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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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  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
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    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
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