Leave Josie Butler alone

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, February 10th, 2016 - 83 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, activism, democracy under attack, national, Steven Joyce, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Fairfax media is suggesting that Josie Butler, hurler of the fake dildo at Steven Joyce, may be facing repercussions at work.

From Stuff:

The employer of a woman who threw a dildo at Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce refuses to say if she will be disciplined.

Josie Butler, a nurse at Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch, leapt to international fame after flinging the toy in the face of Joyce at Waitangi

She said she was “very concerned” about the effects of the TPP on her patients.

“We already have over 300,000 children living below the poverty line, I don’t want to live in a country where families have to choose between potentially life saving medication or feeding their children because of the increased price of medications under the TPPA.”

Canterbury District Health Board general manager of people and capability Michael Frampton said the DHB would not comment on whether Butler faced any disciplinary measures.

I trust the reticence to comment is based on a preference to not discuss any staff matters publicly rather than because there is action contemplated.  Because people should not be punished for symbolic political action performed when they are not working.  And because all the signs suggest that Josie is a dedicated passionate nurse.

She was praised for her efforts during the Canterbury earthquake and received public praise for her efforts.  She was awarded a Christchurch Earthquake Award for provided life saving CPR and first aid to the injured on Colombo Street.  From the Christchurch Press:

Hillmorton Hospital psychiatric nurse Josie Butler, 26, who graduated last week, is certain the voluntary work contributed to her academic success.

In town when the magnitude-6.3 quake struck, she immediately started offering medical assistance, working until 9pm at the Moorhouse Medical Centre.

She later worked at Princess Margaret Hospital, rest homes and welfare centres with the nursing volunteer army.

Butler said the experience of performing medical procedures “without somebody looking over your shoulder” was a huge confidence boost.

“It was quite stressful, but I want to nurse in Sudan, and now I know I can cope with any situation,” she said.

“We all agree it ignited a passion . . . that nursing is more than just a job; it’s a way of life.”

I presume that the story is mischievous and nothing will happen to her.  But as Helen Kelly states you have to wonder why the media would contact the employer to even ask if disciplinary action will occur.

Many think that she deserves praise rather than discipline for her action.  Certainly it would be a travesty if her act of civil disobedience resulted in disciplinary action being taken.

83 comments on “Leave Josie Butler alone”

  1. Gangnam Style 1

    She’s quite a remarkable person.

    • Matthew Hooton 1.1

      She certainly is.

      She says “the TPPA is the rape of our tino rangitiratanga, the torture our basic human rights, and the murder of our people”.

      She is someone willing to insult victims of murder, rape and torture to make a political point against an economic partnership agreement she clearly doesn’t understand at all.

      But I do agree her employer should leave her alone. She’s entitled to do and say what she likes in her own time.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1

          Yes. It’s impossible anay two people could think the same thing about comparing a trade deal to torture, rape and murder.

          • Muttonbird 1.1.1.1.1

            Matthew Hooton has had days to find faux offence in Butler’s words but interestingly waited until McLeod wrote a piece doing the same before voicing concern.

        • Matthew Hooton 1.1.1.2

          No, I hadn’t seen that until just now. Thanks for the link.

      • Lucy 1.1.2

        Her commitment to her fellow citizens has been acknowledged and documented during the earthquake. For you to say that she is insulting to victims is bloody crass, the fact that she is working in Hillmorton means that she is probably in a position to understand the victims of rape than you. You assume that anyone opposed the TTP doesn’t understand it but if I had to chose between your understanding or Prof Jane Kelsey’s, I would have to say that the academic trumps you every time!

        • Lucy 1.1.2.1

          Hate this on iPad – was responding to Matthew Hooten but comment ended up further down with no edit!

      • Anno1701 1.1.3

        “She is someone willing to insult victims of murder, rape and torture”

        clutching at straws

        and actually a little cringe-worthy to read

        I feel grubby now thanks ……

      • repateet 1.1.4

        Matthew Hooton consistently insults our intelligence to make political points. I suppose he’s self-employed so that makes it okay.

      • weka 1.1.5

        “She is someone willing to insult victims of murder, rape and torture to make a political point against an economic partnership agreement she clearly doesn’t understand at all.”

        Which is exactly what you have just done Matthew. Please don’t misappropriate rape culture politics here, it’s a wretched thing to do, even by your standards.

        • rhinocrates 1.1.5.1

          Reading any attempt by Hooton to claim the moral high ground leaves one feeling particularly filthy.

          Certainly his mansplaining attempt to pretend to know about rape politics scrapes right through the bottom of the barrel.

      • Carlos ward 1.1.6

        Matthew, please tell me exactly how she insulted victims of rape and murder?

  2. Chooky 2

    +100 Great Post!

  3. Ffloyd 3

    I was really impressed with her aim. Bluddy good shot. Shame Joyce’s mouth wasn’t wide open.

  4. cogito 4

    Best protest action ever. Well done to Josie Butler. She deserves a medal.

    How about a giant blow-up dildo outside the next National Party event with Key’s face painted at the top….? In the words of old Corporal Jones (Dad’s Army), “they don’t like it up ’em.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhWlAKdlQp4

  5. Dazzer 5

    Idiotic action but I would not support her losing her job for being an idiot.

    Deserve a medal?? All this will do will make politicians of all colours a target and create a culture where security will take precedence. And if I was a politician I would ask if someone can get that close to through a squeaky tool (not a dildo for those who care about these things) then what else could they do.

    As others have noted, I’m equally bemused by the its-ok-when we do it attitude which seems to be prevalent.

    That said, unless her contract explicitly covers this, being an idiot should not be a cause for her to lose her job.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “All this will do will make politicians of all colours a target”

      Yeah, ’cause politicians aren’t already targets. When Brash got mud thrown at him, they were actually aiming behind him. When a lamington landed on John Boscowan’s head, it was a caterer that tripped.

      “and create a culture where security will take precedence.”

      Yeah, ’cause politicians don’t have security around them already, and Josie wasn’t immediately apprehended by security and led away from the scene.

      “then what else could they do.”

      Well, maybe if the politicians listened to the public, and put the TPPA up to a referendum (seems good enough for ultimately inconsequential subjects such as the flag), they wouldn’t have to protest to get their voices heard.

      “That said, unless her contract explicitly covers this, being an idiot should not be a cause for her to lose her job.”

      I doubt it would be legal for anyone to lose their job for *political* protest, after a first offence. That includes contracts where there is a requirement to uphold good moral character in public (TV personalities, prominent sports people etc). Because it’s a political protest, I would expect a “final warning” for any first-time offender.

    • cogito 5.2

      “All this will do will make politicians of all colours a target”

      Right now ordinary NZers are the targets of an arrogant and lying government. We either keep on taking their lies or we take action.
      In many other countries protest action would be far more ugly than throwing a plastic toy at a politician.

      I absolutely applaud Josie for her guts and well chosen item. Up yours Key & co.

    • weka 5.3

      “As others have noted, I’m equally bemused by the its-ok-when we do it attitude which seems to be prevalent.”

      Whose attitude is that precisely, because I haven’t noticed it?

      I don’t think dildos should be used in this way as part of political protest. I’m not a fan of rape analogies being used in this way either. We live in a culture that already has a huge problem with the differences between sex and pleasure and rape and sexual assualt and physical violence. Actions like this don’t improve that (for similar reasons I thought sending dildos to those dudes holed up in the National Park in the US was also misguided). If Joyce is a survivor of sexual abuse, then the humiliation is much bigger.

      Having said that, all kudos to Butler for making her protest funny and well targeted and managed with grace (quite a feat). I don’t have too much of a problem with things being thrown at politicians so long as no one gets hurt.

      Needless to say, this has absolutely nothing to do with her job.

  6. Macro 6

    I can’t believe that – who ever it was – had the moral and civic ineptitude to ask such a stupid question. If NZers can’t protest about such a heinous “agreement”, this is a sorry place to live.

    • Olwyn 6.1

      … you have to wonder why the media would contact the employer to even ask if disciplinary action will occur.

      It raises questions about the conditions that the journalists themselves must meet to retain their jobs. Whoever followed up that line of inquiry seems to think that offending a National minister just has to mean big trouble at work.

      • Macro 6.1.1

        Yep that is my thinking on the matter too! A very sorry state we now live in.

        • shorts 6.1.1.1

          could be a reporter doesn’t want the protest action and thus story to die*, further highlighting either their outrage at the action or subtle support for the thrower

          *apologies to anyone who has died or knows someone who has died and takes offence at my use of the word

      • B 6.1.2

        Lets face it, stuff turned into a click-bait machine long ago. We are more likely to see a false idol celebrity featured on the front page, completely ignoring their responsibility as the mainstream news source to keep the population well informed. Like you said, there must be morally intact journalists tearing their hair out at the state of things and their is no doubt that the media throughout NZ has been monopolized and hijacked to influence public opinion for shareholder interests. We need philosophers in politics and journalists running the media, not bankers in politics and money driving the media.

  7. McGrath 7

    There could be a “reputation” clause in her contract that Stuff might be aware of.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      She’s enhanced her own reputation: some of that light will shine on her employer, and so she enhanced theirs too.

      She even enhanced Steven Joyce’s reputation: he handled the dildo to the face better than he’s handled any of his Ministerial portfolios.

    • lprent 7.2

      One that prevents her from taking protest action unrelated to her job or profession?

      If there is then her employers need to be dragged in front of a court to explain themselves.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Josie Butler is a committed left-wing activist. She has organised many TPPA protests in Christchurch, and I think she even flew to Australia and joined in a protest there as well (gay marriage maybe?).

  9. I think it was a good stunt and the gnats don’t like that – sadly, and I hope I’m wrong, the rightmachine will turn on her and I hope she is, and remains, okay. NO it shouldn’t happen – but it does. Kia kaha Josie – keep your friends close, real close.

    edit re lanth above – If that is the case then that is good news because those networks will protect her and she will be ready for the filthy tricks.

    • Anne 9.1

      … those networks will protect her and she will be ready for the filthy tricks.

      Like… conducting bizarre hoaxes against her knowing she will be too scared to tell anyone for fear of them not believing her. Like… damage to property eg. deep scratches gouged along outside panels of car – shift workers especially prone due to easy access to car. Mysterious broken home windows and possibly a few mysterious home break-ins thrown in for good measure. Oh and a very popular trick: nuisance phone-calls – eg person doesn’t speak but can hear breathing.

      And at work… harassment in form of a few inexplicable computer crashes making ability to perform related tasks difficult. Changing figures or calculations so it looks like you are incompetent. Oh, and encouraging colleagues to pimp on you over trumped-up charges of misbehaviour.

      Yep. As a whistle-blower many years ago that’s what ‘they’ did to me. I hope you’re right mm and the networks will protect her from the ‘hired’ thugs.

      • vto 9.1.1

        Anne, you have outlined another right wing trait, also personified in John Key…

        cowardice

      • marty mars 9.1.2

        All we can do is hope Anne, so that the shit you and others have gone through is stopped from happening. Kia kaha Anne.

        • Anne 9.1.2.1

          Thanks marty mars. It all happened a long time ago but I was deeply affected at the time and for some years afterwards. That is why I will take any opportunity to talk about my experiences in the hope others will become aware this type of “shit” does occur and is almost always carried out by thugs associated with the political right wing. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

          • Heather Grimwood 9.1.2.1.1

            To Anne…..My astonishment that an obvious Nat supporter or wanna-be M.P. perpetrated this filthy behaviour to me knew no bounds….( and NOT so long ago!) I felt great sorrow that someone who presented to the community as a person of respectability/integrity was actually still at early toddler stage and a coward. I am aware of several WOMEN in politics to whom this has happened, again suggesting viewpoint of the toddler. I certainly believe that Josie in her forthrightness has, possibly more than she ever dreamed, done much to focus attention to the TPPA cause.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Her employers may need to be protected from centre-right thugs too.

  11. James 11

    Personally I think she is an idiot.

    I think her protest action was stupid.

    I dont think she is remarkable, nor does she deserve a medal (FFS – really? a Fucken medal)

    However – I do believe (Strongly) that people should be allowed to protest (even if I disagree with them 😉 ), and that their actions should not (as long as they are legal) be raised or of any interest to their employer.

    So – yep – Im with you – she deserves to be left alone on this one.

    • ankerawshark 11.1

      HI James, Do you think the same thing about John K? Is he an idiot in your books for pony tails pulling (repeat offender) and getting into a cage and engaging with a prison rape joke?

      If not why not?

    • mickysavage 11.2

      I agree with your conclusion!

    • Macro 11.3

      Personally I think she is an idiot.
      Only an idiot would think that

    • Jay 11.4

      Her actions were not legal. We all have a right to peaceful protest. This was not peaceful, it was assault. With a weapon.

  12. Tautoko Mangō Mata 12

    “TPPA a bad move for New Zealand
    3 February 2016
    For several years New Zealand nurses and many other national and international nursing experts have been pointing out the risks to our health system posed by the Trans Pacific Partnership.
    “It now appears that our current government has not heeded our concerns. They have disregarded the evidence and chosen to put greedy big businesses ahead of New Zealand’s health and well-being,” says New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) president Grant Brookes.

    “We believe it is a big mistake for John Key to sign the TPPA. It is a hugely unpopular move and most New Zealanders know there is nothing in it for them.”

    http://www.nzno.org.nz/about_us/media_releases/articletype/articleview/articleid/2206/tppa-a-bad-move-for-new-zealand

    Dear media, can you please stop focussing on the protesters and start asking the hard questions of the government. Don’t accept generalised BS answers. Also try asking TPP supporters why they support the deal and ask them to counter the negatives. Don’t accept the “better in than out”: ask them for evidence, cost benefit analysis, etc. Stop taking the easy route and be real journalists!

  13. weston 13

    i have a vast respect for hard working nurses like josie butler and i think her protest action was inspired and can only hope inspiring !!

  14. Keith 14

    You don’t embarrass a Nat MP, much less a millionaire minister without the devil’s little henchmen being called upon to properly ruin this womans life.

    But you best believe The National Party will be firmly behind it!

    • Anne 14.1

      She will be hounded and harassed for a long time to come and much of it might be clandestine which means there’s nothing she can do about it.

  15. Whateva next? 15

    She has courage and creativity, and has certainly drawn attention to the fears of many New Zealanders like no-one else could, despite vast efforts of so many.
    It wil be a dillemma for the very conservative nursing council who have to work in line with ministry.trouble is the ministry of health is not working in line with the people, so something had to snap.

  16. vto 16

    Good on Josie.

    Her protest action was entirely in keeping with the ethos of John Key and pulling pony tails of girls, making rape jokes holding a bar of soap, telling public radio that he pisses in the shower (how fucking gross).

    Josie the protestor meet John Key.

    The perfect couple

  17. Muttonbird 17

    Billingsley
    Bailey
    Butler

  18. Bill 18

    Micky. What’s a “fake dildo” when it’s at home? She threw a dildo and a dildo isn’t a “fake sex toy”. It’s an actual ‘real McCoy’ sex toy, y’know…a dildo.

    edit. any chance people buy dildos en masse to launch at these … cause almost all politicians are?

  19. Jay 19

    Is it actually “civil disobedience” to assault somebody? In her opinion the TPP will cause harm, so therefore it’s okay for her to assault and humiliate a Minister of the Crown? Can someone explain how and why it’s okay to do such a thing.

    If it’s okay to do this, then is it okay for somebody to assault other people who’s opinion we disagree with? If someone attacked an anti-tppa protestor would this also be considered civil disobedience?

    Are we condoning this behaviour merely because we don’t like and agree with Steven Joyce. If we don’t agree with him and other ministers can they expect to be assaulted again? Is that okay?

    Isn’t this why we have the law? To have a set of rules implied impartially?

    As a supporter of our present government, I would nevertheless decry any similar attack on any labour party politician or any other person, on the basis that it is illegal and wrong. The alternative is lawlessness. Lawlessness and mob rules is fine and dandy while you’re part of the mob. Once you’re not, I expect it’s decidedly unpleasant.

    Thoughts?

    • Muttonbird 19.1

      The Police did not lay charges therefore no assault took place.

      • lurgee 19.1.1

        The Police did not lay charges therefore no assault took place.

        That ‘logic’ would mean that the vast numbers of rapes and acts of misogynistic violence and sexual abuse the police never hear about never happened.

        Don’t be silly about this. Just because someone lobbed something at a rightwing politician doesn’t mean it is all right. Just because that person is also a nurse doesn’t mean it is all right. It legitimises a nasty yah-boo, infantile style of politics. Key probably is quite happy because now whenever he’s criticised for calling Labour rapist supporters, he can say, “Yeah, but it was fine when that nurse chucked a willy at Joycey. Sauce for the goose, and at least I’m only calling Andrew Little mean things, not chucking a prostate tickler at him.”

        It also distracts from actual important debate.

        • McFlock 19.1.1.1

          It might have distracted from the important debate, but it did clearly express sentiments that cannot really be expressed via debate. It expressed these sentiments in a manner that could not possibly, by the very nature of the object, injure or harm anyone.

          Debate is rational. It is useful for exploring those things that should be based on reason, like policy. But leadership is not just about being the smartest person in the room. The deflating abilities of a large rubber prick are aimed at the puffery of these bastards.

    • Jo 19.2

      Assault? Humiliate? Illegal? Wrong? Change a name and you’d be talking about the way things always were around the country, in more robust times than we live in now.

      That’s my thought anyway. Here are some opinion-free facts, with a fun idea for a post-election community fundraiser on the side:

      http://www.elections.org.nz/election-day-through-years/night-town
      ‘Election nights were still lively and sometimes disorderly occasions.
      […] Groups of young men would often throw eggs, rotten fruit, flour-bombs or firecrackers, and drunken fights were common.’

    • McFlock 19.3

      Oh, I daresay if you really want to push that line you can do a McCready and lay an assault complaint with police. And following the law, they might decide to give her a warning, or prosecute her for assault. Probably the summary offences act one, not even the really juicy crimes act charge. Or she can fight it in court and maybe even go for a discharge w/o conviction because it might affect her employment or travel.

      But while deliberating the case, the judge would have to compare a rubber-dick slap in the face against a saturday-night jawbreaker.

      “Humiliation” isn’t illegal. Unless it’s done electronically, in which case it might be covered by the bullshit “cyber-bullying” law. But everyone has a pretty much free shot against anyone else to “humiliate” them, as long as they don’t counsel suicide, use offensive language or behaviour, and don’t incite anyone else to violence.

  20. I think it’s very unlikely Josie Butler will face disciplinary action. Given that no offence was taken by Joyce (good on him for having a sense of humour), no charges were laid by the police (they obviously saw it as not being in the public interest to prosecute), and it wasn’t done in the course of her employment.

    There has already been a similar case, where a doctor jumped on an MP’s car:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/284613/activist-doctor-escapes-disciplinary-action

  21. Undecided 21

    I don’t think her action was a good thing simply because the act of throwing the dildo has overshadowed the reason for throwing it

    If you ask most people a couple months down the track they’ll remember the ding dong dildo but they probably won’t remember why it was thrown

    She shouldn’t have any repercussions on her job though

  22. savenz 22

    Her employer should give her a medal!

    Typical the Natz can’t handle it and trying to get her in trouble!!

    Bullies!

    • lurgee 22.1

      Usually the bully is the one throwing stuff.

      • Puddleglum 22.1.1

        That’s not been my experience.

        Usually the bully dominates the overall situation and uses efforts to resist or fight back by the bullied (e.g., a weak punch, spitting into the bully’s face, etc.) as an excuse to exert ever more dominance.

        And bullies dominate just in order to terrorise both the bullied and anyone else who might think of challenging them.

        The whole point of the bullying strategy is that you get to humiliate weaker people by showing that their efforts to resist you are entirely ineffectual.

        Most of the time they therefore don’t need to ‘throw things’.

  23. DH 23

    “Fairfax media is suggesting that Josie Butler, hurler of the fake dildo at Steven Joyce, may be facing repercussions at work.”

    I read it as Fairfax applying pressure on her employer to consider punishing her.

    There doesn’t appear to be any suggestion they were tipped off to actions by her employer and if there are no facts to this why are Fairfax making a story out of it?

  24. Tarquin 24

    Leave the poor girl alone. Her only friend ran off with a politician.

  25. JonL 25

    ” general manager of people and capability ” WTF is that – HR manager?

  26. Brian Smith 26

    This is a good example of the ‘fourth estate’ aiding and abetting the fascist surveillance state by exposing and punishing those who dare to exercise their rights and freedoms. Ponytailgate was another example of the Herald exposing and punishing someone exercising her rights and freedoms (if you think that sexual harassment by a PM should not be made public, you clearly are a fascist who does not believe in democracy). At least the Nazi’s were upfront with their Ministry of Propaganda.

  27. Hi Josie, good on you for the stunt you pulled with Steven Joyce, you got off lightly, which is cool, don’t get me wrong, it cost me over $2,000 for my little stunt about 10 years ago … but that is another story. This will be a different ‘slant’ on the TPPA and your and everyone’s protesting, bear with me on this ) First the whole global BS scam of continued economic growth is about over, did you know there were zero cargo ships in the Atlantic Ocean last month … for a week or so? Also the China Sea was empty of cargo ships for some time? Also there is over 100 million barrels of oil sitting in oil tankers around the world at the moment, with no where to unload? Gold is going through the roof at the moment, because everything else is in the basement, and heading for hell wink emoticon Then there is the current period of Abrupt Climate Change we are going through, ‘we’ spiked @ 405.6 ppm CO2 last week, and the Arctic ice isn’t growing at the moment, when this is meant to be it’s fastest time of growth? in fact last month areas in the Arctic were something like 50 degrees f hotter than ‘normal’ it was actually raining in the Arctic. I predict that with 6 months people will be looking back with fondness at the quaint idea that the TPPA will come into force, or have the slightest influence on what is left of this financial or environmental ‘system’ . Again good on you for standing up …. but you are kind of playing into the hands of TPTB, because as long as you ignore the FACTS that the game is over, you are alowing them to kick this BS can further down the road. On the other hand if you could all understand human extinction could be as little as 15 years away, maybe ‘we’ could get some truth out there , maybe the bull shitting bastards at the top could do something that would let us go extinct gracefully, instead of the blood bath we face ( which if it took 10 years would look like 7 Boxing Day tsunamis per day. But don’t listen to me I’m just a 4th form dropout pop head, you could have a quick read of this maybe ? http://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/introduction/ Good luck

    Introduction (Part 1 of 3)
    *a* Latest additions are flagged with two asterisks on each side. ** To access only the latest information (on most browsers), use CTRL-F, type two asterisks into the “find” box, and hit “Return” or “Enter.” Note that this essay has grown from a few thousand words in January 2013 to the current mass…
    guymcpherson.com

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