'I have several arts degrees. That makes me a liberal wanker. But above all else, as a sociologist, I seek understanding without fear or favour.
With that in mind, I am troubled by the use of this term "rape culture" that New Zealand is said to uphold. It seems that every second person among the privileged middle classes, and therefore many of my friends, are throwing it around as if it’s a fact. It’s entering the Kiwi lexicon.
We do not celebrate rape in art nor is it a custom or social behaviour of our society. Actually, we sanction strongly against it. New Zealand most certainly does not uphold a rape culture. It’s a misnomer that has taken on a life of its own.
This is why many men got upset with David Cunliffe apologising for being a man or why some turn around an argument about male violence and point out violence perpetuated by women. It’s because the vast majority of men are not violent toward women, sexual or otherwise.
I have sympathy with this position of frustration; innocent people don’t like to be labelled. It’s akin to generalising that women are caregivers (though the vast majority of primary caregivers are female) because it’s sexist, perhaps offensive. Although not as offensive as saying that New Zealand’s men uphold a culture of rape.'
'Consider assertions that men as a group must be taught “not to rape,” or that to accord the presumption of innocence to a man accused of sexual violence against a woman or girl is to be complicit in “rape culture.” Consider that last year, when an Ohio University student made a rape complaint after getting caught on video engaging in a drunken public sex act, she was championed by campus activists and at least one prominent feminist blogger — but a grand jury declined to hand down charges after reviewing the video of the incident and evidence that both students were inebriated.
Sure, some Women Against Feminism claims are caricatures based on fringe views — for instance, that feminism mandates hairy armpits, or that feminists regard all heterosexual intercourse as rape. On the other hand, the charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists — but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.'
'The 52-year-old, who the Post has chosen not to name, was impassive as a jury of five men and eight women returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on Friday.
But when he left the court room the relieved man was embraced by family members and friends who had supported him throughout his traumatic ordeal.
He told the Post: “It has ruined my life for the past two-and-a-half-years. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was frightened to go out the house on my own.
“The trial itself was the worst time of my life. When the verdict came through I just heard the word ‘not’ and it was just pure relief. My lawyer had told me just to sit still and don’t react but I was jumping for joy inside. Now I just want to be left alone to get on with my life and feel safe in my own home.”
Advocate Paul Brown, representing the Faifley man, urged the jurors to acquit because he said the Crown’s case was “riddled with inconsistencies” and that his client was the victim of what he described as a “witch-hunt mentality”.'
'Which brings us to Jacqui Lambie and the storm of outrage over the "sexist double standard" that her preference for "well-hung" men apparently embodies. Appearing as a guest on Hobart’s Heart 107.3FM, the newly elected senator was asked what she looks for in a romantic partner.
“They must have heaps of cash and they have got to have a package between their legs – let’s be honest. And I don’t need them to speak ... the perfect man.”
Later, Senator Lambie reportedly asked a 22-year-old caller – who’d phoned in as a prospective suitor – if he was "well-hung".
"Like a donkey," the lad replied.
That the conversation was crass and inappropriate is not in question. Public representatives are elected to represent and speculation about their bedroom activities is of no importance to anybody.
But the fallout from this particular incident has provided remarkable insight into the way public perception of inequality has shifted to incorporate the (false) binary of two equal and opposing forces.
Painted as a gross example of sexism, Senator Lambie has reported that her office staff have been subjected to abusive phone calls and missives.
Making a crass joke about dick size is hardly a "double standard" when you consider the thousands of years women have had to contend with having their bodies commodified and subject to ownership while their minds and influence have been studiously kept out of the upper echelons of power.
This is what the new backlash looks like. Instead of ridiculing critics of sexism as they once did, the beneficiaries of power have begun to claim an equal and opposite degree of oppression for themselves.'
'Palmer United's Jacqui Lambie has declared she ''won't be scripted'' and that being a senator will not change her in the wake of controversy over comments she made about her ideal man.
Senator Lambie said on Wednesday that despite criticism that her comments were inappropriate and demeaning, she would not be like other politicians.
On Tuesday, Senator Lambie appeared on a Hobart breakfast program where she was asked about her ideal man.
The PUP Senator for Tasmania replied: ''They must have heaps of cash and they've got to have a package between their legs''.
She also asked a caller into the show who said he was willing to go on a date with her if he was ''well hung''.
Senator Lambie defended her comments on Wednesday telling Fairfax Radio: ''I'm just a normal, average Australian. That's what I am and whether I've got Senator in front or my name or not, that's not going to change.''
The comments were quickly circulated online and Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks said they should be take [sic] seriously.'
'Vince Cable's attempt to use positive discrimination to get more women into the boardrooms of major companies has been thwarted by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has ruled out the use of all-female shortlists.
Laura Carstensen, an EHRC commissioner, has issued new guidance which makes clear that using women-only shortlists is unlawful under equality law.
"It constitutes unlawful sex discrimination to select a person for a role because of their gender. The law does not permit positive discrimination when making an appointment or a promotion," the guidance said.'
'JOLIETTE, QUE. — An 18-year-old woman didn't take too well to being dumped by her boyfriend Saturday, police say.
Within minutes, the broken-hearted young woman allegedly tried to torch his car, using old newspapers as kindling.
She continued her rampage the following day, Sgt. Gino Pare of the provincial police said.
"She went into the victim's shed to steal his scooter before abandoning it a few hundred metres away," he said.
She then called her ex and threatened him, Pare said.
When she showed up at his home Tuesday evening, he called 911.
They handcuffed her and put her in the back of a cruiser, where police say she smashed the car's rear windows with her feet.'
Lots of action this week! Activists all over the UK are stepping up for our Children's Rights. Please do your part, and share this information with others. We are living the evolution to the revolution for our Children's Rights! Information here. Excerpt:
The London M25 motorway blockade delayed from February will show the uk justice system the uk social services the uk legal advisors that uk parents and families will not be lied in public about or even in the closed family courts.
Mums Dads Grandparents and Children marching for justice.'
'An epidemic of sexual assault is supposedly raging on college campuses. Surveys and studies repeat the same frightening statistics: either one-in-four or one-in-five college women have been the victims of a sexual assault. Yet at a June hearing of the California State Assembly Higher Education and Joint Legislative Audit committees, chairman Das Williams couldn’t understand why the number of students disciplined for sexual misconduct was so low. A University of California at Berkeley administrator, for example, reported just 10 suspensions or expulsions out of 43 cases involving non-consensual sex over the last six years. How could that possibly be?
Williams is promising a slate of bills early next year that would mandate training for all university employees to respond to, and intervene to prevent, sexual assault, and, more significantly, to beef up punishments for alleged assailants. “Rape is a very difficult thing to prosecute,” he told the Sacramento Bee. Because most college disciplinary boards already use the lower “preponderance of evidence” standard—as opposed to the more rigorous “reasonable doubt” standard that criminal courts apply—“there is a real role that schools can play that law enforcement can’t.”
Received an email for this site this morning, which read as follows:
'Kerri-Anne Kennerley is today launching a new consumer movement to build the buying power of Australian women. Australian women now manage 72% of household budgets and are the primary breadwinner in 24% of homes.
The SwitchedOn Women consumer movement, the first of its kind, aims to attract 25,000 members and incentivise businesses to:
Offer discounts to women on essential products such as energy, groceries and petrol, and release more products and services specifically targeted at women, such as customised health insurance.
As the movement grows, we intend to expand into other products, services and industries.'
As usual: Benefits apply, but only if you're a woman.
Women are often much deeper thinkers than men and tend to care more about spiritual matters. Women go to places of worship more often and are more involved in giving back to others than men. There are varying theories on why this is so, one is that women are naturally more spiritual than men because their role in life is constantly changing, causing them to reevaluate their lives on a regular basis.
In other words, women are always self-monitoring and pondering life. Because women tend to care more about a higher purpose in life and they give more to various causes, it only makes sense that this attribute would stay with a women when she becomes an entrepreneur, making her a great leader.'
'We've short-changed our boys and men by defining masculinity in such a way as to constrict the complex essence of their humanity.
Carl Jung believed that everybody came into the world with both masculine and feminine qualities. Men are the physical embodiment of the masculine, yet they all have the feminine archetype within them, known as the anima. And women are the physical embodiment of the feminine, yet they have the masculine archetype within them, called the animus. With these two forces at play within us, we all have the potential to be happy, balanced, and whole in our time on Earth.
Criticizing masculinity doesn't mean pitting males against females. Masculinity is not exclusive to men. Weall carry its qualities.
Moreover, masculinity is not the problem in and of itself. Masculinity -- usually associated with competition, logic, rational thinking, boldness, action and strength -- is only a problem when it's operating in excess.
And the excessive masculine bravado in our culture will only get worse -- until we quit shaming the feminine.'
'A mother has been jailed for four years after falsely claiming her boyfriend had raped her 14 times in a bid for revenge after their baby was taken into care.
Former Tesco worker Heather Gibson, 29, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, was told by a judge that her actions had made it more difficult for real victims of rape to be believed in court.
Her former partner Gavin Plaistowe, 30, was held in police custody for 35 hours after she accused him of 12 rapes. Mr Plaistowe waited a month for police to investigate and find he was innocent.
Mr Plaistowe could have been jailed for 20 years if the allegations had been true.
But Gibson later confessed to a friend she blamed Mr Plaistowe for losing her child into care because she had made a complaint about him dropping the baby. Social Services took the baby into care for lack of parenting skills.
Gibson, a former grammar school pupil, sought revenge with the false claims to the police. But when she was charged with perverting the course of justice, she forged a string of letters.'
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