Glitterboobs, tinned tomatoes, racist menus and golliwogs – have we started the year off angry?

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I tend to want to follow politics, economics and the political process because with an untested left wing Government, a looming economic crash and an orange fuckwit on the nuclear button, the shit storm that is about to hit demands our full attention.

But sometimes things happen and people say things that are so ugly and ignorant you need to pause and just say, ‘Oi. You. No!’

Have we started the year in an ugly and angry way? I think we have and I think some of the ugliness in our dialogue has been fuel injected by social media platforms where vilification and maximum emotional outrage have rendered us too fried and bitter to even bother checking the better angels of our nature’s twitter feed.

At the beginning of last year I rolled my eyes over the story about a young Māori woman taking offence at the Mad Butcher allegedly claiming that Waiheke Island was a ‘white man’s island’. I say allegedly because he claims to have said something different and I felt it was a storm in a teacup.

I thought casual racism was a pretty middle class concern and the least of our worries and focus when real racism was so prevalent and present.

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I was wrong to think it didn’t matter.

It did and it does.

I’m still not sure about the quality of that debate and I think calling each other racists is the easiest way to negatively polarise but the debate was necessary from the point of view of trying to draw a line in the sand on offending each other.

I look at the four issues that have recently erupted on social media and some of the things I see people saying is woefully stupid and just misplaced fear and anger that is being spouted by wounded and insecure individuals.

For the record.

If a woman is walking naked in public, you don’t have any right whatsoever to touch her. Yes, self-defence law doesn’t cover her chasing the dickhead who did this down and hitting him four times in the head, but that’s a side salad to the initial issue of him sexually assaulting her in public in the first place. There’s no defence in the world where it’s justifiable to grope her. None. Zip. Why the Christ are you still trying to justify that? It’s like drink driving in that sure you can do it, but it’s illegal and you are putting others in danger. It’s a none negotiable. There’s no wriggle room here, so don’t do it. If you are feeling guilty about times you yourself have sexually assaulted someone, take this moment to not project what you want to define it as to clear your conscience and take it as an opportunity to pledge to never hurt and insult someone like this ever again.

If you are getting indignant about being told what food to donate to women who are escaping domestic violence, perhaps you need to appreciate that charity isn’t pretty. It’s ugly and real. If you are offended that women in a state of shock from domestic violence require comfort food as opposed to a Jamie Oliver ingredient list, then perhaps you need to check who this charity is actually for, you or the person you are donating it to.

If you think racist menus are funny because they make fun of the way people speak, it not only demeans the food you are cooking, it demeans you as a person. The needlessness of the spite and the joy in revelling in the ‘naughtiness’  of being politically incorrect speaks to a pretty base level ignorance that is childish and beneath everyone. How can an asian restaurant do justice to the spirit of the kai when that restaurant is mocking and humiliating the culture that kai comes from?

(If your main concern was me throwing in the word ‘kai’ in that last sentence, you’re either someone who thinks this menu is hilarious or Don Brash.)

Talking of Don Brash – Golliwogs.

I appreciate you might have had a Golliwog when you were a kid. I appreciate you cuddled up to the Golliwog and I appreciate that you aren’t racist. I get that. However the Golliwog is a crass caricature of the very racist Black and White Minstrels and just like the n word, it’s not really something white people get to claim. And yes, unfortunately sensitivities to many centuries of slavery and racism do in fact outrank your childhood memories.

In each of these four examples,  the Glitterboobs, tinned tomatoes, racist menus and golliwogs, people are wanting to be wilfully offensive to one another. It’s not a case of ‘forgive me I didn’t realise that’, it’s a case of, “Fuck you I don’t care”.

Perhaps it’s because the first reaction is always, ‘you racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic heteronormative patriarchal redneck…’ that people’s heels dig in as deeply as they do. Social media has bypassed gatekeeper media, but it’s also unleashed a cacophony of resentment that removes compassion in favour of online assassinations.

I was wondering about this when I was in Whangarei over the weekend at the Direct Animal Action Rodeo protest.

Rural folk feel under attack. Many are in debt up to their eye balls from dairy intensification, the suicide rate is soaring and when you are economically stressed out, hyper sensitive and thin skinned to criticism, being told to end any event you culturally identify with provokes resentment.

For them Rodeo is a cultural ritual and attempting to remove it as they struggle cuts deeply.

Direct Animal Action’s code of conduct is for silent protests so as to not antagonise those attending and it’s this respectful protest that has made Direct Animal Action’s campaign against Rodeos so successful.

The ugly anger being spouted by many on social issues that cut to the very heart of our individual identities is a backlash long in coming. The wounds that so many are speaking from can’t be argued with, they need to heal first before they can listen and I don’t  think there is going to be a lot of listening in 2018.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Some of what you say is real Martyn,

    As I see the rage on the roads today as i drove back to Gisborne from Napier and I tried to drive at a slow pace on that winding hilly road all the way at just 80 kms just because I wanted to let all the fast drivers to get past our car easily if they wanted, but many did not blink their lights or toot the horn in satisfaction at me letting them pass at every point I could.

    It seems that most folks are still suffering from anger of the long time under National who drove us all to drive selfishly now it seems.

    When I was young in 1960’s they had a poster given us all by the petrol stations that said “Courtesy is contagious” and was given us to stick on our car bumpers so it would spread to word to drive with consideration like I tried to do today hoping to spread to other drivers to cat with consideration of other drivers.

    We need to get people settled down again.

    Good call Martyn.

      • Some good points made – and some to be followed too.
        The point about menus and making fun of the way people talk.
        I always wonder why you think it necessary to belittle the average Kiwi as hobbits of whatever from middle Noo Ziland. It would be nice if in 2018 you could perhaps, practice what you preach and treated your fellow citizens with more respect..

  2. The cheap “glitter boobs” gal (from USA of course) was a disgrace to women worldwide..
    Brought her boobs , thought could display open with glitter, and men ignore.
    Should have got HER face slapped, in reality.

    REALITY CHECK. Yes when you display your boobs AND with glitter on,
    YES. It’s an invitation.
    NO DIFFERENT to animal/bird signals when looking for mate.
    Dumb bitch.

    • Whoa!!!

      Since when were a woman’s breasts an “invitation”?! Does that mean that every woman who goes to the beach is available for every man to grope her? Does that mean a breast-feeding woman can have her breasts fondled, at whim??

      Are you inviting women to dress in head to foot attire (let’s say, for example, a burkha?) lest they invite men who are driven wild by the sight of bare skin?

      You invoke the proposition that it’s “NO DIFFERENT to animal/bird signals when looking for mate”. Really? When is the last time you saw an animal or bird (a bird is an animal, by the way) rush up to one of it’s own species’ opposite sex; grope it; then run away? And if by some chance you find something on Youtube to validate your asinine proposition, is that the level you think Human Males should descend to?

      I’m surprised movie theatres don’t descend into violent orgies at the all-too-common sight of sex scenes.

      Maybe we should have separate screenings of adult-rated movies for men and women in that case. You know, because according to you, men are uncontrollable when it comes to the sight of a bare breast.

      No, a bare breast is not an “invitation”. Not in any civilised society I know off.

      Your views are repugnant at every possible level, “Cassie”.

    • No Cassie, she isn’t a “dumb bitch”. She’s a human being entitled to go about her business, whether fully clothed, topless, nude, or whatever and not be groped by a drunken dickhead. Your validation of that kind of assault paints you to be unaware that women have rights just like men.

      You do not touch. Not without permission. Not ever.

    • So Cassie, are you a woman? If so and you’re at the beach and you show a bit of skin it’s ok that I “cop a feel”? Not that I have any such inclination, but it shows how ludicrous your ideas are. You’ve got some very weird ideas about a persons right to be free from assault.

    • Cassie, your outlook on the availability of women’s bodies based on the amount of skin exposed leaves me feeling sick with anger and nauseous. If any lout touched my daughter or nieces simply because they had skin exposed, I would be hitting then with more than just slaps!!

      You disgust me. People like you are a bad as they drunken moron who groped that girl because YOU ARE AN ENABLER.

  3. If you believe things should get better and better, then it’s infuriating when they don’t. So it’s no bloody wonder we’re all so boiling mad. ALL. THE. TIME.

  4. WELL,
    1) This gal was NOT on the beach.
    2) She made a Point of exposing her BOOBS in public … PLUS glitter on them, her public statement “LOOK AT MY BOOBS”…(and then screams blue murder and act “innocent” and “offended” at the inevitable consequences.
    3) Clearly a “Feminist

    FEMINISM is a FRAUD.
    Haven’t you noticed how these days it’s gone to extremes – it’s all about
    1) LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY for their own behaviours
    2) Male bashing.

    Frank : WAKE THE HELL UP. Sure, you intensely dislike my honest viewpoint, but that’s because I’ve Triggered cognitive dissonance.

    Because somewhere inside of you, you recognise your haven fallen prey to Liberalism ideologies, Feminist ideologies..ABSORBED them into your psyche without being aware..

    These “ideologies “….based NOT on truth = logic & reasoning, but on NONSENSE.

    (= No SENSE= Irrational=Insane)

    Take me up on reasoning logic & commonsense on this issue – you’ll FAIL.

    (Martyn is another victim of it)

  5. SamNotWise – “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society”
    Krishnamurti (wiser than you)

    Otto Mann- Guess what. Forward movement in time DOES NOT equate with evolving. People actually were a lot smarter & more mentally & physically healthy 60 years ago.
    We are actually DEVOLVING.
    Hundreds of thousands of people on antidepressants, Cancer rates through the roof, at younger ages, heart disease & diabetes, & other chronic illnesses ever INCREASING.
    Suicide rates spiralling upwards..
    Not only that,
    We live in a society that feeds off sex & violence for “entertainment”-like never before in history. We live in a society that is now teaching masturbation to young kids at school… BUT they emerge from their years of “education” with worse literary & maths skills than 40 years ago, and ZERO critical thinking ability.
    SICK. SICK SICK
    And what a surprise, after 60 years of Television & Hollywood movies
    = there are NO Standards of decency anymore.
    (as illustrated by the sheer hypocrisy of woman turning up at a public event indecently clad, with delusional expectations of being treated with respect)

    You’re living in a bubble. A false reality created by decades of watching TV & trash movies & fake news.
    Western society is in decline. Dissolution. People like you are part of the problem, because your sense of reality has been warped.

    IT IS NO MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO A SICK SOCIETY.
    Indeed.

  6. Ottoman -what a braindead bore . “what century are you from?” is no different from your previous “time machine” comment, which I responded to. You clearly are too lazy /incapable of shifting your position which requires mental processing of additional info to respond to.

    Steve Earnshaw- you illustrate my point that we appear to be DEVOLVING back to to…Colloseum days.
    DEVOLVING!
    Going backwards!

    What nobody has commented on is how Education has expanded in schools ..to teaching children about masturbation , ….whilst Literary & Maths skills continue to decline!

    Is this not one clear proof that society is insane?

    ******

    By the way , Nudity in itself nothing wrong with. It’s the CONTEXT that matters.
    In a society such as ours, Unnaturally OBSESSED with sex, bare breasts with glitter on can only be judged in that context. Sexual provocation. (Enjoy but don’t you dare touch)
    Fine, within the bounderies of a Strip Club .
    But outside of that you’re at the mercy of what comes in consequence.

    WHY should only ONE party be forced to observe etiquette, (male), whilst the other party gets away with ANY kind of behaviour??

    Awfully ONE SIDED & HYPOCRITICAL -ISN’T IT??

    • WHY should only ONE party be forced to observe etiquette, (male), whilst the other party gets away with ANY kind of behaviour??

      Cassie, you do realise that it was the male that groped the woman, and not the other way around? Your statement makes no sense and you’re blaming the victim of an assault simply because a lout couldn’t keep his hands to himself?!

      I can’t even begin to imagine how you can rationalise a male assaulting a woman who is walking past, minding her own business. Your validation of that kind of assault beggars belief.

  7. I agree with Bomber here. It’s great that we’re free to debate any issue we like in the digital public square of the internet, but too often debate devolves into name-calling and produces more heat than light. Compassion and mutual respect, even for the expression of views we strongly disagree with, is sorely needed. How about we make make a resolution to imagine we’re responding to a friend or family member with views we disagree with, before we stomp on the ‘post’ button?

    BTW Please ignore the troll folks, The 19th century victorians will recall their ambassador in due course.

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