On rape, rape culture and media

When I decided to take Jan Logie and Tania Billingsley to task for their abuse of the media, political and legal processes in regards to the Malaysian diplomat case before the election, I was labelled a rape enabler.  Long term readers will know that’s not correct –  I have a long and consistent history of speaking out against child abuse, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Then I saw this today.


Humour is always a double edged sword, and in fact, there are two other high profile cases in New Zealand just over the last 3 or 4 months.

Here’s one


Dotcom was at the time standing side by side on the stage with uber-feminist Laila Harre.  She didn’t see the funny side, and he had to withdraw and apologise to keep her happy.

And then, more recently, we had this.


Here we have the prime minister of our country making jokes about a pedophile murderer.


In all honestly, I’ve used each of those incidents to highlight how much of a political idiot each individual was at the time.  There is a place, a time, and an appropriate audience for jokes.  I’m far from sensitive about them myself.

But it got me to thinking that there seems to be a bit of a pattern here, with grown white men in New Zealand thinking it’s OK to trivialise pedophilia, murder and rape regarding active cases, in the media, before the courts, etc, etc,  just for a quick laugh in public.

If they think it’s ok for a quick giggle, perhaps the accusation that there is a rape culture in New Zealand, something I have dismissed outright previously, has some basis to it.

Victims of kiddie fiddling, wife beatings and murderers clearly get the message from various white men in the public eye that this is trivial enough for a bit of a laugh.

On top of all that, we’ve had the deliberate attempt at trivialisation of sexual harassment in the workplace with the Sutton case this week.  Sutton, breaking confidentiality, with Iain Rennie at his side, downplayed something serious enough to quit his job over as just something everyone needs to harden up about.

I’m going to keep an eye out to see if this pattern continues – I may have to change my mind on this rape culture thinking thing.


– Twitter, NZ Herald, Stuff

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