?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The kind of thinking that rugby culture produces - Tactical Ninja

May. 26th, 2011

09:06 am - The kind of thinking that rugby culture produces

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

So China Mieville is now officially my language hero, for using 'skewwhiff' in written form. Also, I'm about 20 pages from finishing Perdido Street Station, after starting it on the 25th of February. Yes it really does take me that long to read a book. In my defence, in that time I have also read enough nonfiction about state crime to sink an optimist wearing floaties, a whole bunch of stuff about the TPPA and globalisation, and have become far too familiar with Project Prevention. So, you know, roundabouts and swings.


I don't blame Paul Quinn, but I suggest he doesn't go out drinking till all hours in case he rapes someone

In case you're wondering who the hell Paul Quinn is, he's a National list MP who stood for Hutt South but was beaten by Trevor Mallard. He's also a specialist in Treaty of Waitangi issues and rugby boy of some repute. But that's not why he's on my blog. He's on here because last night on national television, he was asked to give his take on SlutWalk and the 'clothing choice' debate. He replied (more or less) that alcohol is a bigger risk and that women who went out drinking till all hours were putting themselves at risk.

And he's right. Anyone who drinks to incapacitation is putting themself at risk - of alcohol poisoning, serious accidents, aggressive injury, arrest for drunk and disorderly, getting robbed, etc etc blah blah.

Isn't it weird how men who 'go out drinking till all hours' are not considered to be putting themselves at risk of the above mentioned things. When someone says 'out drinking till all hours' in the context of being victimised it's always rape and it's always women. Never mind that the victimiser must also have been out 'till all hours.' I am waiting for someone to start telling men that they shouldn't go out 'drinking till all hours' because they are putting themselves at risk of raping someone. It.Just.Doesn't.Happen.

Mr Quinn also apparently followed up with something about people in short skirts at 6am. So it seems he does think that clothing has something to do with it.

What makes me sad is that this attitude is so common - I mean, I know the guy's a rugby boy and that means he's spent a lot of time in a culture that normalises rape perhaps more than any other in this country. But that's no excuse for someone who is a politician to be making comments that show he hasn't thought about this beyond "She's drunk and in a short skirt clearly she's wanting to have sex herp derp." Why can't people finish sentences? That sentence is missing the ending, the same way these sentences that blame women for their own rapes because of their dress/behaviour/sexual history always do. So what's the ending to this sentence?

"..against her will."

".. without her consent."

And if we add that ending to the victim-blaming sentences, suddenly we get a situation where it becomes very clear that the person uttering them believes that it's more ok to rape a drunk woman or one who's in a short skirt than it is to rape someone who isn't. Keep on thinking and we get back to the same old thing - apparently men can't help themselves and women are responsible for rape. If you've been drinking and you get raped ladies, it's because you put yourself at risk. The rapist didn't rape you because he's a rapist, he did it because you were drunk. If women didn't get drunk, rape wouldn't happen amirite?

Fuck that shit. Paul Quinn is not to blame for the culture that created his statements, or made them seem like 'common sense'. I do place the blame for Not.Fucking.Thinking.Before.Speaking squarely at his feet though.

So anyway, it demonstrates how relevant SlutWalk really is in this culture.


And all of this thinking about these topics has made me wonder something. You know how there are certain (many and broad) items of clothing that it's claimed are signifiers of sexual availabilty when women wear them? Short skirts, low-cut tops, etc etc blah blah. So, um, I couldn't think of any things like that for men. I can't remember ever looking at a man and seeing a particular item of clothing and thinking "Oh yeah, he's gagging for it."

So, are there any? Guys, are there any things you wear when you're out on the town to show you're available and wanting sex? Ladies, are there any things you see men wearing that make you think "Yep, he's out to get some"?

Just wondering.

[edit] Turns out Mr Quinn is now claiming he didn't hear the question. There's a vid. Watch it and judge for yourself.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:russiandolls
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Isn't Trevor Mallard the MP for Hutt South? The elected one anyway.... (I don't really know how the list stuff works).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yes you are right, my bad. He contested Hutt South but didn't win, then got into parliament as a list MP. He claims to have an electorate office but he is not the MP for there. I'll fix it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:russiandolls
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sweet. As much as I'm also not a fan of Trevor, I don't want people thinking we voted that guy in....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My MP is Peter Dunne. I had nothing to do with this.

;-/
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tyellas
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The mating plumage of the New Zealand Male is his Good Jeans paired with a button-down shirt that is not white. This is similar to that of the U.S.A.ian Male (Spring/Fall Mating Seasons). What is a stronger signifier of mating intent is the way they smell. Cologne or "body spray," applied with the heedless excess of men who don't wear it on a regular basis, makes me roll my eyes and think, "out on the pull, are we?"

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This might sound like a dumb question, but what does 'button down' mean? I always thought it meant button down collar, but I'd like to know for sure.

Also, I can't tell a kiwi man in his mating gear from a kiwi man in his 'going to the rugby' gear. Maybe that's why I'm not a rapist.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tyellas
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sorry, sartorial USA-ism. Also known as a business shirt.

Do men going to the rugby douse themselves in body spray then, too? I had the impression they just doused themselves in beer.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Dunno. I know men who've just played rugby do, but I think that's because after the game are = officially on the rantan, ie booze and trying to get laid.

There might be something in this body spray thing.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From:eipi10
Date:May 25th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, when my brother was telling me to wear button-down shirts I too thought it meant the lapels of the collar were buttoned-down to the shirt.

But apparently it means buttons-down-the-front. Which I thought just meant essentially "not a t-shirt" but what do I know...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I thought the same thing.

We are ignorance twins!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From:clashfan
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's more specific than that--it's not flannel, wool, denim, or chambray, all of which can come with long sleeves, buttons all down the front, and a collar. A 'button-down shirt' can be light cotton, linen, or silk (and probably others). Basically, if it's a long-sleeved shirt you'd wear a necktie with, it's a button-down.

At least, that's how we roll here. No idea what they're called in the UK or other establishments.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Cologne or "body spray," applied with the heedless excess of men who don't wear it on a regular basis, makes me roll my eyes and think, "out on the pull, are we?"

See, here in the US, that stuff is typically not used by actual grown men. I'm pretty convinced the advertising is aimed directly at their true market (and the only people who use it) pre-teen and teen boys. And occasionally men in their early 20s.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 25th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Leather codpiece. Duh.

-W
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hands up all the ladies who'd be all over a man in a leather codpiece!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:May 26th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
wait! what are we doing with hands and pieces of cod??

will we need a frier? roasting pan?

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I believe I have heard the "drinking till all hours" = risk thing being applied to non-hetero-normative males and the risk of being physically assaulted. I can't immediately track down where and the context though... may have been personal conversation with queer friends. But yes, I have heard it applied to males in very specific contexts.

Curious about what you think of the Project Prevention concept.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, I can imagine it being used in that context.

This semester my main paper was written on Project Prevention, framing its continued existence and tax-exempt charity status as a state crime. It has three main arguments - the US government's complicity in creation of a hegemony that has historically supported eugenics targeted at minorities and the marginalisation of drug addicts, the relationship that exists between Project Prevention and its clients being one of victimisation in pursuit of goals which align with those of the state, and the ways in which its activities are criminal in terms of juridical, organisational deviance and social injury theory, this criminal activity being supported by the state through lack of legislation against it and tax support.

In other words, I'm not that keen on Project Prevention, eh? The essay is in being marked at the moment but I'm thinking of bunging it online at some point since a few people have shown interest.

Edited at 2011-05-25 11:23 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:May 26th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hmmm. I wouldn't go so far as your argument. I think because I've seen up close the consequences of the profound lack of reproductive choice for drug users in US. I object to what they're doing, but they have a point. In many cases long term birth control is not open to women who want it here for a whole variety of shitty reasons.

I object to their operation though on a couple of grounds. If they didn't support sterilization and only long term birth control I'd feel less conflicted. But from a harm reduction standpoint I feel like permanent sterilization is saying to a user that they are unredeemable addicts, which is the opposite of the harm reduction model, and frankly demoralizing. Anything that makes that statement is to me, flat out wrongheaded.

I also think it overly stigmatizes the children of drug users to a disgusting degree, and generalizes from "crack babies" to all children of people who used drugs. Most "crack babies" grow to be functional young adults. And generalizing the "crack baby" model to the children of opiate users is inaccurate and biologically sketchy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 26th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, the state crime angle was one my lecturer encouraged after I emailed her saying pretty much what you've said here, and she encouraged me to explore the human rights and marginalisation issues in a wider context of the way the US government treats marginalised people in general. There's definitely a link but it isn't as clear-cut as say, genocide or war crimes. This is one reason I found the research interesting.

I would also be less conflicted if the sterilisation were not offered (especially having discovered the way their payments are slanted towards sterilisation - they pay a lump sum for that, IUD or Norplant* and small instalments for Depo Provera). It's heartening to see your comment includes several arguments that ended up in my essay. ;-)

* It seems that for women who aren't able to use IUDs or Norplant (which apparently has some quite serious potential side effects), they are left with sterilisation or DP - and the way the payments are made for in the context of addiction can be construed as coercion towards permanent sterilisation.

[edit] ugh, there's something wrong with my cognition today, i swear. hopefully the fixes make this clearer.

Edited at 2011-05-26 03:59 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:May 26th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, I get especially cranky about the "crack baby" problem as applied to opiate users, because it actually sets up a situation where babies are at higher risk.

The safest thing for the fetus of a habitual opiate user is for their mother to go on a maintenance medication regimen (combined with regular prenatal care). Withdrawal in utero is less safe for the baby than withdrawal in the NICU.

However, due to the level of misplaced panic about "crack babies" there's not a lot of good maintenance programs in place for pregnant users. Street opiates have greater levels of impurities, carry a higher risk of OD... and then there's the fact that their dealer will usually cut them off somewhere around the second trimester, throwing them into detox without proper care.

I'm not going to even get in to the meth situation... but again, all these drugs are pharmacologically different. But the panic and paranoia is extended equally to all drugs as if they're the same thing. They're not.

EDIT: "Withdrawal in utero is less safe for the baby than withdrawal in the NICU." should probably read "less safe for the baby than PLANNED withdrawal in the NICU". Safest situation is when the medical staff know what's going on and can treat the baby effectively. Again a situation where stigma works against the well being of the child.

Edited at 2011-05-26 04:24 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 26th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
*nod* One study I read went into the 'crack baby' phenomenon, and part of it looked into options for drug-addicted pregnant women - they were pretty shocking. I don't have the article with me but from memory I think it was something like 85-90% of New York treatment centres would not take on women if they were pregnant and on Medicare. Then there was another article saying that 33 million women don't have access to birth control in the US for one reason or another, but particularly poor women. Then the stuff about legislation that discriminates in drug testing of pregnant women and the response to those tests, and again in the removal of babies from drug addicted mothers and it was all just WTF?

And yeah, people (the public) overreacted to crack, and the moral panic spread to every drug. It's just horrible.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:May 26th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
Don't get me wrong... heroin is not a more moral or less stigmatized choice. It's just, drugs are not all equal. We have some very legitimate harm reduction strategies for heroin and other opiates than we have for other serious addictive substances like cocaine/crack or amphetamines.

(Sorry, gettin' all passionate about this because I spent all day at work crunching Narcan stats.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 26th, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
(Link)
It's totally fine. "But what about heroin?" is one of the questions that gets thrown around a lot in harm reduction debates, as if heroin is some kind of bogey that negates all arguments because it's so evil and therefore the only solution is to throw all addicts in jail.

Yet heroin is one of the substances where harm reduction techniques (actual ones, not the bullshit ones) do actually have measurable effect - but because of the stigma attached to heroin, governments are afraid to demonstrate any kind of seeming approval for them. I'm passionate about it too. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:May 26th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Exactly. There's narcan, there's substitution programs, we know a lot about the biology of detox. I think a large part of the stigma is needle stigma which I totally understand. But compared to something like methamphetamine, we have a lot more options in mitigating the harm caused by opiates.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:polychrome_baby
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I want to frame this and put it up for everyone to read.

It's not locked, do you mind if I link it on FB or would you not appreciate the attention? Up to you.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
From my user profile: "I'm an opinionated attention whore, but I'm honest."

Please, feel free to repost. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 26th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
Turns out Paul Quinn's words were: ""It's a real issue....with young ladies getting drunk...in Courteney Place at two and three in the morning. it's about drink and behaviour." So he's clearly saying that women who are drunk in Courtenay Place as late as *gasp* two and three in the morning are the ones that are at higher risk.

And the problem with these kinds of statements is that so many people see them in terms of common sense and risk. They sound logical, rational, sensible. Right?

Except that 90% of reported rapes are committed by people already known to the victim. Which kind of destroys the image of the crazed sexual predator lurking in an alley waiting to pounce on unsuspecting drunk young ladies, and implies that there is an amount of trust already. If you trust someone you feel you can be drunk around them and be safe - so is the victim's alcohol consumption somehow affecting the other person's trustworthiness?

Y'see the thing is, 'don't get drunk' implies 'keep your wits about you'. It's sensible too, right? But what does that actually mean? Does it mean that you should stay sober so that you can fight off that random stranger who grabs you in an alley? The least likely type of rape, that is? Or does it mean 'keep your wits about you so when you say no to that guy you know and trust and he ignores it, you can fight him off?' And should we as women have to keep our wits about us all the time, even around people we trust, just in case one of them turns out to be a rapist?

This is the problem with such statements - it shifts responsibility for preventing rape onto the potential victim. And sadly, by that transfer of responsibility it implies that the perpetrator is less responsible - yes, it does imply that men don't have free will, because their decision to rape or not rape is somehow affected by the addition of a short skirt or some alcohol.

This is one of the reasons that folks like me say that these arguments for what women should and shouldn't do to avoid rape are damaging to men. We all know that the vast majority of men are not rapists - yet there's this persistent idea that given the right circumstances, addition of alcohol or percentage of skin showing, men will be overcome by their 'drives' and lose their free will, therefore women should alter their behaviour because men can't help themselves. This is damn insulting to the men in my life frankly, and frustrating for women who were raped by people they trusted because it implies we can't trust anyone.

2/3 of rapes happen in the victim's own home. Oddly enough, not on Courtenay Place at 3am.

One of the ways of embedding this belief in men that rape is wrong is to stop allowing for extenuating circumstances - it doesn't matter how drunk she was, whether she's slept with you before, what she is wearing - if she is not consenting enthusiastically then nobody should be having sex with her. In fact if she's that drunk and consenting enthusiastically, nobody should be having sex with her because the ability to consent it reliant on being in control of one's faculties.

Anyway, I've gone on enough. While it seems like an uncompromising view, it's the one I take because it's the only one that places responsibility for rape with the perpetrator and the perpetrator only - which is where it belongs.

Edited at 2011-05-26 01:48 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)