Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let's not tell rape jokes

The Labour Party's Let's Not game has been out for a few days.* I'm not linking to it, for reasons that will become apparent, but I do want to discuss one of the offensive parts of it.**

If someone puts their finger in someone else's anus without their consent then that is sexual assault. This is still true if the two people involved are on a rugby field.

Ten years ago John Hopoate puts his finger in three other players anuses during a rugby league match. Apparently the people who were making this flash game thought "You know what we should do? We should animate this in an amusing way. That'll help us win the election and be awesome." Apparently people being violated without their consent is kind of funny if it's men on the rugby field.

One of the basic rape-myths that help uphold a culture where sexual assault is endemic is that sometimes consent doesn't matter. If you ever say that some people's violation doesn't matter - if you ever set some people up as unrapeable - then you, or in this case the Labour Party, are upholding that rape myth.

* I do incidentally think it's a terrible, terrible, terrible, piece electioneering even if you take all the offensive material out (it makes me think of David Mitchell - but thinking of David Mitchell could just be my brain's defense mechanism).

** It's not the only offensive part. I may try and write a follow-up post of what is so offensive about its portrayal of the treaty, Hone Harawira, the relationship between daughters and fathers in general and Maori women as a group.