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Speaker: Sex, monsters and outrage

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  • Emma Hart,

    So I read the original story, because pretty much my wheelhouse, and thought, I bet there’s more to this. Then the gaynz story turned up – far from the first time their reporting on something like this has outdone mainstream media, I assume they’re less concerned with pageviews. I tweeted it, posted it on Facebook, and then decided that no, I wouldn’t spend the entire rest of the day correcting other people’s outraged Facebook posts. I also got this reply on Twitter:

    this is my sister. She has been harassed by that journo for the last week. Absolutely no respect.

    There is a follow-up on Stuff this morning, and the whole thing appears to still be spiralling down.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Allan Bell's research into readers' understanding of news stories (25 years ago!) found the same thing happening repeatedly -- readers' perceptions were most influenced by the headline and lead, which often did not accurately reflect the events being reported.

    Audience perceptions from broadcast news are generally even more distorted, as for many stories only the lead is given.

    And of course, on Twitter, it's only the headline.

    As for retractions ... social media, and web-based media sites, just magnify the pattern we've gotten used to seeing in hardcopy print media -- of screaming large-font steaming bullshit on the front page, and eventual retraction buried in small print on page 8.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1938 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The lesson was – and why not have some fun with paraphrasing – intended to point out the unfortunate truth that there are a lot of dicks in the world and some of them try to force their dickery on others. I’d have thought this was a pretty important lesson, especially when it comes to sexual health, and where better to experience it than in the (relatively) safe space of a health education class?

    Yes, and if Labour's education spokesman is unaware the madonna-whore complex is alive and well (and enormously damaging to women), I'm sure someone in the Labour Research Unit can pull together a nice thick briefing book of more solid examples of media, political and police/judicial slut-shaming and victim-blaming. We're soaking in it, Chris, and the least we can do is at least start giving young people their first tools to defend themselves from it. It could quite literally save lives down the road.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    We’re soaking in it, Chris, and the least we can do is at least start giving young people their first tools to defend themselves from it. It could quite literally save lives down the road.

    I hope you gave everyone you know who took the story at face value the same lecture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to linger,

    readers’ perceptions were most influenced by the headline and lead, which often did not accurately reflect the events being reported.

    Yup, they're often not just inaccurate, but diametrically opposite to what is mainly reported in the article. So long as there is one quote from some fool who also got the wrong end of the stick, that's the headline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    I feel like I perhaps didn't make the point strongly enough that (as Craig points out) that the viewpoint of those flyers isn't really the preserve of nutcases. It's incredibly prevalent, particularly in relatively vanilla religious circles, not to mention in society at large. The nutcases behind the pamphlets just articulate it a bit more bluntly and honestly than many do.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Connelly,

    Well done, a story that needed telling

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2012 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I hope you gave everyone you know who took the story at face value the same lecture.

    I certainly will, starting with giving myself a stern rap over the knuckles for not having the bullshit detector fully engaged when this first dropped. But you know why I was hard on Chris: Because it really sounded way out of character from someone I knew casually back in our student politics days and had a lot of time for. Someone, BTW, who may plausibly be the Education Minister in the next Labour-led government and who I hope will avoid Hekia Parata's tendency to shoot from the lip and blow another toe off. (It's a constant mystery to me how a woman who's not stupid or incapable so often ends up suffering from foot-in-mouth disease.)

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

  • Dylan Reeve,

    The story isn't really settled just yet though... The principal was paraphrased in a TVNZ story as basically blaming the student: "Smith says this was just a case of one student not having a clear understanding of the material."

    And according to another SEN post the same school, just in the last week, put on some sort of whole-school show run by Equippers church.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    More about the school show at Papanui (and many other schools)...

    Things aint right! The world today is not the way God designed it to be. That leaves us with two choices, we can accept things or put our faith in action and be the change we want to see in the world.

    The Revolution Tour has chosen the later. This annual expedition out of Equippers Church, seeks to challenge the Young people across Aotearoa to be a generation that allows their life to be transformed by Jesus. Then, to go on to cause a revolution of change, in Jesus name.

    TEAR Fund: The Revolution Tour

    (You won't find mention of any of that on the show's website though, or their Facebook page)

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    So many people have gotten beside themselves with rage and yet nobody in the story has actually done anything wrong. The most that's happened is a misunderstanding.

    Yes, the pamphlet sucks. It's bordering on hate speech. As others have said, it's probably better to meet this sort of hatred in a safe environment and be able to discuss and dismiss it, than to meet it suddenly on the street or in your letterbox.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I certainly will, starting with giving myself a stern rap over the knuckles for not having the bullshit detector fully engaged when this first dropped. But you know why I was hard on Chris: Because it really sounded way out of character from someone I knew casually back in our student politics days and had a lot of time for.

    I don't for a moment think Hipkins holds the views you ascribed to him. He just got caught by cynical reporting and online outrage, like a lot of people did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    My daughter got herself out of the required Revolutions Tour visit to the school by making it clear (with my support) that if she was forced to go she would need to preserve her mental health from the Tour's pressures by challenging the Tours history, tactics, and goals.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Smith says this was just a case of one student not having a clear understanding of the material."

    I feel like he misspoke. It's far from an ideal response, but when journalists are crawling over your every statement and you're perhaps not used to fronting media pressure this is going to happen. What I suspect is happening is that Smith is going in to bat for his school and his staff under media pressure. When it comes to statements, surely the one that matters is

    "Papanui High School is an inclusive school and proud of its diversity and we, in no way, hold these opinions."



    The school assembly being run by Equippers is a bit of a different matter, although I don't like that SEN poster's attempt to conflate that with what happened with the sex ed - they're clearly very different animals. Schools are under a lot of pressure to host this sort of stuff, as a.) they tend to be portrayed as educational and free, and b.) they get stung for religious intolerance when they don't allow them. When I was at primary school we had a bunch of life-skills classes that were actually run by the Baha'i. My wife Louise is a relief teacher and sees a lot of that sort of thing. It's interesting hearing teacher perspectives on it; hopefully some will show up here.

    Bottom line is that I don't like the way that people with a proselytizing agenda worm their way into schools either - the sooner the Bible In Schools loophole gets shut down the better - but to conflate that real problem with what happened in that sex-ed class seems like a pretty wrongheaded approach to the problem.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Joshua Drummond,

    Smith is going in to bat for his school and his staff under media pressure

    What a pity the school, parents and teachers can’t be allowed to sort it out between themselves. RL should not be confused with reality television, where we all have the right to see, hear, and judge everybody.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle,

    Bottom line is that I don't like the way that people with a proselytizing agenda worm their way into schools either

    I agree, we know where the pamphlets came from. I think the next question to ask is "How much did the school pay for the pamphlets?' I think it's likely that the organisation donated them, but it's worth checking out, and to find out how much of this kind of thing gets donated to schools in general.

    I would be upset if the school bought the materials as that would be supporting the religious organisation that made them.

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond, in reply to Greville Whittle,

    I think the next question to ask is "How much did the school pay for the pamphlets?

    I can field that one: they were free (this kind of material usually is.) In this case - as one of the stories points out - the teacher of the class found them tucked under a windscreen wiper of the car. I doubt a school would ever need to pay for this sort of stuff, even if they were inclined to.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    DO we know the names of the reporters and editors who put this shit together?

    In no way suggesting harassment but useful to know who is likely to try and deceive simply to get more hits.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    TEAR Fund

    Interesting. Do they get their TV adverts for free?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Herald on Sunday's Lynley Bilby, for one - education round seems one of her focuses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Lilith __,

    Yes, the pamphlet sucks. It’s bordering on hate speech

    Bordering on hate speech ??? Someone has got themselves in a twist if they think its. 'borderline'. Quite the reverse in that the Freedom of Expression fully entitles them to give information or opinion of any kind and in any form.
    There is no evidence here of actual discrimination to unwed mothers.
    Having wacko views and spreading them around isn't hate speech , which in NZ only covers those inciting abusive and threatening language because of someones colour race, national or ethnic origins.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    There is no evidence here of actual discrimination to unwed mothers.
    Having wacko views and spreading them around isn't hate speech , which in NZ only covers those inciting abusive and threatening language because of someones colour race, national or ethnic origins.

    Official discrimination, no. De facto discrimination, maybe. Although discrimination is against the law, many of the old attitudes still persist.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    http://www.biblebaptistpublications.org/homosexuality.html

    This from the organisation from which the pamphlet originated. I think it's sinister and that it's dangerous for Year 11 students to be exposed to anything by these people. Maybe at Year 13 in a very controlled environment. To enable a relieving teacher to use it is careless.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Cecelia,

    I think it’s sinister and that it’s dangerous for Year 11 students to be exposed to anything by these people.

    Do you not think most 13 year olds have already heard this kind of stuff? And having it given some kind of context, being asked to think critically about it, surely that can only be helpful.

    If we don't teach this stuff, that certain groups of people are subject to the most vile, hateful shit, then we erase their experience of this kind of bullying.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Official discrimination, no. De facto discrimination, maybe

    There is no discrimination period. Some people have no idea of the meaning of words.

    Spreading wacko views about unmarried woman isnt hate speech , it isnt discrimination either. It was a pamphlet under a windscreen wiper.
    Discrimination involves doing something to a particular person, like employer to employee, or not providing a service and so on.

    Shopping Malls usually have rules against anyone passing out leaflets, fundraising in their carparks, etc for the simple reason they are a pain. No discrimination involved with that either. The ban would be a blanket one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

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