Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Does My Mortgage Look Like a Slag in This?

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  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I'll have you know I looked up the Satans on pillreports.com before I swallowed them. My eyes did get quite deceived later on though.

    One of the joys of acquainting oneself with the Evangelist is discovering what an active role Satan took in our nation's capital early years. Pub licensing in Te Aro and Thorndon Flat; public dancing; the wicked 10-year Wellington Anniversary Fete of 1850 -- all of it, Satan's work. Apparently.

    Unfortunately, Yahweh didn't give a corresponding level of support for The Total Abstinence Society's regular Tea Meetings in Karori.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    ... nation's capital's early years ...

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH,

    So I'm very late to this party..

    but I want to add a few words to back Stewart (and to observe how strange it is that he seemed to have to bend over backwards to avoid giving offence - funny how the left has become quite so delicate...)

    This world is unfair and shit happens. Smart people (dare I say it) will try and avoid that shit happening to them. That means everything from taking care where you get your financial advice, putting deadbolts on the doors and, yes, not getting completely off your face, dressing to maximise the likelihood of unwanted attention, then going to places with lots of people who are also guaranteed to be liquored and very likely a few with poor judgement or in poor control of their actions. Don't want to get mugged? Avoid walking down dodgey streets in dodgey neighbourhoods in the middle of the night. When exactly did this wisdom of the ages become so goddam controversial?

    I'm not really a fan of the Listener's current incarnation, but I do enjoy the fact it's become one of the few places willing to say some of the things it's become politically impossible to repeat in public. Like is it possible that with the wisdom of hindsight, Green was effectively lynched by an angry feminist mob for being a male surgeon in the wrong place and time?

    None of this is to say women "earn" or "deserve" bad shit and sometimes unwanted attention that happens, anymore than men do. But we might be far better off to begin by squaring up the fact that we are never going to live in a safe, utopian society (and that one has never existed anywhere that I'm aware of), rather than jumping to the conclusion that advocating taking personal responsibility for the safety of one's self and possessions (and yes that may mean criticising the naivete in those who refuse to square up to that adult responsibility) is in no way implicit support for the "evildoers". (Sorry, had to get an evildoers in there somewhere.. ;-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Three pages about shoes! Is that what the Women's Movement was fighting for?

    This thread is 15 flavours of awesome.

    I'm 100% behind this.

    Is that what the Womens Movement was fighting for? (tm)

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    </quote>When exactly did this wisdom of the ages become so goddam controversial?</quote>

    Women Totally Give Up The Night has a certain ring to it, I'll give you that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    When exactly did this wisdom of the ages become so goddam controversial?

    When it became completely indistinguishable from the Stupid of Ages?

    I'm personally not really prepared to go all the way back to page 5 of this argument to address something that's already been addressed, and which hasn't responded to any of the counter-arguments. Perhaps you might reflect on the idea that we appear to disagree as to what a 'reasonable precaution' is, rather than whether or not people should take them?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    And back to Teddy Kennedy for a moment .. this by Joyce Carol Oates, in the Grauniad, is well worth a read. Oates wrote a book, Dark Water, inspired by Chappaquiddick, and writes well about Teddy's redemption from Great Gatsbyesque spoilt rich kid to genuine democratic hero. Noblesse oblige writ large.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 828 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    ... yes, not getting completely off your face, dressing to maximise the likelihood of unwanted attention, then going to places with lots of people who are also guaranteed to be liquored and very likely a few with poor judgement or in poor control of their actions. Don't want to get mugged? Avoid walking down dodgey streets in dodgey neighbourhoods in the middle of the night.

    Shit. You are completely right. I'm off home now, to throw out all of my high heels low cut tops and dresses (though that presents a problem, because I am going to have little left to wear) and generally dress like a nun. Or, maybe, fuck it, I should just go join a nunnery. Because, while I am all about taking responsibility for my own safety, as I've mentioned several times already in this thread, the problem isn't just in dark alleys as you seem to assume. The problem is in well lit bars from people who should be expected to behave with decorum and respect, but apparently can't. It comes from old men in ferry terminals and in churches and on the street in daylight.

    It's judgement like this: (from the original article)

    Outside one of the bars, a strikingly attractive young blond(sic) screeches about unwanted attention from a man inside. With her up-thrust, barely-clad breasts and short skintight dress, might she be the author of her own difficulties?

    What we shouldn't have to do is constantly say (as Deborah did upthread) is that the only thing there needs to be for a rape to happen is a rapist. What the victim is wearing/doing/drinking is irrelevant.

    Of course we don't live in a safe, utopian society. No one is advocating absconding from personal responsibility. What we are complaining about it the implication that by having breasts, and daring to show them we are inviting harrasment.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Ah. This is the internet after all.

    AndrewH, you are buggering up my warm cockles. Stop it.

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

  • Danielle,

    And, just for you, my current obsession.

    OMG. Those are fabulous. Also, I would last about seven point three seconds in them before falling over. (The high heelz: I cannot walk in them.)

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

  • Danielle,

    And back to Teddy Kennedy for a moment

    Oh dear, serial posting. But I love feminism, shoez and the weird world of American politics, so this is like The Ultimate Thread. Anyway, I thought I'd note that the American consulate in Auckland is flying its stars and stripes at half-mast today. Aww.

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    There's been lots of stuff done on why stilleto heels are sexy from changing calf muscle shape to changing the the way the bum moves. Whatever the biology is it works for me and I heartily encourage you to spend your dollars on them :).

    I find the four extra inches of height definitely play a role in the feeling good about oneself, too. Not enough to be worth the day-to-day hassle, but on the odd occasion - brilliant.

    Ah. This is the internet after all.

    It took until page eighteen - that's progress, right?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Ah. This is the internet after all.

    N00b got pwned, as I believe it is traditional to say at this point.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH,

    "What we shouldn't have to do is constantly say (as Deborah did upthread) is that the only thing there needs to be for a rape to happen is a rapist. What the victim is wearing/doing/drinking is irrelevant."

    And this is precisely where we disagree. There is an implicit demand behind this thinking that all rapists be somehow removed from the planet, and that somehow society should conspire to keep the victim absolutely, completely safe iin all circumstances. Funny, we don't apply the same logic to property crimes, but then they don't break down along gender lines..

    To make a very simplistic (but relevant) argument - a large percentage of the population are MENTALLY UNWELL. Going to *any* environment and a percentage of the people there will be unwell. Filling them up with piss is certainly not going to make them behave better. Getting off yer face yourself and going into such an environment, dressed in such a way as to attract maximum attention, is not, shall we say, an act of thoughtful self-care.

    In these circumstanmces, it's ridiculous (and naive) to say the victim bears absolutely no responsibility.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Can I just say that I want whatever made Giovanni so damn funny this morning. Haven't laughed so consistently for ages.

    Give the man a medal. I'm sure he'll figure out where to pin it for maximum effect. And then others will describe why, wittily. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Andrew, no one's asking for perfection, but when't the last time you saw singificant public money invested in encouraging men not to be dicks towards others, rather than women to lock themselves in a nunnery to avoid said men?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Aww, thank you Sacha. I finished working at 3am last night, so I'm going to credit a greatly diminished will to live.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    In these circumstanmces, it's ridiculous (and naive) to say the victim bears absolutely no responsibility.

    Please, do not tell me you just said that.

    <looks again>

    Oh dear: you *did* just say that.

    There are plenty of feminist theorists I could point you to which thoroughly debunk this crap, but I imagine that you're not particularly open to digesting their ideas.

    I should note that as a *human being*, I never bear responsibility for someone else attacking me physically. The person doing the attacking is the responsible party. That's how it works.

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

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Breath of Dharma...

    Somebody please breathe new life into the phrase "gay badinage".

    ...that execrable witty conversational void between breakfast and lunch is easily fixed by a handful of repartee pills culminating in a wild brunch...
    ...pass the salad days someone

    yrs lexiconically
    Bon Mots
    half whit wit...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    There is an implicit demand behind this thinking that all rapists be somehow removed from the planet, and that somehow society should conspire to keep the victim absolutely, completely safe iin all circumstances.

    There's an implicit demand in what YOU're saying that women keep themselves safe by staying home which, let me fucking REPEAT, is the most dangerous place for her to be. Not in a bar, not dressed like a slut, but at home. Your 'common sense' assumptions are quite simply not reality-based.

    But Danielle is quite correct, there is absolutely nothing anyone can say that will alter your perception that what you are saying is 'brave' and 'politically incorrect', and not just an offensive steaming pile of horseshit.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH,

    Sacha - very recently and many times before in (family) anti-violence campaigns.

    " I should note that as a *human being*, I never bear responsibility for someone else attacking me physically. The person doing the attacking is the responsible party. That's how it works."

    Daniel - I'm sorry, but I find this kind of thinking is just abstract intellectual wank (and which I suspect feminist departments turn out at about the same rate as economics departments do). Back on earth, where we are forced to deal with a hodgepodge mixture of individuals in various states of wellness and unwellness, I would sooner deal with a moral code that recognises nuances like that. The rapist is demonstrably, clearly unwell (can you point to a well one?). The victim is a member of a society that has demonstrably failed to deal with the rapists unwellness. So how does everyone (including the victim) suddenly get to wash their hands of the actions of the unwell person? Oh, that's right, unwell people can reasonably be expected to behave like well ones, and can be held to the same standards.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Daniel - I'm sorry, but I find this kind of thinking is just abstract intellectual wank

    I call bingo on two different cards.

    (The other day Brian Edwards called me Giovanna. I just thought I'd sneak that in.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Giovanni -

    Somebody please breathe new life into the phrase "gay badinage".

    No. 1 on Google
    - you have your wish, along with the medal.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH,

    Emma - um, no. Women have no more or less rights than men in my book. There's times and places where it's not safe for me to go, and in order to protect myself, I don't go there. You seem to be saying women should have the right to go anywhere at anytime. Which is stupid. And I think, part of the issue. It's part of the "entitlement" mentality which is so toxic. Lots of entitlement, less of the self-responsibility.

    Just so you know, I have absolutely no bravado gene going on here, neither am I getting off on the controversy. I actually believe what I'm saying, and I'm trying to express it rationally. And I think you should reread your last post before you accuse me of being closed minded. You certainly can influence my thinking, but not like that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You certainly can influence my thinking, but not like that.

    I think a better way of putting it would be that she's hurting her cause by being angry.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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