Friday, June 20, 2008

Women? Not the winner on the day

I'm don't follow rugby; I'm not an All Black supporter. I understand that there are pressing issues facing those who are, such as the rotation policy (hell I'm impressed that I know what that means). But, right now, there is a more pressing issue. This is the statement that Graham Henry gave about the English Rugby team:*

I don't know what the details are, but I know there's a bit going on. You don't want any sporting team to be going through those situations. You live in that sort of life yourselves – in the international sporting environment. I think you've got a lot of sympathy for people who go through that situation. Certainly you just like to be supportive.
Who is he supporting? What is the situation?

There are two ways to parse his statement. Either he's saying that there's not possibility that the woman was raped, and being accused of rape is part of the international sporting environment. Or he's allowing for the possibility of rape, but he's supporting them anyway.

Neither of those options should be acceptable. That the coach of the All Blacks can say this, and no-one mentions anything except about the match tomorrow night, shows just how far we haven't come. As Anna McM says, rugby culture in our society has a large role in upholding rape culture. The question I have, particularly for those who play or watch rugby, is how do we change that?

Note for the comments: I will be moderating this thread hard. No rape myths, no misogyny, nothing about the woman involved.

*For those who don't know the police adult sexual assault team want to question four England players.

24 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:21 am

    Or the third option, which is blindingly obvious Maia - that he is sympathetic to the victims in the situation.

    Lets be balanced. This isn't a one off incident, players are assholes off the pitch and they prey on drink girls. But that is as common as girls preying on rugby players simply because they are famous.

    Both of these happen an awful amount in the UK and the US. Over time we will see who was telling the truth.

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  2. Anonymous8:18 am

    A simple way to get the rape culture out of rugby... only allow women to play it! Ever noticed how the New Zealand women's rugby team does better on the international stage than the men's one?

    (And ever notice how the All Blacks are just described as the 'New Zealand Rugby Team', but their female counterparts not only have to endure the patronising 'Gal Blacks' nickname, but are always described as the 'New Zealand WOMEN'S Rugby Team', as if being Women made them less of a New Zealand Team?)

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  3. Anonymous11:05 pm

    Well...did you write this from the kitchen?

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  4. I'm sure you've seen this story, but I thought I'd point it out.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10518131

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  5. Actually anon - a simple way to get the rape culture out of rugby is to not tolerate it.

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  6. Anonymous11:37 am

    Scrub, I don't see a rugby team full of women tolerating any rape culture, do you?

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  7. Anonymous3:03 am

    OK

    This is just one teaspoon (as you say Maia) in the ocean of sexism.
    How does it persist. Why do women not speak.
    The answer is pretty obvious. Its all about power. The men have it. Most of them will laugh at education from feminists. Just look at the ques of NZ men who lined up to travel to asia for cheap sex from girls sold into sexual slavery by their own drug addicted fathers. They relished the female poverty and helplessness that enabled them (NZ men) to rape these girls. Even if they limited themselves to older girls it was still rape because these women would starve unless they sold themselves. That is the same as forcing yourself on somone.
    Why not offer them a free meal instead. There are thousands of assholes in NZ probably 100's of thousands who have gleefully commited mass rape where there was a loophole in the law that prohibited them from prosecution. Many of our men condone abuse of women who are poor.
    So why do women not speak much of it. Because once you have children you are at the mercy of men to feed your children. Most women once they are mothers realise that if their marriages break down they will be financially impoverished for life. To stand up is to risk divorce and poverty as clean break divorce leaves them with almost the entire costs of raising a family. Poverty, lack of representation in parliament,lack of media power and these days a burden of work that is overwhelming for little return keeps women silent.
    Education will not change this. Women standing up and gaining true representation of their numbers in parliament will help. Untill that point we are forever in political opposition asking permission for a few paltry improvemnets and desperately trying to stop erosion of our rights by right wing factions.

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  8. Anonymous3:53 am

    "But that is as common as girls preying on rugby players simply because they are famous."

    Trying to chat someone up versus raping them are two entirely different things. You are saying that if a woamn chases a rugby player she deserves to be raped. There is no comparison sorry. So what if girls chase famous guys. Plenty of guys chase famous women. Do they then deserve to be raped. What a weird (sick) sense of logic you have.

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  9. Anonymous10:35 pm

    Hey annon: Women not represented in parliament? what planet have you been on. Far out you guys hate men, we're not all rapists you know.

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  10. #13baby8:36 am

    Not all men are rapists in that they haven't all personally done the dead, but they're all accessories in setting up an environment where rape can take place easily.

    And the point is women must be represented in Parliament in proportion to their numbers... which would mean 53 or 54 seats. Of course it couldn't hurt to have more than that... I think you'd see a decline in stupid, violent legislation decline as the number of women in parliament went up.

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  11. Anonymous11:19 pm

    Anon

    "Far out you guys hate men"

    I never said I hate men. If you want to change something through the parliamentary process does that mean that you hate New Zealanders. Of course not. Don't be ridiculous. If you have an opinion about women does that mean you hate them. Possibly, but not definitly. I hate sexism and the current situation of women which many men want to remain as it is or for us to become even more powerless and impoverished.

    Women not represented in parliament?

    There are female MP's however the politicl system is as follows and you must know this.
    The group in parliament that has the most seats usually gets what it wants every time or almost. Minority parties don't get anything unless they can get backing from another party. As the largest group of voters women have never had the numbers in parliament to change their lives the way they want without getting the permission of the male parliametary majority. So the women are pretty toothless and women get sweet stuff all of reforms they would like. The gals from the national party vote against the interests of women in virtually every instance. Women like Jenny Shiply are revered by their male backers for their anti-women stances. Women like Catherine Rich who stand up for women are sacked. Look at the Nats track recor and you will see that over and over again they vote too keep women impoversihed and therefore keep them in miserable marriages. Yes that is there aim to impoverish women and make it hard for them to leave marriages they are unhappy in for the sake of the family. They really mean ofcourse for the sakes of men as if all women sacrifice their hapiness for tjhe sakes of the family them only men are happy as their daughters will also be a sacrifice to tyhe family.

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  12. Anonymous12:52 am

    anon I can see where you are comming from and I don't disagree with the possibility of 50% of politicians being women. What I do disagree with is the idea that all men are potential rapists. All women have a father and I would say that most fathers, my self included, would be revolted by the thought of another male raping a daughter. I don't deny the aspects of male culture that degrade women as sexual objects, foot ball being a primary one, but many men get fed up with this crap as well.
    often the men that engage in this behavior also call other percieved weaker men "pussies" or "fagots" so its not as if we are all in this together conspiring to rape women.

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  13. Anonymous8:17 am

    " What I do disagree with is the idea that all men are potential rapists"

    Anon I never said that. I said that thousands and maybe 100's of thousands of New Zealand men have commited a crime ( in my eyes ) with very little remorse or feeling for their victims. Infact many of them are proud of it and think it makes them a man.
    I can tell you that a bloke only has to mention a visit to Thailand to me and I'm walking in the other direction fast. The point is they will never admit to what they are going there for so you will never know and can probably assume the worst.
    This would apply to all men if every New Zealand man had participated and visited countries where women are forced into prostitution by extreme poverty or been sold as slaves.
    There are plenty of NZ women with sick attitudes towards this crime as well. With some women the sort of comment when this subject comes up is a sort of jealousy thing regarding these womens attractiveness. They don't see women forced through poverty to sleep with one revolting old or young man after another and smile sweetly and pretend they like it. The consquences of not pretending are startvation beatings by their pimps or even murder. So these girls are raped day after day, year after year if they live that long. Animals are treated better and many of the men who do this would have more regard for an animal. If I am full of hate for disliking cruelty towards and the enslavement of woman then thats really wierd to me. Are people who opposed the salvery of Blacks in the US full of hate. Trying to smear me will not wash I'm sorry. An act of kindness and help towards women is not an act of hate.

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  14. Anonymous1:37 pm

    I can tell you that a bloke only has to mention a visit to Thailand to me and I'm walking in the other direction fast. The point is they will never admit to what they are going there for so you will never know and can probably assume the worst.

    So anon let me get this straight... if I (a man) told you that I had taken a trip to Thailand and while there I had a swim on the beach, looked at some old ruins and watched some Thai movies in a cinema and then went home, you'd assume I was lying and had in fact spent my time there raping prostitutes?

    Have you ever been to Thailand? While I don't deny that what you're describing happens there, there are many other reasons somebody would want to go on holiday in Thailand. Bangkok is not the cesspit of debauchery many people portray it as.

    And I would have to say that of all the things that kiwi men do to oppress women (and don't get me wrong, I absolutely accept that it is a major problem) raping prostitutes in Thailand is not a major activity. Quite apart from anything else we have prostitutes here too - do you feel similarly about men who patronise them?

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  15. #13baby1:40 pm

    All women have a father and I would say that most fathers, my self included, would be revolted by the thought of another male raping a daughter.

    Sure, they would hate the idea of men raping their daughter, but more because it implies a dereliction of their function as a patriarchal autocrat and the (non-voluntary) contract between them and their female family members that stipulates deference and obedience in return for protection from violence. Fathers might object to the rape of daughters and husbands to the rape of wives, but they don't object to the rape of women. If it happens outside the (patriarchal) zone of control, it's not a concern.

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  16. Anonymous1:42 pm

    anon you said

    Minority parties don't get anything unless they can get backing from another party.

    then you said

    The gals from the national party vote against the interests of women in virtually every instance. Women like Jenny Shiply are revered by their male backers for their anti-women stances. Women like Catherine Rich who stand up for women are sacked.

    Of course, since National are a minority party, they don't 'get anything', so does their attitude to women really matter if they are as impotent as you claim?

    What's your feeling on Helen Clark being Prime Minister? Has she helped women in New Zealand?

    It seems you're saying it's important not just that we get women in Parliament, but the right sort of women who will produce the right sort of policies. Would it not be possible for a man to produce these policies? As such, might an appropriate goal be not a certain number of women in Parliament, but a certain output of policy, with women entering Parliament being desirable only to the degree that it helps that output be achieved?

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  17. Anonymous12:07 am

    #13baby:
    No you are wrong. The reason I don't want some sweaty pig raping my daughter is because I love her dearly end of story. I am a father and husband and I can tell you now, I think rape is a disgusting violation of any human beings rights.Just because I believe in family doesn't make me an autocratic pig or even an anti feminist. Are you suggesting there is no way for a family unit to work? Your post seemed to imply there is no way for men and women to combat these issues together is that your belief?

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  18. Anonymous5:47 am

    "raping prostitutes in Thailand is not a major activity."

    To begin with despite these Thai
    women been lablelled as prostitutes I believe that most of them are sex slaves. They would starve if they didn't prostitute themselves. That is a very different situation of the prostitutes here in New zealand who may be induced into their profession through poverty but with a lot more possibility of getting help and getting out.
    There are probably 100000 thousands of NZ men who have taken sex tours. We saw in a rare television coverage of these tours men who travelled to thailand with their wives nipping around the corner for sex with these slave women who NZ men have used (raped) in very large numbers. Like I said if women or men will starve without prostitution then in my view it is rape. You seeing this as not a problem belies just how creepy you are. There are all sorts on the net and they like to harrass women who speak against them.

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  19. Anonymous10:23 am

    Ahhhh, I am willing to wager that the illinformed idiot who said men go to Thailand for "cheap sex with sex slaves" has never been to Thailand ever.

    Thailand is a gorgeous country with lovely people. People like you who generalise about a country they know nothing about are stupid. Mind if I continue to generalise about you?

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  20. #13baby10:38 pm

    So anonymous, would you care more or less about a woman you don't know being raped than you would care about your daughter being raped?

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  21. Anonymous10:42 pm

    There are probably 100000 thousands of NZ men who have taken sex tours.

    I don't think there are 100,000 men who've been to Thailand overall, so even if the misbehaviour rate was 100%, you'd still be reaching. Where does this 100,000 figure come from? Was it mentioned on the program you saw?

    Like I said if women or men will starve without prostitution then in my view it is rape

    So let's get this clear, prostitution isn't rape in New Zealand because women don't face starvation and can 'get help'? Do you know how hard it is for a prostitution to move into another field of work?

    You seeing this as not a problem belies just how creepy you are.

    I'm not saying this isn't a problem, I'm just saying that, when compared with the other things New Zealand men do to abuse women, it's not one of the major problems, which is why I'm surprised to see you bring it up out of context.

    There are all sorts on the net and they like to harrass women who speak against them.

    Should I take this as an implication that you feel I am harassing you?

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  22. Anonymous11:02 pm

    #13baby said...
    So anonymous, would you care more or less about a woman you don't know being raped than you would care about your daughter being raped?

    Banana.

    Stupid question, stupid answer. My god there's some idiocy on display here. Hundreds of thousands of Kiwi men rapists of Thai girls.. Give me a break. Engage your brain before you type.

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  23. #13baby8:33 am

    Stupid question, stupid answer. My god there's some idiocy on display here. Hundreds of thousands of Kiwi men rapists of Thai girls.. Give me a break. Engage your brain before you type.

    This 'idiocy' you refer to is only the true experiences of women engaged in a struggle against oppression that effects them every day. None so blind as those who can't see past their own penis

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  24. Anonymous9:45 am

    This is typical of the discussions we see on this blog. Sad. Full credit to Maia for not getting involved.

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