Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It's not OK to just make stuff up

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  • Tom Semmens,

    While we are on the subject of "ineffectual" PC campaigns, am I the only person who has suddenly realised he has not seen one child smacked in public since the section 59 repeal?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    While we are on the subject of "ineffectual" PC campaigns, am I the only person who has suddenly realised he has not seen one child smacked in public since the section 59 repeal?

    And I have -- which doesn't exactly prove anything.

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

  • Tom Semmens,

    Except maybe the quality of people we mingle with...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    ... um, was that actually necessary?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sorry... I couldn't resist it... He left a big neon sign up and I walked in and took it... In my defence, history indicates if the boot had been on the other foot he would have done the same.

    Seriously, I was in the supermarket today and it hit me (pun intended) - I hadn't seen a single kid hit, and even more I have not heard a single kid THREATENED in public. I am sure it isn't just anecdotal to me. If it isn't just anecdotal, then so much for Mr. Ralston, eh?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Well, I've also seen kids smacked since then. So if you're going to be rude about Craig...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    While we are on the subject of "ineffectual" PC campaigns, am I the only person who has suddenly realised he has not seen one child smacked in public since the section 59 repeal?

    I saw a man smack a kid - probably 2 or 3 - on the interisland ferry a couple of weeks ago. Or my girlfriend saw it, I happened to be looking the other way and saw the aftereffects. He slapped her across the face.

    We debated whether to say something among ourselves, but the moment passed and we lost the opportunity.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Like Tom, neither have I. Two each way--does that make it statistically valid?

    More importantly, though, has there been any increase in criminal charges or convictions?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    He slapped her across the face.

    Just the sort of discipline we need, so that young people grow up to realise family violence is wrong.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Perhaps some people are being a little more discreet and selective about where they do their smacking?

    In Korea where I lived for four years and holidayed again recently I can honestly say I have NEVER seen an adult hit a child in public (not to say others haven't seen plenty of it but it all escaped me by and I got out and about a lot). Plenty of domestic violence though, unfortunately condoned more than here. Behind closed doors stuff.

    I don't recall seeing adults hitting kids here recently but then again I found it relatively rare to see it before the law change.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    If you lot want to have a go at Ralston directly here might be the place to go. On the same topic and all.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz//blogs/mediascrum/2009/01/20/the-not-so-little-women/

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The ads make an interesting comparison.

    I've been mulling this for a while, because I can't work out why the Aussie ads don't work for me. They just make me feel vaguely uncomfortable. I watched the NZ one again and it made me cry.

    And can I just take a minute to say that I'm really hugely touched by the profound civility of this thread? It's an issue on which I know I can be brittle, and this is without a doubt the nicest domestic violence discussion I've ever been a part of.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Goodoh,

    Social marketing doesn't pop out of someone's head, it is a process where strategy is based on research. This determines which group of people should be targeted in order to reduce the problem (young men are more likely to be killed drinking and driving etc) and the messages that will motivate them to change that behaviour. The campaigns are constantly evaluated for effectiveness and changed if they aren't working.
    Calling these campaigns PC gone mad is completely batty. The road toll has halved, smokers go outside, kids don't get hit or live a childhood of violence.
    Columnists are cheaper than hiring a serious journalist who takes longer than 15 minutes to bash out a story. They insult our intelligence and drive us to the internet - so ads sales go down and they have to hire more columnists.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I just watched the ad again too. It really is pitch perfect and totally gender neutral to boot. I think why the kiwi ones work and the Aussie ones provoke discomfort (maybe not a bad thing?) is that the message of the kiwi one is community ownership and responsibility, a kind of "own your shit and change is possible" kind of message, were as the Aussie one focuses on the damage.

    I literally have no idea where he is coming from with the criticism. If Ralston is really concerned about negative messages about men in the media, get in and promote positive images of kiwi manhood by all means, but don't go writing badly researched BS. It's just morally and intellectually lazy.

    And can I just take a minute to say that I'm really hugely touched by the profound civility of this thread? It's an issue on which I know I can be brittle, and this is without a doubt the nicest domestic violence discussion I've ever been a part of.

    'tis isn't it

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Boy those aussie ads are crap - even their piss takes aren't any good.

    The local one is damn skillful. It is delivered in pretty much the same tone by both men and women and does not actually specify the gender of who needs to change their behaviour.

    While I'd have to agree there have been some demeaning adverts around, that aint one of them. I wonder what's really getting up Ralston's nose then?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Boy those aussie ads are crap - even their piss takes aren't any good.

    Think so? With this one, it all seems to depend on your aim.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Ultimate consumer generated content, heh.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I literally have no idea where he is coming from with the criticism.

    Just a thought but, having watched the ad again, it'd be easy to project that every man in the ad is saying "It's not OK [to hit your missus]" and that every woman is saying "It's not OK [for men to hit me]."

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I don't have time to comment on this in a very nuanced fashion, but there is some other interesting additional stuff out there as well as the Ferguson study. (Disc: I know these researchers)

    It Takes Two to Tangle: Gender Symmetry in Intimate Partner Violence

    This study examined the equivalence of male and female intimate partner violence (IPV) across three samples of the New Zealand population (student, general, and incarcerated). Additionally, we compared the attitudes of victims and perpetrators. Findings revealed that although the incarcerated sample experienced a higher frequency of violence, the nature of IPV was similar across the samples. More importantly, our findings showed gender symmetry in IPV with male and female IPV being similar in frequency, severity, and injury. There was, however, some variation in the type of physical abuse acts perpetrated as a function of gender. Furthermore, victims and perpetrators reported similar attitudes and behaviors that differentiated them from participants with no history of physical violence. These included being more hostile, holding traditional gendered beliefs, and lacking communication and anger management skills. A rethinking of how we view IPV is recommended in light of these findings.


    I don't think this makes Ralston's argument tenable. And I would love to have the time to discuss social marketing, but I'll leave some science and leave. There is also some more interesting stuff by those authors looking at how those involved in violent relationships communicate differently. Food for thought.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    For those who want more info about social marketing by the NZ govt, see http://www.socialmarketing.co.nz/ which is a government site, despite the .co address

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    were as the Aussie one focuses on the damage.

    I think what I find weird about the Australian ads is that half of their message seems to be 'domestic violence is a crime' rather than 'domestic violence is wrong in and of itself'. It seems to me that telling men not to hit women because it's illegal to do so, and thus framing it in the context of the coercive power of the state, is less effective than making it about both personal responsibility and the responsibility of the community not to turn a blind eye.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Like Tom, neither have I. Two each way--does that make it statistically valid?

    Not at all, Geoff. Which was my point.

    Sorry... I couldn't resist it... He left a big neon sign up and I walked in and took it... In my defence, history indicates if the boot had been on the other foot he would have done the same.

    Try again, Tom. I don't much like you; it's certainly rare that we agree on anything. But there's some cheap shots I don't take at anyone -- even you.

    Still, it is flattering you seem to believe I'm a person of such power and charisma I can clear the streets of everyone and everything I find distasteful. If only, dear. If only.

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

  • Sam F,

    And can I just take a minute to say that I'm really hugely touched by the profound civility of this thread? It's an issue on which I know I can be brittle, and this is without a doubt the nicest domestic violence discussion I've ever been a part of.

    I've enjoyed it as well. If only this wasn't basically the only NZ blogsite where a thread on DV doesn't always turn into poo slinging.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Just a thought about why the ad works so well.

    While the writing is good and the words are good, for me, the key thing is the people delivering the words. I know it's a matter of doing lots of takes and editing really well, but in the end those people saying those words seem to really project the feeling behind the words.

    In the end it's people I have some respect for, saying something really important to them. That emotional content comes through.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    With the Aussie one that's focusing on women i think it skirts perilously close to telling women that, if they don't report domestic violence, they are doing something wrong. "You should get out" rather than "when you are ready to get out help is available".

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

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