Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Narcissists and bullies

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Victim Olympics also focus on what did and didn’t happen, rather than how we feel about what happened, but it’s the latter we take with us from day to day.

    That tallies with what my friend revealed to us last week. On the face of it, the assault she suffered as a teenager definitely "could have been worse", but the response of family and the subsequent impact on her life was very bad.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Carmel Sepuloni posted this on Facebook this morning:

    At the Waitakere Violence Free network. Some shocking revelations in our discussion. One guy said he spoke to 36 thirteen and fourteen year old boys and some of the responses were along the lines of 1) its only rape if a stranger does it 2) if a girl is drunk and/ or flirting and/ or wearing a short skirt then she is 'up for it' 3) boys set their moral compass as a group. If you didnt think we had a problem then think again.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to nzlemming,

    2) if a girl is drunk and/ or flirting and/ or wearing a short skirt then she is ‘up for it’

    We've had a couple of articles in local papers asking high school principals what they're doing about their net safety programs. Not one asking what they're doing about teaching consent. If you want to take someone to a movie, you ask them, right? So why does it seem crazier to ask someone if they want to have sex with you than to try to deduce it from their clothes?

    The persistence of the virgin-whore dichotomy is astonishing. About half a dozen times in my late teens and early twenties I had a guy actually ask me, with genuine puzzlement, "If you'll sleep with him, why won't you sleep with me?" You're either someone who has sex - and is therefore up for it with anyone - or someone who doesn't, and you can tell them apart by the way they dress or drink or something.

    Consent is not complicated. It's really fucking simple. If you find it too confusing, you should err on the side of Always Asking, every time. And we should stop pretending that talking about sex isn't done because it's dull. It isn't done because it's terrifying.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Consent is not complicated. It’s really fucking simple. If you find it too confusing, you should err on the side of Always Asking, every time. And we should stop pretending that talking about sex isn’t done because it’s dull. It isn’t done because it’s terrifying.

    +1

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Consent is not complicated. It’s really fucking simple. If you find it too confusing, you should err on the side of Always Asking, every time. And we should stop pretending that talking about sex isn’t done because it’s dull. It isn’t done because it’s terrifying.

    Yep.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Emma Hart,

    So why does it seem crazier to ask someone if they want to have sex with you than to try to deduce it from their clothes?

    +1 indeed

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to TracyMac,

    I don’t like the hint of “victim Olympics” in it.

    I'm sorry in hindsight that it came out like that, since my point was to actually question that very idea. I think it's great that there's finally so much anger about this kind of rape. Our societal reaction to notorious violent rapists, from which we draw our cues, has been applied to these offenders.

    severity or longevity of harm doesn’t necessarily equate with the “severity” of the assault.

    No, and that's true of practically all crime. Punishment is more closely tied to the severity of the assault. But the unforeseen-but-foreseeable consequences do weigh in - reckless driving causing death is more severe than reckless driving alone. Assault that causes death can be manslaughter or murder depending on the circumstances.

    The consequences of rape are drawn out, well beyond a trial, if one ever happens, and they may not be obvious from the outside. I think that it's a tricky area for the law to be consistent about, emotional harm is often not given much credence against the more easily seen harms, in the case of other crimes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Sacha,

    Once you accept that rapists do not wander around with horns and 666 tattooed on their foreheads, you realise that they are a product of their social environment. This in turn implies the social norms need adjusting. For many, especially the privileged males, this is a challenge to their orthodoxy and position. Hence the JT and Willie reaction. And possibly the initial police response.

    More light, please.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to BenWilson,

    No, and that’s true of practically all crime. Punishment is more closely tied to the severity of the assault. But the unforeseen-but-foreseeable consequences do weigh in – reckless driving causing death is more severe than reckless driving alone. Assault that causes death can be manslaughter or murder depending on the circumstances.

    True, but sexual assault crime tends to attract more irrational pitch fork style vigilantly responses. And different types of sexual offenses attract different types of outrage. Jackson and Tamahere for example might find serial pedophiles Obhorent but have no problem with date rape. Some people get the mechanics of sexual assault but only if a penis is involved. So yes different degrees of sexual abuse but in a legalistitic sense, which can in terms of recovery, be relevant. So dynamics of sexual assault historically meant and still does to some extent determine levels of professional support for the victims and degree of punishment/rehabilitation for the perpetrators. And most of all, how the community responds.

    Edit: can people please look beonend my poor spelling here. I am using an iPad that has inadequate spellcheck. Thanks:)

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    Once you accept that rapists do not wander around with horns and 666 tattooed on their foreheads, you realise that they are a product of their social environment. This in turn implies the social norms need adjusting.

    So effectively, people aren't born to be rapists, but made into them.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to steven crawford,

    And it only takes threes dogs to constitute a pack.

    Yeah and there is something in that dynamic , the late great poet Alden Nowlan had a good term to explain why people would not do things individually they would a pack
    "the guilt can't be divided into small forgettable pieces"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    This in turn implies the social norms need adjusting.

    You make it sound so easy Dismal , social norms or cultural narratives sometimes take generations to " adjust"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say yeah. I have no evidence to hand but would be very surprised if rapists were going to rape no matter their environment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Agreed. But until we as a society acknowledge that the norms need to change (and that has to start somewhere), change won't happen. Understanding why some/many resist that change makes the process more bearable.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Alexander,

    I'm not sure this is a particularly helpful development. Apart from the obvious victim-blaming aspects, it could easily lead to escalation of violence etc.

    Chch • Since May 2013 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    More light, please.

    Said the prison inmate to society.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Kirk Alexander,

    Not helpful at all.

    Besides which, what happens when, on that awesome night out the chick's having in the video, she's had so much to drink (including non-alcoholics of course) she needs to pee in a hurry, and she's dashing to the loo thinking "crap, was the combination quarter past four or quarter TO four?!"...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Consent is not complicated. It’s really fucking simple. If you find it too confusing, you should err on the side of Always Asking, every time. And we should stop pretending that talking about sex isn’t done because it’s dull. It isn’t done because it’s terrifying.

    And you know what, kids, consent (i.e. treating your potential sexual partner as a participant in a mutually respectful and pleasurable activity not some semen spittoon) is really fucking hot.

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

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to Richard Aston,

    You make it sound so easy Dismal , social norms or cultural narratives sometimes take generations to ” adjust”

    What better time to start than now?

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    And Radio Vile strikes again! FFS, is there something in the water?

    [edit] which was actually last week. I must have missed it in a paroxysm of community outrage.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    Once you accept that rapists do not wander around with horns and 666 tattooed on their foreheads, you realise that they are a product of their social environment. This in turn implies the social norms need adjusting. For many, especially the privileged males, this is a challenge to their orthodoxy and position.

    Good old psychological 'othering' rears it's head again. 'I am a good person. My firends are good people and my friends of friends - my wider community - are also good people. As they are all good, they can never do evil. Therefore, those who do are monstrous abberations rather than a product of the environment. Our efforts must therefore be put into casting them out and shunning them rather than examining the environment, because it goes without saying that it doesn't need changing. Because we're all good people.'

    social norms or cultural narratives sometimes take generations to ” adjust”

    Well, um....yes? Martin Luther King to Obama was merely a few decades, and now that Obama is president, that struggle is done and dusted, right? Stonewall to gay marriage across the entire western world? Pay and representation parity for women in boardrooms and government?

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

  • Kracklite,

    Let me say that I've had a further communication from a senior police officer relating to previous matters that I believe was in good faith and well intentioned.

    My impression is that certain individuals mean well, even senior ones, but that there is an entrenched culture, so certainly, ANY talk of "bad apples" has to be stamped on immediately.

    Keep pushing awareness of rape culture, not just a few bad apples.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    An interesting site I became aware of last night http://theharbour.org.nz/ which looks like it’s taking a good approach. There’s a similar site/organisation in Scotland called Havens.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    That is good news Kracklite, I maintain that we humans are mostly trustworthy or we would be extinct by now. And I will still recommend going to the police rather than the local motorcycle gang for help. But with caveats of course.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to steven crawford,

    Well, at Don Corleone's home, I know that I would have better food.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

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