Diversion, censorship over sexual assault issues

Every blog has the right to allow or not allow anyone to comment in their forums. But how they do this affects their credibility and reputation.

There are different degrees of feminism. I think most people will now support the premise of gender equality in general, but extreme feminism is not for equality, it tries to make women the powerful, and suppress and men.

The Standard has had it’s moments over the years, and I have had my differences with them, but one of the more remarkable examples of attempted message management has taken place over the last couple of days, along with a surge of purging.

The Standard has not had a post about the Labour summer camp sexual assault issue. Instead they have tried to divert from it, including shutting down speech.

The story broke on Monday. The first signs of a clampdown and diversion were after discussion about the issue in Daily Review 12/03/2018 (Monday evening):

Fuck off, you disgusting, sexual assault enabling old prick.

[3 month ban. I’ve been watching your trolling since the election, and you appear to bring little to the site now. What is not ok is starting a flame war in a topic of this nature where many people are vulnerable. Throwing accusations around, using sexual assault to Labour-bash, it’s all the same kind of nasty, macho bullshit that makes it really hard to have meaningful conversations about rape culture on TS. – weka]

A ban may not seem unfair given the comment made, but it was in response to

Crawl back under the rock you came from [Edit. Best not to go there Adam – MS](bm) . How about we let the victims make decisions before we start making accusations.

So a “Best not to go there” edit versus leaving the response and a 3 month ban – not an unusual unbalanced approach to ‘moderation’ at The Standard. This was followed later by a ‘weka’ comment:

My suggestion in general to the men here who want to have a shit fight about this, is to sit down and shut up, and start listening to what women are saying. Women generally understand what the issues are and how to talk about them without making the conversations unsafe or into flamewars.

This is also not an unusual attempt (at TS as well as elsewhere in social media) to shut down male speech.

Then on Wednesday morning ‘weka’ posted Talking about sexual assault:

As news unfolds about the sexual assaults that took place at Labour’s Summer School last month, it’s time for political communities to look at how they talk about sexual assault and rape culture.

This discussed the summer school assaults initially, before widening to a more general topic:

New Zealand is still very bad at addressing sexual assault or knowing how to talk about it, although some spaces are better than others. Yesterday a flame war started up on The Standard in discussing the sexual assaults. I came in late and saw a bunch of left and right wing men having a fight about it.

The ‘left wing man’ had his hand smacked, sort of. The right wing man was banned for 3 months.

Not surprised but still disappointed. So I want us to talk about how to talk about sexual assault, and I want to give a general heads up for moderation going forward.

What is not ok is to make discussions about sexual assault hostile. Women in particular want safer spaces to discuss rape culture and the politics around sexual assault, and when discussions are made hostile many women will simply not take part. Which then leaves the kōrero with men, including men who are either uneducated about sexual assault and the politics around that, or who have an agenda that doesn’t include preventing rape or making spaces safer.

My position last night was that men generally need to sit down and shut up and start listening to what women have to say.

I think that that is often weka’s position.

The main problem with telling men to sit down and shut up is that it’s the progressive and compassionate men that will do so, and they are the ones who are usually more informed and more willing to push back against rape culture. So let me rephrase this. I wrote a post recently about #mettonz and why gender equity matters, and it applies here. If we want to solve the problems that lead to rape and rape culture, then we need to amplify the voices of the people that understand what is going on and how to address it. Women have been at the forefront of pushing back against rape culture for decades.

There are many women who have important things to say, and if the space is yet again taken up by men, those voices get lost.

My request then is this. If you want to understand what is going on, then ask. If you have a good handle on what is going on, then please share from a place of informed opinion, but also please amplify the voices of women, and pay particular attention to making the space attractive for women to take part.

Not just aiming to “amplify the voices of women”, but also to suppress the voices of men.

And make no mistake, feminists know full well that the left is not free of rape culture or sexual assault. So the point here isn’t to bash Labour…

No, it seems to be to suppress criticism.

… it’s to point out that rape culture transcends the conventional left/right divide and all men need to take note of that. Left wing men need to get better at addressing this within their own cultures, and right wing men need to resist the temptation to have a go.

Especially to suppress the voices of “right wing men”.

A long discussion follows, with ‘weka’ prominent throughout via comments. Like

The point is that women have been addressing rape culture for decades, and men have largely been the ones making that harder. Irrespective of the genders of the people being assaulted. There is certainly an important conversation to be had about the impact of sexual assault on boys and men. I just don’t see the men generally in this commentariat having been capable of that either. That’s the problem I am pointing to today. Left to its own devices, this community is hostile to anyone wanting to talk meaningfully about sexual violence and it is actively exclusive (which to my reading is against the Policy).

There are some men here who are good on this stuff, and I encourage them to speak up, and if you see some good commentary by men from offsite, then please feel free to quote and link. I’m hoping that you also amplify the voices of women who know what they are talking about, and generally make this a good space for women. When this is a good space for women, it will be more likely to become a good space for other genders as well.

Discussions about violence towards all genders is welcome, so long as it doesn’t go down a ‘what about the men’ track. That’s a political position which I can clarify if anyone doesn’t understand.

I don’t disagree entirely with ‘weka’, but trying to control and manipulate discussion on one of New Zealand’s major political blogs, a ‘left wing movement’ blog, hints at an attempt at a not moderate feminist takeover.

‘weka’ was also active via ‘moderation’:

[neither post nor tracey are advocating covering anything up. 2 month ban for trolling and ignoring the post – weka]

[you either didn’t read the post, or don’t care about the post. 3 month ban for ignoring the post and moderation. If you want to talk about the sexual assault of men, see my comment on this elsewhere in the thread – weka]

[additional moderation note now that I’ve had time to catch up. When I say I want this space to be good for women to comment in, abusing women commenters goes against that. I will be using this thread as a reference for future conversations, so I suggest people start paying attention to where the boundaries are on behaviour that is acceptable. – weka]

“I will be using this thread as a reference for future conversations”.

[I specifically said don’t politicise this. I suggested people ask questions rather than jump in with reckons and judgements, and I did that for very good reasons that I explained in the post. I’ve also made it clear that I will clarify where the boundaries are if people ask. 1 month ban.

Yes, I am utterly serious about changing how discussions about sexual assault happen on TS, now you know, and it has nothing to do with Labour and everything to do with too many of the men on this site – weka]

“Too many men on this site”.

[if you are unwilling to engage with the parameters an author sets for a post, then don’t comment on it. I gave you the courtesy of not moderating but responding in depth to two of the questions you raised, and you come back with rape denial.

This post wasn’t written for you to write whatever you want, any more than it was written for the RW trolls or other rape apologists. It was written to create a good space for women and survivors of sexual assault (and others) to talk about those issues. If you don’t understand what the point of the post was, despite me making it very clear, I suggest you stay out of such discussions in the future.

2 week ban (double the last one which was for telling authors how to run the site and likewise ignoring moderation. See the pattern there?) – weka]

‘Ignoring moderation’ is weka for not complying with her message manipulation and control.

She was helped by lprent, with some comments moved to Open Mike 13/03/2018 :

[TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

[lprent: How about admitting you are making that up and it is simply you lying. Banned 1 month for trolling. ]

[lprent: The age of consent is 16. The due process is to first ask the victims what they want to do.
Banned for 2 months for being a lying troll. ]

[lprent: You aren’t reading it right. “…sexually assaulted four teenagers, all aged 16…”. What is the age of consent? Duh! 16. It has been even when you and I were kids. It is their choice about reporting anything to parents or police.

Banned 3 months for asking a leading question in a troll-like fashion. I’d suggest that you desist from this style of question because I’m likely to just reduce our workload for a few years next time. ]

[lprent: Age of consent is 16. Drinking alcohol is unfortunately only really controlled for kids and adults in certain kinds of public and non-public places and for being sold to kids – none of which is alleged at the camp..
Banned 3 months for stupid trolling and lying with dumbarse ‘questions’. ]

[3 month ban for politicising sexual assault and using it as an excuse to Labour-bash, and for ignoring moderation – weka]

[another 3 for telling lies about moderation in DR – weka]

[You seem pretty keen on getting banned, so I’ve just doubled your ban in the other thread for telling lies about moderation. – weka]

[lprent: There were some pretty clear warnings by both weka and myself about tight moderation on a post today (probably the one you commented on) because it was likely to attract stupidity from trolls not wanting to discuss the topic posted. And so it proceeded. I think 7 or 8 people today for months as I have limited toleration for ignorant morons ignoring warnings. If you choose to ignore warnings, then it is your own damn fault. ]

So that’s a clear and strong message – comply with weka’s discussion management (it can be difficult to guess what she will find unacceptable) or risk being biffed.

Again, weka and lprent can chose to demand that men keep out of conversations, and they can ban, as much as they like. It’s their blog.

But The Standard is increasingly becoming an anti-men weka dictated ultra left wing forum.

Anyone deemed right wing, and now male is at particular is at risk of not being welcome.

From The Standard About:

We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.

Perhaps that needs revision.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t. I’m just pointing out what The Standard has become.

 

20 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  March 14, 2018

    Maybe they are intoxicated with power. If so, they shouldn’t. The feminist agenda and anti male bs will hopefully get short shift at the next election. I just wish their trolls would stay on site and not immigrate to this blog and Whaleoil.

    Hell, I’m starting to think like these comrades.

  2. Blazer

     /  March 14, 2018

    Weka pushing a staunch feminist line,and Whitehead pushing the Queer line ,both Greens?,seem to be dominating over there.I think Prentice maybe a…transvestite.

  3. Sunny

     /  March 14, 2018

    The Standard is great. And so is their moderation. It illuminates you as to Labour and the lefts thinking. They were a key part in my journey from the left . I found them to be extremist idealogues not interested in genuine conversation, controlling, annoying and generally lacking a sense of humour. I too was banned. I came to read Kiwiblog at about the same time. I found them eminently more sensible and democratic. And thought I must be a righty. And have happily voted national since.

    • Corky

       /  March 14, 2018

      Welcome home, son.

      • Gezza

         /  March 14, 2018

        Ok. That was good. I’ve given you an uptick. Don’t whinge about it.

  4. I always found Weka to be chewy stringy and about the last thing to have in a bushmans diet.
    Whoever it is they named themselves well.

    • George.
      Back in the early days white explorers could always tell when they were close to Maori camps…. if you saw a weka then you wouldnt expect Maori as the weka were always the first thing in the pot.

  5. Missy

     /  March 14, 2018

    What a load of sexist BS from Weka. You cannot exclude men from conversations about sexual assault. Essentially excluding any group from a discussion just alienates them and creates resentment. Weka does not help advance the discussion around Sexual Assault, she just pushes her stupid ultra feminist attitude, which does not help with the problem.

    In the Labour situation especially men cannot be excluded from the discussion, 50% of the victims were male, young boys, what message do people like Weka send to those boys – and other male victims of sexual assault – when she excludes men from discussing the issue? She is essentially telling them that what happened to them doesn’t count because they are not female. She does not help women at all, and she does not speak for most normal every day women.

  6. Gezza

     /  March 14, 2018

    I started reading blogs when I heard of whaleoil & saw the chest-beating posts about fighting suppression orders (unless they apply to WO) but the swearing & general yukkiness got to me, so I found TS, but the discussion & moderation there was so one-sided & petty (& Lprent, I learned, so full of bull) I tried Kiwiblog. But Kiwiblog was full of nutters & idiots, so I came here, where there only a couple of the latter.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  March 14, 2018

      Amen to that korero brother

      • Gezza

         /  March 14, 2018

        Occasionally one of the idiots here will post to me claiming I’m one.

    • Trevors_elbow

       /  March 14, 2018

      Dont be so hard on yourself Gezza….. idiot is a strong term…

    • ClassicalLLiberal

       /  March 14, 2018

      Aw, Gezza, KB has a few nutters (mainly extreme left and one daft antisemite who I think must be a troll), but as a centrist liberal I appreciate the freedom of speech. Give it another shot – moderate, sensible comments are always needed, everywhere.

      Re the Standard: clearly madhouse run by nutters! How can they deny that men and boys are sexually abused too?

    • Kevin

       /  March 14, 2018

      Prentice is either the world’s worst spin doctor or there’s something mentally wrong with him. I say both.

  7. Jonny

     /  March 14, 2018

    [3 month ban for politicising sexual assault and using it as an excuse to Labour-bash, and for ignoring moderation – weka]

    HILARIOUS and precious at the same time…

    • Kevin

       /  March 14, 2018

      Like the Left would neverrrrrrr politicise sexual assault …

  8. Kevin

     /  March 14, 2018

    Get with it, Pete. According to both TDB and TS the big story of the week is something to do with Hager and the NZDF. As for the Labour camp scandal, what scandal?

  9. Loki

     /  March 14, 2018

    Why bother reading it.
    This has been a problem in Labour since Jonathon Hunt and probably prior to that.
    The way they bullied and covered the Darren Hughes disgrace tells you all you need to know about this crowd.
    Surprising that a couple of females got manhandled this time. That in itself is the only thing that shocks me.