Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Lighting the Dark

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Moz,

    In my experience Russell is quite selective and often quite slow with his take-downs.

    Possibly – I think Russell would rather say he’s not a heavy-handed moderator and depends a lot on the community’s ability to set fundamentally civilized standards and self-correct. But honestly, I would feel safe e-mailing Russell or Emma and saying “hey, I’m not cool with that would you think about a takedown” and getting a respectful and fair-minded hearing. (Which is not the same thing as getting my own way in all things. Shitters.) I don’t want to derail this thread any more than I already have, but there’s plenty of local blogs where none of this could happen without things turning to crap in minutes. Public Address isn't perfect; I'm certainly not but I feel safe around here because I feel we're trying to figure it out and just do better.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Emma Hart,

    More specifically, I think it’s about teaching our kids to see all people as people first, and their gender well down the line. That means no gendered toys. It means encouraging your sons to play with girls, your kids to have friends of all genders from the earliest age. It’s about utterly rejecting “boys don’t cry” and “ha, you got hit by a GIRL!”. It’s about giving them media to watch that doesn’t reinforce gender stereotypes, and surrounding your kids with adults who are Good People, who don’t make sexist jokes at Christmas.

    This is possibly my favourite paragraph you’ve written on the topic Emma. One thing that’s worth keeping in mind is that increasingly; it’s the kids who know and understand this and it’s the adults who are being left behind. A NZDoctor study last year found as many as 4% of Auckland high school students identify as transgender, this indicates far more acceptance and gender diversity in that age group than we see among adults in New Zealand.

    Unfortunately the comments section, like so many we’ve seen, contains its fair share of gender essentialist and oppositional sexist stereotyping, and we never quite reach the point where older generations are prepared to accept that with regards to gender – you’ve largely been sold a pup.

    So while people have the right ideas and focus we’re still seeing this gender divide presented by our media in what I would describe as an incendiary manner:

    These men would like us to ignore the fact that racism and sexism not only deprive people of human rights. They kill.

    Despite all Bernie Sander’s faults, I don’t believe this is one of them. English contains an extensive vocabulary to describe any issue we human beings face, and in recent years ‘men’ has been somewhat overused as a substitute for misogynists, rapists, murderers, abusers, institutional misogyny etc. and we’ve just witnessed an almighty backlash to this in the US.

    There’s a real danger when reinforcing ideas like ‘all men are potential rapists’, or ‘more women are raped because they are physically weaker’ – especially among the youth – that we lose sight of the importance of consent and are simply mortaring over very real issues that people experience:

    In other words, if being made to penetrate someone was counted as rape—and why shouldn’t it be?—then the headlines could have focused on a truly sensational CDC finding: that women rape men as often as men rape women.

    These types of findings need to be acknowledged because these things happen to us, our outdated laws surrounding consent need to be addressed, and we need to wake up to the reality that there has been an overcorrection and although we may continue to throw around terms like "men” as a slur – it no longer means what some of us think it does:

    “I have to be very careful to not be staring at kids,” says Gardner. “I can look at a mom and her baby, but I can’t look for too long. I miss being seen as not a threat.”

    It’s a fine line:

    see all people as people first, and their gender well down the line

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2117 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3845 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to steven crawford,

    Thanks for that Steven, that's behind a paywall for me, but it's obviously very encouraging. Georgina Beyer was featured in Stuff’s weekly series, Face. Her wisdom an depth of experience shines through as always but she says a couple of things that I found concerning. The first being this:

    the transsexual community, the transgender community, they protested at a recent Pride parade at Auckland against us; the LGBTI community, we must remain in solidarity

    Because without solidarity we have nothing. Living well outside the centres I had to check that reference.

    Spokeswoman for the protest group No Pride in Prisons, Emilie Rakete, said they were there to protest the involvement of Police and Corrections, which she said were “primarily racist, violent institutions”.

    She said her group had been in contact with two trans women in the past four months who had been raped while in custody.

    Rakete said this was a direct result of policies introduced by Judith Collins, namely double-bunking and over crowding.

    I can see how Judith Collin’s involvement in the march could be construed as problematic for some, and I was a little surprised that Gerogina framed the protest as being against the LGBTI community without expanding on that – when the chief issue would seem to be with the insitutionalisation of the march. I was also surprised to hear Georgina Beyers choice of words here:

    you can’t just be a screamer from the sidelines all the time

    Which recalls the Catriona MacLennan article I linked to above:

    "Shrill”, “screeching”, “shrieking” and “screaming” – words applied exclusively to women engaging in political debate.

    Despite the unfortunate word choice there Ms Beyer’s philosophy is sound, and she is correct to highlight that some of these issues being protested such as Intersex Genital Mutilation (against UN recommendations) and the lack of adherence in New Zealand legislation to the ‘Yogyakarta Principles’ remain significant impediments to tiny fractions of the population who are vocal – sidelined – where one can either scream or applaud – or never be heard at all.

    Despite these inconsequential observations, she makes a number of salient points that anyone with divisive ambition would be wise to heed, she is a profound inspiration within the LGBTQIA community, and far beyond, and I feel incredibly lucky to live in a country that so readily accepts her.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2117 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to mark taslov,

    women rape men

    aka mainstream comedy.

    Because males are horn dogs.

    and I don’t know

    I miss being seen as not a threat.

    Meatloaf has “man boobs” – otherwise known as boobs – and Trump has small hands…

    Because if pressed to pinpoint that one ‘not quite right thing’ about Donald Trump, whether in his policy platform, his disregard for institutional integrity, the bubblecious ignorance, his celebation of tax avoidance, the divisive campaign tactics, the capriciousness, the lies and abusiveness – most evident in his treatment of women and minorities – a sexual offender by his own admission, it’s the relative size of those small and very feminine rape tongs that sets him apart.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2117 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to mark taslov,

    gender essentialism and oppositional sexism

    Oppositional-sexism makes good copy in our society. Be it ardent devotee Jeremy Corbett’s brain gig, our legislation, Paul Henry’s public ridicule,our advertising, our mythology, our education policies or our parenting, the media’s insistence on often heteronormaltive and cisnormative oppositional-sexism is omnipresent. Even amongst the the educated, essentialism rather than intersectionality still dominates our national discourse.

    Tuesday’s Nights’ Pundit was textbook oppositional sexism, the premise contingent on the listener delineating the genders into discreet sets, geared at a punter who may find this type of paring to be bias confirmational; breaking down stereotypes by perpetuating stereotypes as it were.

    At one point the host takes the interesting step of redefining the set from the conflated man/male to the more specific “bloke”, this may or may not have aided in strengthening the exclusionary thesis that banter is the domain of men/males/blokes while gossip is the domain of women.

    Rather than working on breaking down gender stereotypes in order to focus on equality, the listener is instead encouraged to keep filling up the same two boxes left by our predecessors.

    Sexism is by extension a narcissistic ideology, because one maintains their status (even subservient statuses) in society by supporting gender roles, enforcing gender stereotypes, and admonishing gender variance. The process is self-defeating because one must lie to themselves and engage in hypersexuality, (hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine) behaviors which undermines self-esteem by creating a self-concept basis that is not indefinitely maintainable. It’s like an addiction. You act the part, and are rewarded, but you must support or exceed in successive behaviors which increase the stress on you. Eventually the stress becomes to great that you can’t keep up the behavior, and thus experience the withdrawal of the social acceptance from gender stereotypical behavior.

    Obviously it’s RNZ so one can expect this form of framing to get a lot of air, and it’s not that any malice is intended, but it does remind me a lot of primary school.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2117 posts Report Reply

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