Murder, men, shame and blame

The murder of young tourist Grace Millane is terrible, and very sad for her family in particular. Horrendous crimes like murder can impact on many people.

There have been appropriate reactions online, like:

I think that most people would agree with that as some have.

There have also been a noticeable number of different reactions. Like calling on the Government to deal with mental health issues, even going as far as implying blame on the current and past Governments. I think that’s unfair.

Apparently there has been some blaming of the murder victim for her own death – I haven’t seen this but have seen this: “Fuck all of you who are blaming Grace for her own death.” Aand:

I’ve had to go on a blocking spree cos I’ve had so many people tweet me to say she should have been more careful. Women and men alike. It’s as if we’ve regressed a couple of hundred years.

It’s sad that there has been victim blaming. Angry responses to that are understandable, but some go into women versus men territory.

When you argue that women shouldn’t travel alone for fear of violence, you’re arguing that women don’t have the same right to life as men because in effect there are some instances and spaces where women should expect their lives are rendered precarious and meaningless.

Also prevalent is the implication and blaming of all men for murders, and violence generally. There have been many variations to this, including attacks on men for questioning the ‘all men’ blaming. people who have suggested anything like ‘not all men are to blame for the crimes of some’.

And some responses combine things and generalise, like:

Ironically, many of the “What did she expect; she should have been more careful” people are exactly the same ones shouting “ “ the rest of the time.

Men are also effectively blaming all men, or at least all men who say things they disagree with.

To all the guys responding to women’s pain, despair and outrage right now with , please go fuck yourselves. You are part of the problem. We are part of the problem unless we actively confront toxic masculinity and the culture of violence against women.

This troubles me. I don’t feel any responsibility for this crime. I think that ‘all men’ type attacks are likely to be counter-productive, alienating many men who oppose violence, who speak up against violence, who act against violence.

I don’t see how I have any responsibility for a murder in Auckland. Are all Aucklanders responsible in some way? Are all New Zealanders responsible for the safety of tourists?

It’s very sad to hear of the murder of a young tourist, but I also find it sad to see all the blaming and shaming of men generally. I don’t think that will do anything to make tourists or women safer.

66 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  December 10, 2018

    There’s been mention of Tinder. There have been several murders world-wide of young people on Tinder hook-ups. At least one man victim of a female I seem to recall from one of the true crime stories I watched on Bravo channel.

    Sadly there are people who are animals and just plain crazy, homicidal maniacs out there. There always have been.

    I worry that some happy, carefree, open & trusting young people are too vulnerable to them and it is only something horrific like this that makes them take stock and shock them into realising the human world is a dangerous place.

    • sorethumb

       /  December 10, 2018

      You are right Gezza. I had a friend once a middle class guy, religious Phd. We discussed sexual fantasies: his was “torturing a woman”. He was surprised when I was shocked at that.

      • Gezza

         /  December 10, 2018

        Umm….

        Never mind.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 10, 2018

        As long as someone knows that it’s a fantasy, it’s…well, not all right, it’s nasty, but they won’t do it. Many people have fantasies about things that they would never, ever do.

        People SHOULD be more careful about going to a flat to have sex with a stranger; it’s silly to say that this is not risky behaviour for both parties. That’s not victim blaming, it’s saying that this is potentially dangerous. And it is. Who knows what that person has in mind? It’s not victim blaming to say that if an accident victim had been wearing a seatbelt, they would have survived the crash.

        The sad fact is that had Grace Millane not gone off with an unknown man, she would be alive today. With any luck, her tragedy may make other girls think before they do it. It must be dreadful for her family to know that an error of judgement led to her death. I felt very sorry for the policeman who was obviously devastated by the whole thing.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 10, 2018

          I can’t see why Jacinda Ardern apologised on behalf of all NZ; one person did it, not all of us, and I can’t see how we could have kept her safe unless we passed laws that nobody must go away with a member of the opposite sex. What can anyone do ? Provide a minder for every tourist ?

          Trust Lizzie Marvelly to cash in and ramble on about how women are and feel unsafe all their lives (I muted it; she was making capital from a hideous tragedy and New Shub should have known better)

        • Missy

           /  December 11, 2018

          “The sad fact is that had Grace Millane not gone off with an unknown man, she would be alive today.”

          This is disgusting victim blaming. You should be ashamed at this moralising and attempt to suggest she was to blame for what happened to her.

          What happened to Grace Millane was the fault of the man who killed her, if he hadn’t – for whatever reason – decided to become violent with her then she would be alive today.

          Based on what you say women would never hop into a cab, hop into a uber, walk down the street alone, talk to a man in a pub, talk to a man in the street, have a boyfriend, get into a relationship, talk to work colleagues, maybe even work…

          all of those situations above have resulted in women being violently attacked or murdered, if those women didn’t get a cab, get a uber, walk down the street, talk to a man, enter a relationship, go to work they would not have been attacked – some would be alive today.

          Your comment disgusts me, it is NOT HER FAULT she was killed, it is the fault of the man who committed the crime, maybe his mother should have taught him more respect for human life, if she had then Grace would be alive today.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 11, 2018

            What a stupid, spiteful liar you are, I said nothing about any of those situations and they are pure inventions of your distorted mind. You put words into my mouth so that you can discredit them.

            Tinder is strangers meeting strangers, even you must know that, and it is very risky behaviour for anyone to meet a stranger for sex,

            You seem incapable ot understanding what I say, because you want to distort it and lie about it to score points,

            If you can find anywhere where I claimed that it WAS HER FAULT (capitalised to make it sound like a quote ?) I would be astonished.

            The fact is that very few women are murdered by taxi drivers or men they talk to in the street or as the result of going to work.

            How DARE even you accuse me of victim blaming when I am doing no such thing ? How can you live with being so malicious and such a liar ?

            I said that it was the fault of the murderer, but your spite and stupidity will never acknowledge that.

            Even you can’t think that meeting a stranger for sex is safe behaviour for anyone.

            Next time you make a reply, make it to what the person has actually said, you malicious troll.

            • Missy

               /  December 12, 2018

              You said: “The sad fact is that had Grace Millane not gone off with an unknown man, she would be alive today.” That is language designed to shift the blame from the perpetrator to the victim. It is like saying if a woman didn’t wear a short skirt she wouldn’t be raped, or a woman who wears lacy knickers is expecting sex so it isn’t rape (that happened in a rape case in Ireland by the way).

              Perhaps you don’t believe it is victim blaming, but by saying that the victims behaviour is the reason she is dead you are victim blaming. A woman’s behaviour should not be used as part of the reason for her being murdered. Interestingly it is only women where there behaviour is discussed in relation to their attack, no-one would say ‘if a man didn’t go off alone with an unknown man/woman he would be alive today’, because when men are attacked they are not judged on their behaviour.

              It would be nice if you could debate where you think I am wrong without personal attacks, by consistently and repeatedly attacking my character you have lost credibility. Your comments were disgusting but I did not indulge in personal attacks and name calling as you have done, I referred to what you said only. You should perhaps think more about the language you are using, in discussing the victims actions as a contributor to her murder you are automatically putting some of the blame onto her for what happened.

              “The fact is that very few women are murdered by taxi drivers or men they talk to in the street or as the result of going to work.”

              Maybe not in NZ, but these are all cases that have occurred over the last 12-18 months in the UK, women being attacked by their Uber driver, a women murdered by a co-worker after work, more than one women murdered by men they talked to in the street (not necessarily strangers, but murdered after the conversation none the less). Further back there was a case of a taxi driver murdering multiple women.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 12, 2018

              Go and troll someone else, please, and remember that if you are going to lie about what someone said, don’t do it when their words are there to give you the lie.

              Your distortions of what I said are pathetic trolling.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 12, 2018

              If you are stupid enough to think these things, nothing I say will convince you otherwise and I have no intention of trying. You will only continue to attribute words and thoughts to me that I have neither said nor thought. I was, perhaps, silly to expect a certain standard of literacy and reading comprehension from someone who is devoid of both. Now run away and stop trolling me, please.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 12, 2018

              Your comments, making vile assumptions based upon nothing but your own filthy mind are the disgusting ones. Can you not believe that not everyone has a mind like yours ?

  2. Ray

     /  December 10, 2018

    It is interesting that a fair number of the people who are loading the guilt onto all men, take a quite different stance if anyone does the same blaming of all Muslins for terrorism.

  3. MaureenW

     /  December 10, 2018

    There’s an innocence that comes through in the photos we’ve seen of Grace Millane.
    The man taken into custody only 26.
    Neither party are likely to be hardened individuals.
    A sex crime covered up to prevent identification?
    Sex crimes against females are extremely common, most go unreported. Maybe males are deciding it’s better to murder their victims and take a chance they won’t get caught, rather than face sex charges which carry significant penalties. That should ring alarm bells for all sexually active women if the case.

    • Gezza

       /  December 10, 2018

      There have been recent articles – and even an item last week on 1ewes at 6 – by young women complaining that the ready availability of porn on the internet – is resulting in the young men they meet having viewed a great deal of it before dating and have very distorted ideas about what sorts of things women like as part of a normal sexual repertoire. This includes promiscuity, and often violent or degrading kinky sex.

      We don’t know what happened yet, but it is something that is disturbing many young women and teenage girls and sometimes this sort of thing I guess can lead to a death from, say, accidental strangulation through holding the women by the throat (one common form of online sex porn, treating women as sex objects, with the porn actresses seemingly enjoying it).

      There was talk on the 1ewes item of the need to urgently address this apparently growing problem through appropriate sex education in schools.

      • sorethumb

         /  December 10, 2018

        I don’t know about porn. Can’t people distingusih between real behaviour and false? The thing that puts me off porn is that it is so artificial. People don’t just “hello” (been here 3 minutes) “let’s bang”.

        • sorethumb

           /  December 10, 2018

          so people have told me.

          • Gezza

             /  December 10, 2018

            Well, some do. Might have dinner first. One of our posters here once posted that he gets his bonks from Tinder, no strings attached.

            • Gezza

               /  December 10, 2018

              Said he “found it liberating”. :/
              Expect one day he’ll liberate an STD.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 10, 2018

              Or find that his wallet etc have been liberated and the girl has gone.

              Given that one of the oldest dodges in the world is to lure a man somewhere for sex. only for him to meet the boyfriend instead and be robbed, I suspect that this happens with Tinder. But who’d want to admit
              it ?

              I have mentioned before that in the 1870 book, A Child of the Jago, which is based upon a real place and people, the record for the number ‘br(ought) to the cosh’ was 26 in one night, a record that was emulated but never broken.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 10, 2018

            Murdering someone seems a bit extreme, and the fact that it so seldom happens is an indication that few men are stupid enough to take the chance. The odds against getting away with murder are very slight, and your chances of being murdered by a stranger in NZ are also extremely slight.

            • Gezza

               /  December 10, 2018

              From the limited description given on 1ewes at 6 of the perpetrator’s demeanor during the Court hearing, I’m not sure this person is sane.

        • Missy

           /  December 11, 2018

          I am not sure if they can. I was at a training session today and we were discussing behaviours in the context of the workplace, but I think it applies outside as well.

          Studies have shown that the younger generations – such as millennials – have a lot of tech skills, but they very much lack in social skills as most of their socialising (in general) has been via the internet, which means they find it difficult to interact with real people.

          I think if some boys/men spend a lot of time watching online porn then they may see that as the norm, not relate it to a fantasy, or contrived situation, especially if they are of a generation that already has difficulty with human interaction.

          • sorethumb

             /  December 11, 2018

            As you get older you mature, for sure. Thinking about conversations as a young man they were usually of the “she does/ she doesn’t” variety combined with thinking “would she with me”? I can’t see how porn would contradict that?

            • Missy

               /  December 12, 2018

              It is true that you mature as you get older, however, it will be interesting how the younger millennial generation matures. The studies we discussed in the training were looking at those in their early to mid twenties, a time when they should have developed social skills. However, if they are still not emotionally mature at that age, and don’t have empathy or understanding for dealing with the opposite sex then it will be interesting to see if they are able to develop those social skills. A fascinating area of study for a behavioural scientist I imagine.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 10, 2018

    A Summary of Statistics about Victims of Murder, Manslaugher, and Infanticide

    Report at a glance:

    Between 2007 – 2016 there were 686 people killed by homicide (ie murder and manslaughter offences).
    Maori account for approximately a third of homicide victims.
    Males represented 62 percent of all victims.
    The lowest annual homicide figure of 58 was in 2016, with provisional 2017 data even lower at 48.
    Around 7 out of 10 homicides were murders.
    Of all family-linked homicide victims, 40% were male and 60% were female.
    Around 1 in 5 homicides was committed by a current or ex-partner – 75% of victims were female.
    Children under the age of five made up 12 percent of homicide victims.
    http://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/homicide-victims-report-2017-and-historic-nz-murder-rate-report-1926-2017

    The majority of murder victims are male.
    No-one says that males shouldn’t be careful about who they mix with and when and where.

    • PDB

       /  December 10, 2018

      Yes – this murder on first appearances isn’t very common in this country regardless of what the ‘anti-NZ male’ voices in Twitterland are trying to tell us.

      *Not a male on male murder.
      *Appears from initial reports that a person she only just met killed her.
      *A rare case of an overseas visitor being murdered.

      People should be shocked at any murder, not just specifically when a male kills a female.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  December 10, 2018

      I think the main thrust of the argument is that the vast majority of perpetrators of murder are Male. As such it is a male issue to deal with. The fact males and females are murdered does not alter this.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 10, 2018

        The vast majority of those dealing with perpetrators of murder are male.

      • David in aus

         /  December 10, 2018

        Males are predisposed to violence, unfortunately. Propensity for violence can be useful in hunting for food and protection from wild animals.
        But for some males violence is pathological. It is biology, testosterone with brain wiring issues. Some may say there are also ethnocultural factors in addition to gender.

        What reduces violence: law and order, the likelihood of getting caught and punnished; Childhood behaviour modification. Blaming gender does not get us anywhere. Statistically the most frequent victims of violence are not women but men.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  December 10, 2018

          There is a strong correlation between crime and growing up in a fatherless home. Interestingly it is being “fatherless” that creates the issue, rather than “single parent” – children who grow up with a father only have no increased disposition to crime at all.
          So while you could argue it is not a male issue, a male influence during formative years is a strong preventative.
          I still think it is an odd counter to those saying males need to work on their violent tendencies by saying males commit violence against males as well. The argument is about perpetrators. Pointing to victim diversity is an irrelevance.
          That said, I bristle at the “males need to take a look at themselves” rhetoric as well – it doesn’t match my experience so being lumped in with such people is anathema.
          But there are plenty who feel this way who will also say child abuse is a Maori problem and Terrorism is a Muslim problem.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 10, 2018

            The IRA leave ISIS nowhere when it comes to the number killed in the UK, or if they have been overtake, it’s very recent. It wasn’t a band of Muslims who broke into my great-uncle’s house and held a knife to his throat, or made my mother and stepfather retreat hastily from the bullets that were flying around them.

          • david in aus

             /  December 10, 2018

            “Pointing to victim diversity is an irrelevance” Correct, if you want to solve the problem.

            But in this victim-hood culture it means a lot. Women/victim- good; men/perpetrator- bad. Apparently this violence is due to toxic masculinity.

            Can anyone define toxic masculinity? The most BS term I have heard of.

            Furthermore, if we assume toxic masculinity exists; what is toxic femininity?

            • Gezza

               /  December 10, 2018

              It is a way for women to exercise violence in sneakier ways that the more overt violent tactics that are used by men, via passive aggression, person to person manipulation and systemic manipulation of victim complexes and protected identities, and funneling of persons to violence by its counterpart- toxic masculinity.

              View story at Medium.com

            • Gezza

               /  December 10, 2018

              Hmm – that one’s a bit intense – didn’t read it first. Plenty of hits on google though.
              https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=toxic+femininity&rlz=1C1CHKB_en-GBNZ465NZ476&oq=toxic+femininity&aqs=chrome..69i57.6284j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

            • david in aus

               /  December 10, 2018

              @Gezza. It looks like made up BS. Made up after someone decided Toxic Masculinity was a real thing. If Toxic Masculinity is real, then obviously there must an equivalent in females………artificial Identity Politics constructs.

              How about there are good and bad in any gender. There is nothing inherently toxic in masculinity or femininity.

            • Gezza

               /  December 10, 2018

              How about there are good and bad in any gender. There is nothing inherently toxic in masculinity or femininity.

              I think you’ve probably nailed it there, david in aus. There may be some toxic behaviours from both sexes, but masculinity and femininity, or males and females can be equally affectionate and kind and loving, and equally nasty and vicious. There’s no doubt that more women are murdered by men than the other way around though. But I’ve met women who are attracted to the big, bad possessive males – one of them even said – I want a man who will protect me.

              Women throng to watch the All Blacks and other physical male sports where the competition and the attraction is as much about watching them cannon into & out-muscle each other. You see women screaming for blood at men’s wrestling and boxing matches. Figuring out what individual women want and how to behave to attract them is a puzzle.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 10, 2018

            Your statistics that growing up fatherless is a large part of the problem leads to the conclusion it is a solo mother issue to deal with. I don’t see why you think males who are not perpetrators are the issue (or need to or even can deal with the problem of someone else’s parenting).

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 11, 2018

              I don’t think that at all Al. I also think the whole “it takes a village” attitude is a cop out to people actually parenting their own kids.
              I personally sheet home crime to the individuals who commit them. I was only clarifying the point some were making, that violent crime has a strong male skew, whether victims are male or female. I was not necessarily agreeing with it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 11, 2018

              I realised that, HFD. I was just being rhetorical in my use of “you”.

  5. phantom snowflake

     /  December 10, 2018

    Above:
    “Also prevalent is the implication and blaming of all men for murders, and violence generally. There have been many variations to this, including attacks on men for questioning the ‘all men’ blaming. people who have suggested anything like ‘not all men are to blame for the crimes of some’.”

    Pete; I’m wondering if you have misunderstood the objections to the cries of “Not all men are…(misogynists/rapists/murderers etc.)” It isn’t that “Not all men” is untrue; rather that is an actively unhelpful and defensive response. To quote someone far more articulate than myself:

    So #NotAllMen doesn’t clarify anything. It doesn’t add to the discussion or develop it in any way. All it does is derail and dismiss the lived experiences of women and girls. And what the men who leap to remind us that ‘’not all men are like that’’, are actually saying is, ‘’I’m not like that.’’ Or to put it another way, they are letting women know that discussing misogyny makes them uncomfortable, and they’d like to be absolved of any blame before they will let women continue.”
    View story at Medium.com

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 10, 2018

      Most men are not….is better. Not all men sounds as if only a few don’t .

      Not all women are bitches isn’t the same as most women are not bitches.

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 10, 2018

      Excellent point, brilliantly made …

      • Gezza

         /  December 10, 2018

        Except that it’s not really true.

        • PartisanZ

           /  December 10, 2018

          It’s an opinion … like any other … which resonates deeply with me … it “rings true” …

          • Gezza

             /  December 10, 2018

            It doesn’t with me. I have met very, very few misogynists in my lifetime and they are completely oblivious to how much they disgust other men.

            Or to put it another way, they are letting women know that discussing misogyny makes them uncomfortable, and they’d like to be absolved of any blame before they will let women continue.
            Why are you so personally uncomfortable discussing misogyny?

            • Gezza

               /  December 10, 2018

              Actually, I will correct that. They are completely impervious to how much they disgust other men.

              But I would still like to know why you are personally uncomfortable discussing misogyny.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 10, 2018

      The alternative to saying “not all men” is to say why on earth do women choose arseholes and then complain about the consequences?

  6. PDB

     /  December 10, 2018

    If #notallmen “doesn’t clarify anything. It doesn’t add to the discussion or develop it in any way” then surely the same is true for those that essentially blame all men?

    • High Flying Duck

       /  December 10, 2018

      I don’t think it’s so much “blame all men” as make an effort to stop your mates when they push the boundaries with women and don’t tolerate behaviour that is misogynistic or predatory when you see it.
      Although some of the preachy BS posting by some appears to cast blame and lacks that clarity.

  7. High Flying Duck

     /  December 10, 2018

    Some context on the issue:

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 10, 2018

      That would mean that 365 were murdered every year, and given that the number of men is many more per capita, we’d leave the US and other places standing.

      It’s always ghastly when someone is on their OE and is murdered. Remember the Kiwi couple on honeymoon in Africa, and the wife being murdered ?

      Or the Kiwi girl in the UK who was, a few years ago ?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  December 10, 2018

        I think that was Graeme Edgeler’s point – the guy was being unhelpfully hyperbolic.
        He did clarify in a later tweet:

        Jarrod Glibert also showed just how rare an event this is (which is why it is such big news)

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 10, 2018

          I know; but if you multiply the number by 3 or 4, it makes our murder rate enormous.

          There have been cases where Kiwis have been missing and then found dead. But the fact is that most murders are not like this.

    • Duker

       /  December 10, 2018

      More context. Men murder other men and commit violence against other men at higher rates than men against women. Yes violent men are a problem, full stop.

  8. I just heard the silly little girl has apologized to Grace’s family on behalf of all New Zealanders. I wonder if this killer is a Labour voter.

    • Duker

       /  December 10, 2018

      Likely he supports Trump instead….hows that for a wild guess

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 10, 2018

        The apology made her and NZ look ridiculous. I was a victim of crime in two overseas countries, but I don’t blame all the citizens of those countries for these. I blame the criminals. I feel no sense of responsibility for a murder done by someone else, and nor should anyone but that person.

        The apology was pure emotionalism. If she had said that everyone in NZ felt distress at this killing, that would be true, almost certainly, but she seemed to be taking the responsibility from the killer and putting it onto the rest of us. I fail to see what any of us could do. We can’t stop an adult from using Tinder and having sex with another adult.

        • Missy

           /  December 11, 2018

          Interestingly it has been well received in the UK, so it seems to have been a good move on her part.

          You are being a little hypocritical here Kitty in suggesting that the PM has taken responsibility from the killer and put it on all of NZers when in another comment you were more than happy to seem to be taking responsibility from the killer and putting it on the victim.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 11, 2018

            I have never put the blame on the victim; that is an outright lie. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth.

            It cannot be denied that Grace Millane went off with her killer; to say otherwise is an untruth, This does NOT mean (and at no point did I think or say this) that she deserved to be murdered,

            It is outrageous to distort my words in this way. I have no idea why you have chosen to lie about something that can be so easily disproved. My own words show what a malicious lie this is, so please refrain from twisting things that I say.

    • Blazer

       /  December 12, 2018

      wonder no more you silly old fool….very well received.

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 10, 2018

    Apparently he recently returned from living Australia and was estranged from his family. Don’t know if the return was involuntary.