The Queen of Thorns at Ideologically Impure has a post with this wonder title about the type of victim bashing that the some of the right have indulged in this week. Notably tsmithfield from our comments page. Here are her answers – pretty good considering she had a cold.
First bold: ‘If the victim didn’t behave in exactly the manner I suggest a victim should have behaved in, she’s obviously not a real victim because she’s not fulfilling the role’. See also the eternal if you cry you’re hysterical and unreliable, if you’re calm you clearly weren’t really raped dilemma.
Bolding the second: ‘The victim isn’t a Logical Victim of the harasser, so there must be Something Else Going On.’ Because her failure to respond to the very first ‘Hey how’s it going’ email with ‘STAY AWAY, HARASSING PIGFUCKER’ must mean she has some ulterior motive. Normally, we’d be going for she was flattered by his attention but because this is politics so God forbid we pass up the opportunity to insinuate some nasty conspiracy. And of course, there’s no feeding into classics like ‘women using their sex appeal to lead Good Men astray’ happening here at all. Hell, it’s probably worse if she were doing it for political purposes rather than securing a designer-brand-furnishing sugar daddy like good strumpets do.
Bold part III, revenge of the bold: Just as we all know that being too drunk to form multisyllabic words is exactly the same as a signed affidavit affirming ‘I would like to engage in sexual intercourse with you right now’, it is also true, kiddies, that if you are polite, if you try to continue engaging on a purely professional level, if you redirect a person’s email address straight to your spam folder, if you God forbid try not to piss off someone with significant clout and thus stop short of rigging a Running Man necklace that will explode if they come within a hundred metres of you, your harasser is fully able to believe you are a willing participant.
Personally I think that the right should really look at keeping some of the female vote that they picked up prior to the election. This is the point that Anita at Kiwipolitico is pointing out in her post Key’s real attitude to women is showing.
In John Key’s world apparently: where the old boys’ club is strong and a leader sides with his men no matter what. Well at least until the political math tells him otherwise.
In case anyone’s missing the nuance: Key has told the media he believes the woman in question is a liar and has threatened to publicly humiliate her if she doesn’t back down. All without even trying to talk to her, all on the word of his good old mate Richard Worth whose unpleasant track record Key is well aware of. Nice eh?
What has interested me with this scandal is not the actual facts – the police will deal with them in their usual manner. It has been the reversion to misogynist type by some of the right (and even some of the left).
There’s something very born to rule about the euphemism ‘making a nuisance of himself’. Just the language, unfortunately, not the activity. Like many born to rule terms, it’s quite honest. I can imagine quite a range of activities that Key would refer to in this way: it could refer to language, either abusive or explicitly sexual, or unwanted physical contact, even protracted unwanted physical contact. These are all nuisances, women should put up with them in the same way they might a missed bus.
Of course Cactus Kate begs to differ. But she usually does. Sounds like she’d like women to revert to the early 20th century with some (like her) having more privileges than others.
I’d like to point out to Kate that if I have to get involved in ‘protecting’ the women of my family it will get dangerous for someone. I doubt if I’m more aggressive than most males, but the idea of performing the type of protective role that Kate prefers appalls me. Personally I would regard having to do it as society failing its duties and requiring me to inflict severe harm to help improve the species. I suspect that most men would tend to feel the same.
A significant reason for society operating the way it does is to separate males from opportunities to indulge in violence. Societies that require family men for the protection of women inevitably descend into some kind of purdah or “women as property” systems for that reason. It reduces violence between men. That is why the type of male protective role that entertains Kate is not a good idea for society.
But Kate probably has very similar attitudes about the role of women to John Key?