Brave campaign on ‘rape culture’ by Rodney Hide

For the second week in a row Rodney Hide has used his weekend Herald column to address ‘rape culture’.

Rodney Hide: Rape culture protects predators

I have reluctantly concluded that New Zealand does suffer a rape culture.

It’s not an “all men are rapists” and “I am sorry for being a man” type of thing. Rather, it’s the way men can commit sex crimes and get away with it. The system works to protect the privileged and powerful.

I’ve said a number of times that I thing ‘rape culture’ is an overly emotive term and can be counter productive to having serious discussion where it’s needed on such a serious issue.

Offence at the term is often used as an excuse to divert debate and attack the victims and attack the messengers – I’ve experience a lot of this on a continuing basis.

It’s good to see Rodney being prepared to put this out there and challenge the ‘old boy’s club’ that keeps defending and protecting sexual predators.

It takes a brave man to step up and confront this knowing how brutal the defenders of ‘rape culture can be.

If the term ‘rape culture’ offends some men then too bad. The lack of will to address a widespread and insidious problem in our society, and the active protection of sexual predators, is far more offensive.

Not all men are responsible for the crimes but all men should take responsibility for the problems they cause. The actions of sexual predators and the extensive negative effects impacts on the reputation of all men and casts a shadow of blame over all men, whether decent men like it or not.

Much more has to be done to deal to this, and men have to stand up and do the dealing rather than ducking for cover.

More men like Rodney have to take a brave and bold step up.


Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  20th July 2014

    Bullshit. The problem is that the upper echelons of public life are stacked with wierdos that don’t condemn bad behaviour. A look at Labour shows why they are doing so badly – a bunch of academics and gays completely detached from family life and values.

    Its a legal problem and not a rape culture problem. The more we slide down a shitty moral slope where relavatism is the only measure the worse we will get.

    • “upper echelons of public life are stacked with wierdos that don’t condemn bad behaviour”

      And too many from the lower echelons make excuses and say it’s not their problem. The lower echelons need to pressure the ‘upper echelons’ to change.

  2. Brown

     /  20th July 2014

    And that is the dilemma. The lower echelons are being taught by the upper that life has no consequences for lack of self respect and there are no rights and wrongs. Its catch 22 and progressives like it that way.

  3. graham

     /  20th July 2014

    The term “rape culture” is a loosely-defined concept that was dreamt up in the 1970’s. Most proponents of the term agree that, in general, it describes a culture in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender, sex, and sexuality. But the term is so vague, that it could describe a limited subset of a society, an entire society, an entire country, or even the entire world (“If you are a man, you are part of rape culture … you do perpetuate the attitudes and behaviors commonly referred to as rape culture”)

    Some people claim that rape culture manifests through the acceptance of rapes as an everyday occurrence. Well sad to say, it is. But by that definition, we also have a burglary culture, a murder culture, a drink-driving culture, a baby-bashing culture, a gun culture – the list goes on, because there are so many things that are an everyday occurrence. It’s sad, and upsetting, but these things do happen every day. Does that mean we have a culture that encourages and condones burglary, murder, drink-driving, baby-bashing, and so on? Of course not. All it means is that – sadly – these things happen, not because society condones them but DESPITE society’s abhorrence of such acts.

    We should all know that the term “rape culture” is hotly disputed. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) decries an overemphasis on the concept of rape culture as a means of preventing rape and as a cause for rape. “… it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime”. In other words, RAINN argues that rape is the product of individuals who have decided to disregard the overwhelming cultural message that rape is wrong. In fact they go further and argue that focusing on cultural factors as an excuse has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions”. Refer to

    As well as RAINN, there are other well-regarded researchers who dispute the existence of “rape culture” and are vocal in calling for an end to “rape culture hysteria”. Happy to provide links if you want, but I’m sure you can find some very easily.

    So here’s my own reaction. I have decided that I will no longer take offence at the term “rape culture”, because I know it does not apply to me. If you feel that’s denial or not helpful, then too bad. I am entirely comfortable with my own actions, my attitudes, my place in today’s society, and what I do and do not accept responsibility for. I DO NOT accept responsibility for individuals whom I do not know or have any control over, commiting a violent crime. And if you wish to indulge in hand-wringing and apologising then go for gold. But don’t you dare drag me into your daydreams. You do not have that right.

    • ” I have decided that I will no longer take offence at the term “rape culture”, because I know it does not apply to me.”

      That sounds fine to me. But I don’t know what you felt a need to then lash out at me me, I’m not apologising for anything, and I didn’t accuse you of anything.

      I don’t accept any responsibility for the actions of others that I have no connection with either. But I do think there are some joint community/society responsibilities. Each of us can choose how we might address that.

  4. graham

     /  20th July 2014

    “I didn’t accuse you of anything.”

    But you have Pete. With every sentence you write, you perpetuate the idea of “rape culture”, and the idea that all men must take responsibility for it (and, by implication, the idea that if a man DOESN’T take responsibility for it, then he is directly defending and encouraging the supposed “rape culture”). If it was just this one post I would react differently, but it isn’t. You have assigned blame and responsibility to the men of New Zealand many times. The first time I remember seeing a post by you on this topic was where you wrote that that there are many men, possibly a majority, who aid rape by either actively participating in the rape culture, or by ignoring rape culture.

    Reread that last sentence. Don’t you see how offensive, how insulting, how NASTY that is?

    When some men have dared to disagree with you on this, I’ve seen you accuse them of copping out, of not being brave enough to face reality, and of perpetuating the concept of “rape culture” simply because they object to being tarnished by association. Which is a rather insidious form of bullying, claiming that if people don’t agree with you then it (a) is somehow proof that this concept exists in the form you claim, and (b) means they are part of the problem by refusing to acknowledge it.

    I suspect that this will not get through to you, and you will continue to ignore or misinterpret what I and other people have said to you on this topic. So I will end by saying this: you do not have the right to implicate me in your concept of what “rape culture” is or is not, and how all men must or mustn’t act around it. Please do not presume to speak for me or accuse me of making excuses, hiding from reality, or turning a blind eye.

    I say this in the hope that you will be reasonable, and realise that the way you continue to post about this topic is grossly unfair to the majority of New Zealand men – but I rather doubt it.

  5. I disagree with you on this Graham. I understand some men don’t like this being discussed openly and are offended by it, but that’s most often because they miss the point. This is exactly what happened with Whale Oil yesterday until Rodney explained.

    I have reluctantly concluded that New Zealand does suffer a rape culture – Hide

    One of the problems: Our suppression laws

    Why do you think explanations like this are necessary?

    The quote you have brought up is from quite a long time ago. I know it’s challenging for some men but I stand by what I said.

    You may think that the majority of men who don’t sexually assault and violently assault have no responsibility for one of the biggest problems embedded in our society. I disagree – NOTE THAT I DON”T HOLD THEN PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT SOME MEN DO. I think we have a joint responsibility to speak up against this insidious problem that adversely affects so many people.

    I say this in the hope that you will be reasonable, and realise that the way you continue to join the “poor insulted me/not my fault” club is unfair to the majority of victims and the many others affected by the long term after effects – sometime lifetimes of issues.

    We can do something about reducing the predominantly male attitudes that have resulted in victims continuing to be victimised while, as Rodney Hide said, parts of our society go out of their way to protect the offenders.

    One of the best ways to do this is for many people to speak up and push for action rather than indulge in self sympathy for feeling offence that is miniscule in comparison the the offence felt by victims who never see justice being done.

  6. Brown

     /  21st July 2014

    Your line of thinking will see all men shot by feminists because some scum bag raped a woman and got name suppression. History is littered with people being quite happy to pick on a sub culture that’s not them and deal to it whether there are good reasons to or not.

    If you are not going to deal with the problem you are not helping and quoting feminist claptrap is not helping.

    Respect always starts with self respect but we are not teaching children the value of that.

  7. graham

     /  21st July 2014

    Ah well, you continue to repress disagreement by playing the “you’re wrong, you’re missing the point, think of the victims” card – AGAIN.

    My final word on this. Your definition of “rape culture” does not apply to me, nor do I believe it holds true in New Zealand – certainly not to the extent you claim. So, as I stated earlier, I will not take offence at the term “rape culture” when you use it, because although I know you mean well, you are quite misguided on this topic. Maybe you’ve read too many articles by QoT and other like-minded people, I don’t know.

    I do strongly recommend that you read some of RAINN’s literature and attempt to learn from it.

    • graham

       /  21st July 2014

      Note, my reply above is to Pete, not Brown.

    • “you continue to repress disagreement”

      A very strange claim. I’m not doing anything to “repress” disagreement, I’m simply disagreeing. I’m not restricting you from disagreeing.

      I don’t have a definition of “rape culture”. DO you think Rodney Hide has a definition? Or was he talking about it in more general terms?

      • graham

         /  21st July 2014

        I know I said above that this was my final word on the matter, but I find this comment quite extraordinary Pete.

        ‘I don’t have a definition of “rape culture”.’

        In light of everything you have said and claimed on the topic of “rape culture” and its existence in New Zealand over a very long time now, that is a quite bizarre thing to say, Pete.

        And now that really IS my final word here.

        • Nothing bizarre or extraordinary about it. I don’t have a definition. I’ve discussed many aspects of the topic surrounding it, including saying there are a range of opinions on what the term might mean – it’s different things to different people.

          You obviously see it a lot differently to me. So be it.


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