saw (or realised that you were seeing) behaviour of the kind we're talking about. However, can you understand that when you open with an assertion of "well, I never saw anything like that" it feels like an attempt to negate the experiences of those who were on the receiving end of such behaviour?

    If my experience was real then somehow my cohort was different and there might be something to learn from that. Or I could simply have been blind and you can ignore my experience.

    I think you may have just made exactly one of the points I was trying to make; that sexual harassment was less visible in previous decades not because it didn't happen, but because some of it was normalised and even humourised. Instead of ignoring it, how about we learn from it?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2016 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Elliott,

    Great article Russell, I am saddened to report that its not just at music festivals. I was at the cricket yesterday when 8 preloaded and privileged young men began shouting a vile barrage of abuse at the Australians, the females nearby, and at one point, a particularly obnoxious excuse for a human being screamed out, "HEY DONUT C*NT! UP HERE" to a young female vendor. He thought it hilarious!
    The abuse and casual violence of racism was laughed at as well, as this odious moron shouted at his mate on the stairs, "Get the beers from that black bitch, she's way cheaper!" When others nearby got up and moved away they congratulated each other, "Great score mate, they dont like the 'black' stuff, eh?"
    I wish I was making this up. After thirty minutes of this and with my blood boiling, I got up feeling like a filthy piece of crap because my seat happened to be next to theirs and moved away to stand elsewhere for the rest of the game.
    That the sons of privilege, dripping with labels, coiffures and impeccable facial trimmings had the morality of vicious drunken sots is an appalling indictment on our current social mores. I note that even the Herald picked up the story this morning. Depressed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    If my experience was real

    Real, but, and I mean this lovingly, much less relevant than any woman's who feels like sharing theirs. There is a massive asymmetry in this discussion that is not corrected by an ostensible equal treatment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I don’t remember it being that way. I didn’t experience it. I didn’t see my teen cohort do it.

    That was my experience.

    I don’t question a single thing Selina relates above. Indeed, I remember it. It’s hard to believe now that until the Crimes Act amendments of 1985, there was no offence of rape within marriage. It was sufficiently front of mind that for a while I wore a Men Against Rape badge everywhere.

    But when I was 20, in the early 1980s, my peer group was almost exclusively in the music scene. And like you, I don’t recall music events being associated with the kind of public cruelty described in the post (not just the two main incidents, but the ones described by Genny Stevens to me, both of them involving young men bullying older women). We knew back then that some older men in the industry were more or less abusers and we reviled them for it.

    I think it was forgivable of me to feel upset that this kind of thing is part of the kind of music events I go to in 2016. I was gobsmacked recently by a Facebook conversation I had with Sarin Moddle (erstwhile host of 95bFM’s Sex with Sarin) about many young men’s sexual expectations, which she believes have been shaped in a bad way by mainstream porn, to the point where they’re basically not safe sexual partners (or at best, seriously dud roots).

    I’m flummoxed by the things that young women share online from dating services – I’ve just got no reference point for the aggression they encounter. I had to think about that a lot when my autistic son tried a dating service.

    So, well, maybe it’s the same, but different. It feels different.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Elliott,

    preloaded and privileged

    That's a good description.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Ali Gill, in reply to selinamc,

    No doubt that sexual harassment of this kind is by no means a new thing, and by no means confined to the young. But do you think that the level of violence or degradation is worse? Have we gone from the common dodgy teachers and slap on the bums and winks (I'm in no way belittling these by the way) to the common rape, group rape, sexual violence etc?

    Since Feb 2016 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Ali Gill, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Is it, perhaps, that these acts seem to not only be loaded with misogyny but seem to be purposefully and knowingly very demeaning and cruel?

    Since Feb 2016 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It feels different.

    If there is a difference, it's that the low-level (with potential for high-level) aggression women have experienced since forever can now be expressed near-instantly and "eloquently" via text rather than in person. If you want to disown the cishet man-portion of the human race entirely, read the @byefelipe Instagram account, but don't think the underlying swamp of misogyny is new. It so isn't.

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

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Culture never stands still, and unfortunately misogyny is a many-headed beast.
    Like racism, ageism, heterosexism etc etc I think we have to go on fighting it in all its many forms. If we don't constantly fight for equality, it can slip further away than ever.

    The same goes for liberty and democracy -- we always have to fight for them, as there are always forces working to take them away.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Real, but, and I mean this lovingly, much less relevant than any woman’s who feels like sharing theirs.

    Agreed.

    My experience and my only reason for bringing it up is to try and figure out what the hell is happening and how it can be stopped. I, by natural bent, look for points of change because they give clues to cause and hence possible solutions.

    The fact is, it is a male problem, it's something about us men, particularly in groups. Women should not be forced to change their behaviour.

    The solutions at the bottom of the cliff are all good, but it causes me deep frustration and anger to see groups of men (boys, from this aged perspective) display such hatred of women and no amount of bottom of the cliff stuff gets to the root of the hatred and contempt.

    Try as I might I can't figure out the mental state that allows such horrible behaviour.

    And, most scarily, if I can't understand the cause, then what stops it being me?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As you say part of it is because victims (women) know they are being abused and bystanders (men) don’t necessarily know.

    Also, I think in a reasonable number of cases, the perpetrators don't even really know. They either don't know that their attention is unwanted or their behaviour is beyond a joke, or they can't remember they even did that at all. Alcoholic memory loss is really common, and it's right when a lot of people are at their absolute worst. It might even be the only time they're like that. And their group are all like that, all affirming the behavior at the time and denying it later.

    I can remember some pretty atrocious attitudes to women from when I was younger. I didn't know what to believe, though, because my own intimate contact with women was a lot less.

    My one sole serious confiding in my teen years was with a girl who was raped after getting really drunk. I remember feeling what a gulf there was between our experiences, and what sort of fucked-up maggot the guy must have been to have done that to this wonderful person, and how the hell he got away with it at a party. She was mostly worried about being seen as a slut by the people who mattered to her. I found it interesting in hindsight that it didn't matter what I thought about it, or perhaps that she already knew that I wasn't going to be judgmental towards her about it. It clearly helped to talk about it. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind it was true in every detail - she had no reason to tell me something like that if it wasn't true. She even showed me a photo of the guy (he was hanging in the back of a shot, and wearing sunglasses at night, as if he didn't want to be in the pictures), and literally shivered as she did it. This was amid a whole lot of party pics she was sharing which looked like everyone was really enjoying themselves. I was never going to cross paths with him and she was not going to follow up in any way, and she disassociated with the group straight away. The group memory of her being raped simply never happened. They all probably thought of him as that funny guy who hung around with the sunnies until the party ended.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I think we are missing a point here. Its not that "It wasn't like that in my day" or "Its been going on forever but nobody does any thing".
    I can say that as a 64 year old I grew up in times when a peadophile was regarded as "A bit funny" or the dodgy Uncle or "They are all like that in the entertainment industry".
    I can look back and see things that I regarded as normal behaviour for a young man now make me feel sick. I don't ask forgiveness or understanding, that is not the point. These kids must know that this is wrong but do it out of bravado and that is most definitely, Not OK.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Danielle,

    If there is a difference, it’s that the low-level (with potential for high-level) aggression women have experienced since forever can now be expressed near-instantly and “eloquently” via text rather than in person.

    Which is both an improvement and a... disprovement. Fuck. Because yeah, one douchebag can reach so many more women now, at so much lower a risk to himself. But on the other, when they do it in writing we can share it. You can see it, verbatim, which makes it much harder to dismiss.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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