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Speaker: Not even a statistic

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  • Emma Hart,

    Rosemary, I know you didn’t intend it that way, but I found your comment hugely distressing, and it looks like I’m not the only one.

    The last time I was raped, which was not a million years ago, it was in my own bed, by my then-partner. Like so many people, I froze up entirely during the experience, and didn’t move or speak until it was over. There was only one person I told about it, partly because “didn’t fight back” becomes part of the “not real rape” narrative. Nonetheless, I am not in the least ashamed of how I reacted.

    “Self-defence” is very focused on the ‘attack by a total stranger walking down a dark street’ rape myth narrative. Learning self-defence will not, as I said, keep you safe from being raped.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4620 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Why is this not an election issue? Why are there not blue or red or green billboards around town proclaiming the intent to be “rape-free by 2020”?

    It’s one of Labours policies Here is a bit of it.

    Labour will allow the Law Commission to complete its review on alternative trial mechanisms, including the establishment of a specialist sexual violence court and consider reforms that provide real justice to survivors while protecting the right to be presumed innocent, including: cross examination rules, alternative trial processes, establishment of sexual violence support, specialist training including on the dynamics of violence, support services during justice processes, and changes to the definition of consent.

    We will review prosecution guidelines to ensure New Zealand Police appropriately and consistently arrest and charge domestic violence offenders. We will also review the operation of Protection Orders.

    We will ensure the Police are adequately resourced and trained, embed the Bazley report changes, and focus on prevention and community safety. We will ensure specialist Adult Sexual Assault teams and Child Protection Services are properly resourced.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    “Self-defence” is very focused on the ‘attack by a total stranger walking down a dark street’ rape myth narrative. Learning self-defence will not, as I said, keep you safe from being raped.

    And it can also disappear a lot of abuse victims for whom "self-defense" wasn't an option. Some years back, a member of my extended family pulled her elderly mother (who has dementia) out of a home after one of the staff was discovered sexually assaulting another resident when her daughter unexpectedly dropped by for a visit and thought nothing of walking into her Mum's room without knocking. He'd been doing this to vulnerable women for years.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12363 posts Report Reply

  • WaterDragon, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    First honour to Katrina, and to all of the women who speak out/don't speak out/say something and are disbelieved/get to put themselves through the gruelling ordeal of a trial/undergo trial by media.
    Thank you. We hear the echoes of the pain. We've all of us made different choices for very good reasons. What happens to you is always there, and it is often so difficult to manage.
    We need to change the rape culture that we're soaking in (great phrase Emma). That's all of us, not just the men.

    Behind you • Since Jul 2011 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Learning self-defence will not, as I said, keep you safe from being raped.

    Why are we still using "teach women to do stuff" arguments anyway? I'm sick of learning all these fucking things. Let's teach some men to do stuff for a change.

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

  • Kumara Republic,

    There's a double standard with the Kiwiboil crowd who often go on about "uncovered meat", and hardly ever about "young, dumb and full of cum", unless it's an excuse to say that boys will always be boys.

    The Kiwiboil crowd seem to think that rape culture only happens in the Middle East and other culturally backward regions of the world, and blithely dismiss any incidence of rape culture in the West with the fallacies of appeals to worse problems and no-true-Scotsman-ism.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5341 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Danielle,

    Let’s teach some men to do stuff for a change.

    Is there anything males need to be taught, other than to just Stop?

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to bob daktari,

    Is there anything males need to be taught, other than to just Stop?

    Yes, and we’ve been through this all before. They need to learn what rape actually looks like. They need to learn to call their mates out when they keep pushing after a ‘no’. They need to learn that no-one is entitled to sex, that women should be able to wear any damn thing they want, that there are very good reasons why women don’t lay rape complaints.

    And… look, I don’t want to be offending anyone, and I hope that it’s obvious that I’m not talking about the PAS guys who constructively engage on these threads. You guys are fucking awesome and giving us hope for humanity and all that crap.

    But there are some guys here who aren’t, and this is what I want to say to them.

    Women like me, like Katrina, like Lucy, we’re right here, in this community with you. We’re sitting right here, talking about what’s happened to us. When it comes to rape and rape culture, we are your experts. We are. On these topics, we’re your Ngs and Edgelers. Give us the same respect for our knowledge as you would them in their areas of expertise.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4620 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Sorry, my simplistic answer wasn't meant to discount nor belittle what you're doing here and in the real world.

    I had typed something about empathy and respect (for ones self and others) but I fear for some thats a step too far along the being a human path, stop is simple

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    If I may......

    We need to stop thinking and reinforcing the view that things like this don't happen in the spaces that we inhabit.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Women like me, like Katrina, like Lucy, we’re right here, in this community with you. We’re sitting right here, talking about what’s happened to us. When it comes to rape and rape culture, we are your experts. We are. On these topics, we’re your Ngs and Edgelers. Give us the same respect for our knowledge as you would them in their areas of expertise.

    Yes.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2882 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    " On these topics, we’re your Ngs and Edgelers. Give us the same respect for our knowledge as you would them in their areas of expertise."

    Yes. This.

    "Is there anything males need to be taught, other than to just Stop?"

    Yes there most certainly is. I'm a mother to four boys, I don't try to teach them "just stop", instead I try to teach them that girls and women are people, human beings that deserve respect, kindness, and to be treated with dignity. Girls and women aren't objects for the male gaze, or toys for male pleasure.

    I want my sons to grow into good men who treat people with respect.

    Since May 2009 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Emma Hart,

    If I could like this a million times I would. I would. I very would.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Danielle,

    Why are we still using “teach women to do stuff” arguments anyway?

    And as Melissa McEwan rather sharply, and correctly, puts it in her Rape Culture 101:

    Rape culture is refusing to acknowledge that the only thing a person can do to avoid being raped is never be in the same room as a rapist. Rape culture is avoiding talking about what an absurdly unreasonable expectation that is, since rapists don’t announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple.

    What “stuff” can you teach anyone that makes living your short and exceptionally unpleasant life alone in a locked room a viable option? There's nothing because it isn't.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12363 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I don’t try to teach them “just stop”, instead I try to teach them that girls and women are people, human beings that deserve respect, kindness, and to be treated with dignity. Girls and women aren’t objects for the male gaze, or toys for male pleasure.

    And that women have empowerment and agency and sexuality, and that they can choose and enjoy. It's strongly inculcated ideas which repeated frequently enough can make a rape invisible, to a rapist, most a room of jurors, and on a bad day even the victim.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    It’s one of Labours policies Here is a bit of it.

    Yup and I was aware of it.

    But you know, I think, I really think, that if a political party chose to make it THE ISSUE, they could. Because when push comes to shove most of the rest of the policies are much of a muchness, a little more emphasis on housing or education, private this public that.

    But this issue ... This utterly shameful issue that is a hideous evil part of our society now ... could actually be addressed ... with my tax dollars ... with real commitment ... with no dodging, no saying "yes yes how terrible but we have more important things to do ..."

    We could actually fix this in New Zealand, we really could, but all of us would have to try.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    Why are we still using “teach women to do stuff” arguments anyway? I’m sick of learning all these fucking things. Let’s teach some men to do stuff for a change.

    Hear, hear.

    This is everyone's problem. It's happening to women in everyone's workplace. It's happening by men in every social circle.

    Women are already doing as much as they can to stop rape, if we want to change this culture it has to come from changes to the other half of society.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    We could actually fix this in New Zealand, we really could, but all of us would have to try.

    And look what happened when Cunliffe apologised. Reading comments in different places as well as here. he was belittled. He stood tall, he would not retract and yet even the PM called him silly. And half the country like that weasel. Labour have put it out there. They have to get in first in order for anything to happen. Even if they made it the main issue, they wouldn't get enough votes to make laws practical. Everyone here wants different things from the Party they support. This one issue although I commend Labour for trying is not enough to win on.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Not even a statistic

    Yep.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3869 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    This is everyone’s problem. It’s happening to women in everyone’s workplace. It’s happening by men in every social circle

    And it's happening to men. I'm not being picky but pointing out that it's a culture of respect for people that needs to be engendered.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2882 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Strong words Katrina, I hope you find love and peace in your life.

    Since Mar 2010 • 352 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Women are already doing as much as they can to stop rape, if we want to change this culture it has to come from changes to the other half of society.

    I don't know about that. Rape culture isn't just about raping or not raping, it's about the conditions that make it easier to get away with, and how women react to rape victims, and how they talk about the problem of rape is quite important. It all sets the backdrop. But certainly men must do way, way more.

    On that, though, it's hard to actually make practical advice. I don't even know that we're at a stage where advice is something even worth giving. It seems to me that the biggest inroads are simply the stream of factual information about rape and what it is really like that makes the biggest difference. Cold hard statistics like "most rapes are not by strangers", and powerful personal accounts like Katrina's. The more normalized it is to know these facts and stories, the more progress I think we will make. Considering that they are set against absolutely no facts, and very few actual stories on the other side, it's a battle that should slowly get won. Rape culture itself has only theory on its side, and it's got plenty enough voices to fight feminist theory, shouting match for shouting match. But on the facts, it's got nothing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Helga, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    What a wonderful story! It speaks volumes of the way your friend brought up her daughter and of her daughter's strength and anger in support of her mother.

    New Zealand • Since May 2012 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BenWilson,

    Rape culture itself has only theory on its side, and it’s got plenty enough voices to fight feminist theory, shouting match for shouting match

    Rereading that, it sounds terrible. I'm not saying feminists only shout. Just that when it's them vs rape culture that's how it goes down, because they've got an opponent that's got no interest in good faith. And because of that, more likely, it goes silent on one side. I've seen this over and over since I've been paying attention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I don't understand this Ben. I'm not sure what you mean.
    To me, personally, rape culture means this: that I feel (felt) responsible, that society makes me feel responsible, for my own safety.
    That if I step outside the bounds of what is deemed "safe", then it's my fault, whatever happens to me.
    That the perpetrator is seen as someone who cannot be changed, and therefore the victim is always at fault.
    At age 50, I always have to be aware of walking alone.
    After a lifetime of this shit, yes, I am not happy about it. And something needs to change.
    Rape culture is really about entitlement, in my view. This is my space, I am in this space, if you are in my space and you get hurt, more fool you.
    Except that often we are in our own spaces.
    Clarification would be good, on what you mean.

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

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