Perhaps we should be grateful that in response to John Key’s involvement in a radio joke about prison rape, some White Ribbon people have lowered themselves to disapprove of this form of violence even though it’s only towards mere men. However, we were mainly struck by their hypocrisy.
If supporters of White Ribbon truly opposed violence towards men, then why are they supporting a campaign that only opposes violence when done to women and deliberately excludes mention of or concern for male victims?
The White Ribbon people have now attempted to whitewash their campaign by misrepresenting it as being against violence more generally even though its slogans and purpose have always discriminated against men and were only ever concerned about violence towards women.
The overall impact of the White Ribbon campaign has been the promotion of false beliefs that women are the most frequent or most significant victims of violence in our communities, and the promotion of attitudes that violence towards men isn’t worth mentioning or worrying about.
The White Ribbon stance regarding this prison rape joke is like White Supremists criticizing someone for using the term ‘nigger’ while they continue their general campaign of racial discrimination. We were amused to see this reflected in the following:
“As a result of this incident, White Ribbon will be writing to all our ambassadors to remind them of our expectations, and the commitment they have made to the campaign. Our and their pledge is to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. We will continue to try and uphold that.”
If John Key had knowingly participated in the prison rape joke he would be an ideal spokesman for White Ribbon, walking the walk of that group’s real message: “Violence towards women is the only violence anyone need be concerned about”. John Key and his radio hosts have done the country a favour by highlighting the sexist double standards that have been encouraged by White Ribbon.