Friday, January 13, 2006


So I've found an internet cafe, and so I can post a short update. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to write a complete fuss on the cricket kerfuffle (short version a plague on both their houses, I don't believe that the right for straight women to kiss each other to titilate men is an important one). But I did want to write briefly about where I'm staying.

I'm staying at a place in Tokomaru Bay called 'The Ruins'. They're cabins in the grounds of an abandoned freezing works, which operated between about 1910 and 1950. All through Tokomaru Bay you can see what used to be. There's are tram tracks on the very long wharf, what used to be a bank and the freezing works themselves.

The freezing works closed at the same time as Maori urbanisation (I assume, but don't know, that most of the people who worked at the freezing works were Maori), it was probably part of that process. I wish I knew more about the people that lived there, but it's clear that more than the freezing works were ruined.


  1. Anonymous2:15 pm

    "I don't believe that the right for straight women to kiss each other to titilate men is an important one"

    I'm glad someone said that. If it were a genuine same sex couple, that's a whole other story, but in this case, it's two straight women apparently suspending their own preferences to get a reaction from the men in the crowd.

    I imagine a male couple who decided to have a public snog at a cricket match wouldn't have a bunch of earnest male bloggers defending their right to self-expression right now. I expect they'd be recovering in hospital, unfortunately.

    This is why liberalism without feminism isn't good enough. Otherwise we're only free to do what we like so long as the boys like it too.

  2. here here! i totally could not put it any better than your last para trouble :-)

  3. Surely all rights are important, *especially* the right to behave in a way you might personally think dumb and immature.

    On a lighter subject, we went past the Ruins at Tokamaru Bay over New Years - wondered if they had camping as well as cabins but didn't look in.

  4. Anonymous9:44 am

    yeah but straight women kissing! that's SO hot! mmmmmmmmmmm


  5. Anonymous10:18 am

    "Surely all rights are important..."

    Yep - my point is that this particular example isn't a sensible one to tie to the issue of discrimination against same sex couples. If they weren't straight women (thanks Todd), their rights wouldn't be so hotly defended. Which is unfair.

    "*especially* the right to behave in a way you might personally think dumb and immature. ."

    That could include drunk driving, or a bunch of public order offences, yet society places a limit on those. Liberalism has never extended to the right to harm others. Feminism has a broader definition of what might be considered harm.

  6. I believe you have the right to do anything that doesn't cause substantial harm (on an individual or collective basis) to others. Drink driving does, on the grounds that one is likely to have an accident and hurt someone else. Not paying your taxes does, because you prevent society from providing adequate services and increase the burden on others.

    Quite how does same sex kissing as a form of (hetero-) sexual display fall into this category?

    [I think, actually, that those who objected to the women being evicted *did* think they were a gay couple.]

  7. Anonymous2:26 pm

    Some people are still uptight about same sex kissing; being aware of that and shitting themselves about losing so much as a sixpence profit in consequence sports business runs for cover.

    In the meantime it was nice to see the Black caps run into a bit of form and witness the blooming of Peter Fulton. He's worth a nice big kiss!

  8. Anonymous4:38 pm

    "Quite how does same sex kissing as a form of (hetero-) sexual display fall into this category?"

    It may not - that should be debated. But there are exceptions to the idea that all rights are important, and balances to be drawn when they conflict.

    The Herald's coverage suggests at least some evidence of a public order issue:
    "New Zealand Cricket marketing manager Peter Dwan said the kiss was part of "an on-going display" by the pair, who had been dancing on and off before the kiss.

    The behaviour of the women made them and other women in the crowd the targets of inappropriate male attention and they were asked to tone down their behaviour.

    "The judgment of the security guard had nothing to do with morality or sexuality but related to the safety of the crowd," Mr Dwan said.

    My emphasis.

    I can understand people getting upset by the apparent discrimination against same-sex kissing, but the facts in this case make it a poor focus for debating those issues.

  9. It is either a right or it isn't. "less important rights" imply that they can be overriden, which denies the very definition of "rights". Adults have the right to interact with each others bodies on a consensual basis. Simple as that, if two women kiss and it offends someone because it is to titillate men, that is no different from offending a conservative Christian - there is no right to not be offended.

  10. Anonymous4:22 pm

    i was more interested in the site of your holiday than the cricket story. i find old industrialised deserted rural towns fascinating. how is the local economy doing now?

    but on the cricket issue since it is getting so much comment,i am a bisexual woman who thinks that the fact that the same-sex kiss (irrespective of whether or not it was for show or genuine) and that these women were blamed for potentially making themselves and other women 'targets' of male attention shows how misplaced the blame for sexual harassmsent still is. for me this is the most troubling part. the comment reeks of the same old argument that a woman in a short skirt asks to be raped. in a perfect world two women could get up at a game, dance, kiss if they want to and enjoy the freedoms that a hetro couple take for granted without men becoming excited by the sight, and the women copping the blame for others actions or reaction to her. the women haven't caused harm, it's the potential reaction of men that could be the harm in the situation

  11. exactly anon - you might be interested in the discussion over here as well

    (but then again maybe not! :-) )

  12. Anonymous9:37 am

    Good point, anon. I'm not sure how to reconcile that with the practicality of dealing with hundreds of liquored up cricket fans, though. The last cricket match I went to, walking past wearing a skirt was considered implied consent to being sexually harassed :-(

    Fair enough to have the same rules for same sex and hereto couples when it comes to pda. I don't think there's an unrestricted right to either, in a lot of contexts. I'd expect to get asked to leave if I was madly snogging my boyfriend in the pasta aisle in the supermarket, say. I've heard it described it as making people feel uncomfortable because the observers are either grossed out, or left out :-)