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Poverty, women & rape culture

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, November 19th, 2013 - 130 comments
Categories: child welfare, class, community democracy, feminism, patriarchy, paula bennett, political alternatives, poverty, sexism, unemployment - Tags: ,

Trigger warning: This post addresses some difficult and sensitive issues about poverty, women and rape culture. Subsequent comments will be tightly moderated.

In the aftermath of the news coverage given to the Roastbusters, the meme of “free speech” and “middle class” values have been used in support of a couple of radio hosts who victim blamed a woman who said she was a survivor of RBs’ sexual assault.  It continues to amaze me that, while some commentators use the class argument in defense of, or apologies for the RBs, the class of the young women they allegedly sexually abused/raped is ignored.  Surely if the RBs were low income westies, it is most likely that any women they abused would also be from low income westie backgrounds.  At the very least, it cannot be assumed the young women are middle class.

Under our current government and in our current context of large income inequalities, women, especially Maori and Pacific women, are the ones struggling the most.  Yet the National government, and to some extent Labour, continue to marginalise their struggles.  Particularly, women beneficiaries with children are at the ones taking the most heat from Paula Bennett’s punitive attacks on beneficiaries.

This is the case with the Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Bill – see AAAP’s submission on this.  This amendment makes a person criminally and financially liable for their conjugal partner’s mis-appropriations of benefits and/or failure to pay debts. AAAP summarise the most likely outcomes of the Bill:

In these ways, the bill:

* Impinges on the rights of New Zealand citizens

* Is likely to lead to greater stress and worse outcomes for vulnerable people

* Is likely to contribute to situations of domestic violence and abuse

* Does not contain appropriate, cost-effective mechanisms for addressing benefit fraud

* Distracts government agencies from already imperfectly-delivered core business, such as informing beneficiaries of, and delivering, what they are entitled to

* Adds to a culture of beneficiary stigmatizing and blame, while entrenching an underclass.

My bold.

Women’s Refuge NZ reports that, while some men are also the victims of domestic abuse, the majority are women and children.

Toah-Nnest profiles the statistics-based characteristics of victims and perpetrators of sexual violence.  they state that while anyone from any demographic group can be a victim,

Gender is a major predictor of sexual victimisation, with women having a disproportionately higher risk of sexual victimisation than men. Also, being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered is a risk factor, including victimisation from partners and victimisation that occurs as a result of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic violence.

Research indicates that young women and Māori women are almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence and young Pacific peoples also report high rates of unwanted sexual contact. In addition to this, studies indicate that sexual violence is more likely to be experiencedby people with a disability and people who have been abused as children or adolescents.

The NZ Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence (2009) stated this in its snapshot at the beginning of the report:

Sexual violence is prevalent in our communities
ƒ * the 2006 crime and Safety Survey found that approximately 29 percent of women and 9 percent of men experience unwanted and distressing sexual contact over their lifetime. […]

Some groups are more at risk than others
ƒ * Research suggests that young women and Mäori women are almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence, and young pacific people also report high levels of unwanted sexual contact.
ƒ * International studies indicate that sexual violence is more likely to be experienced by people with a disability and people who have been abused as children.

Sexual violence is a highly gendered crime
ƒ * overwhelmingly sexual assault is perpetrated by men against women. it is both a consequence and cause of gender inequality.

Victims often know their offenders

The pattern here is of the people with least power (women, children, disabled, Maori, Pasifika, etc) being the majority of victims. Consequently, it is also likely that low income people are at risk of being victims of sexual violence and/or have the least resources for supporting survivors. This is not just the case in NZ. The Global Poverty Project says this:

Women make up half of the world’s population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world’s poor.

[…]

We live in a world in which women living in poverty face gross inequalities and injustice from birth to death. From poor education to poor nutrition to vulnerable and low pay employment, the sequence of discrimination that a woman may suffer during her entire life is unacceptable but all too common.

As well as being more disadvantaged with respect to employment education and health, women on low incomes, are vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence.  For a woman in poverty.

Over her lifetime, she may suffer unimaginable violence and neglect, often in silence. Three million women die each year because of gender-based violence, and four million girls and women a year are sold into prostitution. One woman in five is a victim of rape or attempted rape during her lifetime. Gender-based violence takes more of a toll on women’s health than that of traffic accidents and malaria combined.

This is in keeping with Bill’s post on Patriarchy: we live within systems of power that makes life easier for most white, middle class men.

You don’t have to be white and male and financially wealthy to assume a prominent position within systems of patriarchy, but it helps.

It is also important to add QoT’s point about kyriarchy into the debate. Kyriarchy acknowledges the complexity of contemporary society:

Kyriarchy are the structures of domination working together as a network – not just one group dominating another. Its branches include but are not limited to racism, sexism, cissexismheterosexism, ageism, and ableism. In a kyriarchy, our kyriarchy, this kyriarchy, different forms of supremacy on different axes are independent and interdependent.

Poverty, rape, sexual violence and rape culture are all gendered in complex ways within a system riven with too many inequalities. To address fully the impact of our highly gendered socio-economic system that has institutionalised gendered violence, it is important to work to counter the ways that low income women are at the forefront those suffering most.

Note on moderation of the comments under this post:

Discussions of rape and sexual violence can retraumatise survivors.  Consequently, the comments below will be tightly moderated.  In the first instance comments may be moved to other sections, eg open mike or to this one that has a warning on it. In more extreme cases comments may be deleted.

130 comments on “Poverty, women & rape culture”

  1. vto 1

    If a couple of points relevant to the RBs issue could be tossed in here. Feel free to ignore as you wish – not meant to derail what has been posted which is something larger than RBs.

    Is crowing about sexual conquest all that uncommon? Or is it something which is almost acceptable? The RBs stepped over a line clearly but the basic notion that they were crowing about their sexual conquests is nothing new…

    Last night on te tele there was a movie called “Wedding Crashers” about two men who gate-crash weddings with the aim of scoring. Mainstream movie, watched by all and sundry without complaint.

    Several many years ago sharing a house with a young woman, she regaled me with a story about how her and a male friend had a contest to see how many people they could sleep with in a week.

    Just two anecdotes, nothing more, but I wonder if the conquest aspect of RBs was as bad as made out. Please don’t get me wrong – not excusing other behaviours etc. Just been on mine mind that’s all.

    • Tracey 1.1

      Forget about the Rbs vto, focus on all victims of sexual assaults and what we as the public can do to reduce it.

    • karol 1.2

      vto: Is crowing about sexual conquest all that uncommon? Or is it something which is almost acceptable? The RBs stepped over a line clearly but the basic notion that they were crowing about their sexual conquests is nothing new…

      Men crowing about sexual conquests has been pretty normalised and it is one of the supporting aspects of rape culture. But RBs were crowing about rape. So you also need to be careful in this discussion that you don’t continue to equate sexual cuulture with rape culture. Comments taking that line of argument will be moved to another thread.

    • QoT 1.3

      Did the characters in Wedding Crashers rape people? Did your two friends rape people? And if not, why the fuck would you think that’s relevant unless you wanted to continue diminishing the seriousness of rape?

  2. Tracey 2

    Thanks for this Karol.

    The focus on the issue will probably melt away soon BUT this one had kept the nation focused for longer.

    I am reminding my networks that this is a largely invisible crime with very real victims…for whom a lifetime of struggle and adaptation follows any sexual assault. I urge people to make donations of time or money to organisations like Rape Crisis and Rape Prevention Education Trust because money can help.

    19 November 2012

    ” Auckland’s only 24-hour rape crisis helpline is cutting its service due to a funding shortfall.

    The HELP Foundation has been forced to drastically reduce emergency services for sexual assault and rape victims and lay off staff after the Government refused to provide $200,000 funding, spokeswoman Aimee Stockenstroom said.

    “We have no choice but to cut essential services for victims of rape and sexual abuse despite an earlier government promise to maintain adequate and sustainable funding for the services”

    Existing funding would run out next month for the specialist helpline for the victims of sexual assault and rape.

    Stockenstroom said they hoped to keep the line operating at limited hours.

    Losing the around-the-clock service would hurt victims in need of specialist support, she said.

    “A lot of the calls are in the middle of night, when they’re having trouble sleeping and the fear is too difficult to deal with.” “

  3. Will@Welly 3

    I will be the first to admit, like a lot of men, I originally thought rape was about sex. It takes a lot to get rid of that idea. As someone who has worked for and alongside women, and employed them, I do not not see women as a threat. A lot of men do. I also grew up in a community where, as children, we mixed – boys and girls were friends – we didn’t differentiate.
    As a child, it was ingrained into me, and those in the community I lived in, that we respect one another, regardless. There were some boundaries that were never to be crossed. That appears to be what is lacking today. My parents and the people where I grew up weren’t overly religious, but everyone had a sense of justice, what was right and wrong, and that there are certain things that you just never ever do. Rape is one of them.
    Around the world, there are societies that have profound levels of poverty, but things like rape are unheard of – they want to live in harmony. Others, where there is greed, corruption, and power, see the likes of rape become endemic. New Zealand is on this route.

    • karol 3.1

      Around the world, there are societies that have profound levels of poverty, but things like rape are unheard of – they want to live in harmony.

      You touch on a complex issue. Rape does happen at all levels of the socio-economic structure. However, women in poverty have the least resources to deal with perpetrators and survival.
      Rape is essentially a very personalised way of exerting power over someone who is less powerful. And there’s a long history of middle and upper class men raping and sexually assaulting women in poorer classes – it was fairly rife during the colonial period and during 18th/19th century slavery etc.

    • Tracey 3.2

      The thing is Welly, and I dont know how old you are, so cant work out which decade was your childhood, was in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s sexual assault was committed by people with a great public mask. A recent example would be Dr Fahey. 30 years of sexual abuse and had his sentence reduced because of his years of community service, but maybe his public service was deliberate attempt to mask his offending.

      I was a child n the 70’s. We were warned of the guy in trench coat with puppies, not the grandfather figure in our homes all the time. I am not so sure that it is that women were more respected in the 70’s than now… Social media means that the lack of respect is exposed.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    The Young and the rest less
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11159174
    Heck man!, is that all one needs to demonstrate to win an academic Nobel; Give me freakin’ strength!

    • karol 4.1

      Thanks, RT. What a muddle. So while Paula Bennettt is trying to take beneficiary mothers away from their children to go to work, this cross-party committee is wanting to put more effort into the health, education and well being of babies, beginning in the womb.

      So, yet again, a lot of pressure and blame is being heaped on low income women. And the talk of contraception and parent classes sounds too much like Bennett’s social responsibility ethos.

      Spare me – and then, the main driver of all their concerns is how much it costs, not the well being of the mothers/parents and their children.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Our society is now geared to take costs off older people and place them on younger people. Those now over 50 won’t bear the maximum burden of climate change and global financial crisis. But those under 20 will.

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          I have no complaint with spending more money on younger people. My criticism is in the framing.

          There doesn’t seem to be much concern about the young people themselves – just the cutting of costs in the long term.

          • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.1.1

            that is economics for ya (was the Herald front page while I was waiting at the checkout, which just so the bean-counters know, groceries came to $45.91 for the week; I grow my own veges :-D) Sigh, these cumulative statistics, which people are not aware of as they are assaulted by the MSM propaganda… ( there is the occasional balance in The Herald: lots of ABBA ;) )

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              There doesn’t seem to be much concern about the young people themselves – just the cutting of costs in the long term.

              that is economics for ya

              No it’s not, that’s capitalism for ya as they seek to remove spending on the poor/young and give the savings to the rich in tax cuts and higher profits.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    I appreciate your comments on the impact of poverty on women, karol. But I want to mention that in terms of dying young males suffer the worst from poverty, not women, and always have.

    • karol 5.1

      Yes, gosh, CV. You find one area where you can contest in favour of males. Firstly – males in poverty are very much disadvantaged, as I mentioned in my post. And there are some areas/contexts in which men’s health and/or mortality rates generally are higher than for women.

      It does depend on the part of the life cycle you are looking at. So, from memory: males generally have a higher infant and early years mortality rate (except in China and some other countries where male children are favoured). Males do generally tend to be more likely to be prone to catching life-threatening illnesses etc. and to participate in life-threatening activities. Some of this falls particularly heavy on men in industries such as the forestry industry in NZ.

      Women tend to live to an older age than men generally. However, in recent years the overall gender differences in life expectancy have been narrowing.

      Women, however, are more likely to die in their child bearing years. And women in poverty are particularly prone to dying in child-birth.

      From the global poverty website I linked to in my post:

      As a baby born into poverty, she might be abandoned and left to die, through the practice of female infanticide. Worldwide, there are 32 million ‘missing women’1.

      During her childhood, her proper feeding and nutrition may be neglected out of family favouring of male children.
      [,,,]
      As an adolescent she may be required to have an early marriage. Young pregnancy puts girls at risk of maternal deaths.

      I do not think the ways in which men in poverty are disadvantaged, sometimes more than most women in poverty, negates the main thrust of the argument in my post: that women in poverty are particularly, multipli disadvantaged from being subjected to poverty, misogyny and rape culture. On balance there is also a tendency by some left wing men (JT for instance) to be more supportive of working class men than of working class women – and often the concept of “working class” is coded male.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Yes, gosh, CV. You find one area where you can contest in favour of males.

        It’s life and death. And dying younger is just the end point. It is the ultimate symptom which suggests that males collect far more damage and injury to their minds and bodies along the way during poverty, and in many ways that we do not widely recognise yet.

        I am also happy to recognise that some of these stressed and distressed men in poverty will leave a trail of family and social destruction around them, on the way down, which impacts on children and women most unfairly.

        I do not think the ways in which men in poverty are disadvantaged, sometimes more than most women in poverty, negates the main thrust of the argument in my post

        Agree. It certainly doesn’t. I just wanted to point out that while our current political economy may advantage men at the top far more than women, it screws everyone at the bottom in severe ways, on an equal opportunity basis.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          I agree with the last comment. I had another point in my first draft of this post – but deleted it because the post was too long. It related to the Labour Party’s policies on gender equality – which I support. But I would like to see more focus on how inequalities, and misogyny impact on low income. Instead, even Cunliffe seems to be reading on issues on improved social security, afraid that it’s not a vote winner. And it is women who are suffering hugely under Bennett’s reforms.

    • vto 5.2

      You’re game CV. I have been going to point out the obvious in that (i.e. males have a harder life generally – reflected in death rates, victims of violence rates, etc) but refrained because it would have been shouted down “oh you poor wee man, have your widdle fee fees been hurt again – diddums”, on it goes.

      Some aspects of this debate are not treated equally. At least, not around here.

      • karol 5.2.1

        males have a harder life generally – reflected in death rates, victims of violence rates, etc

        I don’t think that’s what CV actually said. Also, life expectancy etc has in part, a biological basis.

        It does not provide evidence of a “harder” life. In a misogynistic culture, women’s lives, especially for women in poverty is one long struggle.

        Men indeed are victims of violence, largely from other men. Some of this is in wars as well as in the tendency of some to like a bit of biff. That’s also part of the destructive side of a patriarchal society.

        Women are more often victims of male violence, sexual violence and rape. The latter are a very personalised, nasty and traumatic form of violence. The violence done to women is often dished out by people with a lot more power than they have, and also by those physically much stronger than they are- which all makes it pretty traumatic.

        CV didn’t quite do the “poor men” line. If you want to do that, try somewhere else on TS to do it, not here.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.2.2

        Yes, you must be right, because there are totes no posts at all on The Standard regarding industrial accidents and/or violence involving men.

        This post, on the other hand, discusses the issues as they pertain to women, and it seems to me that their experiences have some differences in the particulars, from both the point of view of the survivors and the offenders, and that that seems worth exploring without the need to say “me too”.

        • karol 5.2.2.1

          Well said, OAK – especially:

          without the need to say “me too”.

          • rhinocrates 5.2.2.1.1

            Actually, there’s a good test to use. If someone says “me too”, are they trying to empathise by looking for parallels in their own experience or are they trying to neutralise – or indeed, turn the conversation into the Four Yorkshiremen sketch? Usually you can tell in the next couple of exchanges.

            • karol 5.2.2.1.1.1

              In this case it is more 4 men way up’t north.

              • rhinocrates

                Sadly – not making any reference to any individual here (but not elsewhere), the 4Y sketch is bizarrely inverted with exchanges like this being common:

                “I was raped.”
                “Well I had my feelings hurt!”

                • vto

                  expect comment on things which are commented on

                  confusion is rife

                  • rhinocrates

                    expect comment on things which are commented on

                    While that is obviously a meaningless tautology (e.g.., “We’re here because we’re here” – the sole lyric to a WWI drinking song, sung to the tune of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”), the implication, as far as I can gather, is that one should only discuss the explicit topic, not the implicit, its methodology or its infrastructure?

                    You’re not a moderator, so I don’t feel bound by your instructions.

                    confusion is rife

                    Don’t assume that if you don’t understand something, nobody can. karol and I are talking about underlying issues of the discourse. If your head hurts, try Panadol.

                    • vto

                      it is impossible to have a meaningful discussion about that which lays on top without looking at what is supporting it underneath.

                      the value is diminished.

                    • rhinocrates

                      No vto, if you want to write a haiku, you must stick to the form: five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and then five in the third. For example, here is my reply to your attempt:

                      I cannot reply.
                      Does he give a platitude?
                      My interest ends.

                    • vto

                      oh, I didn’t realise that was being attempted but I like it

                      has a balance and consequent energy

                      that impacts

                      (haiku d’aotearoa)

                    • vto

                      like this….

                      expect comment on
                      things which are commented on
                      confusion is rife

                      … almost had it. was right in my brain just not the keyboard

                    • rhinocrates

                      OK, I’ll stop sneering and accept your good grace :)

                      Quick ripostes are harsh
                      Perhaps he has good faith too
                      Therefore, um, good night…

                    • Tracey

                      except vto you are not trying to discuss what lies beneath the causes of women’s poverty in NZ you want to change it to discussing men’s suffering in NZ, see the difference?

                    • vto

                      No tracey I don’t want to change it at all. I chose to look at one piece of the foundation – namely whether or not women do in fact suffer more from violence, which is one of the basis’ for the thread. That is all.

                      The causes of their suffering and ongoing effects were not considered in the posts, no, and that has been made perfectly clear on several occasions. There are many other posters who have commented on those issues – and their fine comments have been read and listened to.

                      The fact I chose not to comment on various particular aspects provides no basis whatsoever for your assertion.

                      You are a lawyer aren’t you? Surely you have read judgements many times and seen how they break them into separate small bite-size pieces before placing them together? Yes?

                    • karol

                      vto: I chose to look at one piece of the foundation – namely whether or not women do in fact suffer more from violence, which is one of the basis’ for the thread. That is all.

                      Ah, vto. And you show where you’re not really paying attention to the post or topic.

                      The topic of the post is rape and sexual violence and poverty. You consistently deny and/or downgrade the significance, victim experiences, and damaging impact of rape and sexual violence. You try to equate it with either (allegedly consensual) sex or all kinds of violence.

                      Th post is addressing how the left ignore and/or marginalise the multiply-damaging experiences of women in poverty: women who also are at a very high risk if being on the receiving end of sexual violence, rape and domestic violence. This topic is about them.

                      But you want to make it about how men have it harder than women. That is derailing the discussion. You want to play oppression Olympics.

                      Competing in the Oppression Olympics attaches something like a moral dimension to oppression, in which the most oppressed are worthier.

                      People who participate in Oppression Olympics tend to ignore the fact that it’s possible for multiple groups to be oppressed, and necessary to address all those problems, without choosing a single group to get all the anti-oppression activism.
                      […]
                      Beginning a round of Oppression Olympics is generally seen as Derailment or even as a Silencing tactic, as it attempts to prevent or deflect discussion of one kind of oppression by denying its legitimacy or existence, downplaying its importance, or simply switching the focus to another.

                      My bold. So you look to me like you are trying to derail by claiming men are “more” oppressed.

                      In the instance of this topic, I do think women in poverty are most in need of action. Partly this is because of the way they have been ignore/marginalised – by the likes of Willie J, JT and JT.

                      People who are subjected to rape, and sexual violence also tend to be ignored and marginalised, in society generally, and on the left. And, in Labour Party politics, the focus is on gender equality in the House, but they are reluctant to focus on the women who suffer most in NZ: women in poverty, especially beneficiaries.

                      There have been other posts and discussions on TS about issues like occupations (mostly done by men) in which thy suffer from workplace accidents.

                      It is a worthy topic to discuss the kinds of violence men are subjected to – it also is a damaging aspect of the patrarchy. But that is not the topic of this post. By all means discuss it on open mike. But when you have been directed there, you jump up and down, and rush around demanding that we/I immediately pay attention to the topic that you think is important. ie wanting everyone to divert from the topics of this post, to your chosen one.

                      So far, you have shown no empathy for the damaging impact of rape and sexual violence – largely experienced by women and children. Nor have you shown any concern for the large numbers of women struggling in poverty and on meager benefits – with WINZ increasingly tightening the screws.

                    • vto

                      Morning Karol. Appreciate your response. I’m all done out on this subject now but have appreciated the back and forth. Believe it or not I do listen to what people say on here and it does have an effect, even though it may not seem like it. On the issue/s you comment on there (my intentions etc) – I’m still not on board and the main reason is that you ascribe an intent to my posts that simply doesn’t exist. Sure, I can see how you may be able to read something like that into it, a bit like statistics, but it is absolutely not the intent.

                      Keep up the good work in this area. Onwards …..

                  • locus

                    “I’m all done out on this subject ”

                    yeah well…

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      all State Housing tenancies to be reviewable soon, that should help ease the pressure on vulnerable women, yet, maybe not. sigh.

                    • karol

                      Saw that, RT.

                      And, of course, the MSM/Audrey Young repeats lines fed to them reports about an extreme case of a high income earner still in a state house.

                      The bill, due to pass its third and final reading this morning under urgency, will make all tenancies reviewable.

                      Until now, only the 10,000 tenants who went into their state houses after July 1, 2011, were able to have their tenancies reviewed if their circumstances changed.

                      Others have had security of tenure no matter what they earned although the rents rise as the income rises.

                      Dr Smith said 4000 tenants earned enough to pay the full market rent. Low-income earners pay no more than 25 per cent of their income on rent.

                      The new law will also allow community housing providers to compete for the income-related rent subsidy to expand their role in provision of social housing.

                      Dr Smith called the changes the most significant changes to social housing in 75 years and said the bill provided for “a market in social housing”.

                      A “market in social housing” is surely a contradiction in terms… meanwhile, state housing goes down the gurgler.

                      At least Labour is not supporting the Bill:

                      But Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford accused Dr Smith of “an outrageous double standard” because he had stayed in his ministerial home for six weeks after resigning on the grounds he had not wanted to disrupt his children’s schooling yet was willing to impose insecurity of tenure on state tenants.

                      He said Labour supported the moves that would allow more involvement of community housing but would vote against the bill because of the “incalculable damage” that reviewable tenancy would cause.

                      But Audrey gives the last word to Smith.

      • Tracey 5.2.3

        cos it’s always about you isn’t it VTO?

        You who wouldnt go to the various rape Crisis sites for answers to your own questions.

        Perhaps you or Colonial could write a long post about it, submit it as a guest post and let this thread be a discussion of the opening post. You keep overlooking men also have more power to make most of the changes needed, not women…

        Perhaps your post could be all about this (with sources and comparatives etc)

        (i.e. males have a harder life generally – reflected in death rates, victims of violence rates, etc)

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.2.3.1

          Newsflash! Members of dominant culture demand that all problems be addressed from their perspective! In other news, All Blacks hard fought victory, and men discuss the significance of the Parker/Hales mischief.

          • miravox 5.2.3.1.1

            It never ceases to disappoint me that people who have systemic problems in powerlessness will pick on people with even less power to bolster themselves. Why don’t they look up the food chain to understand their relative powerlessness rather than looking down it?

            Yes, working class men have it hard in a lot of ways. I have a soft spot for them – my father was a welder and a good man – mostly. Even though he beat my mother to the point of hospitalisation and police call-outs many times, and denied her enough funds to run the household (then beat her for not having enough money for his piece of steak while we at sausages). He worked 6 days a week to support his family, produced his own vegetables from an enormous garden and made practically everything we owned – beds, utensils and including my bike from scavenged parts from the dump – very distinctive it was – hand-painted and all.

            Why was he then violent? I suggest it was learned behaviour about how to deal with his own powerlessness and disappointment. I never knew either of my grandfathers – they died young one from a work accident and the other “in the gutter”… but then my grandmothers died young as well – one from preventable cancer and the other “just lay down (beaten down?) and didn’t get back up”. A bloody hard and tragic life for all and that’s passed on down the line.

            There are some very good women working in solidarity with men (sometimes leading the charge – looking at you, Helen Kelly) to improve their lot. Poor women are not responsible for working class men’s dismal health and education statistics. Whereas as a group (not individually) working class men are the cause of some very poor outcomes for women in terms of them being victims of violence and being stuck at the bottom of the power hierarchy. The systemic and political denial of resources from the existing power elite is even more responsible, imo, by keeping the working classes, the ill and minorities disempowered.

            I think a lot of the comments on these posts show how little some men are interested in understanding the powerlessness of women in case it threatens their own position. We need to deal with this, or we all lose. Show some solidarity, for goodness sake, then start looking at the other end of the power tree to see who benefits from the status quo. It’s certainly not working class men or women.

            I guess I’m arguing for a recognition of Kyriarchy, as the post suggests. I’ve not heard this term before these discussions, and am not sure how the theory actually works, but it seems to be a term worth exploring to me.

            • karol 5.2.3.1.1.1

              miravo, I agree on the issue of powerlessness. In a very dominatory hierarchical society, it is unfortunately pretty common for those in a relatively powerless position, to then exert power over others even lower down the hierarchy. And notions of aggressive, controlling masculinity add to the mix.

              Thank-you for your story, which, IMO, really shows how the kyriarchy works.

              Yes. Solidarity and an understanding of the destructiveness of power imbalances in our society. As much as anything, my post is about the ways that the experiences of working class/low income women, are relatively marginalised, and disempowered, even within left politics.

            • Rogue Trooper 5.2.3.1.1.2

              when I was in the Post Office today (that will be a memory before long) I overheard an elderly, worse-for-the-weather-type chappie share that his mother had a ‘hard life’, the ‘old man’ left when he was seven… sigh,
              It is excellent that these issues are being discussed in an open forum, men may not be that at-ease at the end of the day. So sad, yet, at least we have location, location, location!

              • karol

                Yes. It’s good to talk. And to try to acknowledge, respect and understand the many and diverse hardships people face, without getting into the “oppression Olympics”.

                • miravox

                  Yeah, when my mother eventually lost the plot, my father – old school separation of tasks on gender line – had a hard life wondering what to do with the 6 girls aged 4-14 left behind. he could have walked away from his responsibilities but never did. One could almost call it poetic justice, and I think some did given the lack of support for this struggling man out working while his kids worked out how to drag themselves up.

                  She, of course, was wrecked. Had to learn a few job skills really quickly, fell into bad relationships, booze. Lost everything (But, made her bed, and all that – hard, judgemental people around). In the end, he got praise, of course – some deserved for stepping up. She got opprobrium.

                  Anyway – there are no winners in suffering, it’s bigger than all of us and set within a context that not enough people feel inclined to challenge… too busy worrying about ‘choices’ and ‘personal responsibility’ without seeing the financial struggles, cultural heritage, social isolation (for the Pakeha working man I rather think the absolute break with family through immigration plays a part in this heritage) of the disempowered. Similar circumstances for some Maori (rural-urban migration), Pacific peoples and recent immigrants, maybe.

                  What I can’t workout, apart from protecting a hard-won patch, why there is so little empathy among people with variations on the tales of poverty and violence. Why the hard done-by have to abuse and make others, especially women, more hard done-by. We’re all losers when this happens.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    They can make excellent Tories if their personal circumstances change for the better.

                    why there is so little empathy among people with variations on the tales of poverty and violence. Why the hard done-by have to abuse and make others, especially women, more hard done-by.

                    People who feel like they have nothing left inside to give, will give nothing else.

                    • miravox

                      Perfect blue collar tories.

                      Yes, there is that – nothing left to lose thing going on. Although it’s possibly more a pendulum swing between aggression and submission, which ends up with a (predominantly male) aggression punish others for their own submission to circumstance and a (predominantly female) submission to pretty much everyone – although there some turning rage on to the kids.

                      This where rape as power comes from for the working class male, I feel.

                      Not enough people turn that rage to where it really belongs, and I have no idea how that can change within our current economic and social paradigms.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      which ends up with a (predominantly male) aggression punish others for their own personal inability to adapt to circumstance

                      That’s a bit more accurate. Hope you don’t mind.

                    • miravox

                      I see your point.

                      On the other hand – why should they adapt to really rubbish circumstance…

                      maybe

                      which ends up with a (predominantly male) aggression punish others for their own refusal to challenge circumstance

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep. People need to have options plus they need to feel like they have options – particularly ones to be true to themselves.

                    • miravox

                      People need to have options plus they need to feel like they have options – particularly ones to be true to themselves.

                      ^^ This.

                      Now we’re back to politics and why we’re lefties – even though our stories and perspectives are different. The three parts in your sentence give us a way forward, rather than accepting the status quo.

                      Lots of people have, and have had, important stuff to say about what is preventing people from feeling they have options (because we all know they need them) and incorporate that into their cultural and personal beliefs.

                      I’m partial to a bit of Mr Marx and dash of Mr Bourdieu (production and consumption covered there) and now this kyriarchy idea to weave in the signifiers of power. But I’m a bit of a novice at this, I know there are other that are a lot further along this track than I am.

                  • karol

                    thanks miravox. You have laid out the issues well, while sharing your own struggles. A very important series of comments.

                    • miravox

                      You’re welcome Karol – It took a while to decide whether to go there.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      A very important series of comments

                      Yes.

                      Miravox: one place change happens is in schools. Grindingly slow at times, and despite the Right’s desperate attempts at vandalism.

                    • miravox

                      OAK – yes I think schools are better at it than they were back in the day – of course someone has to tell them what’s going on for them to make a difference…

                      I did have one awesome teacher – same one for 3 years by chance, so maybe he twigged on to it – he was the one person in my life who said I could achieve. It took awhile, some false starts (you were allowed them, back then) but I did. Forever grateful.

                    • karol

                      miravox, it is said that one positive adult (supporter, encourager, and/or role model, etc….) can result in a successful future for that child.

                    • miravox

                      yes, that was a big part of it Karol. Not that I knew it at the time. I’ve spent far too much time over the years thinking about why we’ve done reasonably well give a chaotic life and there are a few things that strike me as being important:

                      – our father had a strong moral code (aside from the wife beating bit)
                      – familiar surroundings. Much harder to hold things together if kids are always on the move while parents go from low wage job to low wage job. (Some time ago Puddlegum made some great comments about the damage this causes)
                      – less social distance back then… Other ways of living and conflict resolution could be seen and copied. The poor were also not as physically separated from the middle classes in run down suburbs and low decile schools.
                      – having more than one opportunity to make a fresh start, e.g. I had three goes at so-called second chance education after I left school at 15 and had babies. Politicians today don’t realise that when someone is starting from so far back it takes a little while to get the hang of things.
                      – On the baby point – pretty decent postnatal support from the health system. Above the usual seeing as I had no support of my own.
                      – We were readers – I read anything I could get my hands on and seeing as we didn’t have many books of our own that meant newspapers and a lot of non-fiction as well as school library novels.
                      – total determination to not put up with what my mother put up with, and never put my kids in the same position we were put in.

                      None of these thing work on their own, but combined, I think they made a difference. (hope the rwnj lot don’t hang on the first and last points – they alone wouldn’t have done the job but I take a little pride in them).

                    • karol

                      Very good list of positive factors, miravox. Some point to old welfare state provisions that need to be reinstated, others to changing conditions which require new policies (eg increased social distance).

                      On 2nd chance education: I taught n such institutions in London and Sydney (further education [UK], TAFE colleges [Sydney]). I have seen people who didn’t achieve when they were younger, shine at a later age – and others who failed again. Sometimes the time is right.

                      But it’s good to read of someone succeeding after a few attempts. I always used to say to students that they can come back to education at a later age, if they don’t feel up to it at the moment – although “neoliberal” governments are making that harder.

                    • miravox

                      The second and third chances are so important. Don’t think your time with people who didn’t continue was wasted… They’ll have taken lots of positives from your efforts.

                      I missed one factor, of course… And the most pertinent to this post…
                      When my parents split up the absolute relief from the prospect of being woken night after night by screaming shouting adults and screaming and shouting in fear with them and at them. Breaking the shackles, really.

                      Also the moving on over time, of some very bad people from our lives. Who were able to get in because our parents were otherwise engaged in thier own troubles.

                      That’s about it for this retrospective on domestic violence.

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    some Bonnie ‘melancholy brilliance’ shining through.

                    • miravox

                      Thanks, it felt approriate.

                    • karol

                      miravox, thanks again.

                      Recalling my teaching experience on “2nd chance” courses, I heard a few personal stories from students about the struggles and obstacles in the lives and life stories. Some women on low incomes who had experienced domestic violence and/or sexual violence: some heartbreaking, some ultimately moving forward. One set of conversations that are particularly relevant to this post:

                      a group of young Pacific women in Sydney, who had strong family and communities in South Auckland/Manukau – most had been born and/or lived there. As they told it, they perceived rape to endemic in NZ. They said that about every woman they knew in NZ had been raped. They considered Sydney to be a safer place for women.

              • rhinocrates

                Yes, two of my oldest friends, a devoted couple for decades, have tales to tell that don’t fit the conventional narrative. He’s German, his father was a Wehrmacht soldier who died on the Eastern front in WWII and he never knew him, so his mother raised him and he reveres women as mothers and hates misogyny in all its forms. She’s a NZ feminist artist who discovered in her late 70s that she was Jewish because her family had suppressed it for so long. Listen to people, discover their stories and you will be amazed.

                Actually, it was put nicely in Doctor Who – everyone says that the Tardis is “bigger on the inside”, but in the the episode “The Doctor’s Wife” (Neil Gaiman), incarnated in a human body, she says that people are bigger on the inside.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Of course. People contain the universe. And like the TARDIS, we travel through time.

                • ropata

                  I only found out recently that my grandmother was ‘illegitimate’ and that makes me part Croatian. It was very hush-hush back in 1910 …

                  • rhinocrates

                    Really, rape culture is just fucking obscene in reducing people to objects and score points. We’re all full of stories, we’re all founts of marvels.

                    Love you all, good night.

            • rhinocrates 5.2.3.1.1.3

              I’ve tried to follow my own advice to those with terminal privilege poisoning, which was “shut up and listen”, so I’m not going to do more than offer footnotes and annotations here.

              I’ve been an avid reader of SF and not because of the space battles, but because of the strangeness – and if you look below the formalities of social normalisation, nothing is stranger than another person. Gwyneth Jones, a brilliant SF author, is best known for her “Aleutian” stories and was much praised by critics for her depiction of an “alien” race. Her explanation of that? “I modelled them on women.” Recommended for all people.

              • ropata

                Ursula LeGuin writes beautiful SFF stories, some fairly unchallenging, but the ones that play with gender and sexuality are really original. It’s almost a convention in scifi to explore all sorts of relationship structures. Iain Banks’ Culture characters get up to all sorts of shenanigans, even the robots :P

                • rhinocrates

                  Yep, I agree there! In The Left Hand of Darkness, the narrator (but not the real protagonist), Genly Ai, has to struggle with his perceptions of gender. Her prose is so beautiful…

                  Alas poor Iain, gone too soon… I loved the sheer fun of his space operas, for all the darkness.

                  Read any Joanna Russ? I admire her savage wit. And then there’s Tiptree…

                  Sorry, don’t expect a reply, I’m off to bed. G’ night.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.2.3.1.1.4

              Miravox +1000

              Solidarity.

  6. Bill 6

    Disclaimer: the following comment is being fueled by a certain level of despondent cynicism as is being experienced by the commenter at this moment in time…

    Anyway, wonder how far off the mark this will wind up being? Not too far I reckon.

    People will merely appeal to the current authorities to do something in light of the RB stuff. And they’ll blithely ignore the fact that the systems they are appealing to to provide a fix are the same systems as are responsible for creating the cultures, the likes of the rape culture, and by obvious extension or implication, RB type mentalities.

    So, there will be a new police commissioner. And I’ve no doubt some will try to make a case for that commissioner being a woman as though that would make any difference at all in the scheme of things. And the culture within the police – which has, not surprisingly, higher levels of misogyny and a far greater sense of ‘entitlement’ than the general population it is tasked with policing – will undergo a certain amount of window dressing and revert back to exactly what it is right now over some fairly short space of time.

    And there might be education provided through schools. But given that that will exist within a far more pervasive and pernicious environment supplied to us courtesy of fashion and TV and magazines and the interweb etc, it will wind up being viewed as a one hour per week (or whatever) separate space for the exercise of political correctness. And even the students (I’m thinking more of the boys here) who it seeks to educate and protect will react against it on that basis.

    Rape crisis and other organisations that exist at the bottom of the cliff will have some funding restored and struggle as they did before with volunteers backing up too few paid staff.

    And the victims will keep on flooding in because essentially nothing will have been changed. And at some point in the future, another society wide episode of hand wringing and head shaking will take place when some RB type series of incidents comes to its attention.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong and it may well transpire that (alongside such measures as above) a serious ongoing shift begins to push against and question the legitimacy of the systems that produce all this shit.

    • Tracey 6.1

      I dont think most of what you wrote will happen… Rape Crisis MIGHT get some funding restored but not an increase and especially not for their rape prevention education programme.

      I wonder f donations to rape crisis’ work have increased in the past two weeks? I bet they havent.

      You make great observations and many I agree with. However, as I think you alude, if the next commissioner is female she will be the product of the aspect of the rape culture perpetuated by the police (not all officers are indicted by my statement I hasten to say)

      As long as Key is pretending to be a friend to Colin Craig certain things wont happen til after the 2014 election/

      As long as a discussion in a thread like this turns, for some people, into a “why are men excluded fromt his analysis, they suffer too” issue, deep change will never happen. IMO.

      • karol 6.1.1

        Yes. I do think there only a real cultural change will result in real change. Changes in policy and regulations will only do so much.

        And the particularly strong strain of rape culture within the police and judicial system is proving hard to change.

        And I do take the “men suffer too” approach as an attempt to derail the discussion.

        My main argument with this post is that low income women are currently being multipli-marginalised, left right & centre while they are baring the brunt of the NActs’ punitive social security policies + those of a misogynistic rape culture.

        • Tracey 6.1.1.1

          However many cultural changes begin with a lead from the legislature which by its law making sends a message about where the line in the sand is drawn regarding expected behaviour. It doesnt change it overnight, but it signals the shift in society’s tolerance of such behaviour.

          • adam 6.1.1.1.1

            I find that wrong Tracy, but sorry your argument does not work. We have had on the law books that rape is a crime for a long time. And guess what – rape still happens, you can’t bash your kids and guess what kids still get bashed. Indeed we have a society which detests suicide – and again it still happens – more now, than ever.

            Authority from above does not make change, it makes illusions. The idea that somehow changing the law will make it better – or make society better, is conservative clap trap. It’s the great liberal lie. Blood brings freedom – it being spilt, and that changes society – not laws and law makers.

            This is the stuff that destroys lives – rape is just the most vial of acts and what do we do? We argue, wring our hands and dither. Poverty grinds people down and takes them apart slowly every gut wrenching day. and again we dither and moan how hard it all is – or fall for that conservative lie – “oh it’s part of the human condition” Women, are not equal to men. And women get to take it all on the chin, every dam lie – over and over again.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps, but part of the change in attitude to drinking and driving lay with legislation, as did anti smoking and so on. When a law is put on the books which has a social policy below, usually, education of the public in some form follows.

              You are right, rape has been illegal for some time BUT the rules of evidence (also laws) were appalling in the beginning and some change was made in the (I think 80’s). Another change tot he evidence Act and we might see a shift.

              I certainly do not see the passing of a law as a panacea but it has a part to play in changing the message to society.

              I believe increasing the funding to the successful rape prevention programmes in schools, so all schools and all students participate would also see a resulting shift. I have campaigned and donated and pushed for this for over 20 years.

              Spilling blood (literally) usually only facilitates a change in which set of males wield the power next.

              We’re in this together and until chaps see that treating women with respect and equally isn’t about them giving something up the struggle goes on.

              Too often I hear (not just in relation to women) “they’re taking our jobs”. Particularly when quotas are discussed. This appears to be based on an assumption that jobs are by right a man’s, or a white man’s and his to share or not.

              • karol

                I tend to agree a bit with both Tracey and Adam on this. Legislation can help to bring about changes in attitude – small steps. But bigger change requires continuing campaigning and pressure from the grass roots. We all need to participate.

                You make some good suggestions, Tracey. Also I would add education into the mix. Plus “cultural productions”. eg the way people, sexuality and sexual violence are portrayed on the screen and in popular music. It was a step forward when popular dramas moved to fairly regularly portraying the damaging aspects of rape and sexual violence. Unfortunately, too often it is treated voyeuristically, seductively and sensationalistically – to get people watching and ultimately to get some sort of pleasure from the spectacle.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Blood on the streets? Nah. Fuck the martyrdom. Make it for keeps….but box clever.

              Way I see it, if there is any inevitability about blood on the streets, it’ll be the blood of liberals that’ll be running- those who take it upon themselves to (apparently and ‘oh so reasonably!’) speak up for and on behalf of the ‘common’ man and woman but who always default to defending the status quo – give us a plan, a blueprint, a nice cuppa and somewhere we can all sit down and talk about it and we’ll get back to you – wait until tomorrow, no need to rock the boat too much, we wouldn’t want anarchy now, would we? – trust us, we know how things work – we’ll go through the ‘correct’ channels, explore the options, look at the legal procedures and processes – to get it sorted/inquired into/ studied/improved.)

              Afraid to say (and this is assuming the best of all possible outcomes – ‘Look! No blood!!’) that the end of that road is lined with lampposts.

              • karol

                That’s a bit of a cynical view, Bill.

                The changes in many provisions and laws around sexual violence have come about through a load of pragmatic actions, unruly protests that, confrontations with police – I’ve been there when the police in Soho, London smashed open a few women’s heads, and there was pretty much bloodied heads in the streets – on a Reclaim the Night march against violence against women.

                Women’s refuges came about across a lot of countries in the 70s, because women both talked and acted. Many were just set up in buildings they took over and squatted – just started providing support for women wanting to leave violent partners. These were a real success story, because they kind of got picked up by social services, and given (not enough) government/local authority funding.

                Ditto, as a result of a raft of related activities, pressure was put on governments to change laws such as to make rape illegal in marriage.

                I favour multi-layered and multiply connected actions from the grass roots, including protests, talking, and pressure on governments – they may result in small changes, but they have made some real differences to people’s lives.

                • Bill

                  Sure. The ‘this/and’ approach.

                  But, y’know – most liberals aren’t of that persuasion. Most liberals are locked into an either/or mentality – and opt for the safer, easier, least disruptive, most obvious short term gain route and in doing so take the legs out from under any ‘greater’ momentum that might be seeking more fundamental changes.

                  And it’s also true that there are many complete idiots of a more radical persuasion also locked into the either/or mindset – who poo-poo anything that isn’t instant pot noodle revolution.

                  • karol

                    There’s always those who want to take an easy route. But there’s also usually others who are pragmatic, considered, willing to push boundaries and are in it for the long haul.

                  • miravox

                    “But, y’know – most liberals aren’t of that persuasion. Most liberals are locked into an either/or mentality – and opt for the safer, easier, least disruptive, most obvious short term gain route and in doing so take the legs out from under any ‘greater’ momentum that might be seeking more fundamental changes.”

                    I do agree that people of a liberal persuasion opt for a safer route etc, but it’s not from an either or mindset or that it’s safe. I think they simply don’t know what the range of problems are. The prime example is having people walk out of ‘once were warriors’ when it was released because it was simply unbelievable that this could happen in NZ. Awful that people now accept that it does happen, but acceptance has it’s own problems – because there is a plastering over the cracks rather than working through what is actually happening in people’s lives.

                    A more recent example is food in schools – great that kids will be fed properly and most accept that there is poverty and parents struggle to provide for their children. They may have different beliefs about the cause – depending on their political or social persuasion – but they accept it.

                    A good liberal will see this as they way of doing something for the financially struggling families – safe, useful, good. I have no problem with that at all. But tell them that sometimes kids don’t get fed because someone deliberately withheld money from mum as a ‘punishment’ for having coffee with friends and they’ll simply disbelieve.

                    Tell them that there was money but the 5 year-old couldn’t go to the shops by herself to buy breakfast because mum didn’t get out of bed and they’ll tut, tut and try to understand stresses from work etc. Tell them that the mum couldn’t get up because her ribs are broken and the kid sees this as a routine event – that mum can’t get out of bed – (adults will interpret ‘can’t’ as ‘won’t’ when the kid says this) and the liberals don’t want to know how to fix that, because it’s beyond their comprehension that this could happen

                    Give the kid breakfast – at least they’re doing ‘something’ for hungry kids with poor parents. I can’t stress how important this show of caring is for kids in this situation, but meanwhile nothing changes in the household because people are closed to the idea that these things happen and happen more frequently, in families they wouldn’t expect, that they care to imagine.

    • weka 6.2

      And the victims will keep on flooding in because essentially nothing will have been changed. And at some point in the future, another society wide episode of hand wringing and head shaking will take place when some RB type series of incidents comes to its attention.

      Of course, I could be completely wrong and it may well transpire that (alongside such measures as above) a serious ongoing shift begins to push against and question the legitimacy of the systems that produce all this shit.

      Myself, I think the smaller changes are worthwhile even if the complete societal change you want doesn’t happen. I also think the smaller changers make the bigger change more likely.

      I also disagree that nothing will have changed. For every increase in RC funding, another woman will be helped. Try telling her and her whanau that that is nothing, or that her not having access to support is the same as her having access to support.

      That the whole RB issue has been discussed so publicly, that the term ‘rape culture’ has been used in the MSM and by politicians IS a massive change, and it pisses me off no end to see that change rendered irrelevant in your comment. I get that you want to see structural change now, and I appreciate the level of despondancy (which is fair enough to express). I just don’t like seeing all the hard work being done by women dismissed as ‘nothing’ unless the revolution comes.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        …it pisses me off no end to see that change rendered irrelevant in your comment…

        Then stop pissing yourself off by misinterpreting (my) comments.

  7. Descendant Of Sssmith 7

    While you can build at argument that both sexes are affected I can’t be convinced that men are affected equally.

    Men have more opportunity than women to obtain work, to earn a higher income, to relinquish the raising of the children and so on.

    Men have the greater ability to physically intimidate, to beat and to hit, to psychologically damage, to form gangs to increase the threat and intimidation, they take (pretend to take) young children off their mothers to get DPB, they use rape as a punishment, they steal women’s food, they beat the children, they kill the partner that leaves them… they exercise and practice all these things.

    Poverty, lack of employment and lack of income simply increase their inability to not do this.

    Yeah they damage other men and male boys as well but nowhere to the extent they abuse and damage women.

    The stats don’t lie – such abuse is predominantly carried out by men – it’s not even a close race.

    Part of the problem that few commentators talk about is the male drift into gang culture. I’ve never understood the lack of criticism of this by Maori leadership and by the left generally.

    The violence and abuse in this culture, the acceptance of aberrant behaviour by their families, the culture of silence and intimidation – I was angry a few weeks ago when the notion of putting women on the block was raised. Yeah I know that term all too well. I’ll never forgive the mongrel mob for taking an intellectually disabled classmate of mine and repeatedly doing that to her in the 80’s – day after day, week after week, year after year. Bastards the lot of them. She was dead by 25 which was in the circumstances a blessing. I’ve seen and helped women who’ve been punished in the same way over the years since – seen the lack of life in their eyes and their minds, the sense of hopelessness – and the thing is those that do this know it has that effect. They know exactly what their violence does to the victim. It’s a deliberate tool to make women powerless.

    I just can’t accept men are affected in the same way. The exertion of power over another doesn’t make you a victim it makes you a victimiser.

    • Tracey 7.1

      Also almost as soon as the stats showed boys behind girls in high school results action was taken to address it. Girls had to wait decades.

      If we address the issues of the opening post, those boys/men also affected will feel the change in their lives as well (IMO).

      I have made many posts over the years about the focus in society and the media on murders, yet more die in workplace accidents a year than are murdered but as a society/media we don’t seem to care. And THAT, vto, is me (a woman) championing a predominantly male victim issue, workplace accidents and deaths is something I am passionate about and work toward highlighting..

    • karol 7.2

      Well said: DoS.

      Especially this:

      Poverty, lack of employment and lack of income simply increase their inability to not do this.

      Yeah they damage other men and male boys as well but nowhere to the extent they abuse and damage women.

      The issues of gangs is a difficult one. Generally I see them as a part of a defensive strategy in the face of poverty and colonisation.

      There are stories of rape and sexual assault within those gangs. It’s not something I know a lot about.

      I do think the middle classes and Pakeha are better at hiding the sexual abuse and rape within their midst – and this applies to all classes:

      I just can’t accept men are affected in the same way. The exertion of power over another doesn’t make you a victim it makes you a victimiser.

      PS: I also would prefer that the likes of Willie J & JT, would spend more time looking into the way rape culture is manifest in their own communities, and among low income men, rather than jumping to the defense of the guys in the first instance.

    • Tracey 7.3

      I was going out with a former member of the King Cobra while at Law school. When he told me he used to be in a gang I was fine with it. However when he told me he had raped a 14 year old as part of his initiation, she was a drug addict and had his baby, our relationship went downhill rapidly. When we split he moved to Havelock North and reunited with the mother and his daughter.

      I was only 20 and dealing with that with other stuff in my life was too much. I have often wondered if they lasted but have never known to think well of him for going to be near/with this daughter when she was 13, (and her mother)) or not.

      • karol 7.3.1

        That’s a tough one. If he had seen how nasty and damaging that kind of initiation is for a girl, had changed, and was truly supporting the girl/woman, then maybe that should be supported. But… who knows?

    • Rogue Trooper 7.4

      This; ( a ‘friend’-we were sat together in the fourth form, and from the same ‘burb, – became a publicized Rapist, in the 80’s) and ‘Blocking’? , not my cup-of-tea, yet that was part of my milieu growing up in good ol’ provincial NZ!

      • miravox 7.4.1

        Yeah, I know someone who got far too close to that. Milder is learning what a bottle is for.

  8. vto 8

    ok, can you join me there please? I think there is an entirely valid point re how the post has been constructed and the position of men within it.

    karol: vto is referring to the fact I sent a comment of his to moderation in order to subsequently be moved here:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/national-day-of-action-against-rape-culture-16-nov-15th/

  9. ak 9

    Adrift in a gentle latitude

    Hordes alone

    Maimed fleets of two colours bumping

    On a sea of scars

    That can never heal

    Only the rudder acceptance

    Steers to port forgiveness

    And terra aroha

  10. Waitemata Unite recently published an article about how rape poverty and oppression of women are interconnected. It is the personal story of one woman :”Rape Poverty and Prostitution.” See it at:
    http://waitemataunite.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/rape-poverty-and-prostitution-woman.html

    • miravox 10.1

      I am supposed to be quiet about this truth”

      This is the statement that, I believe, most women who have been routinely violated and live through it believe. The stories sound too fantastical, eyes of the previously sympathetic listeners/readers glaze over….

      Thanks to the person who shared this story. These need to told because somewhere, sometime, it will impact on someone whose eyes don’t glaze over and is in a place to make a difference. Ripples in the pond and all that.

    • karol 10.2

      Thanks, President.

      It’s a harrowing story. This woman tells well how someone with little power is continually abused and further disempowered, totally undermining her sense of self worth: her father had already destroyed that. And this vulnerable woman was raped again and again.

      Along with this, blunting the pain with alcohol, and poverty & further abuse by WINZ. Then later came understanding of the bigger picture as she struggles to drag herself out of this endless succession of horrors:

      This is where poverty secured its seat next to me and it stayed like an unwanted companion who stole from me and hurt me and my son and the children I was yet to have for the next two decades of my life. Capitalism depends on the fact that social policy makers devise systems to ensure that twenty five percent of the population is trapped into poverty. Only the very lucky escape the lower class. I was studying for a social work degree when I learned this. It was the last straw for me. Learning that the powers that be knew the painful sentence they were inflicting on the slavers for minimum wage sunk my soul into the pits of dispair. Not only was my own family cruel and blinded by the blinkers they put on with their own hand but the rulers of the land did not care either.

      Poverty means being financially excluded from society in so many ways. I had few possesions and only ever had enough to buy the most basic food. I have spent a large portion of my life in the kitchen this way, scraping up baking and building meals on a hungry sad stomach. Countless are the days I spent crying at the bench when others with more wealth and support would have brought their tea, or had someone bring them a meal.

      Then more rape, and no help from the police, who treated her as the architect of the endless abuse she received from others..

  11. unsol 11

    Hi Karol
    You raise some interesting points in your post, but I feel that such discussions sometimes do more harm to the issue than good. Yes of course government policy does impact society, but it does not dictate the moral code. That comes from US, particularly women. Poverty doesn’t make bad people do bad things, it doesn’t make (mostly) men rape, molest & beat their wives & children, but it can exacerbate or encourage/push along any predisposition as poverty = stress = trigger for bad behaviour. Especially when alcohol is involved. And how you address poverty, well that’s the $60 squillion dollar ideological question isn’t it; right wingers believe in personal responsibility, if you want something you work for it, that you should be your own safety net rather than expecting someone else to pay for your choices (e.g. if you don’t want to be poor then don’t have multiple kids on a low wage etc) & the left wingers believe high income earners must be taxed to pay for the poor….who now apparently include those on $40K and above (because they went & had 6 kids)….because I assume they think money will solve money problems. I’m being a little facetious & deli barely simplistic – the point being it is not, I feel, the right way to address or resolve sexual crimes. It’s horse before cart stuff. End of the day good children from loving, nurturing, happy, safe & secure homes – whether poor, rich, same sex, single, married, de facto, swinging, polymoral whatever, do not grow up & rape or abuse or molest children. Not all survivors of abuse become abusers, but all abusers have most definitely been abused, neglected or had their spirit broken some way. They are proof that their parents failed to recognise parenting is a verb. Sure they are most definitely responsible for their own choice – we always have a choice in everything, but having crap, negligent or absent parents breaks something in a child & for some kids this can mean searching to fill that void elsewhere – girls being liked by boys, boys turning to porn & scoring as many times as they can. Or they could just turn to alcohol, drugs & stealing cars.

    This issue is a pandora’s box so for me I would much rather all discussions on rape, child abuse & sexual abuse focus on the primary issue rather than the wider social issues (baby steps!) – which is that (mostly) men are CHOOSING to rape, beat, molest our women & children. And they have been doing so since time began whether they were rich, poor, black, white, whatever.

    The main difference now, the reason why it feels it is happening more often is because it is being exposed. Survivors are coming forward, reporting their abuse to the police more & more. It doesn’t matter whether we live in a quaker society, wear tents and/or keep our bodies & faces hidden, rapists & molesters always find a way to hurt us.

    That said I do think that we need to also promptly address our young men’s massive exposure & subsequent (increasing) addiction to porn. Particularly on the internet. I think this group of boasting rapists make the case for this perfectly as they are attempting to normalise criminal & emotionally & physically destructive behaviour.

    So other than ensuring key services like Rape Crisis & Women’s Refuge are seen & treated as being as important as Starship re government support, the focus must stay with the perpetrators & I think that women have to be the leaders on this. I personally believe that women set the moral code so we need to expect & demand more from our men (fathers need to start setting better examples) & sons & teach our girls that they are worth more than some notch on some guy’s belt. We need to have honest conversations with our kids about sex, we need to work with each other as a community re sleep overs vs not etc, we need to unite & stand up against porn & hold our men to account when they are unfaithful – the Miley Cyrus, Bevan Chuang’s of this world….and all the spineless women who continue to stand by their dodgy cheating and/or abuse men (whether thick crappy pop singers lil Robin Thicke, bloggers or mayors – interestingly Slater has been busy insinuating Brown beat his first wife – or otherwise) do as much for women getting respect as the playboy bunnies. I think we need to give men a more consistent message – sex is our prerogative, we can change our mind if we want, we can be saucy if a want, but no always means no & if you have to double check on the yes then it really isn’t a yes at all.

    The problem is of course is that everyone’s views on this stuff is coloured by their own experiences, values & often faith so we need to take baby steps. First step – bring in campaign’s like Canada’s Don’t be THAT guy, second, raise the alcohol age back up to 20 & restrict opening hours further – banning liquor stores completely from low income areas (alcohol is a treat, a luxury, a want, not a need) & bring sex ed into schools via community groups – maybe a collaborative of various religious groups, family planning & rape crisis so kids can form their own views.

    Some parents will never parent so for the sake of our daughters we should make open, honest, informative discussions about sex from 10 onwards part of the school curriculum. In fact, make it in conjunction with budgeting advice – that way you deal with learning how to live within your means, and making the right choices to do that, AND the issue of consent…..yes means yes, no grey area & that the only thing that causes rape is rapists.

    • karol 11.1

      Thanks, unsol, for such a considered statement.

      I agree with many things that you say, especially about the need for wider cultural change and for perpetrators to take responsibility for their rape and sexual abuse. Families and parents are a tricky one because they also often need support from the wider community.

      The government can give an indication that certain kinds of behaviour are not acceptable (showing some leadership), and they can provide funding and support for services such as Rape Crisis, and they could pas legislation so that survivors are not re-traumatised during trial processes.

      Poverty doesn’t make bad people do bad things, it doesn’t make (mostly) men rape, molest & beat their wives & children, but it can exacerbate or encourage/push along any predisposition as poverty = stress = trigger for bad behaviour. Especially when alcohol is involved.

      Nowhere did I say poverty causes men to rape or commit domestic abuse. One of the main points I was trying to make is that rape and sexual abuse is an act to assert power over another, and that very often the victims are less powerful than the perpetrator. Consequently, women in poverty are very often abused by those with more power, including by well off men. there’s a long history of middle class and wealthy men sexually abusing poor people and coercing them into sexual activities.

      I was also addressing the line taken by, supposedly left wing people, like Willie Jackson, John Tamihere and Chris Trotter. Basically for them they see the issue of the RoastBusters, and other gender issues as being a dichotomy between working class men and middle class women/feminists/ “identity politics” etc. That was the basis on which Willie J and JT harangued a woman who said she was a RoastBuster victim, and defended the likes of the RoastBusters – and the basis on which trotter defended WJ & JT.

      My point is that as lefties they are ignoring, or at least marginalising, women on low incomes and in poverty. I would think it’s most likely that the Roastbusters (alleged) victims were from the same class/community as the abusers. I was pointing out that women in poverty already have enough stress, from being poor. And that they have limited resources for coping with surviving sexual abuse, violence and/or rape. Thus (supposedly) left wing men should be looking to support women in poverty.

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    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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