If you want to be reminded of how extreme and irrational mainstream feminism has become, and of how much our taxes are funding the forces of feminism in demonizing men, you might like to listen to this programme played on National Radio on 7th December 2014 and broadcast again this week. It’s called ‘Rape Culture and Consent in New Zealand’ and you can find it on the Radio NZ web page here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/20141207. The following critique is somewhat lengthy but I hope worth the read, and certainly won’t take as long as listening to the programme.
Radio NZ’s National Radio is good in many respects but it has an abysmal record of functioning as a feminist propaganda machine. Radio NZ is funded by us all but it deliberately fails to represent the interests of NZ men and avoids anyone with views that might challenge any aspect of feminist dogma.
The interviewer and all the interviewees exploring so-called ‘rape culture’ simply begged the question of whether NZ is a “rape culture’. They all did a lot of agreeing with each other. At the start the presenter, Wallace Chapman, invited listeners to make contact and said “We appreciate open, honest and frank conversation on this topic”. So why was no effort made to include anyone who could provide some balance to the discussion? For example, someone might have mentioned that NZ punishes rape more harshly than almost any other crime including many homicides, and this is hardly the mark of a ‘rape culture’. Indeed, specifically for sexual offenders NZ has passed draconian laws that allow life imprisonment; many more sexual offenders than murderers will never be released and will die in prison. Also, NZ has passed laws allowing sexual offenders to be re-sentenced endlessly to “extended supervision’ for the same crime after already serving entirely the punishment imposed by the sentencing Court.
In opening Mr Chapman outlined what he saw as evidence for ‘rape culture’. The examples he gave were (i) the ‘Roastbusters’ saga, (ii) the alleged mishandling of the Malaysian diplomat case, (iii) a tv film called ‘Consent’ about Louise Nicholas, and (iv) the case of Gabel Tostee, the Australian from whose balcony his ‘Tinder’ date fell to her death which Mr Chapman claimed was an example of sexual violence through dating sites. Neither the Tostee or Malaysian diplomat case have yet been determined so using them as evidence of a ‘rape culture’ is jumping the gun, aside from the fact that neither case involved NZ alleged offenders anyway so are poor examples for claiming a NZ ‘rape culture’. Also, the Malaysian diplomat case was “mishandled’ only from the point of view of feminists demanding special treatment. Normal international codes do not subject diplomatic staff to the law enforcement or justice systems of the host country with only a few exceptions. The decisions made by NZ authorities were related to those codes rather than anything to do with a “rape culture’. If the feminists want sexual offences to be included in the list of what diplomatic staff can be prosecuted for in their host country, then feminists are entitled to lobby government to negotiate such changes but they may well find that international relations and precedent will be seen to outweigh their demands.
The teenage ‘Roastbusters’ boys were said to parade rape as a conquest they were proud of and that’s to their profound shame, but the fact that a few teenage boys behave badly doesn’t amount to a “rape culture’. A tv film repeating Louise Nicholas’ allegations that several juries rejected on the evidence also fails as proof of ‘rape culture’ unless the term is used for any legal system that ever questions or disbelieves a female’s allegations. Surely, the serious allegation that NZ is a ‘rape culture’ should be based on better evidence that what this programme managed to find.
Mr Chapman first interviewed the Head Girl from Wellington East Girls College who encouraged feminism among her fellow students. She asserted that feminism sought gender equality but, as usual, it was clear that she had not really thought about what true gender equality would involve and I’m sure she would reject most such equality if actually faced with it.
Next came the only male interviewed, Dave Atkinson, a presenter for a programme called ‘Attitude’ that apparently goes into 93% of NZ high schools. He said he felt passionate about challenging masculinity. Neato! Let him at our boys! It will really help them to feel bad about being men (though it didn’t help David Cunliffe much”¦). According to Dave, many people misunderstand “what sex is all about” but he knows and he’s coming to tell our kids how it is. He also knows that a lot of people are doing ‘wrong’ even though they don’t think so. He sounded young and described himself as young, so where he obtained such godly wisdom was not clear. Apparently, sex is all about relationships, love, intimacy, emotion and negotiation; this description seemed to come from a very female perspective and Dave seemed to assume that men have no need or right to have any ideas or preferences that might not fall in line with that. Also according to Dave, it’s far too traumatic for sexual complainants (whom he referred to as ‘victims’) to have to go through the hassle of being questioned or cross-examined about their claims and surrounding circumstances and the law shouldn’t mistreat them so. Mmm, not much evidence there of Dave’s godly wisdom or even sound earthly consideration of the matter. Never mind, isn’t it reassuring to have young people who can tell us what’s ok, what’s not ok and how we all should be?
Next was Dr Deborah Russell, described as a feminist commentator from Massey University. (Why would a university employ a feminist commentator, and would that institution tolerate a male employee representing it in the role of a men’s movement spokesperson? Perhaps ask Stuart Birks about this”¦) She said that ‘rape culture’ was
“tricky to define because of course defining anything cultural is a bit, ah, you know, fuzzy around the boundaries…”
. Oh really? I doubt that. More likely, that’s just an excuse for finding it difficult to justify what is really a rather meaningless slogan. She continued as follows:
“…in terms of defining rape culture I talk about it being a whole social and cultural environment and framework that enables rape, that enables people to commit rape and not really see it as a problem. So that’s sort of the broad, high level understanding of what rape culture is, but if you sort of break that down a little bit what it is is a whole set of beliefs that encourage sexual aggression, particularly male sexual aggression, and it supports violence. Um, it’s kind of allowing, ah, threatened violence and violence itself to ah, to enable sexual behaviour. So that’s sort of breaking it down a little bit more and even getting a bit further down from that in terms of creating the whole environment that allows rape to be perpetuated, it’s the jokes, it’s tv, it’s music and advertising, it’s legal jargon, it’s the language which blames victims for rape, it’s the ah characterizing rape as something perpetrated by strangers instead of something that’s perpetrated by people you actually know. Ah, it’s telling women that it’s their job to stay safe instead of telling men that it’s their job not to rape. Now, I’m talking in terms of men and women; I think it’s actually very important to remember that men do get raped too. So it really is important to talk about it in the whole context of a society which thinks sexual aggression is acceptable and it’s a bit of a joke, it’s … an acceptable way of behaving. So, really, in terms of what rape culture is it’s that whole fabric of ideas and tropes that normalize rape and that make it somehow both acceptable, um, and invisible in many ways, something that’s part of our lives and we’re supposed to accept it.”
Well at least she gave us something to go on. If it’s actually rape that she’s talking about and if the things she described actually happen a lot in our culture, then it may be fair to use the term ‘rape culture’. But where’s the evidence of what she alleges? Jokes about rape? I don’t recall hearing them. I’m sure they must exist but I’m confident that they are not commonly told or found to be funny. As for tv, it’s true that movies and tv programmes used to show a man proceeding to kiss a woman against her protests whereupon the woman would succumb and participate enthusiastically, but it’s a very long time since such portrayals were made. As for rape, I have never seen it encouraged or celebrated on tv; when included it is always made clear it’s very bad and damaging, the perpetrator being depicted as the lowest of the low who is brought to justice. I haven’t seen rape depicted in advertising except by implication as a bad thing in social consciousness raising campaigns. The Dr’s suggestion that men are not told not to rape is ridiculous in light of our draconian penalties. “Threatened violence and violence itself to enable sexual behaviour” are practised only by rapists and they form a tiny proportion of our population. Her “whole fabric of ideas and tropes that normalize rape” seemed to result more from her imagination than the facts.
Dr Russell’s claims could only be true if she were talking about something other than rape, but rape was the only phenomenon she mentioned. This is a major double-speak aspect of the concept of ‘rape culture’. It seems to be mainly about seduction but uses the term ‘rape’. If seduction is to be defined as rape, then why are women not being sent to prison in large numbers? The good Dr later referred to women being “raped again through the justice system’ if they participate in a trial. This showed how the term “rape’ is being reinvented to apply to all manner of events that are not rape, presumably for shock value and an attempt to give those other events unmerited gravity.
Elizabeth MacDonald from Victoria University School of Law provided a realistic summary of the issues that juries were required to consider in determining whether consent was or was not given. She seemed fairly level-headed but the implication was that she disagreed with the need to consider carefully and fully women’s allegations of rape. She also tried to give undue credibility to exaggerated claims about the percentage of women who had been raped, claims that have resulted either from poor research or through irresponsible interpretation and/or extrapolation from what has been actually measured.
Several interviewees were certain that the reason few formal complaints arose regarding “Roastbusters’ was that many non-complaining young women were too scared of the justice process. No evidence was presented to support this claim. A more likely reason was that most of the female friends of the “Roastbusters’ males had not yet been indoctrinated into man-hating enough to misrepresent what happened at the drunken parties they participated in with the full intention of getting laid. It was interesting that the Dr of Feminist Commentating said “There were about 30 girls who were known to have had sex with the Roastbusters men but of those 30 girls 25 chose not to lay formal complaints”¦”. Since when does “having sex’ justify a formal complaint to police? Since the development of feminist reasoning as demonstrated by these interviewees, it seems. Anyway, the good Dr’s mathematics cannot have been correct because if 5 young women had made formal complaints in which sexual offences were described with any shred of credibly, police would certainly have prosecuted. These feminist interviewees appeared to want men prosecuted for rape in the absence of sufficient evidence, then summarily convicted and punished through a Court process that does not bother complainants with questions or scrutiny. Well, protection orders are already based on that kind of “justice’ so don’t be surprised if the feminists get their way in the case of sexual allegations, enabling any woman easily to have a man imprisoned for long periods at her whim. World history has time and again shown this kind of development in the context of exactly the circumstances we currently see in which one group is unfairly blamed, demonized and treated with ever decreasing standards of fairness and justice.
The other woman interviewed was Parni Farvard, a psychology lecturer at AUT. She bemoaned that “”¦some of the aspects of gender politics that we thought were done and buried are coming back”¦” and she believed that younger women’s return to dressing up, using make-up to look attractive, getting married and having babies was related to sexism. Well in that case, we might bemoan sexism as the cause of men managing body odour through showering or otherwise grooming themselves or dressing attractively. How can an intelligent tertiary lecturer fail to consider the more realistic explanation that most women are and will always be strongly driven to attract the best alpha males possible and will go to great lengths to that end? Claiming that’s due to sexism is simply an invalid attempt to blame men for women’s behaviour. Biologically driven imperatives will be much stronger than ideological fashions. Ms Farvard believed someone’s theory that the backlash developing against gender political advances was due to a social homeostasis process. Sorry Ms, the backlash from the men’s movement has nothing to do with wanting to return to the old days of gender inequality but has everything to do with challenging the dishonesty, injustice and duplicity that characterizes feminism.
Some but not much of what these people said seemed sensible, such as calling for high schools to educate pupils about the legal definition of consent. The whole exercise however was mainly an appalling example of state radio being used to spread unnecessary panic, unbalanced propaganda and antipathy towards men and maleness.
There is a day symposium at Auckland University on Wednesday 28th January 9am-5:30pm on Gender and Sexual Politics.
It is free entry but you need to register.
Details are here: https://nzfvc.org.nz/events/gender-and-sexual-politics-full-day-symposium-auckland-28-jan-2015
I am going. It would be good to have other people with a different perspective than the their speakers who are mostly female. So much irony that they can have a gender and sexual politics symposium with such a gender bias in their speakers.
They are presenting research that has been funded by Marsden grants. There is more of the same to come as the Marsden fund has put in $1m to fund further ‘rape culture’ studies at Victoria University.
STILL THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BEHIND THE FEMINIST ANTI-MALE CULTURE?
(2009-03) Marc Stevens – Delusions
This ‘rape culture’ nonsense really really really has to end.
Citing the Malaysian diplomat case as evidence of ‘rape culture’ really is a joke. Besides the alleged would-be rapist not even being a New Zealander, the alleged victim (Tania Billingsley) was very active politicizing the whole thing. At one point wasn’t she asking for the PM to resign? No rape is even alleged to have occurred yet the episode got milked for tons of ‘rape culture’ mileage.
You have to wonder if Tania Billingsley didn’t fabricate the thing to make her point about ‘rape culture’.
Wayne Burrows (#1): Did you attend the symposium at Auckland University? We would love to hear your account of it.
I did and I am in the process of writing up my thoughts on the day.
The day had a pornography theme which I didn’t initially realise but there was enough of general interest to make the day worthwhile for me attending.
As a very brief summary there was a lot of research presented that was from a very gendered perspective.
Nicola Garvey discussed research where they only interviewed men about their use of porn despite figures being shown that 40% of women watch porn, from which they concluded that porn reflected the stereotypical patriarchal gendered violence towards women. This methodology seemed biased and flawed to me. It begged the question how would women who watched porn differ in their views and would their views reflect violence by women against men? There was conflicting evidence of the frequency of violence in porn with one researcher claiming 89% and another 1.9%. Garvey criticised the methodology of the latter without commenting on the methodology of the former.
Virginia Braun presented some research of female genital modification – think grooming (Brazilians) and ‘minor’ surgery as opposed to FGM. There was some bizarre reasoning based on a premise that hair was a sign of masculinity and that shaved pubes were infantilising women. Bizarre and flawed given that the societal norms are for men to wear short hair and shave their faces – no one would claim these were infantilising men.
A philosopher from the US Ann Cahill was the most impressive speaker of the day. I found that her views coincided most with mine although she spoke from a feminist perspective. She argued that men and women were different but argued that women were seen as a ‘derivative’ of men and that that perspective was incorrect. She discussed these concepts in the context of discussing prostitution with her argument being that (female) prostitutes are not objectified. It is essential to their work that they are subjects not objects.
Two young researchers gave personal experience. One of her experience conducting interviews for Garvey with young men on their attitudes to porn. Her experiences were negative. One can only speculate how they would have been different if they had used a more representative sample including women – would their attitudes have been different?
Two other local student presentations, one from a PhD student and one from a group of undergraduate students, followed that discussed reactions to everyday sexism and ways to combat it using social media etc. Everyday sexism included so-called sexist jokes. I think the irony of the audience laughing at various stages of the day at stereotypical male behaviour was only seen by me.
There was a couple of mentions and some discussion of the Roast Busters case from the perspective of presumed guilt. A police officer was present and at the end of the day I spoke with him about this given that the police have issued a document detailing their investigation. He seemed to concur with me that discussing assuming guilt was presumptuous. He also volunteered that he was aware of sexual assault and domestic violence against men for which no charges are ever laid.
The final speaker was Michael Flood from Australia who spoke about shifting male relations to pornography and educational strategies etc in doing so. Interestingly his defintion of porn included erotic fiction like 50 Shades of Gray and maybe even Mills and Boon – anything designed to eroticise. By this definition I would not be surprised to find that many more than 40% quoted earlier of women use ‘porn’. I was impressed with the frankness with which Flood discussed these sexual issues. Not so much with his underlying use of negative male stereotypes.
In my view he completely went overboard when he described Men’s Rights as an example of unsavoury people or groups that you find on social media.
Overall their was a lot of unsubstantiated use of terms like ‘misogyny’ and ‘rape culture’ and more generally negative stereotypes of men. My impression was that misogyny was conflated with anything anti-feminist which in reality are patently different things.
I was waiting and hoping to talk with Flood at the end of the day but didn’t get to. Nicola Garvey did come and talk with me and we had a constructive discussion about a number of feminist and men’s issues (particularly domestic and sexual violence and suicide) and the content of the day. She introduced me to some of her students and I continued the discussion with those students.
On a side note: I met with Iain Lees-Galloway the MP for Palmerston North today for 20 minutes or so to discuss with him domestic violence and how the dialogue is dominated by a feminist ideology. Again the meeting was constructive and ended with him telling me that I had challenged him with my presentation of data and reasoning. He has undertaken to investigate and get back to me. I am not expecting any significant changes but hopefully any small changes are positive and we can build on those movements in perspective.
I strongly believe that we need to challenge these people in whatever forums we can to restore some balance to the gender debate in New Zealand (and the world).
It is unbelievable that an academic institution like Auckland University can host a symposium entitled “Gender and Sexual Politics” and the subject of men in the discussion is almost entirely disparaging and Men’s Rights are described as unsavoury. Men are a gender and any discussion of gender and sexual politics is not balanced unless men and women are both given a voice.
Good stuff Wayne. This attitude that ‘gender studies’ should solely look at women, or if looking at men should do so only do so on feminist terms, just has to change. . .
I came across this very good article and comments below at Menz. I wonder why the extremely well funded feminist movement that has mainstream media support, never mentions the rape in Europe at the end of WW2. This is real, true history. You may be outraged and you should be
Ã¢â‚¬ËœRAPE CULTURE IS A DANGEROUS MYTH’ says Ella Whelan
Earlier this month, Lauren Southern, a young Canadian reporter and a political-science student at the University of the Fraser Valley, caused a media storm when she challenged a Ã¢â‚¬ËœSlutWalk’ in Vancouver by holding up a placard which said Ã¢â‚¬ËœThere is no rape culture in the West’. Last week, I talked to Southern about why she decided to speak out.
The protest Southern disrupted – she held up the placard and challenged the protesters’ views on camera – was linked to Women Against Violence Against Women, a rape-crisis centre set up in Vancouver in the Eighties, which follows a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfeminist anti-oppression philosophy’ and claims that Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrape culture is real and huge and everywhere’. SlutWalks began four years ago after a policeman in Toronto suggested that Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwomen should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised’. In response, feminists took to the streets of Toronto in their underwear in protest at the cop’s Ã¢â‚¬Ëœslut-shaming and victim-blaming’ statement. SlutWalks have since become popular across the globe, and are held annually in many cities.
she had attended the rally to Ã¢â‚¬Ëœchallenge the fearmongering feminist narrative about men, women and violence’. It is this Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrape culture’ narrative, she tells me, which is really trivialising rape. Ã¢â‚¬ËœWomen are going to equate things that aren’t rape with rape because they interpret guys whistling at them as rape culture’, she says. Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe misuse of the word [rape] is very dangerous because it allows for false accusations.’
Southern sees feminists’ obsession with Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrape culture’ as a languishing in female weakness. Ã¢â‚¬ËœI’ve always thought that the main feminist issue was empowering women, in real terms; telling women to go out there, get the job, do what you want, not run around screaming “trigger warning” and crying.’ Her assessment of contemporary feminism is astute.