Warning: My middle name is Trigger.
Once upon a time in Palmerston North, there lived a criminal lawyer called Trev. All around the district, he was known as the Baddies' Buddy, because of his art of finding reasonable doubt in unreasonable circumstances.
One day, he defended a man accused of rape. He hinged his argument on the matter of consent, seeing how the alleged victim noted in her statement that she had had to help him in, so to speak, with both hands. Regret after the fact may not be rape.
He hassled journalists to ask him whether his client would be seeking name suppression, to which his reply would be, "No! My client wants his name attached to the statement that she had to use both hands emblazoned across the papers!"
This was back in the '80s, and NZ feminism was barely in its teens. The Matrimonial Properties Act was younger still, and the end of marital rape was barely in its twenties. Clint Rickards was still a well-respected cop.
Feminism as it existed would disintegrate into micro factions by the end of that decade, where the Annabel Chong feminists couldn't abide the dungareed anti-porn feminists, and the libertines fell out with the socialist commune types. Marketeers took the slack, replacing the burnt out earnestness with bling and Britney Spears became the new normal.
In defence of the old man, I would note the old goat was an equal opportunity defence attorney. Years earlier than this, he had used what was arguably NZ's first battered wife syndrome defence in a murder trial from Pahiatua. To plant a seed of the landscape in your brain, imagine a country more ManGodded than Vincent Ward's Vigil, but with added unconsenting sodomy and so forth.
In addition, the presiding judge was Deaf as a Post and Trev managed to harangue NZ's first judicial hearing armed with mikes and speakers. So, give the devil his dues.
Sexual politics is like regular politics, except more polarising, with a comparatively vastly spectrum and infinite combinations of non-awareness due to the super-subjectivity of experience.
It is moments like this that I'm glad that I have a voice for blogging and not a face for radio. Willie and JT are mired, and is Andrew Fagan. For once, Matthew Hooton went troppo on air for the right reasons. I'm typing cautiously, whereas my mouth would have had formal complaints ten minutes ago.
The traditional Kiwi response to sexual politics is to shrug, make a lame joke and forget about it, usually by changing the channel, but also by the time tested "this conversation is over". The same formula is used as a wide-ranging tool to hammer down abortion, suicide, drug reform, and every other contentious issue worth a damn. She'll be right. If it's not broken, etc.
Well, I think the cops finally broke the public trust. Not in my forty-three years in this political animal farm have I witnessed in NZ politics such white hot fury as the APRoWA Corruption is generating (Alleged Pack Rapists of West Auckland. I refuse to name these deviants using their nomenclature). She'll be right is not an option.
What kind of sex education do they teach in Avondale? I hope it's an improvement on the nonsense taught when I was in 5th Form, at a conservative state school where they worshiped Rugby and taught the female anatomy presented as a cross section, exactly like a side of beef or lamb. And as for parental birds & bees discussions, I learned more from my two Dad's porn stashes than I ever learned from all five parents.
I doubt things have changed that much 'twixt schools and parents. Same as it ever was, right down to the Mazengarb cross-winds. As always, the kids learn it from the streets and the school of hard knocks. And the knocks leave cracks.
What does former NZ First Law and Order man Ron Mark think about it all? Is there an ethical boundary between one-off situations of young love and on-going predatory behaviour, and can Police tell the difference?
I doubt it. Rather a breath test checkpoint, where the computer sez yes or no. Rather a cannabis bust, where the perp is non-violent and the body armour is ridiculously overdressing for the occasion, let alone calling in the AOS. And all that is needed for a blue star for the career ladder is a working nostril. A reptile brain is all that is required to smell cannabis, no higher brain functions required. Simple stuff.
The simple stuff has ruined the police. Little wonder their recruitment drives end up overseas, where mercenaries are brought back who have no clue as to the lie of the land.
Police Minister Anne Tolley is genuinely livid for being misinformed by
her patched minions over the saga. Her IPCA complaint can run its course, but there's mounting calls for a
Royal Commission into Police Conduct. It's an entirely reasonable call. If Margaret Bazley can't get heard, you need to increase the calibre of your weapon.
The furies have awoken is this usually stolid land, and they're banging at the gates of Bullshit Towers, aka Police HQ. Tokens and trinkets will not do any more. The ladies will be sated. Heads must roll, something big must change, or there will be rioting in the streets. That much is reasonable.