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Open Letter to media organisations on the reporting of Julianne Kramer’s death

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in complaint of your article on the death of Julianne Kramer, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Otago last night.

As someone who knew Julianne, I am personally disgusted and offended that you have consistently referred to her with her birth name and pronouns. While I am aware that Julianne’s family have requested she be referred to as “Julian”, I am nonetheless surprised that your editors would allow this to supercede Julianne’s rights to be known as her preferred gender. The Associated Press Stylebook has very clear guidelines for reporting on transgender individuals, including the requirement to always use a transgender person’s chosen name and pronouns. Giving the family of a deceased person preference over the self-identification of the individual sets a disturbing precedent for transgender people, many of whom transition without the support and understanding of family members.

[To StuffOn a related note, I find your addendum at the bottom of the article to be distasteful and dismissive not only of Julianne, but of all transgender people and everyone else who has found the use of her birth pronouns to be offensive. Not only is the AP Stylebook and other guidelines for journalistic standards quite clear that transgender individuals should be referred to as their preferred gender no matter how far through the transitioning process they are, but I have concerns about the accuracy of the statement itself. Julianne’s Commercial Pilot’s Licence identified her as Julianne Kramer; I would be highly surprised if the Civil Aviation Authority issues individuals with licences in a name other than their legal name.

[To other media outlets] The way you have reported Julianne’s death is distasteful and dismissive not only of Julianne, but of all transgender people and everyone else who has found the use of her birth pronouns to be offensive. The AP Stylebook and other guidelines for journalistic standards quite clear that transgender individuals should be referred to as their preferred gender no matter how far through the transitioning process they are. I also have concerns around the legitimacy of the idea that “Julian Kramer” was, in fact, her legal name as opposed to her birth name. Julianne’s Commercial Pilot’s Licence identified her as Julianne Kramer; I would be highly surprised if the Civil Aviation Authority issues individuals with licences in a name other than their legal name.

Sincerely,

me

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Man’s disbelief that his brother would sexually assault a minor (alternative title: let me do that journalism thing for you, Stuff)

“Justice has been done,” said the brother of a Nelson man who was yesterday found guilty of indecently assaulting his stepdaughter after a second trial.

The Nelson District Court heard how the man stroked her right breast while watching television in the lounge of their Nelson home, and later in her bedroom indecently touched her and kissed her back on December 30, 2009.

The perpetrator has steadfastly denied the charges, saying the indecent assaults did not happen.

After a three-day retrial, a jury of six men and women yesterday reached a unanimous guilty verdict on the charge relating to stroking the girl’s breast and majority verdicts on the two other charges of indecently touching her and kissing her back.

A long-time friend said: “I just can’t believe it. It shows no matter how well or how long you know someone, you can never really know what they might be capable of.”

The perpetrator’s brother said: “This young woman was incredibly brave, not only to report the incident but to go through with not one, but two trials. What an incredibly difficult thing to do after being sexually assaulted by her stepfather, a man who was in a position of trust over her.”

The perpetrator had been found guilty of the same charges after the first trial in May last year.

He was then sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment but did not go to jail as he was released on bail when an appeal was lodged.

At the second trial this week the jury was told it was a retrial, but not why.

It can now be revealed that the Appeal Court quashed his convictions in the first trial and ordered the retrial.

His previous lawyer Jonathan Eaton made the successful appeal but the Appeal Court in its judgment last December suppressed publication of the proceedings and the result until the outcome of the retrial.

The man has been remanded on bail for sentencing on November 13.

Or if you hate yourself, read the actual article on Stuff: Accused’s brother ‘in disbelief’ at verdict. I’ve cut out the twelve lines that were dedicated to the perpetrator’s sob story.

Oh, and special props to Laura Bisham for not once, not twice, not thrice, but four fucking times referring to a man who has now been found guilty twice of sexually assaulting a minor as “the accused”. Thanks so much for that not-at-all-biased-or-victim-blaming language you used, there.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Rape/Sexual Assault

 

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Marriage and Civil Unions: New Zealand Statistics for the Woefully Uninformed

As a follow-on to this post, it would seem that a great deal of opponents to the same-sex marriage bill don’t really understand how statistics work. I’d like to think they do and they’re deliberately twisting the numbers to suit their cause, but I feel that would be giving them a little too much credit.

Garth George claimed in his column that 4% of New Zealanders are “homosexual or lesbian”. Let us pretend, for the purposes of this discussion, that this is accurate (my feeling is that the number of queer people in New Zealand is higher, though there have been no measurements of the number of LGBTIQQA people in New Zealand), and let us also pretend that this 4% are strictly gay or lesbian (so only romantically interested in those of the same gender).

And then someone can explain to me why the difference between 0.61% and 0.17% is apparently justification to continue denying human rights to LGBTIQQA people

YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2011
Population of New Zealanders 16 years and over: 3,452,100
Population of straight New Zealanders: 3,314,016
Population of gay/lesbian New Zealanders: 138,084
Number of marriages: 20,231
Percentage of marriages per 16+ straight population: 0.61%
Number of same-sex civil unions: 232
Percentage of same-sex civil unions per 16+ gay/lesbian population: 0.17%

YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2010
Population of New Zealanders 16 years and over: 3,413,600
Population of straight New Zealanders: 3,277,056
Population of gay/lesbian New Zealanders: 136,544
Number of marriages: 20,900
Percentage of marriages per 16+ straight population: 0.64%
Number of same-sex civil unions: 199
Percentage of same-sex civil unions per 16+ gay/lesbian population: 0.15%

YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2009
Population of New Zealanders 16 years and over: 3,364,600
Population of straight New Zealanders: 3,230,016
Population of gay/lesbian New Zealanders: 134,584
Number of marriages: 21,600
Percentage of marriages per 16+ straight population: 0.67%
Number of same-sex civil unions: 255
Percentage of same-sex civil unions per 16+ gay/lesbian population: 0.18%

YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2008
Population of New Zealanders 16 years and over: 3,318,300
Population of straight New Zealanders: 3,185,568
Population of gay/lesbian New Zealanders: 132,732
Number of marriages: 21,900
Percentage of marriages per 16+ straight population: 0.69%
Number of same-sex civil unions: 255
Percentage of same-sex civil unions per 16+ gay/lesbian population: 0.19%

YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2007
Population of New Zealanders 16 years and over: 3,278,100
Population of straight New Zealanders: 3,146,976
Population of gay/lesbian New Zealanders: 131,124
Number of marriages: 21,500
Percentage of marriages per 16+ straight population: 0.68%
Number of same-sex civil unions: 253
Percentage of same-sex civil unions per 16+ gay/lesbian population: 0.19%

YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2006
Population of New Zealanders 16 years and over: 3,233,000
Population of straight New Zealanders: 3,103,680
Population of gay/lesbian New Zealanders: 129,320
Number of marriages: 21,500
Percentage of marriages per 16+ straight population: 0.69%
Number of same-sex civil unions: 318
Percentage of same-sex civil unions per 16+ gay/lesbian population: 0.25%

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in LGBTIQQA

 

Yet Another “Opinion” On Same-Sex Marriage

On the Rotorua Daily Post website (which is clearly the pinnacle of journalism) today, Garth George cannot figure out why homosexuals and lesbians (because everyone is either gay or straight) want to be allowed to “marry”.

And no, I’m not putting those scare quotes there. Garth George is.

Garth George can’t seem to comprehend that adopting as an individual, rather than as a couple, is not actually the best option for the rights of the adoptive parents or the rights of the child being adopted.

Garth George states that “by their very nature, homosexuals and lesbians cannot reproduce, except through IVF treatments or by the use of surrogate fathers or mothers”. He conveniently ignores that, once again, there are people who are neither gay, lesbian, or straight who are in committed long-term relationships. He also ignores the fact that there are plenty of opposite-sex* couples who also cannot reproduce except through IVF treatments or by the use of surrogate mothers or sperm donors (who, FFS, are not “surrogate fathers”), and yet we allow them to get married willy-nilly.

Garth George seems to be under the impression that the reason the nice, normal straighties get hitched—sorry, “cleave to one another”— is to “among other things, have children and to bring them up in a traditional family environment”.

Excuse me while I vomit.

Garth George apparently does not know the meaning of “two freely consenting adults”, considering his now overly-tired slippery slope argument—there is clearly no need to acknowledge that Louisa Wall’s Member’s Bill has specifically updated the schedule that contains the list of forbidden relations to cover non-gender-specific incestuous relations. Apparently, we as a nation are incapable of separating same-sex marriage from incest from polygamy. Apparently all these things are directly comparable.

Garth George would like us all to know that “it is disingenuous to complain about rights being taken away when they have never existed in the first place.” I think Garth George should have explained that to the suffragettes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, or to those involved in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. Because, you see, no one can complain about a lack of rights if we’ve never had them in the first place!

Garth George feels that this “is another step in a decades-long campaign to convince everyone that homosexuals and lesbians are no different from the rest of us and deserve all the rights and privileges known to mankind”, which is actually the first correct thing he’s said in the entire article. The difference is, of course, that Garth George doesn’t believe that “homosexuals and lesbians” actually are no different from the rest of us. Garth George doesn’t believe that the queer community deserve all the rights and privileges that we give to heterosexuals.

Garth George has also apparently never met a homosexual who is light-hearted and carefree. I think I can safely say that I would not be particularly light-hearted or carefree if I were forced to have a conversation with Garth George, as it’s surprisingly difficult to remain light-hearted and carefree when talking with someone who sees you as a lesser human being for no other reason than the fact that you sometimes like to sleep with women.

Garth George refuses to wear the appellation of ‘homophobe’ as he has “no phobias about homosexuality, male or female”. And I agree with him; I don’t like the word homophobe, as I have genuine phobias that are not comparable. Garth George is not a homophobe. He is a bigot with poisonous and vile views, who has far too much investment in denying human rights to strangers and far too much interest in relationships that have nothing to do with him whatsoever.

Garth George doesn’t understand male homosexuality. He understands, though, that “it makes homosexuals different from [him] and the rest of heterosexual humanity”.

If the rest of heterosexual humanity is like Garth George, then I want nothing to do with them.

*I hate this term, but I haven’t yet found a better one. If anyone has any suggestions I’d appreciate them.

ETA: New Zealand statistics for the woefully uninformed.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in LGBTIQQA

 

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Pedophiles on a Plane: The Stuff Comments Edition

Content warning: references to sexual assault of minors

Stuff has an article on their website today about a man who was asked to move after being seated next to two unaccompanied minors in error. As at writing this, we’re at 155 comments and probably counting. Because I hate myself, I read every. single. comment. I recommend that you don’t.

The comments can be broken down into the following groups:

  • Airlines are discriminating against straight white men! (direct quote: “It seems that ordinary heterosexual men are not considered a victim group.” I’d explain societal privilege to you, Chuck Bird #90, but somehow I don’t think you’d be the most receptive of audiences.)
  • But women can be pedophiles too/most children are molested by family so they’re safer next to strangers!
  • What sort of shitty parent lets their child fly unaccompanied? (Uh, my awesome as fuck mother? Because my father lived in Australia? Also what the fuck, why shouldn’t 8/10/12 year olds fly on their own? I used to get the damn bus from Christchurch to Timaru at a very young age; flying’s no different. In fact, I’d argue that it’s probably safer…)
  • If you ask me to move you’d better move me to first class/slander/libel/Human Rights Commission/I WILL SUE YOUR ASS/never flying with Virgin again!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!eleventy!
  • Oh please, how many children are molested on aeroplanes anyway?
  • FUCKING FEMINISM IS RUINING EVERYTHING FOR MEN.

It’s that last one, I think, that’s my favourite. Feminism: eradicating male teachers and chipping away at your right to sit next to unaccompanied eight-year-olds since 1969, cackling madly as we burn our bras and refuse to make you a sandwich as we do so.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Rape/Sexual Assault

 

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When I hate myself, I search the feminism tag on Tumblr

Content note: rape, abortion

The feminism tag on Tumblr. It’s, like 50% awesome feminist people saying good things, and 50% fuckwit MRA-types. The better half knows when I’m on the feminism tag, because at least once, I’ll start beating my head against the headboard.

And then, today, there was this. (Emphasis mine)

Rape is hard. Rape is life ruining and rape is tough. It’s horrific and cruel and any human being who has done it is clearly sick in the head. But sweethearts let me tell you that curling up and screaming over the internet is not going to get that person in jail. Screaming and yelling is not going to make you feel any better. Having that abortion only makes you weaker. Why? Because you basically gave up. You threw in the towel and quit the fight.

Let’s just say you get raped and you get pregnant. You’re broken and depressed and you feel useless. You have two roads. You can a) have an abortion because it’s easier and it’s simpler and you’ll have your friends to back you up. Or b) Keep that child. Because you know that deep in your heart that even though that child came from horrific circumstances, you will raise him/her to be better than his/her father.

If you take that first road, you are giving your rapist the power. You are telling your rapists that he won. You’re telling your rapist that it was fine that he violated your body because you were going to give up anyway. Because you are “strong”. No. In this case you are weak and spineless. You couldn’t stand up to a nameless face.

Now if you take that second road, I promise you dear you will shine in whole new way for me. Because you showed your rapist that you don’t care. You have shown him that you will not be defeated. Think about that. While you’re on your way to getting an abortion. If you keep that child, you are telling your rapist that you are stronger than the obstacles he has thrown your way.

On the topic of rape…

Like I said before, rape is a horrible and miserable thing. But it’s not an excuse to wallow in self-pity. It’s your time to shine and prove that you have a backbone.

Again if you are raped you have two roads, a) You give in and cry and scream and wallow in pity. You get coddled by friends and family. You write in a sappy diary. You eat tons of ice cream. But you have also given up. You (just like the pregnant victims) are telling your rapists that you can be walked over. That you aren’t strong. You’re breaking your own heart. You have proven yourself to be weak and spineless.

Now path two will always be brighter. Because then you’ll be showing your rapist that you don’t care. You’ll be walking with your head high. You won’t be at Slutwalks, because you’re too busy moving on with your life. You don’t have time to cry to the internet, because you’re too busy learning to love again.

Trust me on this. Having that abortion or just giving in will never help you. Because you’re not being a strong man or woman. You’re being weak, afraid and frail. And last time I checked, human beings were meant to be none of those things.

I. Can’t. Even.

I really want to write a coherent response to this, but I’m too busy shaking with rage.

I really want to make “rape is your time to shine” a tag, though.

 
 

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If you’re miserable and alone, it’s probably because you’re a slut.

This one’s a few months old, but I just stumbled across it tonight: according to Curt Smith, who runs an advice column called ‘The Single Guy’s Opinion’ (I, for one, am completely shocked. Also, when I want advice on how to cook a steak, I don’t ask a vegan, but okay), women have become too easy.

Oh good, because we’ve never heard that one before.

Anyway, Stacy has written to this advice column with a question:

Dear Curt,

I’m a 35-year-old woman, and met a very handsome 43-year-old man named Daniel. We’ve been dating for five months now and still haven’t slept together.

My problem is that in the beginning, Daniel asked me how many men I’ve slept with. Being a little scared of his reaction, I lied and told him seven. But after a few months, I could not live with the lie and finally decided to tell him the reason why I still haven’t slept with him yet.

I told him I didn’t want to make love because I was scared that he’d lose respect and eventually leave me like all the other men. At this point he asked me again, just how many men were there, to which I replied forty-three.

His reply was, “Hmm, one for each of my birthdays.” And from that day on, I never heard from him again. I don’t get it Curt, why is it that when men sleep around, they’re studs , yet when women sleep around, they’re sluts ? Why can’t women have their fun too?

Stacy Jones, TX

Well, first of all, Daniel is an asshole. Now brace yourself, because—spoiler alert—Curt’s answer does not include the words “patriarchy”, “bullshit”, or “double standard”.

[B]efore I begin, allow me to stress that I’m not passing judgment on women, nor am I saying that women shouldn’t enjoy themselves sexually.

I’m not sexist, but…

An object that has value is worshipped, respected, cherished, and shared with very few deserving people. As soon as you start sharing that object with anyone and without care, the object starts to lose value. The more people use the object, the more it depreciates and the less bargaining power it has: this is a plain psychological fact of life.

CURT DID YOU REALLY JUST CALL WOMEN OBJECTS? REALLY? YOU DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO COUCH IT IN IMPLICATION? YOU JUST OUTRIGHT CALLED WOMEN OBJECTS? I CAN’T EVEN.

Capslock aside, I’m not sure that’s even true for every object ever. A yearbook has more value the more it’s passed around—more memories, more personalised notes, etc. My high school yearbooks are literally filled with all these amazing handwritten notes and fabulous memories.

What about cupcakes? When I bake cupcakes I want to share them with as many people as possible, because cupcakes are awesome and delicious and everyone should be able to nom on my cupcakes because they are damn good cupcakes, if I do say so myself.

Fuck, now I want to make cupcakes.

Anyway.

But the reality is that most men (those looking for a serious relationship and not a one-night stand) do place great value on a woman’s sexual restraint.

I don’t want a serious relationship with a man who places that much value on my sexual restraint before I even knew him, let alone was dating him, unless he is someone who has firm moral beliefs about non-matrimonial sex and so am I. Otherwise it comes off as creepy and controlling.

There was a time when many women cherished their bodies much like a sacred temple. Where only a noble man, one who respected and loved her, had access to her body.

I’m sorry, but I cannot stop laughing at a noble man. I’m picturing a seventeenth-century dude, here.

But over time, it seems that women have failed to realize the important role their sexuality plays in finding a long-term mate.

Here’s the thing—my hackles get almost as raised by the use of the word ‘mate’ in relation to people as they do by MRAs referring to women as ‘females’. We’re not chimpanzees, okay? Well, most of us.

But if women themselves don’t value their bodies like they used to, why should men?

I value my body. I value it so much that I’m like, “Hey, my body and my sexuality is fucking rocking, and y’all should get up on this.” My vagina is not the 500-year-old china-plated family heirloom that has to be locked away and earthquake-proofed. It’s the placemat my three-year-old nephew made me in kindergarten that gets pulled out all the time, because that shit is rocking.

Some women will argue that if men have the right to sleep around, so should women. But I ask only one question: If women adamantly believe this, then why is it that when faced with the question, “How many men have you slept with?”, most women who have slept around with truckloads of men always lie?

Some women lie. Some men lie. Some people don’t even know their numbers. I’m not clear on mine, but I know it’s a shitload higher than a) the national average and b) my partner’s. And some people have had it drummed into them for so long that a slutty woman is a worthless woman, oh my god what is wrong with you, you whore, that they lie about their number in order to avoid the slutshaming that will inevitably follow. And you know what? That’s fucking fine.

Things my partner needs to know about my prior sexual encounters (and I want to make it clear these are my rules for me personally, and I’m not saying this is what everyone should be following by any means):
-History of sexual assault, because they need to understand that there are some things that are totally off limits, and because they should know if I suddenly freeze up and shy away it’s probably not them;
-Any sexually transmitted infections I may have that could return, if we’re not using condoms.

That’s it. My number has no bearing on either of those things.

Women have sexual propositions directly or indirectly thrown at them every single day. Because of this abundant supply of penis, women have the final decision to act on or ignore such propositions.

Ladies! Your constant sexual harassment means YOU HAVE THE POWER.

Men, on the other hand, don’t necessarily have women on bended knee with diamond rings and gold bracelets, so they pretty much take it when they can.

Women only want sex when there’s jewellery involved, obviously. Shit, I should have way more bling.

Men recognize the power of a woman’s sexuality. In turn, men appreciate and place great value on women who can control themselves and demonstrate a certain degree of sexual discipline because most men certainly can’t.

MEN CAN ONLY THINK WITH THEIR PENISES AND CAN’T SAY NO TO SEX EVER. Gee, where have I heard people spouting this shit before?

If a woman can show men that she is honest, loyal, trustworthy, and sexually responsible, then she will have the most powerful weapon to attract men. If, on the other hand, a woman abuses her sexual power with many men, it will backfire on her. Unfortunately, women only realize this after they’ve had their “women’s movement fun,” when it’s too late and the only choice they have is to lie.

“Women’s movement fun”. In scare quotes. I’m just going to leave this here.

Over the past years, most women have lost a sense of value for their sexuality. They’ve realized that sex is fun and pleasurable, but in the process, they’ve forgotten that it’s the one gift that they can offer their lover, and that so many men value.

Ladies, you have literally nothing to offer a man other than your very chaste ladyparts. Okay? Okay.

Here’s a better example: if I were to offer Stacy the same engagement ring that I once offered my ex-fiancée, would she appreciate it?

Look, I wouldn’t be okay with my partner going “Hey, this is the exact same dick I once offered [a previous sexual partner]” just as we were getting hot and heavy, but that’s not really the same thing as me knowing he had a sex life before I knew him.

As more and more women put their careers ahead of their social lives, they’re getting married at a later age. But because of an emotional void, some find the wait a little too long and replace love with sex.

Again… I’m just going to leave this here.

A woman should give the man the test of time and make him wait at least three months before having full intercourse with him.

“Full intercourse”? Am I back in year ten sex ed?

Both the women’s movement and the media have encouraged women to compete with men in all aspects of life, including sex.

Preeeeeetty sure feminism is all about giving women equal rights to men, not encouraging them to compete…

Most men will agree that they’re always on the lookout for a serious soul mate. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun in the process.

Apparently it means women can’t, though.

Why do we men behave in such a way? Because we are very much aware of how hard it is to control ourselves when seduced by women. Therefore, we fear women who are equally sexually active — especially when they have dozens of men courting them — because they also lack that control.

NO. WORDS.

The women’s sexual movement had women across the United States screaming, “We want equal treatment! We want to be able to do everything men do! We want to have sex!” Well, women did just that and unfortunately, they abused their sexual magic to the point where it lost its value over time.

Three things:
-“Sexual magic”. Snigger.
-Pretty sure feminism wasn’t limited to the United States?
SEXUAL MAGIC.

After all, if the body becomes familiar and the personality becomes aggravating, what else is there left to commit to? Well, I’d like to think that it is the woman’s special gift that keeps a man hooked.

I can’t get over “and the personality becomes aggravating”. Protip: if your partner’s personality is aggravating, you need to rethink your relationship. And as for that last sentence, I’m going to hand over to my boyfriend for a second, who’s reaction was: “I’mma trick you into a relationship! With my vagina! It’s a mousetrap! Or a Chinese finger trap—you’ve got to get all the way in, and then sneak out.” Which is the best mental image ever, to be completely honest with you.

The man who had to work hard and commit in order to bed a woman will appreciate her more. After all, time was invested in her.

She’s not a classic car you’ve been restoring, guys.

Annnnnnd, that’s it. Curt Smith, you are a fuckhead of the highest order, and me and the body I have no respect for are going to go bake some cupcakes now.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Sexism

 

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