Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Think it possible that you may be mistaken

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  • A O, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    @Megan Wegan,
    "Hey, AO. You want to answer my question from a couple of pages back? Who is speaking up for the young women in this case? Why are you so concerned about free speech, and not concerned about a culture that means young women are too afraid to make a complaint to police, let alone to speak publicly about what had happened to them. Where is your outrage about _that_?"

    I’m not concerned about free speech but I’ve gotten a better understanding of this theme in my short time here. I hold a different view to many here but one shouldn’t automatically assume much of anything as a result.

    Cloudy Bay • Since Nov 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to A O,

    Which doesn't even remotely address my question, but I'm going to go and drink in the sun, so you just get on with your bad self.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to A O,

    that allowing for all points of view is far more in the spirit of free speech than attempting to silence opposing views.

    Ok, a little grammar. English, like every language I've ever studied and I presume every language in the world, has the active voice and the passive voice. In the active voice, the grammatical subject of a sentence is the same as the real world agent or actor who performed the action* being described. For example:

    "Radio Live decided to forbid its presenters from discussing rape on the air."

    In the passive voice, on the other hand, the grammatical subject is the real world recipient or, dare I say it, victim of the action being described. For example:

    "Victims of sexual violence are silenced."

    Oh, and did you notice that in the passive voice, the agent or actor does not even need to be mentioned in order to write a complete sentence? Try again:

    "Victims of sexual violence are silenced by a culture that allows people to blame the victims for the crimes committed against them."

    And you do see the difference, don't you? In the active voice, the emphasis is on the actor and what the actor did - Radio Live made a decision to not allow discussion of rape. In the passive voice the emphasis is on the victims and what was done to them - the prevailing culture makes it extremely difficult for the victims of sexual violence to talk about what was done to them to the point where they feel they are not allowed to speak.

    In other words, no. It is not Radio Live or Willie Jackson or John Tamihere who have been silenced. Nobody is censoring them in any way. Radio Live could allow its presenters to discuss rape - but hopefully with some of the editorial oversight that seems to have been lacking of late so that people with a variety of opinions on and experiences of the subject feel safe to call in and put forward their views.

    Or did you not notice the comments upthread by Jackie, Lilith, Danielle and probably a few others whose names have slipped my mind about the sheer number of people they know who would like to contribute to this discussion, but feel unable to do so because they do not feel safe here?

    *It's a common misperception that verbs are action words. They are not. Many, the most obvious being the verb "to be", describe states rather than actions. But that's neither here nor there.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    [Deleted as overtaken by events]

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to A O,

    Please Jackie, don’t assume that scorn (or blame) is being heaped on anyone

    Scorn/blame is heaped on young women when they are raped. When JT and Willy interviewed "Amy", they questioned her in such a way as to reiterate the blame/shame culture.

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

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to A O,

    Again, a discussion can be held without needing to blame anyone.

    Sorry, are you saying it’s possible to discuss rape without needing to blame the rapists?

    Or, if you’re just saying that it’s possible to discuss rape without blaming the victims, yes, that’s possible, but it’s not what Willie and JT did.

    What they said and what they’ve been interpreted as saying are two different things.

    Or alternatively, you don’t understand what victim blaming is.

    When they said “Yeah but girls shouldn’t be drinking anyway, should they?” and “The other side come to it, are they willing drinkers, all those questions come in don’t they?”, that’s victim-blaming, because it implies (as in, it’s implicit) that the reason the girls were raped was because they had been drinking, not because the boys raped them.

    When they said “So anyway you fibbed, lied, whatever, and went out to the parties”, that’s victim-blaming, because it implies that the reason the girls were raped was because they lied to go out to parties, not because the boys raped them.

    When they said “–­ did you not know they were up to this mischief?”, that’s victim blaming, because it implies that the reason the girls were raped was because they went to a party where there were boys who some of their friends may or may not have known had raped before – not because the boys raped them.

    When they said “Do you think over this period any of the girls could have got together and said, this is not on?”, that’s victim-blaming, because it implies that the reason the girls were raped was because none of the girls got together and told the boys off, not because the boys raped them.

    These are only some examples. My posts are often longer than I think ideal, so I’m trying to keep it short.

    Those are their exact words, and what those words mean. It’s not “what they’ve been interpreted as saying”, it’s what those words mean. Again: they did not say “we condone the actions of rapists”. They just condoned the actions of rapists by what they said.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Swan, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Stephen, I've read Andrews comment.

    I have effectively responded to point 1 in my previous comment. Point 2 I think misses the point of principle. Andrews is interpreting it to be: Well it was ok in this case but the problem is it might lead to cases that aren't ok. That is not the argument. The argument is that editorial interference from advertisers is fundamentally undesirable. That editorial independence is to be prized.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Swan,

    That is not the argument. The argument is that editorial interference from advertisers is fundamentally undesirable. That editorial independence is to be prized.

    Yes, after 16 pages, I think we’ve established that as an argument. Excluding all other other arguments -- including those relating to other "fundamentally undesirable" things -- to preserve the purity of the proposition isn’t really credible..

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Prized highly enough to preserve it in this case? Nope, not going to the barricades for this one. Anyone with enough principles knows that they need to be balanced, and I'm very happy with the balance here. In this complicated world I think it's up to absolutists to explain to why their principle get to be privileged. Especially when they seem to consistently protect one class of people over another.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's been a wake up call for me about how some people prioritize their values, and just what is actually important to me.

    I wish more of those who so quickly jump to the defense of the powerful paused for that insight to fill them.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    it's up to absolutists to explain to why their principle get to be privileged. Especially when they seem to consistently protect one class of people over another

    That's pretty much what I was asking, many pages ago. Genuinely interested why the 'free speech' of some people trumps different rights of others?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to JacksonP,

    And where IS Graeme? Be careful what you wish for.

    I don't know where you're at today, but Wellington is glorious.

    I've been at the beach.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • kalypso,

    +1 Lucy

    I am a little confused by Graeme's original post. Why is it a bad thing if I, as a humble housewife, decide not shop somewhere and discourage others from doing so because their advertising is funding speech I dislike? It is one of the few powers I have as said humble housewife. Surely someone who approves of the speech has an equal freedom to target their spending to that business and ask like-minded people to do the same? Just because a boycott is called, does not mean that it will succeed. Sometimes, I have noticed it has the opposite effect from that intended.

    Swan - editorial independence is a fine thing but, given that media organisations are corporates funded by shareholders and advertisers, it is probably as mythical as unicorns.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to kalypso,

    an equal freedom

    you have to wonder

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I have no words. Nice for you that you don’t have to care.

    [oh wait, I do, do you actually think that you've "elevated the entire roastbusters debate" or was that retweet deliberately ironic?]

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Thanks to a few women in my Twitter stream, I am now able to articulate what is so horribly inappropriate about using this case as a hook for an examination of free speech issues. In a forum with a general audience, it's like using Holocaust denial as your free speech thing in a room full of Jews. That poor Irvine, why is Lipstadt so meeeeeean to him.

    Also if this Godwins the thread to death, good. It really does deserve it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Prized highly enough to preserve it in this case? Nope, not going to the barricades for this one.

    me neither.

    what we have in this case is advertisers choosing to not have their products, their business, and their reputations associated with rape apologists.

    personally i see that as "the free market in operation", and not as "interference with editorial integrity".

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    it's like using Holocaust denial as your free speech thing in a room full of Jews

    this

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hi folks. In consultation with Graeme, I’m closing the thread, from which I think there is no more to be gained.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

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