In The News to Week 20, 2009 (Part Two)
Yes Now Means No
The NRL sex scandal just keeps on going, essentially gossip that is creating real victims who are losing their careers and having their reputations associated with allegations no matter how unsupported by evidence. We are expected to believe that at least 17 top league players stood around or joined in raping a woman, then all colluded subsequently in a consistent lie depicting the sexual activity that evening as consensual. The NZ police investigated the complaint at the time and did not take it further. Why? Because the evidence did not support the rape claim. Yet Kim McGregor from Rape Crisis discusses the incident using terms such as sexual assault and rape as if it has been established that a rape happened. Her words are propaganda of the most insidious and dangerous kind.
Does a woman capable of giving consent need to show some disagreement, unwillingness or removal of consent in order for rape to occur? In NZ, the answer is no because the law enables a clearly consenting woman to withdraw consent retrospectively on various grounds. Even with that legal power the police did not proceed against the NRL players.
I don’t respect the league players for their participation in what appears to have been a drunken orgy any more than I respected the NZ policemen who together had sex with Louise Nicholas. Their behaviour was probably pushy and may have taken advantage of a woman’s non-assertiveness in handling a situation that may for her have developed unexpectedly. And I applaud efforts by women to educate men including those in sports teams about respectful sexual and relationship behaviour, about realistic expectations and preferences women may hold concerning courtship and sex, and about misconceptions that men may have concerning women’s sexuality. Those educators need to admit though that any such education is unlikely to apply to all women, and the men are likely to find the doctrine contradicted by some women they encounter. Indeed, the men may find that if they follow the recommended doctrine they will be overlooked by many young women who prefer bad boys. Some consideration is due for men’s confusion since the sexual revolution threw away previous moral codes and now results in mixed messages galore in the areas of courtship and sexuality.
Regardless, men must insist that criteria for conviction of rape and sexual offences be clear and explicit rather than vague and flexible to suit any complainant’s retrospective wishes. If group sex with an apparently willing partner is to be treated as illegal then the law should make it so. If consent to casual sex is something expected to be proven through a legally sound written agreement witnessed by a Justice of the Peace then a law should be passed to that effect. If any woman who later prefers that some sexual activity she freely participated in hadn’t happened can then have her partner(s) treated as though guilty of sexual offending, then the law should provide for this in clear terms (this though might actually bring about the relationship strike advocated by some in the men’s movement!).
Who Works Hardest Doesn’t Matter
This was an interesting article titled “Who Works Hardest?” reporting on a study recently done by our Families Commission. It seems that farmers, managers and drivers are the most likely ones to work long hours, that 32% of men and 12% of women work 50 hours or more per week, and that most of those working long hours are on low incomes. How this led to the Commission’s conclusions is difficult to work out. Apparently, the Commission saw the study’s results as supporting its previous recommendations that parental leave for mothers should increase to a year (and for fathers four weeks), that they should be paid more during parental leave and that more childcare and after-school care should be provided. Such recommendations may well be worthwhile but they appear to have little relevance to the study. Sadly for families, they highlight the degree to which the Families Commission has functioned mainly as another Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
The research design seemed fairly typical of feminist research, except in this case some real statistics (from our census) were included. Subjective and vague research approaches have long been favoured by feminists, justified through post-modern arguments essentially claiming that since all researchers will bring personal beliefs into their work it’s therefore ok to abandon any attempt to remain objective, and that research should be designed so it can only forward the researcher’s ideas of worthy social aims. Objectivity and scientific research principles are seen as male inventions used to maintain patriarchal control over knowledge, and all manner of alternative approaches are assumed to be equally capable of providing reliable and valid understandings about the world. The present study featured “in-depth interviews” with 17 families. This approach allows the researchers maximum opportunity to influence the subjects through the choice and wording of questions, the choice of what responses to follow up with further exploration, which responses are given approving or understanding nods and so forth. It also gives the researchers open slather in choosing what data to report or ignore and to report the data in ways consistent with the researchers’ own preferred interpretations. As a result, the Commission can produce the same pro-feminist recommendations out of any research study it undertakes.