November 20th, 2013


So I heard back from the Press Council

The Herald has, of course, defended itself and Bob Jones. I'm not allowed to copy/paste their response, but here is a summary of the main arguments they make:

1. I misrepresented their previous response as "He didn't mean it, where's your sense of humour?"

2. Mr Jones is deliberately provocative and should be taken that way. The vast majority of readers did take it that way. (read: he didn't mean it)

3. He was only insulting some women, so obviously he didn't mean all of them. (he didn't mean it)

4. He was trying to be funny. (where's your sense of humour?)

5. The column does not condone violence against women. (he didn't mean it)

6. Freedom of speech is important.

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I do not expect that the Press Council will uphold my complaint. Part of this is because I was unable to address individual points in my response, despite the defence from the Herald being over 500 words. Part of it is because NZ's Human Rights laws and Press Council principles treat opinion pieces as if they are special. And partly because we live in a culture where a woman objecting to being insulted and denigrated by a rich old white guy in a paper is considered to be an uppity, militant man-hater who should probably just STFU and stop being oversensitive and get a sense of humour.

Ironic, really.