Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Not good enough, Eden Park

206 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

  • Lilith __, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    I get concerns over safety (obviously), and not wanting to get involved, but…how much would change if we could step up and say “dude. Not cool.”

    My [total amateur] understanding of using the bystander effect is that if a bystander draws the attention of other bystanders to the abusive situation, then the bystanders can deal with the abuser/bully together. As opposed to one person confronting the offender.

    But I’ve never been in that situation to know whether it works.

    ETA: and obviously, if it's a group of twatcocks, that's different again.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nah, you’ve lost me …

    I was assuming you were familiar with the basic principles of moral relativism

    Silly me.

    Oh, and do try to be more polite to people you disagree with. Isn’t that how civilised people are meant to behave?* We aren’t at a rugger match after all.

    * denotes intentional irony – in case you missed that too.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    I haven't experienced the bystander effect in a violent or abusive situation, but I've been able to change the behaviour of other bystanders in terms of giving aid/comfort to someone a couple of times.

    Twice I've been the only person willing to step up and make sure someone's OK when it's not clear whether they are or not.

    Once I was at an outdoor event where a couple of drunken guys had a bit of an argy-bargy, and one headbutted the other. The headbutee went down in a heap and didn't get up. After a couple of minutes of observing him and getting worried, I went over to see if he was OK, and to put him in the recovery position. The instant I knelt down next to him, everyone around us was all "Oh it's OK folks! She's a nurse!" (I'm not).

    Everyone knew he was lying unconscious on the grass, but until I arrived no-one else acknowledged it. The moment I did something about it, people vocally (although not physically) supported me.

    The second time was on Courtenay Place where I was a bit concerned about a street dude who was lying on his back on a bench, probably drunk, not moving. I just wanted to make sure he was alright, so I went over and shook him a bit, and asked if he was OK. Once he woke up (groggily) I checked he was OK and asked if there was anything he needed.

    In this instance, again, you could see that other people had already noticed him, but that they had chosen not to do anything about it. The moment I went up and started trying to wake him up, I was joined by two or three other people, also expressing concern.

    The reason why I'm the one doing this stuff when no-one else is, is because I know about the bystander effect. We studied it at university in a Psych 101 paper and for some reason it had a profound effect in me. I am therefore determined never to allow it to happen on my watch :)

    In a violent situation, I'd be very likely to do the same thing - and do something. Whether that was to step in myself or call security or whatever.

    My experience is that it only needs one person to step up, and at least a few others will suddenly find the will to do the same. This is a Good Thing :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris,

    retaliatory barbs aside-

    The simple point I’m making is this: Morality is directly related to social context, be it Ancient Rome, pre-European Aotearoa or a Eden Park.

    I’m saying that it is morally acceptable to call the ref a poofter at this particular rugby match, because the uttering of homophobic slurs and passive tolerance of such utterances is the prevailing cultural practice at these venues in my experience. My own moral code is essentially irrelevant in that context, that is one reason why I no longer attend such events.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Scott Chris,

    If you happen to be a moral relativist (a position most moral philosophers find incoherent); you'd be better off arguing for some Error Theory position than try to justify homophobia that way.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to HORansome,

    If you happen to be a moral relativist

    I'm not. You can't really be one. You simply use it as a tool in trying to be objective.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Scott Chris,

    You do realize that moral relativity is a controversial theory, right? It's not clearly true, beyond all doubt. Quite the opposite, it suffers from some very strong criticisms, the main one being perfectly exemplified by your line of argument here - that you are arguing one can't criticize behaviour of other people, so long as some culture of the time deems it unacceptable, so it's a deeply conservative theory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Scott Chris,

    You simply use it as a tool in trying to be objective.

    It might sometimes be helpful to understanding a completely different culture. But that is not the situation under discussion here. The woman was a NZer in a NZ rugby stadium.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Scott Chris,

    How does ascribing to a relativist position make your claim:

    Morality is directly related to social context, be it Ancient Rome, pre-European Aotearoa or a Eden Park.

    cogent? Unless you hold to, and can defend, moral relativism (and you just said you don't hold to it), then it's not at all clear that the morality of an act can be judged upon context. If you're an Error Theorist then I can see how you might say "Look, there's no truth to any claim about homophobia being good or bad" but that's a far cry from moral relativism, which claims the truth or falsity of any moral claim is context-dependent.

    Also, saying:

    the uttering of homophobic slurs and passive tolerance of such utterances is the prevailing cultural practice at these venues in my experience.

    confuses the standing of cultural practices with claims about the morality of those practices. It's making an appeal to tradition to justify kinds of behaviour, which is simply fallacious.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Also, what Ben said. Twice.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to webweaver,

    it only needs one person to step up, and at least a few others will suddenly find the will to do the same. This is a Good Thing

    And I appreciated the way you and your colleagues designed The Gathering's highly-visible support systems like that. Empowered everyone to look after one another brilliantly. Such a safe space for fun. Thank you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Scott Chris,

    The English middle classes worked this out a while ago. Most English soccer games involve (even today) the kind of offensive behaviour that would be unimaginable in NZ. But the middle classes (unless they hold or seek office in the Labour Party) care little - they, ironically, go to rugby if interested in watching a winter team sport.

    It's a kind of self-imposed apartheid - like going to trance gigs rather than hip-hop, or gay bars rather than Courtenay Place.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Scott Chris,

    trying to be objective

    why is that good?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Scott Chris,

    prevailing cultural practice

    mob rule, so appealing

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I can't really believe what I'm reading here. As if hate speech weren't bad enough - and yes, you're guaranteed to get wankers where ever you go including here apparently - these fuckwits then proceeded to poke at her and verbally abuse her. What part of _verbal and physical assault__ do we not understand? You are not allowed to do that to other people. And then, that no-one stood up and defended her? Fuckers. But that's okay, because rugby crowds can be like that?And if you think it's okay to do what these men did to Hannah, then shame on you. I don't go to rugby much - well not in the last 25 years anyway - but I'd have liked to see those bastards do that to me. Because, let me tell you, I work in a community where there are men who are bashy fuckers, and they're terrified of me. As they bloody should be. Any one who condones this sort of behaviour - and in our culture, not doing anything is active assent - should take a good hard look at themselves. No, it's not what should be expected at rugby games, and people who think it sucks are not sensitive flowers but decent human beings who may just enjoy rugby. Pah.

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

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Scott Chris,

    I’m saying that it is morally acceptable to call the ref a poofter at this particular rugby match, because the uttering of homophobic slurs and passive tolerance of such utterances is the prevailing cultural practice at these venues in my experience.

    So... what exactly is wrong with trying to change the prevailing culture? Either I can avoid doing activities that I enjoy because the prevailing culture is likely to be a hostile one, or I can aspire to a world in which enjoyment of the culture and enjoyment of the activity are aligned for the greatest number of people possible. So, I'm making a judgment call that my desire for a more friendly atmosphere outweighs the desire for the beefhead in front of me to call the ref a homo, but... well, it's pretty obvious which way maximum utility lies. On what planet would settling for the status quo be my only rational option?

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to HORansome,

    Unless you hold to, and can defend, moral relativism

    I hold to it in as much as descriptive relativism attempts to depict a subjective code in an objective way. Makes sense to me at least.

    then it’s not at all clear that the morality of an act can be judged upon context

    Sure, but describing anything meaningfully is incredibly difficult let alone any particular moral code/practice.

    If you’re an Error Theorist then I can see how you might say “Look, there’s no truth to any claim about homophobia being good or bad”

    Plainly I don't. I'm saying that within a given context a certain practice may be considered good/bad/tolerable according to established protocol.

    confuses the standing of cultural practices with claims about the morality of those practices.

    Okay that's a reasonable point. Morality encompasses harm/benefit whereas cultural practice relates to what may be considered tolerable. But you can't talk about everything at once and concepts often become blurred in conversation.

    It’s making an appeal to tradition to justify kinds of behaviour

    No. It's merely a description. You are pre-supposing some kind of emotional agenda which simply doesn't exist.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    So… what exactly is wrong with trying to change the prevailing culture?

    Within the context of this incident, provided the benefits of your actions outweigh the harms, I’d say nothing is wrong with trying to change the prevailing culture.

    I suggest you boycott Eden Park and let them know why, as I have suggested previously in this thread. They can then weigh the potential benefit/harm that your and other like minded individuals’ absence of patronage will have on them.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Sacha,

    why is that good?

    Good question.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to BenWilson,

    The woman was a NZer in a NZ rugby stadium.

    Are you suggesting NZers are monocultural?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Scott Chris,

    I’m saying that it is morally acceptable to call the ref a poofter at this particular rugby match, because the uttering of homophobic slurs and passive tolerance of such utterances is the prevailing cultural practice at these venues in my experience. My own moral code is essentially irrelevant in that context, that is one reason why I no longer attend such events.

    Okay. Let's go through how silly your position is here. You don't actually attend sporting events. I do, and Hannah does. As I have explained, I have been to the venue in question eight times this year. Last year, for my sins, I had a season ticket for the Blues. I'm quite clear that this kind of conduct is not to be expected there, or accepted. Yet we're somehow expected to accept your bloviating about "the prevailing cultural practice at such events".

    And even if we accept your theory ( just to make it interesting, say), what it escalated to -- the physical and verbal harassment of a clearly distressed young woman -- is not acceptable in any place, and is a clear breach of the conditions for entering the park. The idea that women should not attend sporting events if they don't want to be harassed and intimidated is not only offensive, it has no actual basis in reality. No modern sporting franchise can afford to deter women and families. On not one occasion in recent years have I been at Eden Park and not had women sitting around me. On not one occasion have I witnessed behaviour like that described in this case. It's not common and it's not acceptable.

    This isn't the first time I've had to have one of these bizarre conversations with you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Scott Chris,

    Within the context of this incident, provided the benefits outweigh the harms

    So you're a Utilitarian, rather than a moral relativist. Utilitarianism is an absolutist doctrine. It holds that the good lies in the balance of harms and benefits, and that is in stark contrast to cultural relativism.

    Let's have a look at the goods and harms. How do you see the benefits of making homophobic insults to a woman you don't know in a crowd of strangers who have paid to watch a rugby game? Is there some good at all that comes from that? How about the harms? Can you actually acknowledge that harm comes to a person who is made to feel insulted and then intimidated, then finally physically confronted, by a group of apparently drunk men, in a situation where moving away means leaving the stadium, since seating is allocated? How about the rest of the crowd around the group? Are they getting some benefit from the outcome? Is it nice for them to be around a confrontational situation that they also would have to give away their tickets to avoid? How about the other gay people in the crowd, which could be as many as one in ten people?

    Lay out the calculus on the table. Work it through. It's one way to come to an understanding of what happened there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Scott Chris,

    The woman was a NZer in a NZ rugby stadium.

    Are you suggesting NZers are monocultural?

    Yeah, okay, you're a troll. Bye.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On a happier note, one thing that made a crap Blues performance better this year was sitting in front of a group of young women who were able to flick effortlessly from full-noise girl-talk to savvy analysis of what was taking place in the game to lusting after various players. It was amazing and very entertaining.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I suppose this is the nub of it, and where we disagree. I don’t think hate speech should be banned, one groups hate speech is unfortunately another communities commonly expressed opinions. As long they weren’t inciting the crowd to violence, they can say what they like and be judged by the crowd. I trust that people can work it out for themselves, without the need for some risk averse bureaucrat introducing yet more creeping restrictions on my freedom to say what I damn well like.

    In this instance, if one person is being abused by a large group of people, and no one else is around, that's OK.

    What a bizarre thread.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.