Sunday, October 29, 2006


When I was at University a young Act support called Nick Archer wrote a letter to Salient (the student newspaper). I don't remember what the context was, I don't remember what he was responding to. But I remember the letter itself very clearly. Because Nick Archer compared women to pieces of meat. He said that men were lions trying to get women, and if women wore too few clothes then they were responsible for men's response.

I once ran into Nick Archer walking down a long and isolated road wearing a tight singlet - which was a very stressful experience.

I introduce this to point out that misogynists obviously have quite a limited imagination. Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the Australian Mufti whose statements about rape, appears to have developed Nick Archer's thesis a bit more thoroughly before . But they cover exactly the same ground. Because the Sheik has claimed he has been misrepresented I have provided the section in full. While it is possible that he was mistranslated, his reference to being sentanced to jail appears to make it clear that he is referring to non-consensual sex. This translation is from the The Australian:

But in the event of adultery, the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time with women. Why? Because the woman possesses the weapon of seduction. She is the one who takes her clothes off, cuts them short, acts flirtatious, puts on make-up and powder, and goes on the streets dallying. She is the one wearing a short dress, lifting it up, lowering it down, then a look, then a smile, then a word, then a greeting, then a chat, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay Jail, then comes a merciless judge who gives you 65years.

But the whole disaster, who started it? The Al-Rafihi scholar says in one of his literary works, he says: If I come across a crime of rape - kidnap and violation of honour - I would discipline the man and teach him a lesson in morals, and I would order the woman be arrested and jailed for life.

Why, Rafihi? He says, because if she hadn't left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn't have snatched it. If you take a kilo of meat, and you don't put it in the fridge, or in the pot, or in the kitchen, but you put in on a plate and placed it outside in the yard. Then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats ate the meat. Then (inaudible). Right or not?

If one puts uncovered meat out in the street, or on the footpath, or in the garden, or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, then the cats come and eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem! If it was covered the cat wouldn't have. It would have circled around it and circled around it, then given up and gone.

If she was in her room, in her house, wearing her hijab, being chaste, the disasters wouldn't have happened. The woman possesses the weapon of seduction and temptation. That's why Satan says about the woman, "You are half a soldier. You are my messenger to achieve my needs. You are the last weapon I would use to smash the head of the finest of men. There are a few men that I use a lot of things with, but they never heed me. But you? Oh, you are my best weapon."

I only wish Nick Archer's comments had received the same level of outrage as this man's did. It's not particularly reassuring to know that men will defend women's right not to be treated as objects only when they can use women's rights to attack other men (hence missing the women not being objects target anyway).

Also posted on Alas


  1. Anonymous4:35 pm

    I knew Nick Archer at university, and I do have to say that he's not as bad as he makes out.

    I understand your feelings towards him and why you might have been afraid, but he's honestly harmless in person. It's just his ideas (which I believe he has since abandoned) that are the problem. (And of course the effects these ideas have on people.)

  2. Anonymous5:13 pm

    I have a transexual friend (M to F) who believes that the above quote is more insulting to men than women.

  3. It's definitely insulting to men, in that it assumes they have no capacity for self-control, decency and concern for others. But I still strongly feel that it's more insulting to women. It's worse to be called meat than it is to be called uncontrollable.

  4. hmm I find it less insulting than just silly, but the half a point that he has is what allows him to be indignant about it.

    rather like if someone said

    "If you do X it is your own fault if you get 'bad thing Y'" (where X is something that makes Y more likely despite any other factors such as 'bad man Z')

    denying any relationship at all between the two gets them all excited because they can smell evasion from a mile away (being masters at itthemselves)

  5. Anonymous10:55 am

    What Nick wrote was absolutely appalling and sickening.

    I talked to him about what he wrote in "Salient", and his past political affiliations and thinking, earlier this year.

    It appears that he has completely flipped his political ideology and now identifies as anarchist or communitarian. I couldn't imagine him coming out with such disgusting and silly comments these days - one would hope!

  6. Anonymous10:15 am

    Pffft. I helped Nick write that letter and he meant nothing of the sort than how you try and twist it into something devious and disgusting.... and on the other hand ridicule his physical appearance.

    The sentiments he discussed were plainly obvious to most readers, both in Salient and where I bought it up at Otago in Critic. It was all about how women should be careful when going out as men can be predators... if anything you write about this all the time.