Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Respectably-Dressed Sensible Demure Lady Stroll

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  • Russell Brown,

    Thank you, Craig. I was aware of your experience and I can't imagine how awful it must have been. I do understand that it informs your view of this topic.

    But jumping tracks from something else altogether to pin the Hopoate "joke" on Curran when she had publicly slated it is unfair to Curran and a bad way to win an argument. (The Trade Me thread has been deleted -- presumably it got nasty, but reports suggest she was very frank. David Farrar crowed about it, as you'd expect.)

    We could make a list of National MPs who failed to denounce Quinn, or party members who didn't resign when Doug Graham had his "it's not rape-rape" moment -- and he was overseeing new rape legislation. But what would be the point? I just think it's a bad way to win an argument, especially when the argument is about something else altogether.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Ah, darling. I am, as ever, very, very sorry. And sending hugs.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Thanks for sharing that, Craig. Not easy to do and truly hideous to have lived through. You're right, it's not okay. Ever. Neither was what Hopoate did and neither is anyone making a joke about it.

    Take care.

    Mark

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Back to topic
    The R Francis golden rule on commenting on women:
    Don't
    Except in a postive way, so "You look good in that" but never "You look hot in that" except in extraordinary cases, as in it might work with Emma but I would have to know her quite wll before I attempted it
    This has been learnt at the hands/tongues of three sisters, one wife,very few girl friends and lots of women friends

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 542 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Seeing Shane Jones there was… dispiriting in the extreme.

    Not just there, but paying tribute. Ugh. Ugh.

    Just a politician buying votes. It's election year wadya expect?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    DELETED SO AS NOT TO OFFEND SACHA’S DELICATE SENSE OF RELEVANCE

    The thread's primary subject matter is delicate and unsettling, but editing your post to say that is just being bitchy. Seems there may have been other things I was unaware of rousing your ire about Curran but they don't excuse persisting with a poor line of argument - or playing the person when you're called on it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16661 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Julie Fairey,

    Not sure what I'll wear

    Should you be thinking about what to wear to slutwalk? Surely the point is you wear whatever takes your fancy on the day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    it happened at boarding school

    I was at the other prestigious Auckland boarding school in the late '80s, and I must say, I was stunned at what a hotbed of psychopathy it was. These sons of the business and farming elite were, to a large extent, a sick bunch. I was seriously beaten up (and I mean seriously), as were others, and that sort of thing was always treated by the staff as a rite of passage, if you can believe that.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Should you be thinking about what to wear to slutwalk? Surely the point is you wear whatever takes your fancy on the day.

    Nah, cos sluts plan their outfits carefully too.

    Believe me, there are many plans afoot. Emma and I are going to look awesome.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to 3410,

    I was at the other prestigious Auckland boarding school in the late ’80s, and I must say, I was stunned at what a hotbed of psychopathy it was.

    My landlord keeps hinting that he has some properties in the Auckland Grammar zone which we could move into for the good of our son's education. I constantly have to suppress my "LIKE FUCK WE ARE" reaction.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to 3410,

    If someone wanted to talk about that happening to them, that warning's not exactly going make them feel terribly comfortable discussing it if they didn't have the "appropriate" reaction, is it?

    What Megan said. Adding that I didn't say it HERE, and that I often forget my tweets show up here. I'd gone to my post at The Lady Garden and found the same "you shouldn't be talking about women raping men, that's not important" line. It's in my inbox again this morning.

    It's fascinating in a way, because the criticism I'm getting for SlutWalk is completely different from the criticism I got around Boobquake. When to me, they're pretty much functionally identical. So where is my mail telling me what a Bad Feminist and a horrible person I am and how I'm making women feel terrible and making light of sexual violence?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to 3410,

    I was seriously beaten up (and I mean seriously), as were others, and that sort of thing was always treated by the staff as a rite of passage, if you can believe that.

    I can believe it - all of the boarding school kids had far worse stories of initiations than anything we had to put up with. In fact, I think that it was in imitation of them that the culture arose in my own school, since those schools are fearsome in sport. Which is to say they played well, but they were violent as all-fuck. Essentially, they seemed to operate an army culture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    The thread’s primary subject matter is delicate and unsettling, but editing your post to say that is just being bitchy.

    Well, I was trying to avoid launching into full-on Tim Gunn mode but here goes… If can explain to me what constitutes “appropriate” or “normal” business dress for women nowadays, I’d love to know. My friend’s vintage Donna Karan suits might be too “slutty” for a certain Toronto police officer’s APB (midi-length skirt with a side slit, and blouse showing a hint of boobage) but the woman who brought DKNY by the container load – and wore it to the office – in the 80’s and early 90’s obviously begged to differ.

    And I’d like to think the days when Marlene Deitrich’s visits to Saville Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard were deliciously scandalous (and a woman in trousers might as well have had “butch dyke” tattooed on her forehead) are well past.

    While I don’t think anyone (male or female) wearing rugger strip in the chamber constitutes business dress, my opinion doesn’t really signify does it? The Speaker and Standing Orders Committee need to arrive at a sightly more objective and useful definition for everyone than “try it on and pray the Speaker’s in a good mood today”. If nothing else, I don't think it was a particularly constructive use of the House's time.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11989 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And there are also hijabs that look pretty fly, and are intended to be so

    When we were in Syria (and Jordan to a lesser extent) one of the neatest revelations was just how fashionable the women were. Yes they had the hair covered and their ankles covered but the materials and colours were stunning. Within the restrictions of their own (self imposed?) dress code they expressed tremendous individuality and taste.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    Emma and I are going to look awesome.

    Obvious statement is obvious

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    It’s fascinating in a way, because the criticism I’m getting for SlutWalk is completely different from the criticism I got around Boobquake. When to me, they’re pretty much functionally identical. So where is my mail telling me what a Bad Feminist and a horrible person I am and how I’m making women feel terrible and making light of sexual violence?

    The Slutwalk topic continues to surprise.

    I guess the thing about female-on-male rape, or sexual assault, is that it is really rare. By comparison, Craig is not my only friend to have been raped by men.

    But I think men also perceive the power relationships differently. I can recall a couple of times being subject to what amounted by to sexual harassment by one woman -- who, ironically, spoke impeccable university feminese when she wasn't tanked up -- and I didn't like it, but it was more annoying than anything.

    I knew I wasn't under any real physical threat (which may be in contrast to your original example at the KAOS party) and that I could always tell her to fuck the fuck off.

    Which I didn't. Which is also how I acted when I was subjected to the only sexual assault in my life: by a middle-aged barber in his shop in North London. I just sort of sat there not really believing it was happening. It was minor and I'm not remotely traumatised by it. But do I think of it as a useful learning experience.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So where is my mail telling me what a Bad Feminist and a horrible person I am and how I’m making women feel terrible and making light of sexual violence?

    I'm getting it.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I didn't say it HERE

    Okay, that's technically true, but it does appear on this page. It wasn't intended as a "gotcha" or anything. Hope it's not me that's the reason you want to go private.

    Back to the point in question, where does that leave someone who might want to say that it happened to them and wasn't that big a deal? It's a dilemma at least, you have to admit.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to 3410,

    That up there, what Russell just did?

    Also, I have emailed you. Obviously there are issues in play here that can't be discussed in public.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to 3410,

    Back to the point in question, where does that leave someone who might want to say that it happened to them and wasn’t that big a deal? It’s a dilemma at least, you have to admit.

    There's a very big difference, as Russell has just demonstrated, between owning your own experience and weighing its importance to you, and negating the experiences of others.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BenWilson,

    Essentially, they seemed to operate an army culture.

    Actually that's unfair. The army team, and the navy team were fine. The police team, OTOH were the most fucked up team I've ever had the displeasure to come across anywhere in Australasia. I guess there's something deeply twisting about the potential to hurt people who can't fight back, encourages a really creepy attitude. One guy was really surprised that my way of getting him to release his hold on my balls was to choke him and hold him underwater, and kept saying to me "not the neck man, you can't touch the neck". Like there's rules to cheating and underhanded violence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    When we were in Syria (and Jordan to a lesser extent) one of the neatest revelations was just how fashionable the women were. Yes they had the hair covered and their ankles covered but the materials and colours were stunning. Within the restrictions of their own (self imposed?) dress code they expressed tremendous individuality and taste.

    See Hot Chicks in Hijabs, which is actually run by a Canadian guy, but seems to stay the right side of the appreciative/creepy line. I love how instead of a "contact" tab in the title navigation they have "issue a fatwa".

    Also, from British website Hijab Style, the recent Dubai Fashion Week. Clearly, heels are not ruled out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    While I don’t think anyone (male or female) wearing rugger strip in the chamber constitutes business dress, my opinion doesn’t really signify does it?

    I bleieve you could very easily call it common sense. Sports uniforms are not standard business dress. Hardly contentious - and I agree, a waste of parliamentary time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16661 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So at risk of being disemvoweled, here's some thoughts.

    Someone upthread pointed out the hard possibility that one's own actions in the past may have been rape and I think that gets right to the heart of victim blame.

    I think that maybe one reason people shift so quickly to victim blame (be it clothes or alcohol) is that if it's possible to blame the victim then it's ok to ignore the perpetrator and his/her motivations.

    If you can stop thinking about the rapist then you don't have to consider to possibility that you could be one too. Because frankly thinking about the possibility that you could do such harm to someone else is scary.

    I think that's where most folks become most uncomfortable. If we think about how many people commit rape, then we have to think about the possibility that we aren't necessarily that different from a rapist and that we could do that harm. What is it that stops me from being a rapist? I’m fundamentally the same as any other human and many humans are capable of rape. How do I know I won’t do that? Those are scary questions. And trite simplistic answers don’t help. But trite simplistic diversions can help you stop thinking about it.

    If you blame the victim you can set those questions aside. You never have to bother examining your behaviour past or future because it was not/will not be – your fault. Especially if you can stop the victims from behaving in ways that force you to rape.

    The alternative is to really examine the conditions that cause the rapist to do the harm and address those. Where are the anti binge drinking ads that show the man waking up in jail having raped? Where are the anti bullying adds that show someone standing by watching while their mates rape someone?

    And I apologise in advance if this comes across as one of all those things I'm not meant to do in this thread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    There’s a very big difference, as Russell has just demonstrated, between owning your own experience and weighing its importance to you, and negating the experiences of others.

    Sharing of experience, rather than mere opinion, is often a productive way through a sensitive debate. It's an important part of the culture here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

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