Thursday, August 21, 2014

National Party alleged rape culture

TW: Discussion of rape culture.

In all the anger about the revelations in Nicky Hager’s book, I’ve seen massive discussions and posts about the SIS, Judith Collins’s toxic behaviour, and the various systems of corruption visible in the transcripts.
Mainstream media has been transfixed on Cameron Slater, Kim Dotcom, and the Key personalities involved (capitalisation and pun intended). There have been angry ripples through the left wing and feminist blogosphere, but I’ve been saddened to see that neither the mainstream media nor the right wing feminists picking up on this particular piece of revoltingness.

thanks to @boganetteNZ for the image

If we cast our minds back to the roast busters case where the entire nation was in an uproar (rightly so) because of the rape culture of our young people,  Prime Minister John Key condemned the alleged actions of the Roast Busters gang as "extremely disturbing and disgusting behaviour".  
"I guess, as a parent, I find the issue very disturbing and abhorrent really.”
"I mean, you are talking about youngsters who are at a very delicate age."
"These young guys should just growup,"

Just to clarify, a grown man knows that young people are vulnerable.
A grown man wants kids to “grow up” and presumably grow out of the toxic rape culture they seem to be embracing.
And what are some of the fully grown adult male supporters of the national party doing?
Deliberately getting young women drunk and pointing out “easy targets” for other National party supporters.
National party; these are your men, your party, your culture. This is your problem.
The fact that someone allegedly sent this email means that they feel so comfortable with the idea of what they are planning to do they were happy to write it down. Comfortable with seeing women as a faceless commodity. Comfortable with the idea that they have the right to compromise the sobriety of women, and deliberately pass “references” on to a group of men.
This comfort means that the rape culture is pervasive, it is normalised, and it is persistent.
Mainstream media, PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME how all of a sudden this rape culture isn’t news worthy? Explain to me how, once the perpetrators are adults, and affiliated with our leading political party – THIS ISNT NEWS??

Young Nats, please talk to your friends. Check in, ensure they are ok.
If you think you have been a target, please consider seeking help or support around this. At the bottom of this post are some resources you can use without having to report officially, if you aren’t ready to take that step yet.
A toxic rape culture isn’t a single individual.
At no point in this scenario are the targets to blame. They are at their own party event.
They are among people they look up to and need as mentors and leaders.
The idea that they are being used by these men and treated with such disrespect makes me feel sick.


Find a sexual support centre near you at the Rape prevention education website “get help” page.

Wellington rape crisis
(04) 801 8973

Auckland Sexual Abuse Help
PO Box 10345 Dominion Road
Crisis 24 hrs: 09 623 1700
Fax: 09 623 1296

Hamilton Rape and Sexual Abuse Healing Centre
PO Box 1560, Hamilton
Phone: 07 839 4433
Fax: 07 839 4422

Whangarei Rape Crisis
72 Robert St, PO Box 913, Whangarei
Phone: 09 438 6221
Fax: 09 548 6779

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remembering Robin Williams with Pride

Robin Williams died last night. There is nothing more final, more complete. But people around the world are sharing his stories, his jokes, and his characters. People will remember him for generations thanks to the work he chose to do, making people happy.
I want you all for a moment to step back from how he died, to how long he lived with his troubles. What those troubles are is irrelevant. We all have them, some of us are privileged enough that we don’t have them permanently. He carried that bag of troubles for his lifetime, and the fact it was a little shorter is irrelevant.
The length of that life doesn’t change the brilliance of it, or the bravery of sticking with it.
The manner in which he died should not minimise the joy that he spread all over the globe in his work.
And if we do one thing in his memory, it is to feel pride, empathy, and understanding that people who struggle with mental illness are the best and brightest this world sees. Their brains work in different ways, and their empathy is strong.

The easiest way I can describe it is that we are all light houses, alone, protecting our dangerous rocks. We shine light into each other’s lives and that is all that matters.
People with mental illness break the mold. Our mirrors are wonky, our lights are often brighter and sometimes more dull, but oh my goodness. With those wonky mirrors and sparkling lights, we can be seen for MILES.

So hold up your chins and remember Robin with a smile, because he is proof that mental illness changes nothing for the world around you, except that you shine differently. Those burdens are your own, but your friends will help you with them, just for the chance to be nearer to your light.
Rest in peace Robin, and don’t give up shining, any of you.


Places where they will help

Lifeline 0800 543 354

Depression NZ

Mental health NZ

National depression hotline 0800 111 757

Youthline 0800 376 633

Alcohol Hotline 0800 787 797

Outline 0800 802 437

Chinese Lifeline 0800 888 880

The lowdown Or text the lowdown team on 5626