Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Lighting the Dark

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  • Bart Janssen,

    And from The Herald today an obscene story about rape and murder in India with this gem.

    Health workers, police and women's rights activists say women and girls face the risk of rape and harassment when they go out into fields or bushes due to the lack of toilets in their homes.

    No. No it isn't the lack of indoor toilets that results in the men raping women to death. There is a whole other problem here that you are not mentioning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Emma Hart,

    You get this discussion is about men, right? And the most valuable part of it is men actively engaging with it? I appreciate that you’ve distinguished “talking-not-listening” from just talking, but we need men talking about this.

    I appreciate that. I'm just a bit wary of wading in with size 11 here's-wot-I-think-right hobnails, especailly in a discussion like this. My understanding is that it can be offputting for women who would otherwise be minded to participate to have a bunch of men wading in and opinioning the place up.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I'm going to pash you so hard the next time I see you.

    I think this deserves a dishonourable mention for missing the point. And should be highlighted.

    Because normally it's men getting hassled for saying "men get sexually assaulted too", rather than women threatening to do it.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Moz,

    I’m going to pash you so hard the next time I see you.

    I think this deserves a dishonourable mention for missing the point. And should be highlighted.

    Because normally it’s men getting hassled for saying “men get sexually assaulted too”, rather than women threatening to do it.

    Moz, you're missing the point. Jackie and Craig are friends, and Jackie was expressing her affection. No sexual assault was intended or should be inferred.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Moz -

    Thanks for having my back there, but Lilith is on the button. Jackie is a very good friend of mine, and if I thought she was out of order I've certain no inhibitions about saying so -- and because PAS is a space where "don't be a dick" is the standing house rule, I wouldn't be shy about asking Emma or Russell for a take down.

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

  • Tess Rooney,

    I do think we need men to step up and challenge each other when women are objectified. In a perfect world men would listen to women, but this isn't a perfect world and let's be honest, men are going to have more impact with men who are happy to say "fwooor, look at the t**s on that b***h".

    Since May 2009 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tess Rooney,

    Exactly, and Emma talks a lot about why it’s really important guys do their share of the work. “Leverage you privilege” works – and not just when it comes to jamming cultures of misogyny. Just saying “dude, that shit isn’t cool” when your peer group is talking sexist (or racist or homophobic) smack? It won’t change the world, but it’s a start. You're not only implanting the idea that casual bigotry isn't socially acceptable, but you never know who's also hearing they're not alone.

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

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Health workers, police and women’s rights activists say women and girls face the risk of rape and harassment when they go out into fields or bushes due to the lack of toilets in their homes.

    If one was being kind to the author (and I haven't read the rest of the article), one could read this as a description of where/when women are at most danger, rather than why they are at danger, i.e. "women and girls face the risk of rape and harassment when they go out into the fields or bushes. They go out into the fields or bushes due to the lack of toilets in their homes."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Rodger never did and it worries me how many men there are like him.

    At best, Elliot Rodger sounded like a Lost Boy out of the Peter Pan universe. At worst, he was a narcissist in the vein of Clayton Weatherston.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    one could read this as a description of where/when women are at most danger, rather than why they are at danger,

    That was my reading of it - the situation makes it so much easier, whereas if they had proper toilets, the rapists would have to [ahem] work a bit harder. Still, to be fair to Bart, the quotation as quoted did seem to suggest the lack of toilets was the reason, not just a contributing factor.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Lilith __,

    Moz, you're missing the point. Jackie and Craig are friends, and Jackie was expressing her affection. No sexual assault was intended or should be inferred.

    Thanks for instructing me as to how I should feel about that, I'll keep it in mind next time something I read here upsets me.

    I think it's useful to keep in mind that this forum is not a private chat area for a group of close friends, it's an open forum. In-jokes that require people to know and keep track of all the relationships between posters in order for them to be funny rather than triggering are, at best, in poor taste.

    ..... and this is why I generally stay the hell away from these discussions.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Thanks for having my back there

    You're welcome, and thanks for clearing that up.

    I wouldn't be shy about asking Emma or Russell for a take down.

    In my experience Russell is quite selective and often quite slow with his take-downs. Especially with things like this where there's ambiguity, and only one of the readings is offensive (and when his personal take is the non-offensive one).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Moz,

    In my experience Russell is quite selective and often quite slow with his take-downs. Especially with things like this where there’s ambiguity, and only one of the readings is offensive (and when his personal take is the non-offensive one).

    I’m more likely to respond or warn than to take down or ban, that’s true. I’m also pretty swift when it’s clear to me something needs to come out.

    But honestly, there’s no ambiguity about this one. I know the people concerned and they know each other, having "met" here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Moz,

    Thanks for instructing me as to how I should feel about that, I’ll keep it in mind next time something I read here upsets me.

    I was explaining the context. You were the one telling others how to behave.

    If you don't know the people and their comment is ambiguous, one approach is to ask the poster what they meant, rather than automatically smacking them down. PAS people are usually more than happy to explain what they mean if it's unclear.

    I think it’s useful to keep in mind that this forum is not a private chat area for a group of close friends, it’s an open forum. In-jokes that require people to know and keep track of all the relationships between posters in order for them to be funny rather than triggering are, at best, in poor taste.

    We're you. personally, triggered?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    We’re you. personally, triggered?

    If that was the case, I’m genuinely sorry about it.

    But in some respects that’s the problem with the concept of triggering. I can’t remove what is to the people involved an inoffensive bit of banter because another participant has personal reasons to be upset by it.

    Context and intent are meaningful, no matter how often people tell you they aren’t.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    That's not a problem with the concept of triggering, it's a problem with its use. The concept itself is useful and I don't think it should be dismissed.

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

  • Jackie Clark,

    Moz, you weren't to know the relationship, you are correct.
    However, you will be aware of my postings. And I think I would be correct in saying I have never threatened sexual violence before.
    I can't control what you read into things, but I would have happily explained to you, had you asked.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    That’s not a problem with the concept of triggering, it’s a problem with its use. The concept itself is useful and I don’t think it should be dismissed.

    I wasn’t trying to dismiss it and I don’t want to minimise anyone’s experience. Given that moderation was invoked I thought I should say something. Yes, “use” is a better way of putting it than “concept”, but that's what I meant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I was walking on the beach just now as it was getting dark. Then I became aware there was a guy behind me...and that that he had put the whole depth of the beach between us.

    When guys understand the fear women feel alone in public spaces, and communicate that. Thank you.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    I was walking on the beach just now as it was getting dark. Then I became aware there was a guy behind me…and that that he had put the whole depth of the beach between us.

    I’ve told my late-night Ponsonby Road story a few times, but … there I was, many years ago, walking home and I noticed a woman had crossed to be on the footpath behind me. I picked up my pace a little to give her some space so she wouldn’t have to worry about me, but I seemed to have trouble putting a distance between us, so I walked even faster. And faster.

    Eventually a very breathless woman called out to ask me if I could please slow down so she could catch up and walk along with me. We did laugh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    The Daily Mail addresses misogyny , sort of. [contains pic of Rodger]

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Moz,

    In my experience Russell is quite selective and often quite slow with his take-downs.

    Possibly – I think Russell would rather say he’s not a heavy-handed moderator and depends a lot on the community’s ability to set fundamentally civilized standards and self-correct. But honestly, I would feel safe e-mailing Russell or Emma and saying “hey, I’m not cool with that would you think about a takedown” and getting a respectful and fair-minded hearing. (Which is not the same thing as getting my own way in all things. Shitters.) I don’t want to derail this thread any more than I already have, but there’s plenty of local blogs where none of this could happen without things turning to crap in minutes. Public Address isn't perfect; I'm certainly not but I feel safe around here because I feel we're trying to figure it out and just do better.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to Emma Hart,

    More specifically, I think it’s about teaching our kids to see all people as people first, and their gender well down the line. That means no gendered toys. It means encouraging your sons to play with girls, your kids to have friends of all genders from the earliest age. It’s about utterly rejecting “boys don’t cry” and “ha, you got hit by a GIRL!”. It’s about giving them media to watch that doesn’t reinforce gender stereotypes, and surrounding your kids with adults who are Good People, who don’t make sexist jokes at Christmas.

    This is possibly my favourite paragraph you’ve written on the topic Emma. One thing that’s worth keeping in mind is that increasingly; it’s the kids who know and understand this and it’s the adults who are being left behind. A NZDoctor study last year found as many as 4% of Auckland high school students identify as transgender, this indicates far more acceptance and gender diversity in that age group than we see among adults in New Zealand.

    Unfortunately the comments section, like so many we’ve seen, contains its fair share of gender essentialist and oppositional sexist stereotyping, and we never quite reach the point where older generations are prepared to accept that with regards to gender – you’ve largely been sold a pup.

    So while people have the right ideas and focus we’re still seeing this gender divide presented by our media in what I would describe as an incendiary manner:

    These men would like us to ignore the fact that racism and sexism not only deprive people of human rights. They kill.

    Despite all Bernie Sander’s faults, I don’t believe this is one of them. English contains an extensive vocabulary to describe any issue we human beings face, and in recent years ‘men’ has been somewhat overused as a substitute for misogynists, rapists, murderers, abusers, institutional misogyny etc. and we’ve just witnessed an almighty backlash to this in the US.

    There’s a real danger when reinforcing ideas like ‘all men are potential rapists’, or ‘more women are raped because they are physically weaker’ – especially among the youth – that we lose sight of the importance of consent and are simply mortaring over very real issues that people experience:

    In other words, if being made to penetrate someone was counted as rape—and why shouldn’t it be?—then the headlines could have focused on a truly sensational CDC finding: that women rape men as often as men rape women.

    These types of findings need to be acknowledged because these things happen to us, our outdated laws surrounding consent need to be addressed, and we need to wake up to the reality that there has been an overcorrection and although we may continue to throw around terms like "men” as a slur – it no longer means what some of us think it does:

    “I have to be very careful to not be staring at kids,” says Gardner. “I can look at a mom and her baby, but I can’t look for too long. I miss being seen as not a threat.”

    It’s a fine line:

    see all people as people first, and their gender well down the line

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to ,

    Thanks for that Steven, that's behind a paywall for me, but it's obviously very encouraging. Georgina Beyer was featured in Stuff’s weekly series, Face. Her wisdom an depth of experience shines through as always but she says a couple of things that I found concerning. The first being this:

    the transsexual community, the transgender community, they protested at a recent Pride parade at Auckland against us; the LGBTI community, we must remain in solidarity

    Because without solidarity we have nothing. Living well outside the centres I had to check that reference.

    Spokeswoman for the protest group No Pride in Prisons, Emilie Rakete, said they were there to protest the involvement of Police and Corrections, which she said were “primarily racist, violent institutions”.

    She said her group had been in contact with two trans women in the past four months who had been raped while in custody.

    Rakete said this was a direct result of policies introduced by Judith Collins, namely double-bunking and over crowding.

    I can see how Judith Collin’s involvement in the march could be construed as problematic for some, and I was a little surprised that Gerogina framed the protest as being against the LGBTI community without expanding on that – when the chief issue would seem to be with the insitutionalisation of the march. I was also surprised to hear Georgina Beyers choice of words here:

    you can’t just be a screamer from the sidelines all the time

    Which recalls the Catriona MacLennan article I linked to above:

    "Shrill”, “screeching”, “shrieking” and “screaming” – words applied exclusively to women engaging in political debate.

    Despite the unfortunate word choice there Ms Beyer’s philosophy is sound, and she is correct to highlight that some of these issues being protested such as Intersex Genital Mutilation (against UN recommendations) and the lack of adherence in New Zealand legislation to the ‘Yogyakarta Principles’ remain significant impediments to tiny fractions of the population who are vocal – sidelined – where one can either scream or applaud – or never be heard at all.

    Despite these inconsequential observations, she makes a number of salient points that anyone with divisive ambition would be wise to heed, she is a profound inspiration within the LGBTQIA community, and far beyond, and I feel incredibly lucky to live in a country that so readily accepts her.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to mark taslov,

    women rape men

    aka mainstream comedy.

    Because males are horn dogs.

    and I don’t know

    I miss being seen as not a threat.

    Meatloaf has “man boobs” – otherwise known as boobs – and Trump has small hands…

    Because if pressed to pinpoint that one ‘not quite right thing’ about Donald Trump, whether in his policy platform, his disregard for institutional integrity, the bubblecious ignorance, his celebation of tax avoidance, the divisive campaign tactics, the capriciousness, the lies and abusiveness – most evident in his treatment of women and minorities – a sexual offender by his own admission, it’s the relative size of those small and very feminine rape tongs that sets him apart.

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

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