Looking forward, for me a problem is – assuming we are capable of accepting the findings of the now quite dated research – how might we adjust our family violence campaigns accordingly? As a leading question; if we were to ease up on the gender profiling and instead heighten our focus on the maxim that It’s Not OK, regardless of whether someone ends up in the hospital or the morgue, inclusively applicable to all genders, then how might such a reconsidered approach to violence as a whole potentially drive a reduction in homicides, suicides and numbers of victims hospitalised and not hospitalised?
I’m genuinely sorry I came across that way Lilith, I saw one academic calling out a specific group of academics, I found the claims noteworthy.
Let me be clear: everything says that the vast majority of the abuse runs the other way. That’s just not in doubt
EDITED AFTER I READ SOME LATER COMMENTS
I found a post at Kiwiblog where he has some comment and quotes from the longitudinal study people are mentioning in the comments, but their link to the actual paper is dead.
He does note that the worst type of violence (e.g. sever injury or murder) was almost always male on female though.
It's unfortunate, but interesting, that the thread jumped straight to female-on-male violence, which is not irrelevant but also not what Steven's post is about.
Kicking myself a bit for not making that clearer at the top of the discussion, sorry.
really appreciate this point - there will be better outcomes if men are given healthy relationship help, how to be a good partner/dad support, included in the maternity sector and if couples are having trouble, they both get communication and relnship counselling, it needs to focus more on them working as a team, plus there is a need for high end DV approaches when needed..
the Dunedin Longitudinal Study has failed to distinguish between lack-of-impulse-control violence and violence in the context of abusive relationships.
Thank you in particular for this Lilith, it pinpoints for me why I felt the statement was left wanting. In neglecting to offer any reasoning as to why the research may initially have been rejected Moffitt failed to adequately account for the volatility of the climate in which such high profile incriminations would be received and could potentially be exploited.
the Dunedin Longitudinal Study has failed to distinguish between lack-of-impulse-control violence and violence in the context of abusive relationships.
Thank you in particular for this Lilith, it pinpoints for me why I felt the statement was left wanting.
While violence is never OK, it always has a context, and understanding the context is key to violence-prevention and help for survivors.
Thank you so much for this Steven, I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts that I never got around to expressing my gratitude here.
But the watered-down, less serious, boys-will-be-boys “Young men get themselves into fights” dismissal statements persist, without considering that the majority of young men are not inherently violent human beings. They are just expected to be, for fucked-up cultural reasons.
I think this is so important Steven and is where a lot of our failure as a society lies. While I largely agree with the thrust of Christopher Dempsey’s post, where he said:
If we approach violence as a concept without gender
Reversing that and approaching gender as a concept without violence is incredibly problematic in a wider context, in that it rather requires us to ignore biology. Though we are a ‘civilised’ species, biological influence will persist to some degree.
Having been caught up in the cycle of violence until well into my twenties I’m all too familiar with the role acculturation plays in perpetuating these patterns. This “boys-will-be-boys” mantra was too often lazily prescribed by our elders as an endorsement of violence , ‘boys’ presenting a very limited range in terms of identity, essentially we have excused violence in our male population for decades. We desensitise people to violence and then celebrate our most desensitised.
New Zealand has had an all too long love affair with hard bastards. Every night both major networks deliver our daily 10 minute fill of homoerotic ball chasing. We love our boys, with their indigenous dancing and their topless ads, we find a whole boy squad’s inability to treat one woman with a modicum of respect and dignity "disappointing" but we’ll drop one of those boys for cavorting with a woman. To the uninformed observer of our media, New Zealand might appear to be one of the gayest patriarchal cultures on the planet. Jesting aside there are serious issues incumbent with that. In almost any given test match at some point the game devolves into a brawl, we see punches thrown and invariably no one is sent off, the commentators aren’t horrified, instead it is minimised, endorsed even as “a bit of biffo”.
LGBT stats indicate that domestic violence is not contingent on gender, in fact it would appear at face value to be more contingent on our sexuality. Women bear the biggest brunt of the vast majority of our country’s serious domestic violence incidents, but this is because we appear as a species to be predominantly heterosexual. At the heart of the issue is our inability to assert self-control with those we are closest to, regardless of our chromosones – at an individual level. Touting this cliche that “men can hit harder” largely ignores the ingenuity of the human brain. The violence doesn’t stop when the fist hits the eye socket, it stops when we successfully resist the urge to lash out.
Some of us will have heard the phrase “soften the fuck up”, it is amusing, but the humorous juxtaposition is in danger of obscuring the message. Rather more importantly it does appear that with regards to the intended audience: that horse has already bolted. If someone is in the habit of perpertrating violence it is resolve and self discipline that is often most neglected. Softening may even be dangerous if misconstrued as heightened self-regard at the expense of others.
The first gig (for want of a better word) I attended was the Topp Twins. As a confused child drowning in an assigned gender identity they were and still are a revelation, they were like boys, highlighting that as people we can be who we are regardless of pressures to conform.
Visualising gender identity as a spectrum – and please excuse the primitiveness of this – with women at one end and men at the other, in New Zealand women are represented diversely occupying positions all the way across, while men, for the most part, appear bunched up on their side. Obviously this is a generalisation with gradations and exceptions, but in the media, excluding Laughing Samoans, male feminity in New Zealand is represented by the singular role model Mike Puru.
New Zealand is a violent place, and it may be many years before we can begin to shake that off meaningfully, society is as accomplished at self denial and delusion as any individual. Our national colours are a binary black and white. We pay lipservice to our diversity but for the most part we fear nonconformity as much as the next country. ‘boys will be boys’ is not something boys need be any longer.
While in some ways we may appear more egalitarian than most civilisations, there is very little equality in the maxim ‘boys mustn’t hit girls’ without its complement. We want people growing up equal, feeling cherished and being loved regardless of gender, race or any other box that comes along, because it is the absense of these emotional attachments that breeds the detachment that leads to atrocity.
So as a violent society, beyond prohibition we must find ways to harness this violence. I’d advocate including a traditional martial arts curriculum at school, not so much as a means of self-defence, but as a means of self-control. As a country it is our self-control that requires mindfulness, whether it be in our diets, our use of substances, our language or our actions. We don’t need to harden or toughen up, we need to smarten up, temper our prejudices, reach out and be more inclusive. Not every criticism is a bash, whether we regard ourselves as individuals or as members of a team, a fact of life is that we can always do things better, especially when our priority is to improve broken systems.
People are angry, and for good reason, we are routinely marginalised, victimised, beaten, raped, killed by other people, and more often than not as culprits we are perpetuating trauma induced cycles. Every assault is a failure of our society, not just our gender, or our chromosome configuration or our skin colour or our religious group: our entire society. Trauma victims need to be scouted out and helped meaningfully while young. For now there’s an insurmountable amount of work to be done in that regard, and wasting time dicking around with names for the relevant department or diluting our positive messages with transphobic myths that gender is an accident of birth is as clear an indication as any as to just how far off the pace we are.
I hope this wasn’t too much Steven, just some thoughts.
Yeah, nobody wants to see an All Black cry…
Take it like a man?
Another revealing article. Despite the writer conflating male/man, the conversation does look to be shifting into a more intersectional gear.
"I think the reality is we do have this approach – particularly with boys, [as] I think there is a gender difference with parenting – of ‘Don’t cry, toughen up, get over it’. We expect our young to be tough and unfortunately that means we don’t let them be vulnerable."
"There’s a whole generation of young males, particularly Maori males who have grown up in broken homes, who are constantly criticised no matter what they do. They’re constantly told they have to be hard and staunch and just suck it up and hold on to it and … it’s killing them."
Let me be clear: everything says that the vast majority of the abuse runs the other way.
While this may be true, “everything” here is the 24% of domestic violence incidents that are reported to the police. It’s one intersection of many, and I’d rather be viewing reality through the more nuanced window of intersectional feminism over this two tone second wave feminism – in order to more accurately identify the drivers. This fixation with a gender binary model obscures features such as ethnicity, poverty, inequality, sexuality, power. What we’re almost guaranteed not to hear about or discuss – for example – is how the lifetime prevalence for Maori males experiencing IPV has surpassed that of European females, let alone that Maori females are twice as likely as European females to experience IPV.
That just doesn’t fit an easy Caucasian narrative..
In no particular order-
My pick of the top 10 Rape Culture articles of 2017 that either normalise the notion of rape as an activity perpetuated exclusively by men (led ably by teenage boys), marginalise the experience of non-female rape victims or heteronormatively ignore sexual violence issues relating to the LGBTQIA community:
Yes, I linked to that on the Privacy thread. If any, that’s a quote to run with from a source in the field. Instead it just seemed to get buried and the outcome is that it’s an anomaly among the reportage.
Sorry for spamming your thread, and I should also apologise to Russell, Emma etc for going on about this – thanks for not banning me! My main motivation as that the moral panic we’re hearing now isn’t all that different from the moral panic when I was at school 25 years ago. How’s that working out for us? Need we pump up the binary any more?
Most articles throw in the 1 in 3 girls and some include the 1 in 7 boys statistic. We are talking about 100s of 1000s of people of either gender. Over a million all up, without neglecting this.
Due to its hidden nature, it can be difficult to gather an accurate picture of the problem of sexual violence as it is often not reported, which means that statistics may fail to reflect the problem in full. There have been many research projects in Aotearoa New Zealand which show a high prevalence of sexual violence in our communities.
Because it doesn’t really matter what gender the assailant was, we don’t get sexually assasulted as a gender or by a gender, we get assaulted as individuals. Those stats listed above don’t provide the gender of the attacker, heteronormative assumption is required, heteronormativity is being perpetuated and helps to shelter rapists.
Why is the MSM paraphrasing rather than publishing Sorcha directly? How is it that so many columnists opinions conform with one another so closely?
It’s dire steven. Having been ostracised by females and aliented from males for a lot of my life has sucked but it has also brought with it a certain sense of neutrality to the extent that and I can’t ignore the incredible double standards we’re perpetuating here.
We teach boys that they must hold their own personal space, and we expect them to be prepared to protect themselves against physical challenge. We teach girls that their personal space is sacrosanct and any attempt at violation is punishable. These are broadly invasive societal expectations and only one of them grants a basic human right, and we wonder why there’s conflict.
I feel safer as a woman knowing that if I shout loud enough there is a chance that there will be a groundswell of support because “rape culture"in this context, as this gender, is a certified product that the media has identified it can sell copy with. Meanwhile one encounters these isolated male voices in cyberspace dealing with horrific abuse who are clearly unable to gather any support whatsoever.
Discarded in society’s too hard basket.
And the suggestions.
a targeted social media campaign that says nothing of consent or rape, but looks at gender and encouraging men to be “vulnerable, weak and multifaceted human beings”.
As a vulnerable, weak and multifaceted human (having been led to believe I was a vulnerable man) it was quite easy to accept being sexually assaulted. It was easy to accept that it was my weakness that caused it, that by not fighting back I somehow saved myself from something worse.
That social media campaign concept sounds great for an anger management workshop but it doesn’t begin to address the threat of rape or tendencies of rapists.
With absolutely no education, knowledge or understanding of what sexual assault means or might look like when applied to me and my body I was a weak, vulnerable multi faceted sitting duck.
People don’t always immediately recognise they’ve been sexually assaulted, denial is natural, and with no discussion about non-heteronormative assault, it was easy to try to brush away, and it wasn’t until I woke up one day and realised that I was no longer socialising, no longer interested in making friends, barely leaving my house except to bike to and from work, never talking to anyone at work, only then that I was fully able to confront the reality that this was a survival response to things that had occurred.
If we can’t recognise these assaults for what they are then we are pliant. In ME and Asia they call it “marriage”.
And it truly feels like these respective media opinions come out of a shared tattered textbook from 1959. There’s the one chapter teaching us we must teach our high school students consent despite the fact that New Zealanders start having sex before high school. The next fallacy is that the types of entitled teenagers making comments like we’ve seen are the types of people who give any fuck whatsoever what some oldie’s telling them. The next misapprehension is that consent is an incredibly difficult issue to understand.
We learn “no means no” at the age of 2 or 3 – for the most part – but we’re such wowser puritans when it comes to talking about human sexuality, evident in that A. we tend to respect “no” in most other democratic capitalist contexts and B. The consensus seems to be that high school as opposed to primary is being touted as the appropriate time to have these discussions, rather than bridging the concepts incrementally right through as part of a civics curriculum.
We need to continue the conversation about misogyny, but this sensationalist overuse of the term “rape culture” and of the word “rape” to discuss misogyny – which is at its core a symptom rather than a cause of rape – leads to our acceptance of superficial and misrepresentative stereotypes that enable rather than protect us against rapists. Not all misogynists are rapists and vice versa.
My understanding of rape culture is best informed by pillars of communities I know of, people who have sexually assaulted me; an author, an award winning educator, a lawyer, a therapist, in no particular order, of no particular gender.
This – to me – is our rape culture, from the top down. From the wealthy to the impoverished, from the powerful to the weak. From the Pope to the pauper. From the privileged to us, the zeros – remnants of humanity discarded underfoot by those we as a society most value. By New Zealand.
This belief that rape culture is a correctable behaviour among a tiny demographic as opposed to a broad systemic malignance, is misplaced. We can achieve little but fight fires unless we’re truly listening…..lets…. nek minute
“It’s the pornography that is commanding rape culture!”. Rape writes culture, culture responds. People manipulate that, rapists, abusers are manipulative, that’s why you like them and why you’re friends with them, because you could never believe they would say such a thing let alone do such a thing – according to the news.
Everyone deserves to be listened to, cherished and protected
even the New Zealand son.
My interpretation, is that it is about male assumptions of entitlement to sexual gratification, divorced of empathy toward the female involved.
This. So much this. (Though "female" could be changed to "other").
Thanks for replying Steven I’m glad to get some feedback. With this term rape culture I believe we need to be more careful. It was coined by the social or mainstream media, its origins are commonly traced to second wave feminists in the 1970s, it was rightly coined to address the issues of the time.
Previously, according to Canadian psychology professor Alexandra Rutherford, most Americans assumed that rape, incest, and wife-beating rarely happened
This is no longer that time. I wasn’t even born at then. As with any term it’s interpretation may mean as many things to as many people. What is important to note is that the first published use of the term occurred in Rape: The First Sourcebook for Women, edited by sociologist/ activist Noreen Connell rather than by some journo with a pocketful of reckons in order to make rent. What most people tend to agree on is that
Rape culture is a sociological concept used to describe a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized
Just because Chlöe Swarbrick tells us this is “fresh terminology” doesn’t erase the fact that it’s older than both of us, neither does it prevent men getting raped.
We may expand that to include all settings in which rape is pervasive and normalised in order to better understand how we are normalising rape itself or we may continue to treat sexual assault as heteronormative gendered issue. And use discussion about “rape culture” as means to push oppositional-sexist agenda and suppress marginalised voices.
Since the Roastbusters scandal, messages such as “your sons are all potential rapists” have been pushed hard and one might argue that this would have made some impact. That’s another generation of New Zealand boys with a point to prove. More importantly why are these journalists, editors and producers working so hard, expending so many words to cover up the actions of female rapists? What are the societal benefits of that?
My interpretation, is that it is about male assumptions of entitlement to sexual gratification, divorced of empathy toward the female involved. It’s about learned behaviour.
This is important. This learnedness. These male assumptions of entitlement to sexual gratification aren’t being mitigated by articles telling them that these assumptions are the norm, are what we expect, that boys are rapists-in-waiting and girls are not is a dangerous message. Conformists eat that up.
Female assumptions of entitlement to sexual gratification aren’t addressed. The messaging inextricably links being a male or a man with misanthropy, objectification and rape. The message inextricably links being a female or a woman with passivity and victimhood. We’re pushing stereotypes, telling boys that their inner rapist is something to internally wrestle with regardless of the fact that most people don’t have an inner rapist – we are reinforcing gendered stereotypes rather than attempting to deconstruct the binary.
Even if you would swear that he’s not hanging out in hyper-masculine online forums, engaging in cyber abuse on social media, playing violent and misogynistic video games, listening to sexist music or participating in secret Facebook groups where boys go to make rape jokes and discuss harassing women, it’s highly likely that he has at least one friend who is.
Perhaps a son does all of that, or perhaps he does none of it and just happened to catch Trump on TV saying “grab em by the pussy” and noted that he’s now President of the Free World. We’re pushing the ideology that members of a gender are birds of a feather so…. we’re constantly reinforcing the idea that the son shares more in common with Trump than the person telling him that he’s a potential rapist. That they are of a type – a type that quashes all other intersections. Whatever this gender divisiveness achieves, true empathy it will not.
Individuals may respond by correcting certain behaviours but the essence of the message – like a lot of what we’ve heard – is undeniably that “boys are different”. Boys are different because they lack empathy, boys lack empathy because they’re different, a bumbling ferris wheel of generalisation. Another reason for rape victims not to come forward.
At the same time, once the misogynist apologises we welcome them back with open arms and give them a place in the Labour party. Teenagers see this, the reality that they can say and do what they want might at some point require an apology but if they can reach a position where they are venerated sufficiently it’ll be nothing more than a blip on their record. Kuggeleijn goes free.
Ideally messaging would focus exclusively on the behaviours perceived to normalise rape regardless of gender – it’s the behaviour that is the issue here right?
Is it not?
I’m confused if we’re even talking about behaviour when we’re ignoring so much behaviour on account of gender. This is how these campaigns function in New Zealand.
It’s never a good thing to have people yelling. When people are yelling it’s invariably because things are wrong. But if the yell is unstudied, if it is thoughtless and superficial, if it’s pushing myth and stereotype, if it’s Duncan Garner telling us we much teach our sons consent while putting no mind into teaching his daughters consent, then we’re simply going to entrench positions further. It’s convenient cover for rapists.
One of the things folk are unlikely to be taught in teacher training is “Don’t yell at your students” because that’s common sense. If we’re serious about imparting a message meaningfully why alienate the subject from the outset?
Are prepared to have conversations about rape when there isn’t some high profile scandal? Seldom, becuase it’s just money driving this steven, what they can sell. These aren’t particularly well considered evidence based opinions, these are not universal ideas for the betterment of society as a whole. These are cisnormative articles every one of them.
I can understand what you’re saying about gang culture or prison culture, but these require very specific environments. What I’m looking for here is a sociological concept to describe a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized that is not exclusionary
of rape victims.
What is the benefit of limiting the definition of “rape culture” to exclude instances of interaction between rape and culture in all it’s forms? How different is the sexual assault of me as a “man” compared to the sexual assault of me as a woman? Why should only one count? How is it different when I was sexually assaulted by a man compared to being sexually assaulted as a woman? Why is only one deemed important enough for these journos to address?
I honestly don’t believe rape is as preventable as the media leads us to believe, not when it so often occurs in isolation, not when the perpetrators are – as you say – ‘absolute monsters’ who don’t care about consent either way. What may be more preventable is suicide by people who are marginalised by the inherently sexist messaging and erasure.
The first step to managing PTSD, as you well know, is acknowledging that there is a problem rather than erasing it and understanding how the core issue interacts with and is triggered by exacerbating stimulus.
As I asked in that piece I linked to in my last post.
What then may we might call the culture and social framework that enables violence against non-women, what name shall we give to this setting in which sexual assault by women is normalised?
oops, "It wasn't* coined by the social or mainstream media"
Steven and Brent, in pushing this idea of male and female - as assigned by the state - I'm sure it's not your intention to to exclude trans women impacted by "rape culture", but that's the effect. Modern understandings of gender no longer comply with these outmoded definitions.
How do you manage PTSD?
I engage in activity, both mundane and creative, with the aim of redirecting energy and try to help others. work helps. I take to heart this Marxist idea via Mr Tiso "Above all, always remember: we need ruthless criticism of all that exists, and somebody has to supply it."
It occurred to me rather belatedly that this is the most practical use of my university degee in English Lit.
I spend a lot of time not so much thinking about what happened to me but how that experience might perhaps one day contribute to preventing it happening to someone else or at least to alleviate suffering - working for a more inclusive world in which even the most marginalised voices may be factored in to our solutions.
I try to forgive.
Mark, I am dyslexic. Writing big academic style comments isn’t easy for me to do. It’s time consuming, and I inevitably mangle my words.
Weather you like it or not, male and female is a thing. Just like transgender is a thing. If you go and read my original post you will see that I am not compleatly stupid. I also know how it feels to be invisible.
I’m absolutely with you on this steven, and my comment was not in any way intended as a slight or correction of you. I’m sorry if there is any sense that I am communicating with you in any way other than as a friend. I consider you a friend.
The insistent conflation of man/male women/female in the MSM is something I’m having to resort to myself in order to respond to the narrative. The term transgender has redefined the relationship between these words/ ideas. But it’s on this point – when we’re required as readers to get finicky about who is and isn’t affected by “rape culture”, and on which side of oppression we might be – that gendered assumption collapses in on itself rendering the discussion exclusionary.
For obvious reasons I can’t even begin to broach issues related to gender fluid and Non Binary people within this MSM framing.
Everything I’ve seen described thus far in these articles puts “rape culture” in exactly the same basket as misogyny, but we know“misogyny” won’t get as many clicks as the salacious “rape culture”. Misogyny is a word we’ve had for 1000s of years. There’s absolutely no reason to keep invoking the idea of “rape” to describe some of the examples of misogyny listed in the articles. It dilutes the term and normalises the crime.
Sorry I wrote this before reading, These resentments you speak of, that sounds achingly familiar, I don’t drink a thing, I thought it was just my sitting position!? Thank you.
My sincerest apologies – I’ve never thought you are stupid steven. EVA =) Quite the contrary, dyslexia is cool with me. There’s an elitist vein insistant on syntactical uniformity, it functions as an impediment, a barrier to having the confidence to even attempt to put ideas down. This limits the contributory pool. We live in a multicultural society with plenty of second language users and how engaged are they with our predominantly white online political landscape?
I hate that, the feeling that you can’t write because you might misspace or misplace a comma, or spell a word wrong, spell them all wrong. The anxiety that prevents one from even bothering. Fuck em’. If they know how to correct it then they’ve understood the sentence.
I’ve understood all your sentences. Yes it’s an impediment but it’s also a beautiful creative gift – in the past society wasn’t fully able to engage with it -
but every1’s txting now – say more, talk more, share more, right more.
You are valuable.and a valuable voice in this world.
On gender – patriarchy and misogyny hinges on the point of difference. Our assistance in maintaining this division feeds the patriarchal system.
I’ll try to keep this briefer. With these articles we are looking at bits and pieces of culture and practices through a lens of two groups instead of one. These opinion writers, it’s a teacherly role, that seems to be the approach they take, and they’re the types of teachers who walk into the classroom, “boys over there girls stay where you are”, boys huddle in the corner “Now what the bloody hell is going on here, stop raping, learn consent, grow up, be men!”
Emphasis on heat rather than light.
Whereas a more sensitive teacher might walk into class – aware that none of these issues are gender specific – and broach rape culture globally in the sense of covering the whole topic rather than one social study, one dynamic – repeatedly- Describing it as something we people inclusively do and as something that we people inclusively experience, as a culture does. As something we can’t ignore- Obviously covering all the permutations of how that might occur, providing stats,
- as opposed to a gendered rant.
The silence of men on the issue has been deafening. Something many overlook is that men are afraid. Perhaps you aren’t, but many are. New Zealand men especially see strength in silence, it’s what’s missing from the conversation, from these media conversations. These mysterious dudes, sharing very little on these types of topics while the women have already shared so much. Look at the volume of contributions to this thread, it's eerie.
And our boys, they’re as afraid as all get out, most of them, where are the male role models? Articles? Balance? Experience to share?
Teenagehood is that time when they learn to put on a front but in learning that feel most insecure, they do and say stupid stuff to fit in, some of it more stupid than others, most of it you’d never hear about.
That isn’t gender specific.
Our discussions need to bridge this gender gap to encompass all rape. As a unified concept, just as we would any other crime, with the aim of finding real solutions, not just advocating for a curriculum that’s already there. We need to approach this wholistically, it’s systemic, interrelated, coevolving we need to advocate for all victims equally.
When people talk about gender as they would a sports match, between opposing teams, aggressively pitching one team against the other, in a commanding manner, it’s eminently clear that they have no concept of the reality faced by the millions of transgender people for whom gender division is a central obstacle
Thanks Steven I’ll read!
The thing about the Dunedin Longitudinal study was that the participants were all in their mid twenties (IIRC) when the research was done. You can't generalise that to all ages and stages.
This study? It started when the subjects were born.
You’d need to discredit swathes of research to take that thought through to its logical conclusion.
The persistence and pervasiveness of the ‘men are from Mars women from Venus’ ideology in New Zealand is a fascinating cultural artifact from a bygone era.